When they tire of gnawing on live octopus, long-term expats feel a natural gravity towards comfort foods, and no food is more comfortable than a nice, crisp and cheesy Seoul pizza. New expats in the country can not understand the pains and frustration of the lifers who did cartwheels when they saw a decent block of cheese on the grocery shelf way back when. Though over the years many of expats’ back-home favorites have become more accessible, until recently, there was one item on the list that always fell short: Seoul pizza.
Western-style Seoul Pizza?
The crisp crunch of New York-style thin crust, soft mozzarella pillows afloat on top an authentic Neapolitan dough, green peppers and pastrami piled high, all washed down with an icy craft beer: Pizzas are the ultimate foreigner comfort food and the varieties available of this circular wonder are endless.
You’ll find in the restaurants below not a single “Kraft single” or french fry layered upon sacred dough. Just good crispy crust, a wide array of classic toppings, and often original menu selection like garlic doner knots and sangrias to help round off your rounded meal.
Monster Pizza | Hongdae
Satisfying slices of late night pizza for the drunken youngsters. With one slice at 3,500W and a whole pie at 18,000W, this one-stop pizza joint fills your stomach at a low price from sunset to sunrise.
Its just the drunken basics here: cheese, pepperoni, and spicy girl (ham and jalapeno) are offered as well as soft drinks and bottled beer. We recommend going just after you’ve left your Hongdae bar or club of choice, but long queues tend to form from 2:00-4:00am.
The Pizza Peel | Itaewon
Trend-eaters stop reading, this is a no-frills brick oven pizza shop that serves an unpretentious but deliciously authentic American pie (with craft beer selections far removed from Cass and Hite).
Thriving in the backstreets of Itaewon, Pizza Peel was started by a former English teacher who craved his favorite comfort food but could only find creamy, corn-filled varieties in Korean.
After a brief sabbatical in Italy to study the art of pizza-making, he imported a brick oven to Little Itaewon and developed his own dough and sauce based off a traditional, Neapolitan recipe to suit North American tastes. Both are made in-house daily so you can really taste the effort in each bite.
The menu covers the old classics and then sparks with innovation (pesto artichoke? mashed potato bacon ranch anyone?), but you’ll want to save room for the calzones.
Pizzas are generally W11,000 – W18,600 with takeout and delivery service available.
Spacca Napoli | Hapjeong
A truly beautiful, cloud-like neapolitan style pizza located in the back-streets of Hongdae. While there are many student pizza eateries in the area, this one stood out for its quality and nice prices as far as Seoul Italian goes.
The decoration may be a bit kitschy but the pizza is unapologetically authentic. The owner insists on using a traditional wood-burning pizza oven that gives the dough a well-rounded, smoky flavor. Spacca Napoli was winner of Best Pizza in the 10 Magazine Best of Seoul 2018 competition.
Maddux Pizza | Itaewon
New York Pizza by the slice in the backstreets of Itaewon. Flavors include cheese, pepperoni, artichoke spinach, margherita, spicy meatball, bacon and mac&cheese, Hawaiian, and other American favorites that are difficult to find in Korea.
The thin and crunchy crust hold up well with the hands or cut perfectly with a fork and knife. We recommend coming here with a group of friends and requesting cutlery so you can mix-and-match all the different flavors.
One slice of cheese here is 4,200W ,while a typical topping slice is 6,700-8,600W. While not much of a bargain, sacrifices can be made for deliciousness. Margherita and Artichoke spinach typically sell out the fastest, so if available make sure to order them!
Pizzeria D’Buzza | Hannam
Ultra-thin crust Italian pizza. with a lightly singed bottom and a plethora of fresh ingredients make this the go-to pizza place for families in Seoul.
This place is so wildly popular that there two branches in the Hannam/Itaewon area as well as locations in Garosugil, Sinsadong, Seogyodong. You can also find a slice in the famed Cheongdamdong Galleria department store basement.
Try the Classica pictured above for a light meal with cherry Grape tomatoes, freshly grated parmesan, and ruocola.
Buzza (부자) is another word for “rich guy” in Korean, but this is only a reflection of the quality of the ingredients. A 10′ pizza will only run you 7,500-20,000W from a plain cheese to a decadent prosciutto, ruocola, parmesan pie.
[CLOSED] 300 Degrees Pizza | Konkuk University
One meter pizzas and slow-roasted porchetta sandwiches?
This restaurant may be a bit out of the way for the foreigner crowd, but the 50cm-100cm pizzas are sure to wow everybody regardless of nationality. These chewy, thin-crusted pizzas are easily customizable and served pre-sliced into long ,rectangular slices.
Best of all, they offer both Korean-style and Western-style toppings; the gorgonzola pizza of white cheese and walnuts with a light honey drizzle is a must-try ,but if you despise sweetened pizzas there are still of plenty of savory varieties to choose from.
Meter long pizzas run 28,000- 38,000W, while they don’t come cheap we have never been disappointed in a meal here.
Motor City Pizza | Itaewon
July 4th, 2016 is a day to be remember in Itaewon-dong.
When Motor City Pizza opened its doors, we had never heard of the thick-crusted delight that is Detroit-style pizza.
A distant cousin to the Chicago-style, Detroit-style pizza is baked in a rectangular shape in blue steel pans from the industrial era of Detroit’s automobile factories. The resulting pizza is a wonderful slab of focaccia-like crust with a spotlight on cheese and toppings rather than a heavy tomato sauce base.
Motor City takes extra pride and care in their creations, fermenting and refrigerating the dough for a 24-hour period to enhance taste and maintain a consistent texture throughout the pie.
They now offer lunch as well as a takeaway, as tables have been filled by pizza-lovers every weekend. It’s 17,000-25,000W for a pizza with eight rectangular slices each; you can happily feed two people or order two and take some home.
Pizza Iconic | Samseong
New York style pizzas in five different varieties: cheese, pepperoni, meat lover’s, cheese lover’s, and stromboli. If you like your pizza with a thin sourdough crust, tangy sauce, and well-done cheese, then this is the perfect pizza for you.
A classic American pie, these pizzas contain just the right balance of salt and grease for the Western palate. No corn syrup, sweeteners, or MSG here.
Ingredients are imported from Italy, San Francisco and New York, but the lack of upscale toppings really speaks to the quality.
Try the cheese lover’s a medley of mozzarella and cheddar, it’s simple but stand-alone a damn good pizza.
Pizzas are about 32,000-37,000W each; while it’s the priciest pizza place on this list they’re a decent American size for a change, leaving room for leftovers after two people have had their share.
Brick Oven Pizza | Gangnam
Delicious golden rising crusts with cheese bubbles popping out on the top? Brick Oven Pizza does not disappoint. It’s well-seasoned and crunchy, flat-bottomed pizza holds up the weight of cheese, house-made sauce, and toppings with ease.
Since arriving to the Gangnam-gu area four years ago, Brick Oven has attracted locals and expatriates alike for its authentic New York taste and its variety of tasteful toppings.
The owner, a Korean-American entrepreneur, has dedicated himself to providing a perfectly tangy New York slice in a charming environment.The staff is extremely attentive and can adjust the menu according to vegetarian and vegan preferences as well.
Gino’s New York Pizza | Itaewon
Largely agreed upon by our readers as the best New York style pizza in Seoul, Gino’s offers up the best slice in Korea. The owner is native-New Yorker who faces the challenge of finding fresh, authentic ingredients in Seoul with zest. Mozzarella is sourced straight from Italy
The Brooklyn’s Best ,a signature pizza featuring locally-made Italian sausage, rare red onions, extra-virgin olive oil, parmesan flakes and fresh basil is always a crowd pleaser.
For those who prefer a creamier base, the Spinach Alfredo hits all the right spots with savory sauteed onions, chopped mushrooms, and shredded mozzarella.
They only sell whole pies ,but you’ll want to devour more than one slice of this. Takeaway and delivery are also available.
Honorable Mention: Windy City Pizza
We are now deprived of our favorite tomato-sauce-smothered, buttery-crust deep dish. Windy City Pizza causes a brief commotion with its pop-up store in Gyeongridan-gil but has since closed as the owner searches for a brick and mortar location to set up shop. Stay tuned…