10 Places to Grab Tacos Beyond Seoul

Mexican inspired food outside of Seoul. It is time for tacos! Gotta try them all!

There was a time when we used to sit in our apartments in rural South Korea and spend hours talking about what it would be like to have a burrito or taco again. Those days are long past and Mexican-inspired or Mexican-owned restaurants are opening across the country. Each of these recommendations brings its unique spin on Mexican food and will be its own experience.

What should I expect when trying Mexican food beyond Seoul

Since Mexican cuisine has only begun to move past Seoul, you will find that your tacos may have unique flavors that you haven’t had before as the restaurant owners attempt to balance the local and Mexican flavors. Sometimes this looks like sweet sauces, unusual toppings, or interesting side dishes. It’s fun to try each of these spots and discover how Mexican food can be interpreted. Just like the US brought the world Tex-Mex, Korea is developing Kor-Mex and it’s fun to try. Sometimes you will fall in love with something new and other times they won’t win you over.

Which spots do you recommend the most?

Que Rico and Shooter Birria are two standout restaurants on this list. They also happen to be in Pyeongtaek so you could do them both in one weekend. Que Rico is near Camp Humphreys and Shooters Birria is near Osan Air Force Base.

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Que Rico won “Best of Pyeongtaek” for tacos in 2020 and “Best of Pyeongtaek” Mexican Restaurant Best in 2019. Que Rico is owned by a Mexican chef committed to serving the food that reflects his homeland. I’m obsessed with the tongue tacos when they are on the menu. I also love the Cubana torta.

Shooter Birria is a dedicated deep dive into the Birria taco. The menu is simple and the tacos amazing. The restaurant is small and slow. They also double as a bar with an intense shots menu. Come ready to drink and just be happy that your tacos eventually arrive. Totally worth the wait every time.

Will you love every single one of these recommendations?

Who knows. That is not an expectation I’m trying to meet. I don’t know the culinary expectations of every tongue that touches a taco. What you should know is that I do not believe in perpetuating the myth and fetishization of culture embedded in the view that only “authentic” food has value. Instead, I believe that people and their experiences have value. We believe there is value in supporting the exploration of flavor and culture as it relates to the migrant/ex-pat life. I can’t tell a Mexican chef in Korea that their food isn’t “authentic” enough. This is their journey. What matters so me is that many folks are trying in ways I find delicious.

Each of these Mexican-inspired restaurants will bring a unique view of flavor base on the owner’s history and the availability of ingredients. If you have the expectation that everything you eat in the world must taste exactly like that spot you had in Mexica, I’d say just don’t eat Mexican food until you go back to Mexico. If you are interested in the world, trying new things, and exploring Korea then you should go try all of these! Then leave your reviews in the South of Seoul app about what you liked, what you struggled with, and which spots you would like to go back to. Share how your ideas about tacos were challenged or supported. Embrace the adventure and dare to see the world past what you expect.

Also, I haven’t tried every single place on this list. I’ve made it about 50% of the way down the list and I intend to eat them all in 2021. I’m considering a road trip this summer just to finish of the list.

Here are 10 places to try the tacos beyond Seoul

Taco Rito

Taco Rito3

0507-1386-0199

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Hangul Address

천안 신방동 수곡2길8-4

Let’s TACO-about it! Drop by Taco Rito and enjoy some tasty tacos, burritos, nachos, salads, quesadillas and many more! Opens monday - saturday 11am to 11pm!

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Shooters Birria

Shooters Birria5

010 8949 2792

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Hangul Address

경기도 평택시 중앙시장로11번길 10-5

A hidden gem taco stand and bar in a side-ally near Osan Air Force Base in the Sinjandong / Songtan area. These birria tacos are what you need.

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Boss Burrito

Boss Burrito 0

033-734-2883

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Hangul Address

강원 원주시 능라동길 70

Fast food Mexican food with Korean twists of course. Burritos come with your choice of meat and spice levels.

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

La Taqueria

La Taqueria5

0507-1329-1967

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Hangul Address

경기 광주시 퇴촌면 석둔길 4

An ex-pat owned Mexican restaurant hidden away in the countryside. A wonderful surprise for your day trip.

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Let’s Meet Burrito

Let’s Meet Burrito0

0507-1480-0770

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Hangul Address

강원 원주시 중앙시장길 6

A Tex-mex restaurant in the mountains of Gangwon-do.

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Todos

Todos0

0507-1404-4100

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Hangul Address

경남 창원시 의창구 용호로 116

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Chico’s

Chico’s 4

0507-1403-9157

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Hangul Address

전북 군산시 나운2길 34

An ex-pat owned American style Tex-Mex joint in Gunsan.

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Rico Taco

Rico Taco0

042-823-7234

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Hangul Address

대전 유성구 대학로163번길 37

A Kor-Mex restaurant that took its direction from midwestern moms from the 70’s. Interesting and not classically Mexican in flavor.

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)