by Michael Jones
My favorite reason for working in Itaewon is the abundance of great food available and Gino’s Pizzeria is a great addition to the neighborhood. Gino’s restaurant, which is across the street, has been open for slightly more than a year now, but that is a dine-in restaurant. Gino’s Pizzeria focuses on slices, some different menu options, and delicious expediency. When you are hungry, you can pop in, pick a slice, and be on your way in a few minutes, or you can dine in, crush a slice, and people watch from the seating along the window.
Today was my first time going to Gino’s Pizzeria and my girlfriend and I ordered: three cheese slices, one pepperoni, and two grandma slices. The grandma slices reminded me of Sicilian pizza and we enjoyed the crispy crust, the fresh tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, and basil. The cheese and pepperoni slices were thin, slightly crispy, slightly greasy, and exactly what we wanted from a New York style slice of pizza. Overall, everything tasted great, the service was excellent, the owner and the staff were very kind, and the pizza was high quality and fantastic. I will definitely be making my way to Gino’s Pizzeria more often.
Directions: Noksapyeong Station Exit 1 (Or Take the Elevator and then step out walk to your left and go over the bridge)
From Exit 1: Take an immediate left and cross the street
Cross the Bridge
Take a right on the other side and walk up the hill
After the road bends to the left
Take the first left turn and Gino's Pizzeria will be on your left
You can enter on the second floor
by Ashley Heil
...In addition to photos and because Michael was filming anyway I made a short video of our trip to Pizza Iconic. Enjoy!
Pizza Iconic makes some of the greatest pizza in Seoul. So great in fact, that the owner can afford to be closed on Saturdays. On Sundays, he opens at 4:00PM until he sells out and only does takeout. Despite this, customers line up before he opens and stretch to the main road. The owner makes each pizza himself and between pies, will walk the line to take the next orders. If he sells out while you're in line, it could be devastating.
The pizza is phenomenal and the owner is dedicated to making high-quality, mouth-watering pies. After our wait, we sat at the nearest GS25, bought drinks and devoured an 18-inch New-York style pepperoni pizza (33,000 won). As soon as we opened the box, the smell of crisp pepperoni and fresh mozzarella was intoxicating. The slices were huge, dripping with grease, and absolutely wonderful. If you are a pizza lover, then pizza iconic is a pilgrimage-worthy destination.
Also available (somewhat off-menu it seems) is a thick, very saucy and delicious Detroit-style pizza (~32,000 won). It comes in a rectangle of 4 slices, and while it seems small at first, it is very filling. The pizza was almost more like a lasagna, but it was so delicious we didn't care much. While the greasy New-York style pizza was one of my favorites I've had in Seoul, I think I was even more blown away by the Detroit pizza. Whichever style of pizza you prefer and order, if you're a pizza lover, you must make the trip to Pizza Iconic. While sometimes his hours can seem inconvenient and it might seem a bit far for people north of the river (like us), it is DEFINITELY worth the trip. Now go eat some good pizza!
Hours: Closed on Saturdays!
Sundays: Opens at 4pm, takeout only! Get there around 4 if you want a pizza!
Weekdays: 11:30AM-8:00PM. Break-time (I think) from 2:30-5:30PM.
Address: 삼성동 166-6, 135-881 Seoul, South Korea
Directions: Samseong station, exit 8
Walk straight until you get to the 119 building and turn left into that alley. Walk straight about 200m and it will be on your left next to a 7/11.
by Ashley Heil.
While this post is a little late of our trip to El Nido, Palawan (the Philippines), it's a restaurant that's stuck in my mind whenever I think of my time in El Nido. Let's face it: most people do not go to El Nido or Palawan for the food. They go there for the spectacular beaches, boat tours among beautiful islands, some adventure sports, and for a chance to relax and party a little bit. But being a foodie, I knew when I came to El Nido I'd have to try and find where the best food in this small town was. Honestly most restaurants we tried in El Nido were pretty meh. However, there was one restaurant that surprisingly, blew us away. This place was Trattoria Altrove.
Michael and I went to Trattoria Altrove during the middle of our week with skepticism. There was always such a long line but we are such pizza snobs and all we kept thinking is, "how good could pizza in El Nido really be? Because the main location had a pretty long line, and we were just a party of 2, we went to the Express location just down the street. Despite seeing the pizza workers shove delicious-looking pizza pies in a brick-oven, we had our doubts, but wanted to try it anyway. We weren't expecting much, but we ordered 1 pizza each. The pizzas that came out were incredible. The style was somewhere in-between an Italian style and New York/American style, and a bit floury. All the ingredients tasted so fresh, and there was really a great balance between the sauce, dough, cheese, and toppings. We loved it so much we came back 2 nights later with some friends. That night we also tried the Pomodori antipasta, which was fresh mozzarella fried with fresh tomatoes and olive oil. This was also exquisite, the mozzarella tasted so fresh and way better than any cheese I've had in South Korea. One of our friends, who also lives in South Korea, said it was the best pizza he's tried in a few years. Over the two nights, we tried the Margherita pizza, the Romana pizza (with anchovies), and the Margherita pizza with bacon, and all of them were excellent. I can't remember the exact prices, but maybe in the 300php-500php range per person. Nothing that broke the bank, and really worth it for the food quality, but maybe a little more expensive than some other restaurants in El Nido.
This restaurant was truly our favorite restaurant and food that we had while in El Nido. If you're visiting El Nido and are an Italian food lover or pizza lover, wait out the lines and eat here. I suggest you go early, and try both locations if the main location has a long line. Trust me, you will not be disappointed!
Walk along the main road in El Nido town (with the beach on your left). It'll be on the right.
Note: in case the main location has a really long wait, there's also the Altrove Express location just down the street. This location has the same great pizza, and there are a few tables you can sit at here as well.
by Michael Jones
I think pizza is the ultimate food. I might be a bit biased, but most people would probably agree with me. I love all the styles: New York, Neapolitan, Chicago, etc. When it comes to pizza, what I care most about are the quality of the ingredients and the passion of the people making the pizza. Having spent my childhood in New York, I was raised on great pizza. I grew up eating delicious pizzas covered in fresh sauce, shredded buffalo mozzarella, and perfectly cooked dough. So when I moved to Seoul last year, the first restaurant I wanted to find was a great pizza place. Fortunately, I found a great place in the Express Bus Terminal called the Slice House. I love the pizza there, so when I found out that the owner was opening another shop near Gyeongbokgung, called Paulie’s Brick Oven Pizzeria, I was excited to try it. I went on the night of their grand opening and I was not disappointed. I went with one of my best friends and my girlfriend. The first thing we ordered was a large cheese pizza, which is 17 inches. We also ordered some beer and I was pleasantly surprised by the options. They have a great selection of craft brews. I went with the Chocolate Hazelnut Porter by Heretic brewing and it was outstanding. My girlfriend got a Weihenstephaner and my friend got a beer by Smuttynose brewery. The drinks were great. One beverage on the drink menu excited me even more than the beer, root beer on tap! I’m a root beer fanatic and since moving to Seoul I’ve only found Dad’s Root Beer and that was only at one restaurant. Unfortunately, they didn’t have it on opening night, but it should be there next month. It’s being shipped from the United States, so the delay is understandable. But enough with the drinks, let’s talk pizza. The pizza was fantastic, just as I expected. The cheese was slightly burnt in places, I could really taste the sauce, and the crust was the perfect balance between hard and soft. Needless to say, we devoured the pizza. So what would any sensible pizza lover do in this situation? We ordered a second pizza. This time we ordered a small, which is 13 inches, godfather pizza. This pizza was covered in meat and a spicy pizza sauce. I usually tend to be a purist when it comes to pizza and stick with minimal toppings, but I’m glad I didn’t. The godfather might be the best pizza I’ve had since moving to Seoul. What really made the pizza, however, was the house-made ranch that they recommended to dip it in. As I said earlier, I’m a minimalist when it comes to my pizza, so I was doubtful about how it would taste, but it was phenomenal. The combination of mozzarella, spicy sauce, the fat from the meat, and fresh ranch dressing was like a punch to the taste buds. It’s been a long time since I’ve been that blown away by a slice of pizza. I could go on and on about how good the pizza is, but you should try it for yourself. I really admire the passion the owner has for the pizza making craft and this passion shines through in the taste of the pizza. If you love pizza, Paulie's Pizzeria deserves a visit.
Go to Gwanghwamun Station - Line 5 (purple)
Take exit 3 and make a u-turn
Immediately turn right at the next road and walk straight
Walk until you see the Korean archaeological site
Then the building will be on your right
Walk through the doors and go to the second floor
Enjoy the pizza
by Ashley Heil.
Yesterday my boyfriend and I decided to introduce two of my friends to our favorite pizzeria in Seoul. This delicious pizza is cooked on a gas-fired brick-top oven and is served New-york style (thin crust). The prices are average for Seoul (decent if you split a pie between 3-4 people, but of course more expensive than pizza in New York due to the cost of importing quality ingredients), but the pizza is probably the best I've had in Seoul. Slice House is great because they do offer individual slices of pizza (cheese slice: 4,000 won, pepperoni: 4500 won), or the option to buy a whole pie if you're more hungry or have more people. The slices are served immediately when you order, but ordering a whole pie takes about 10 minutes to go, depending on the wait. My friends and I ordered our good-ole, standard favorite cheese pie (29,000 won), and it did not disappoint. Add on a couple of sodas (2500 won, 1 free refill) or a beer (Boont Amber ale: 8,000 won), and you're pizza cravings are covered. What I like most about this pizza is the freshness of the pizza crust, and the simplicity and true to New-york style flavors. This isn't your standard Korean pizza with sweet potatoes and other odd toppings being thrown in. I went with 3 of our friends, and after all splitting the 8-slice pie, my boyfriend and I loved it so much we wanted a 3rd slice. We decided to get the pepperoni slice (4500 won), and a spicy italian slice (5000 won). The pepperoni and spicy italian slices were just as good as the cheese pie. Still fresh and hot, and the dough and cheese are perfect. Also available at Slice House are some appetizers such as hot wings, french fries, and pasta dishes (not tried). This place is great to satisfy your pizza cravings, but the seating selection is limited. If you're looking for a more relaxed, sit-down restaurant, this might not be the place for you. However, the owner of Slice House recently opened up a new restaurant which is more of a sit-down restaurant called Paulie's Pizzeria near Gwanghamun.
Here are some directions to Brick Oven Slice House:
Coming from Express bus terminal subway line: go out exit 8 to connect with the Famille station mall.
If you are in Shinsegae, go to the B1 food hall. Exit out the Paul Bassett direction, go straight and take the smaller escalator that goes up to the 2nd floor where the restaurants are. It's right in front of you.
If you're at exit 4 (near the beautiful giant Starbucks) take the escalators down and look for Brick Oven Pizza.
We're just a couple addicted to great food. We love Anthony Bourdain!