When a seemingly endless supply of rice and kimchi starts to get you down, there’s no shame in seeking out tasty foreign food in Jeonju, even if it is the food capital of Korea. In this “Get You Fix” series, I will unveil the city’s best restaurants (in my very humble opinion) across the various cuisines. Today’s focus: Mexican food.
Authentic tasting Mexican food is in short supply in Jeonju. More than once I’ve attempted to eat a seemingly appetising burrito or quesadilla, only to find it laden with Korean radishes, pickles or even kimchi! I still experience nightmares.
Koreanised versions of foreign food are to be expected, being in Korea and all. But here are 3 restaurants that have managed to keep the kimchi at bay.
1) Masi Taco
Ideally-located close to the Gaeska shopping area, Masi Taco is a unique and modern revamped eatery in Jeonju. With its friendly staff and Instagram-worthy decor, this restaurant quickly became one of my regular stomping grounds.
Upon arrival, you are welcomed with a plate of tortilla chips and a bizarre yet moreish cheese dip. Items on the menu include burritos, fajitas (a large portion designed for two people), quesadillas, enchiladas and, my go-to dish, chilli cheese fries.
Service can be quite slow at times but it is definitely worth the wait. As for authenticity, some dishes are definitely more like what you might expect at home than others. However, you won’t be finding any surprise radishes or pickles in these quesadillas. Hallelujah!
Price: ₩₩ (out of ₩₩₩) Prices for individual dishes are around 10,000₩.
Overall rating: ★★★★★ My favourite spot in Jeonju.
Masi Taco is located just on the outskirts of the Gaeksa. It is on the 2nd floor.
I remember my first trip to Tacocina clearly, as it was my first taste of a good foreign meal after a ~turbulent~ first week of eating Korean food. Just tucked away from the main street in Shinshigaji, the restaurant is owned by a friendly and helpful English-speaker who is more than happy to offer advice on the menu choices.
Tacocina’s food is very different to Masi Taco’s, and just a little more expensive. It offers different items on its menu (with little twists) and is very popular with foreigners. It also has the benefit of large sliding windows which can be opened up in the warmer months. What more could you want?
Price: ₩₩ (Prices for individual dishes are around 12,000₩.)
Overall rating: ★★★★☆
Tacocina is centrally located in Shinshigaji.
3) Charles Crown Mexican Grill & Pub
This restaurant is a new addition to the list, as Charles Crown Mexican Grill only opened its doors in its new location very recently. It is so new, in fact, that I have hardly any photos. You’ll have to trust me when I say the restaurant’s quirky and inviting decor is quite different from both Masi Taco and Tacocina, offering a more unique experience.
Charles Crown offers all the popular Mexican dishes, from fajitas to enchiladas. They also have a selection of imported beers and condiments.
The food my friends and I have tried here really is delicious. I’m confident in my claim that Charles Crown has the best burritos in Jeonju. They’re also the best value, at just 8,000₩ a pop! They’ll certainly be getting used to seeing my face at this restaurant in future.
Overall rating: ★★★★☆
Charles Crown Mexican Grill is located close to Gaeksa’s wedding street.
Masi Taco, Tacocina and Charles Crown all have their perks, and I would recommend a visit to any if you are nearby. They all also offer a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, including the all-important margarita.
Don’t expect these meals to taste the same as that delicious burrito you had in Cancun 2011. However, these restaurants do a good job at emulating the cuisine and provide a welcomed and tasty meal when those Mexican cravings hit.