On the weekend we visited Songtan 송탄 for International cuisine, an area known for an American Military Base (Osan Air Base), in Pyeongtaek 평택, South Korea.
Although this area isn’t nearly as charming as foreign friendly districts in Seoul, such as Itaewon or Insadong, the food here – especially the International dining options – is superb.
As we wandered around in search of pleasing our palettes, we couldn’t help but notice the plethora of dodgy looking bars and night clubs. With loud thumping music, raucous yelling and ladies wearing short skirts, this little strip is a bit like Sin City.
If one is willing to look beyond the seedy aspect, a number of fantastic restaurants exist. With a plethora of different International restaurants we spotted some serving Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Turkish, Greek, Peruvian, Indian, Italian and Brazilian to name just a few.
We finally settled on a combination of eating a kebab at a Turkish fast food joint followed up by a sit down meal at a wonderful Mexican restaurant featuring a cook native to Mexico.
Another reason we came to Songtan was to find a large jar of peanut butter and deodorant. Deodorant in Korea is much different than western styles and we certainly prefer the type from back home. We ended up only buying deodorant (even though it was overpriced) out of necessity but skipped out on the peanut butter that was outrageously overpriced.
Overall, our impression of Songtan is mixed. Indeed, we love the International dining options, especially considering both Yongin and Pyeongtaek are limited in this area; however, the seedy nature of this district also makes us feel a bit unsafe and not somewhere we’d want to linger for hours on end.
Thus, we came, we ate, we conquered and we just as quickly returned back home.