One way to find some American goods in South Korea is to visit Costco! According to their website, there are 12 Costco locations in Korea. As long as you have a Costco membership in the States you can use it at any international Costco locations! I have been to one in Busan and recently one in Gimpo. Both locations were huge! They are very similar to the Costco stores I have visited in the US, with the exception that parking may be a little crazier….I was told that at the location in Gimpo it can take up to 3 hours to find parking on the weekends…
Luckily for me my boss took me to Costco during the week when it would be “not crowded”….which means it was still pretty crowded but not insanely so. I was able to find some food items that are a little more difficult or expensive to find in Korea. Some things I always like to pick up are: cheese (Costco has some of the best selection I’ve found in Korea and it’s the only place I have managed to spot Sharp Cheddar Cheese), pesto, salsa, bagels and pasta sauce (marinara and Alfredo). When I used to eat meat I would also get the Kirkland bacon from Costco.
I think shopping at Costco in Korea is a pretty fun experience, if you’ve been in the country for a while in can be fun to experience a little portal back home for a while. And of course no trip to Costco is complete without a trip to the food court! In Korea the food court pricing is still the low prices you’re used to and the pizza tastes just like it does back home. I love pizza, and sometimes pizza in Korea can be a little interesting including sugar and corn as standard toppings. And even though I have grown to love these new pizza options, sometimes you just need a slice of greasy overindulgent Costco pizza.
The Costco food court is pretty similar to the ones I’ve visited back home in the States. There are however some regional additions such as a bulgogi bake (they also have the chicken version you can find in the States), I believe a bulgogi pizza, mushroom soup and honey almond frozen yogurt.
If you’re living in Korea and are having a hard time finding some Western food items, I would say Costco is a great place to visit. The pricing is great considering the markup many Western foods get in grocery stores. However, you will be buying a large quantity. It might be a good idea to get together with some friends and share some items. Or you can do what I do and freeze food in more reasonable portion sizes and remove as needed.