So, I’ve been craving Mexican food since arriving in Korea a few months ago and everyone I asked gave me the name Vatos and Itaewon. After months of putting it off, I finally made the trip to this glorious restaurant. When I think of tacos, I think ghetto taco trucks and hole-in-the-wall restaurants, but I was genuinely surprised to see that on top of a little hill was a very modern looking building delicately illuminated by the words Vatos Urban Tacos.
I walked in to find the hostess speaking fluent English and Korean. I went early on a Thursday night and the place was still packed. A line out the door sure says a lot about a restaurant. I took a moment to scan the interior and I felt like I was in an underground wine cellar with the walls partially covered with bricks and the rest of the wall baring concrete. Vatos employs waiters and waitresses of all ethnicities, which is probably wise because the customer profiles are of various ethnicities as well. I have never seen such a diverse crowd in an enclosed space in Korea before. Vatos blasts American Billboard chart topping music, but once you get seated, the music is barely audible over the noise of the people. Vatos is definitely a casual joint for foreigners and locals to escape Korea for a little bit and get their fill of Mexican food. The tables have large totes at the sides on a hook for customers to use at their disposal. So ladies, you can put all your purses, scarves, gloves, and bulky jackets in here because it gets toasty in Vatos with all that Vatos hot sauce.
The food was absolutely delicious. Don’t worry about not knowing what to order because the menu is marked up with thumbs up signs for Vatos’ best items. The price ranges from 6,000 – 15,000 won per dish. If you can’t decide on one item, you can order one thing from each category (starters, salads, urban tacos, burgers, burritos, quesadillas, and desserts).
Before you dig in, make sure to ask for some lemons to add extra flavor to your meal!
I went to the Vatos in Itaewon but there is another in Sinsa, as well as Vatos Express (DIY burrito/bowl) in Apgujeong and Yeongdeungpo-gu.
Yongsan-gu, Itaewon-dong 181-8 2nd Floor, Seoul Korea