Costco in Korea

The beauty of living in a foreign country, especially a place like Korea, is that it is so different from home, on so many levels.   The food, transportation and commuting, clothes, weather, language, societal norms and pressures… it’s all very different from that of my Portland.  And being someone that celebrates diversity and experiences, this is the perfect place for me to be right now.

But come on… sometimes you need that certain something to make you feel like you’re at home again, if only for a few hours.  And in a move that made me feel the most at home since I’ve been in Korea, my girl took me to Costco for pizza and a hot dog.

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I might as well have been in the Costco off 99 in Tigard, with my mom picking up prescriptions, debating lap top computers and purchasing Nature Valley granola bars and Kirkland trail mix.  The Costco in Ilsan looks the same, smells the same and offers a lot of similar products.  It didn’t feel as large as the Costcos I’m used to, but maybe because it was split between several floors vertically instead of the horizontal big box back home.

One difference to note, a lot of the products sold didn’t seem like such a good deal to me.   Items were sold for generally the same price that you would find elsewhere, and you just get more quantity.  In fact, a lot of prices seemed outrageous.  For example, the equivalent of $70 for a Polo button down pin striped shirt that I get for $30 at the Woodburn outlets.  What did seem to be affordable was condiments: Heinz ketchup, Yoshida’s Teriyaki…

The coolest thing that I found… wait for it… Tillamook Cheese.  Not the cheddar, but Pepper Jack and Colby Jack.  The significance of such a finding was enhanced by the fact that my mom and her husband were currently staying in Oceanside, and attending the Tillamook County Fair like they do every year, and I was literally just talking about how Tillamook is world famous for cheese… not at all expecting to ever see it in Korea.

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And… we got pizza and hot dogs, which were delicious.  Pretty similar to the Costco food back home, but not exact.  They also sold the chicken bakes and bulgogi bakes (beef), some kind of curry dish and churros.  What I found extremely odd at the food court area was that every table had a huge mound of diced onions drenched in mustard, sometimes ketchup, that the whole table would eat with a fork.  Yuk.

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I didn’t actually buy anything, but I’ll be going back soon for a few things that I totally miss and can’t anywhere else in Korea like Cheerios, Nature Valley granola bars and hash browns.

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~ by ripcitytoseoul on August 20, 2009.

3 Responses to “Costco in Korea”

  1. Mmmmmmmmm Snacks 😀
    I thought you hated cheese?

  2. I visit Korea a lot. Costco is my favorite place to shop in U.S. I buy everything there. Anyway, Do they have dog food ( Kirkland is the brand. Can’t be from Korea ), real butter , antibacterial soap and real spaghetti sauce ? I want to buy real stuff . I couldn’t find it anywhere. Emart was nasty by the way. I didn’t like Emart’s butter and spaghetti sauce.

    • I can’t verify that Coscto has those things, but I can’t imagine that they don’t. You can find anti-bacterial soap at most decent sized supermarkets in Seoul. I’ve seen a wide variety of spag sauce as well, even Prego, if you’re looking for something from home. If you can’t make a trip to one of the few Costco’s, try Home Plus, they’ve got a ton of stuff.

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