If you’re getting sick of Monster Pizza and have a party of two or more, I highly recommend trying Charlies Pizza near Hapjeong Station (합정역) exit 3! While still a newcomer in town, it’s become one of my favorites in the Hongdae area. They’re not mass produced and offer quite a different experience from the “club pizzas”! Being a pizza lover (who isn’t?), I am excited to share this place with all of you!
Here’s the address:서울특별시 마포구 서교동 395-128
The style is very simple, yet unique with its oil barrels for tables. The menus were cool laser etched wooden plates. Compared to places like Monster Pizza, this is more of a casual sit-in style pizza experience. The restaurant is admittedly in the outskirts of Hongdae, providing a more tranquil experience. They also offer a small selection of beers.
The pizzas are admittedly a bit expensive, but quite worth it. They’re as big as the oil drum (20 inches)! This is the closest to an American New York style pizza I’ve found so far in Seoul. We ordered a whole pizza which was half potato and half Hawaiian BBQ. The pizza manages to be really crispy without being overly hard and the use of cheese and toppings are quite generous. They use a blend of cheese that turns out a bit sharper than most places.
The potato side had golden-brown potatoes with little bits of bacon scattered everywhere. The ratio of crust to toppings was just perfect for me. The crispy potatoes and salty bacon made for a very savory experience.
Despite not liking pineapples on my pizza, the Hawaiian BBQ (not to be confused with Hawaiian) was amazing. The pineapples weren’t overly sweet and they contrasted well with the perfectly seasoned, thick slices of barbecued chicken. Nothing was dried out on this pizza and it was a perfect harmony of toppings. The bacon was just extra goodness on top.
While I can’t stop raving over the whole pizzas, ordering pizza by the slice was a bit disappointing in comparison. The crust comes out much crunchier and it just doesn’t have the same feeling of freshness. I have to recommend only ordering whole pizzas.
The buffalo wings were reasonable. They had the proper, tangy flavor, but they were a bit tiny and dried out. Quite average really.
Charlie’s manages to keep the authenticity of American-style pizza by focusing on a few key ingredients (unlike Mr. Pizza) in ample quantity. If you want unique, Korean-style pizza, go to Mr. Pizza or Pizza Hut. If you want cheap Western style pizza, go to Monster Pizza or Mafia Pizza. But if you long for a quality, American-style pie, order a whole pizza at Charlie’s. I’m always on the lookout for exciting pizza shops, so if you have any recommendations let me know!