Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Pyeongtaek Best of 2017: Years Top Rated Places

The South of Seoul app turns one this month and we are celebrating by sharing what you voted as the best of the best this year. Choices were made based on four factors:

1. Star Rating
2. Number of Reviews Posted
3. Content of Written Reviews Posted
4. Facebook Polls When Needed

It's been an amazing year and we are quite impressed with the number of reviews people have left this year. It's hundreds. This information is extremely valuable to both the businesses you visit and the new people moving to Pyeongtaek and we are excited to be able to share who has risen to the top.

To start off, we are leading with the very best. Best Overall User's Choice Award goes to a business that has served our community with great commitment, joy, and service. A business that has received 25 perfect reviews in the last 12 months. It truly couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. The owner, Sam,  continually goes out of his way to build up and support the English speaking community in Pyeongtaek. He offers unique drinks like Pumpkin Spice Lattes, he donates to food to the local animal shelter, he remembers all our drinks and names, he is open early and closed late, and he does it all with a smile.

The 2017 South of Seoul's 
"Best Coffee Shop" and "Best Overall" Awards 

The business that everyone in town agrees with is Sam's Attractive Coffee. Although this is a "chain" shop there is nothing average about it. The owner, Sam, goes out of his way to create a space where we all feel at home. He even has unique seasonal drinks like Pumpkin Spice, Gingerbread, Peppermint and more. None of these drinks are available at any other Attractive Coffee, he makes them just for us.

However, it's more than the drinks or affordable prices that keep everyone coming back. It's Sam's commitment to the community and the effort he puts into helping everyone feel at home. When Sam came to Pyeongtaek he didn't just open a coffee shop, he created the heart of a community.

Sam's Attractive Coffee
Area: Paengseong, Pyeongtaek
Reviews: 25
Rating: 5/5 Stars

2017 Best Pub/Bar & Grill

One of the most reviewed categories this year were the pub/bar & grills. The competition was as stiff as many of their drinks. Braai Republic and Loft 33 need to be mentioned because their reviews are amazing and plentiful, but the small edge in star rating pushed the final winner to the top. The final winner was...

Louis' Bar & Grill
Area: Paengseong, Pyeongtaek
Reviews: 19
Rating: 4.9/5 Stars

2017 Best Dessert Cafe

For those that don't know, not all cafes focus on coffee. Some of them are all about the desserts. In 2017 Cafe Maree impressed us all with their attention to quality. This dessert cafe is as near to French dessert perfection as you can get outside of France. Their pumpkin pie is the best we have ever had. The desserts aren't cheap, but they are worth every won.

Cafe Maree
Area: Songtan, Pyeongtaek
Reviews: 7
Rating: 5/5 Stars

2017 Best Mexican /Tex Mex

This is one of those difficult categories where people are very hard to please, yet Loco Tacos has managed to create some very loyal followers. So loyal that their erratic hours and closing during the winter (this is their hobby and not their income) hasn't killed the love for their tacos. We recommend following them on FB to know when you need to rush over and fill up your belly.

Loco Tacos
Area: Songtan, Pyeongtaek
"Best Mexican/Tex Mex"
Reviews: 6
Rating: 5/5 Stars

2017 Best Italian
The first true New York Italian eatery in Pyeongtaek, the winner of this category was pushed ahead by the sheer number of reviews. Pyeongtaek might be covered in pasta restaurants, but this one stands out. The chefs cater to the Western palette with their meatball sandwiches, chicken parm pastas, garlic knots and more. A great place for a date or to take the family. 

The Stoop
Area: Paengseong, Pyeongtaek
Reviews: 13
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

2017 Best Thai Food

There are actually quite a few different Thai restaurants in Pyeongtaek. This year Thailand2 was the one that stood out to the most users. The owners must be doing something right because second place went to Thai corner which they also own.

Thailand2 (Thai2)
Area: Songtan, Pyeongtaek
Reviews: 7
Rating: 4.8/5 Stars

2017 Best Indian

We are blessed with a multitude of Indian restaurants in Pyeongtaek. Over the years, even with stiff new competition, Moti Mahal - the oldest Indian restaurant in town -remains the community favorite. They have two branches, this one by Camp Humphreys and another near AK Plaza. Both restaurants are spacious, making it the perfect place for social dinner gatherings. A close second runner up was Mito Cha Indian in Songtan. They only lost be user review numbers. We also recommend going to check them out if you live nearby.

Moti Mahal
Area: Paengseong, Pyeongtaek
Reviews: 10
Rating: 4.6/5 Stars

2017 Best Sushi

The new kid in town made some noise this year. In the past, Oishi in Songtan was the place to be, but Sushi in Jay has made their mark and become the new king in town. They focus on US style sushi rolls and meals. South of Seoul users love the convenience, the food, and the friendly staff.

Sushi in Jay
Area: Paengseong, Pyeongtaek
Reviews: 14
Rating: 4.2/5 Stars

2017 Best World Cuisine

We admit this is a weird category, however, we felt it was necessary because there are a number of unique world cuisine restaurants in Pyeongtaek that can't be categorized with anything else. We are lucky enough to have Mongolian, Caribbean, African, Peruvian, and more represented in our area. This is why we decided to create a category just for them. 

The winner of this category doesn't just stand out as a unique menu, it is also one of the top restaurants in Pyeongtaek and maybe even Korea. The Peruvian chef who opened the restaurant brought his A game. This is a MUST try if you are a foodie. The place is small so make sure to make a reservation if you have a group. In the summer it can be hard to get a seat but don't give up, it's worth the wait.

Ceviche 210
Area: Songtan, Pyeongteaek
Reviews: 7 
Rating: 4.9/5

2017 Best Burger(s)

In the past two years burger joints have been popping up almost faster than we can keep up with. It's hard to know where to start. For this choice we had to move away from the app reviews and go straight to the people. Twice this year we have run Facebook polls to ask about the best burgers and both times a food truck won out. Happy Food Truck is absolutely the crowd favorite. It's so popular that we decided to add them to the South of Seoul Pyeongtaek Directory despite the fact they don't have a standard shop. 

That said, in the most recent poll you can see Tailgate Tavern near Camp Humphreys and Bro's Kitchen near Osan AF Base are closing in fast. We highly recommend that burger lovers also check out these two locations as well. It's going to be exciting to see how this plays out in 2018.

Happy Food Truck
Location: Paengseong, Pyeongtaek

2017 Best Brunch

Brunch has become a bigger and bigger thing over the last few years. Many local restaurants offer delicious versions during the weekend. However, there is one place that offers mind blowing options (the banana french toast) every day that they are open. This is fancy brunch and it has some very serious fans. In a Facebook poll we ran, Regina's Delicatessen had nearly double the votes of anywhere else. They speak English as a first language so it's easy to call ahead to confirm their hours. It's a very small shop and sometimes they close for catering or because they have sold out.

Regina's Delicatessen 
Area: Paengseong, Pyeongtaek
Reviews: 7
Rating: 4.9/5 Stars

2017 Best Kids Play Cafe

Every parent needs a place where they can go to have a bit of rest while the kids go wild. In Korea those places are the Kids Cafes. In Pyeongtaek the cafe of choice is Jump Nori, a place where parents can have a nice beverage and watch their kids bounce their little hearts out. The perfect place for mom group meetups and birthday parties.

Jump Nori
Area: Paengseong, Pyeongtaek
Reviews: 7
Rating: 5/5 Stars

2017 Best Sauna / Jjimjilbang

It will be a miracle if any other sauna/jjimjilbang in Pyeongtaek ever wins this category. This wood fired, outdoor traditional sauna is unique and a wonderful part of our community. There are only a handful of these left in all of Korea. Once you go here you will fall in love. Even though there are only three reviews, you will be sold as soon as you read them. This is a MUST have experience when living in Pyeongtaek. Plus, at this sauna there is a locker room but no shared baths so if you are concerned about extended public nudity you don't have to worry.

Traditional Sauna
Area: Countryside West, Pyeongtaek
Reviews: 3
Rating: 5/5 stars

2017 Best Neighborhood For A Night Out

Pyeongtaek is a big place with many different areas for a fun night out, recently we asked the members what place they loved going to the most. The hands down winner with twice as many votes as the rest, was Sosabeol. This was a big surprise to use since it's not near a subway stop or one of the US military bases. That means people love it enough to make an effort to get there. The area has everything you might want: bars, bowling, archery, cafes, movie theater, and much more. It's crazy busy and bustling every time you go. Just remember that parking is terrible so take a bus or a taxi to make it easy on yourself.
Food + Fun: Sosabeol, Bijeondong


Thank you to everyone who reviewed business and participated in Facebook polls this year. Again and again new arrivals in Pyeongtaek have said that the reviews in the South of Seoul app have made their lives easier and more enjoyable. Your contributions matter.

If you haven't reviewed places yet, it's never too late to start. You can leave reviews for restaurants, grocery stores, hospitals, thrift stores, kids cafes, department stores, immigration, and much more. Leaving reviews is simple, just click the star in the banner and reviews will pop up.

In your reviews you can leave helpful hints, recommendations, and even advice of what not to do. It's a great place to pass on information you wish you'd had while supporting new arrivals and businesses. In short the reviews aren't just about how you feel, but also what people need to know. Remember that reviews containing defamation of character, extreme language, trolling, or obscenities will be removed due to Korean defamation laws and the family friendly nature of our app.

With one year under our belt, all of the volunteers at South of Seoul are looking forward to another fun filled year of serving the communities of Pyeongtaek, Asan, and Cheonan.
Now it's time to go try them all and leave your reviews in the South of Seoul app. Just go the app, open the listing, and click the star in the banner. You can tell us all what you thought. Remember to include useful tips like where you parked, if they had chairs for kids, or other details you found important. Reviews help us build a beautiful life together. One Star reviews with no explanation may be rejected.

For address and WAZE directions to anything on this blog download the South of Seoul App from either Google Play or Apple App Store.

Why we do this:
We made the app to accompany the blog because it's easier to keep update with current information. In the past we've tried keeping the information on the blog but it's too hard for us to maintain the information in two places at once over time. Since we compile and write blogs around a full time jobs without compensation, we need to do it the most efficient way possible with as few steps as possible.