i just wanted a chimichanga…

Sometimes living in Korea is really frustrating.

I’ll give you a recent example. My BFF, JW, and I decided to go out and grab some dinner on Sunday night. I’ll admit, it was getting a bit late… But it wasn’t, like, say, midnight or anything. We left our apartments around 8:45 and started our journey downtown. (Because other than McDonald’s, there’s nothing “good” in our neighborhood. And McD’s doesn’t even get my full vote on “good.”) We decided we would eat at a place called “Dos Tacos” in downtown Daegu.

We really like Dos Tacos. It’s as close to Americanized Mexican food as you’ll find in this city. I was really craving a chimichanga with some overpriced sliced avocado.

So, Dos Tacos it was. (I was feeling sick that day, but was VERY excited about Dos Tacos.)

And then we arrived at the door, and one of the guys who worked there was standing outside smoking… And talking on the phone, and the door was open. And he wouldn’t let us in. He gave us what we like to refer to as “the X arms,” which is when Koreans make an “x” with their arms to over-communicate with foreigners that whatever you’re asking or hoping for is just a big, fat, NO.

And let me just tell you something about this: we were pissed. And here’s why:

The time we arrived at Dos Tacos: approximately 9:15 PM on Sunday

The operational hours posted on the door at Dos Tacos: 11 AM – 10 PM. Every. Day. (Including Sunday, if you missed that.)

So, technically, the place was still supposed to be open for another 45 minutes, which was more than enough time for J and I to sit down, order, eat, and get out of there before closing. Unfortunately, Koreans must think the opposite of Westerners, because this isn’t the first time this has happened to us.

We’ve tried to eat “later” at several restaurants before the closing time posted on their door and we’ve been turned away. I don’t understand why this happens… It is completely counterintuitive to me! I mean, if you’re a business owner or a restaurant manager, don’t you want the business? Especially if you’re supposed to be open for a while anyway? It’s maddening to be really, really hungry and/or craving a specific thing from a restaurant only to be told that you’re too late, even though you’re early… Umm, yeah. Thanks, Korean restaurants, for confusing us Westerners.

Aside from this rather infuriating reality, I will say again that Dos Tacos is “where it’s at” if you’re craving Mexican in Korea. I’ve had both the chicken chimichanga (with added avocado!) which was pretty delicious, as well as a chicken burrito, which was also very good. Between the two, I’ll go back for the chimi. Both dishes were around 9,000 won before any added avocado, which will set you back an additional 2,000 won. Overall, it’s not a bad price! The staff is friendly and understand English pretty well, and the menu is in both Korean and English. Definitely give this place a try if you’re on the hunt for something that tastes a bit like home.

my delicious chimichanga with avocado... mmmmm

my delicious chimichanga with avocado… mmmmm

Here’s some basic info about Dos Tacos:

Hours: 11 AM – 10 PM (beware of being turned away past 9!)

Address: 1F, 34-4, Dongseongno 2-ga, Jung-gu, Daegu, South Korea

Phone:  053-255-4885

Website: (in Korean, but the food categories are in English and there’s some yummy pics to look at!) http://dostacos.co.kr/company/brand.php

Directions: Take the subway to Junangro Station (on the Red Line, Line #1) and leave through exit 14. (You will feel like you’re walking to the end of the underground mall, but that’s only because you are!) Once you come up the stairs at exit 14, immediately turn around and walk the other direction. Take the first right on the upcoming street, where you’ll walk past a club on the right called Carrie and Kerry. (The 2.28 park will be on your left.) Take the next right again onto the walking street immediately ahead, and Dos Tacos will be on your left, just a few paces in front of you.

Screenshot 2014-03-13 10.12.49

map provided by tripadvisor.com

So there you have it. Go check out Dos Tacos. And remember: When in Korea, don’t bother visiting any restaurant within one hour of its closing time. :)


If you’re looking for another opinion on this place, here’s my colleague’s review on the city blog, Touch Daegu.


  1. Pingback: Could You Just Say What You Mean? | No Facilities

    • shops4shoes says:

      Thanks for the link back to my blog, Dan! I’m late on my thanks – finally catching back up! :)

      As always, I love reading your stuff. Write on!

  2. Dan Antion says:

    I’ve had this happen in the States as well. There’s a grocery store near us where my daughter worked while in high school. They had a large selection of prepared meals. I was picking my daughter up at 9:30 and prepared meals were available until 10:00. I tried several times to pick something up to take for lunch the next day. More often than not, at 9:20, the prepared meals area was closed. The manager explained that “the clerk leaves at 10:00 and everything has to be cleaned and put away.”

    • shops4shoes says:

      Dan, you must have experienced a similar frustration, then! To me, if the store is not going to actually serve or offer prepared meals until 10, they should put the closing hours at an earlier time, such as 9 PM. If the kitchen is not operational for the posted hours, the posted hours seem inaccurate. Sorry to hear you had a similar experience, but glad to know others understand my plight! :)

    • Dan Antion says:

      I actually told the manager to change the closing time. He said that he was required to keep it open until 10:00 AND not have it staffed beyond 10:00. Sounds like his problem but…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: