I was surprised when I found out how many foreigners weren’t aware of the import magic at Korean Costco.
Not only can you use your Costco membership all around the world on bulk goodness but a there is also a good selection of American products. This is amazing because you can get some products here that you can’t at regular grocery stores, and you don’t have to spend a fortune at import stores. In fact, I often see import stores carrying the Kirkland brand and marking it way up.
bulk food = less trips to the grocery store
health foods without having to order online or pay a lot at Korean stores
distance (depending on where you live and which location you go to)
bulk foods take up a lot of space in a country where most housing is small to begin with
transportation (if you don’t have a car or know someone that does)
For the love of God, try to get there on a weeknight. Enter at your own risk on the weekends. For anyone back home who complains how their Costco is so “busy”, your Costco has nothing on this.
Proof: I once went on a weekend after a major holiday, and the lines were up to the frozen food department. It was so busy, that every five minutes, the store had to basically shut down so people could physically get out. It is no exaggeration when someone says that a Korean Costco (or Ikea for that matter) gives someone major anxiety. A sea of people is nothing to play with.
Take the Shinbundang (red line) to Yangjae Citizen’s Forest (not the Yangjae that allows you to transfer to the orange line!). Go out of exit 5. Walk straight for about 15 minutes. You can’t miss it.
Protip: Go with friends and split the food amongst yourselves. Carrying your haul would be a nightmare via public transportation so your best bet is to just splurge on a cab.
While there are many more great import items, here are some of my favorites/ things I think that would make a lot of readers who don’t know about this relatively happy.
Honorable mentions (but might have disappeared): Kirkland frozen stir fry vegetable blend. I didn’t see it when I went last week, and I’m praying it was just sold out. There’s not a frozen vegetable section here like there is back home, and it’s one of the things I really really miss. I was ecstatic when I saw this for the first time a couple months back.
RIP: The peeled and halved frozen avocados. Costco Korea, I will never fully forgive you for taking this amazing product away from me. HOW COULD YOU?!
Hope you appreciate your shrimp already deconstructed as much as I do.
Great for smoothies. Bonus points for being organic.
Your beloved 90’s cereal never fully disappeared. It just ran away to Korea.
You can’t even fathom how special this is. I’ve seen one box sell for 4,000 won at one import store.
There are blocks and shredded cheese (pictured below). There’s more kinds as well. When compared to Korean stores, this is practically a steal.
I used to have to order my quinoa on iHerb. Not anymore!
ANDDDD THE MOMENT YOU HAVE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR….(drumroll please) PUMPKIN PIE! (Yes, they sell whipped cream as well.) It tastes the same as the ones back home do!
There are no words to properly describe my happiness when I first discovered this a couple years ago.
Great items I forgot to take pictures of:
Non sweetened greek yogurt. Outside of the Kirkland brand, I haven’t been able to find a regular greek yogurt in this country. I love to use greek yogurt in place of sour cream, but when I buy it at E-Mart, it’s always sweet (even if it says plain). The Kirkland kind is 2 large containers for about 20,000 won. It’s definitely much pricier than back home, but I think it’s worth it if you want a good, regular greek yogurt.
They also have big size fluffy towels, although you might be able to luck out and find these at your local E-Mart.
Raw almonds. Outside of Costco, I’ve only been able to find toasted almonds.