Vatos Urban Tacos is a Mexican Korean fusion restaurant in Itaewon that offers a variety of tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and kimchi carnitas fries. In the past few years, many international restaurants, such as Vatos Urban Tacos, have slowly made their way into the Seoul food scene.
Vatos Urban Tacos, not surprisingly, offers a wide variety of tacos on their menu using high quality ingredients.
Currently they have six different choices of tacos such as classic carne asada, baja fish, galbi short rib, braised carnitas, chili lime shrimp and spicy chicken.
The owners of the restaurant are from California and Texas, which isn’t surprising as both states have some of the best Mexican food you can find outside of Mexico. The newest trend in California is Mexican Korean fusion, especially with food trucks that offer tacos and burritos with a Korean influence. This new fusion has made its way to Seoul.
On first entering the restaurant, the first thing that stands out is the open space, the large bar, and an open view of the cooks in the kitchen. The interior has a cool industrial feel while being a little hip. If you didn’t know it, you would think you were in a Mexican restaurant in California.
The Baja fish tacos were a delightful surprise. When you think of fish tacos, the last place you would think to find a decent fish taco is in Seoul. It is easy to screw up a fish taco, but Vatos Urban Tacos seemed to nail it. The tempura beer batter crust was light and fluffy. The apple coleslaw adds a nice crunch while the chipotle mayo adds a nice kick of spice and brings the taco together. This taco is similar, if not better, to almost any fish taco in California.
If seafood isn’t your thing, other tacos options include spiced rubbed carne asada, braised pork shoulder carnitas, and spicy marinated chicken. For a kick of Korean flavor, give the galbi short rib tacos with an Asian slaw and toasted sesame seeds a try.
The only down side to the tacos is that they are on the small size. After you order two or three tacos, you may still be hungry.
One of the most unique and recommend items on the menu is the kimchi carnitas fries. These fries are loaded with kimchi, braised pork carnitas, cheese, sour cream, cilantro, onions, jalapenos, and the special Vatos sauce. Everything just works.
The kimchi and jalapenos add the perfect amount of spice, the carnitas is flavorful and tender, and the sauce brings it all together while the french fries soak up all the delicious flavor.
The dish is large and is perfect for sharing.
Other than tacos and kimchi carnitas fries, Vatos Urban Tacos offers a few different types of burritos with your choice of meat and a small selection of quesadillas including the kimchi quesadilla. The kimchi quesadilla is a perfect example of Korean and Mexican fusion.
Vatos Urban Tacos can be busy on the weekends, which often means a short wait for a table. During busy periods, service can lack somewhat. When the restaurant is less busy, service is excellent.
Mexican food in Seoul, and almost everywhere in Asia, can be very hit or miss. Vatos Urban Tacos is a solid choice for those craving California style Mexican food with a Korean spin. Without a doubt, Vatos Urban Tacos is one of the best Mexican restaurants in Seoul, maybe in all of Asia.
Sunday-Thursday : 11:30-23:00
Friday-Saturday : 11:30-24:00
Take Subway Line 6 to Itaewon Station (Exit 1).
Continue for 290 meters and turn right on Itaewon-ro 15-gil.
The restaurant will be on the left a few meters up the hill.
Vatos Urban Tacos (Itaewon Branch)
Itaewon-dong 181-8 2nd Floor , Seoul, Korea 140-200