One of my few complaints about Gyeongju is that there just aren’t many foreign restaurants here. Sure, Gyeongju has all your usual greasy fast food joints, but you’ve got to go all the way to Daegu to find a TGI Fridays or Outback Steak House. And if you’re itching for Thai or Mexican, just forget it. Luckily we do have a couple of descent Italian joints in town, and the cream (if you’ll pardon the pun) of the crop is Pranzo (프란조).
Pranzo’s already a legend with the local western community and it’s perfect if you’re downtown and just aren’t in the mood for Korean or KFC. The décor is perky and chic. The wait staff is friendly and the menus are in Italian, English and Korean. Not to mention, Pranzo serves excellent food at prices that give the other Italian joints in town a run for their money (sorry, again with the puns).
Pranzo sticks with the basics of Italian cooking, but they do it darn well. They serve variations of pasta and risotto, with tomato, crème or olive oil sauce and most dishes run between 8,000 and 12,000 won. Honestly, I haven’t tried anything here I didn’t love, including the Sepia (squid ink) Risotto. That said, I think my favorite is still the Spaghetti alla Gorgonzolla. My wife usually goes for the Smoked Salmon Salad and Carbonara Pasta. Pranzo also does a mean Thin Crust Pizza at around 12,000 won each.
Directions (Update): The new Pranzo’s just a block from from the McDonald’s downtown. With your back to McDonald’s, turn left and then take an immediate right. Pranzo is down the block on the right on the 2nd story. Look for a placard and menu on the street. (Closed on Mondays).
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