So you've done your shopping, and you've spent the day walking around a few of the parks, but now it's time to hit the town and have a little fun. It's Saturday night, perfect for dinner out and some entertainment. Now, I'm not going to lie. Chungju is not a metropolitan hotspot. But it does have some good restaurants, and it has some fun things that you can do.
First, let's do food.
If you're looking for traditional Korean barbecue, fast, delicious, and awesome, we've got a couple recommendations. First up is a cheap but tasty place.
Dinner including drinks runs around ₩10,000 per person. It's got a couple different locations that we've found so far, but there may be more.
Service is fast and the food is decent. I covered what it's like to eat at one of these in our barbecue post. If, however, you're looking for something a little bit nicer, you could head to our favorite barbecue restaurant. It's a Hot Stone Galbi place, which means they cook the meat in back and bring it out on a hot stone platter.
It's a little more expensive, running maybe ₩12,000 per person with drinks, but it's worth the price. The meat is absolutely fantastic. You can find it in Yeonsudong, just down from the stadium. Here's a map for reference.
But Chungju has more to offer than just barbecue. There's also Chinese, with tang su yuk, jjambbong, and jjajangmyeon (that's sweet and sour pork, seafood noodle soup, and black bean noodles respectively). We talked a little about these in a previous post, too. You can find Chinese restaurants all over town, but our favorite is an intimate little place hiding up in the northeast.
Or you could go for Vietnamese. Again, Chungju has several Vietnamese restaurants, but I'd just like to throw out a recommendation for our favorite, Pho Mons. It's also over in Yeonsudong. (Actually, Yeonsudong's a great place to go for restaurants. It's become so popular people call it the New Downtown.)
Alternatively, let's say you're a little homesick and looking for something western. Chungju does have a McDonald's a little north of Emart. Or there's the Domino's in Yeonsudong (search Chungbuk and then Chungju on that site to see the location). There's also a Pizza Hut right across the street from Lotte Mart and the Bus Terminal (see our first Chungju post for that). But if you want a nice sit down restaurant that will give you a taste of something familiar, the best you're going to find is Italian. And our favorite Italian place (by a wide margin) is Bella Luna. it's a tiny restaurant just south of old downtown, and it is fantastic. It's a little pricey, at about ₩15,000 per entree, but worth it. They also offer a limited brunch menu.
After dinner, you could walk down the street to our favorite bar, Jazz and Sanjo, for some tea, a couple pints, or a few cocktails.
Now that you've had dinner, it's time for entertainment. Chungju is lousy with Norae Bangs (karaoke rooms, where you and your friends can drunkenly belt out pop songs), PC Bangs (computer rooms where you can play Starcraft or League of Legends), or Screen Golf places (where you can live out your PGA fantasies), so I'm not going to reference any one specific place. They're all about equal, and they're all pretty fun.
But let's say you want to see a movie. Chungju does have a lot of English language options. You can go use the Google Chrome browser and search Chungju Movie Showtimes to get a list of the films currently showing. The Chrome browser will even translate the original Korean for you. But if you want to actually find the theater, you have to head downtown. Megabox has two locations these days, though they are the same theater, and you can buy tickets in one and end up having your actual movie showing in the other. It's confusing, but it apparently works for Korea. They're located here:
Alternatively, if you want to see an older movie, you can go to Chungju's one and only DVD Bang and have your own private theater. We actually like this last option quite a lot. It's about half the cost of Megabox (if you're going as a couple... if you're going by yourself, the prices work out to be about the same) and you can bring your own food in with you. We like to get takeout chicken and watch cheesy action flicks.
The interior does look a little seedy, though, kind of a dimly lit version of an old video rental store. But we like it.
It's convenient, there's no showtimes to hurry for, and the movie starts when you figure out what you want to watch.
If, however, you want to check out some sports, Chungju has a local soccer stadium, and a team called the Chungju Hummels. Tickets are about ₩5,000 per person. Game times are listed on the stadium, near the ticket office. Again, nobody minds if you bring in outside food (though alcohol is NOT allowed). A lot of people head to the grocery store across the street, load up on snacks and drinks, and carry them in.
You can find the stadium here:
Games only run through November, but when we can go, it's a blast.
Anyway, that's what we do with our Saturday nights in Chungju. And this concludes my series about Chungju in general. Hope it was helpful for anyone trying to navigate around town.