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Review: Maddux Pizza in Itaewon

restaurants | June 12, 2015 | By

IMG_0570One of things that America does better than anyone else in the world – apart from CGI dinosaurs, projecting military power around the globe and cleaning up world football – is pizza. Italians will splutter into their grappa at such a statement, and it’s true that the US has been responsible for culinary monstrosities like pineapple on pizza or the cheese stuffed crust. But I really felt like until I ate pizza in places like New Haven, CT or Bleecker Street in New York, everything I’d had before was just a pale imitation of what dough, tomato and cheese could really be.

Anyway, here we are in Korea and, let’s face it, if there’s a bright centre to the pizza universe, you’re in the country it’s farthest from. I’ve been fed some loathsome concoctions here by people who should really know better – sweet potato, corn, cherries, you name it. When I hear the words “Mr Pizza” I reach for my revolver. All I want is a slice of pepperoni pizza on my way home from work, preferably with a bottle of beer to wash it down. Is that so hard?

IMG_9621 Not any more, thanks to Maddux. This place is so well hidden in the back streets of Itaewon that you’d think they were trying to hide from the Tasty Road crowd, and let’s hope those two never find it, because it’s an unspoilt gem that’s well worth checking out.

IMG_0583 It’s a simple idea, pizza by the slice; but one which, outside the US, many places struggle to get right. Maddux gets it right. You can buy a whole pie, and I guess if you were a large enough group that might be cost-effective, but the slices are big enough as it is – I could have put away two without too much trouble, but one was perfectly sufficient, and I didn’t want to look like too much of a pig in front of my lunch date.

IMG_0584IMG_0585 A margherita pizza was being made as we walked in, so we asked for a slice of that when it came out of the oven. In the meantime we grabbed some pepperoni, my typical go-to topping. It was good; crispy crust and nicely greasy. Maybe a tiny bit dry, but it was a good slice and satisfied my pepperoni cravings. (It was cut in half to enable us to share – don’t blame them!)

IMG_9615 The margherita was exceptional. Still-bubbling cheese, copious fresh basil, a drizzle of olive oil. Perfection. I demand meat on my pizza, but for this I could be a vegetarian, albeit a very fat one. I’m still dreaming about this one, a day later.

IMG_9617 Another pizza that’s on special right now is a so-called “meatball” pizza which looked and tasted to me like it was topped with regular Italian-style sausage. Like the pepperoni, it was very solid, also a tiny bit dry but it had been reheated rather than served fresh from the oven, so all in all I was not complaining. And the extra-crispy crust made up for it. I’d very much like to taste this one fresh out of the pizza oven, though.

IMG_0591 The interior of the restaurant is simple but inviting, it’s nice and bright during the day and they have a reasonable selection of beers, though it could improve. Better still, it’s open every day, including Mondays which are normally very hit-and-miss around this part of town.

IMG_0586 IMG_0573 (1) Maddux would be a great place to go to fuel up before a night out, or just for a quiet lunch date with friends. It’s unpretentious and serves up really good pizza. I particularly liked the fact that it had a thin crispy crust – so hard to find here, really – and was reasonably priced at 4,700W for a slice of pepperoni and 5,400 for the meatball (the margherita, with its expensive imported ingredients, was 6,700W).

Based on my experience I’d suggest taking a look to see what’s cooking and get a slice fresh out of the oven. You won’t regret it.   Category: Pizza

  • Price: $$$$
  • Must try: Margherita pizza
  • Subway: Itaewon (이태원역) exit 4
  • Directions: Come out of Itaewon Station exit 4 and walk down the road leading away from the Hamilton Hotel, passing Gecko’s on your right and Taco Bell on the left. Turn right down the first small street, pass JR and Wolfhound pubs, and you’ll get to a small intersection immediately after. Turn left there, and Maddux is another minute or two down the small road, on your right.
  • Hours: 12 – 10pm, seven days a week.

Maddux map


  1. Leave a Reply

    June 13, 2015

    Did you really give this place 1 $ out of 4?

    Give your head a shake.

    49,000 won for a pizza!!!

    I’ll never go to a place that over charges customers to this extent.

  2. Leave a Reply

    June 13, 2015

    Um, did you see the size of the pizzas? They are very large. I had one slice and was fairly replete – two slices would have set me back about 11,000 won and left me stuffed. You’d only buy a whole one of these pizzas for five or six people.

    This is a pizza by the slice restaurant and I think 5-10,000 won for a “foreign food” lunch is cheap, yes. Domino’s charge 30-35,000 won for a large pizza here and Maddux’s pizzas are bigger (not to say much better). 30,000 for a huge pepperoni pizza (you deliberately picked out the most expensive thing on the menu) seems like a good deal to me.

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