Since day one in Korea, I’ve been searching for the PERFECT burger – something that would satisfy my In-N-Out and Rustic Canyon cravings. While nothing compares to LA burgers, a few have actually been quite decent. With the help of Seoul Eats and his amazing post on burgers along with some other resources, I have been on the search for a “burgasm” (How I Met Your Mother).
34-25 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
First burger I tried in Korea! My friends and I were actually on our way to Dillinger’s but we struggled to find it and somehow ended up at EST. 1984. There’s both an inside area and a patio area, and since we had a very large group, we took over the entire patio area.
The draw of this burger joint is supposed to be the rotary grill that gives the burgers a smokier taste. While I cannot say I particularly remembered a “smoky” taste, I did, however, enjoy watching them being cooked on it! (But I can’t say the same for the cook. He did give me some weird looks as I shoved my camera in to take photos.)
I did enjoy the burgers here, but I would not say that they were even comparable to the ones at home. But the owners were very friendly and really catered everything to our needs.
Fry platter with fries, onion rings, chili and meatballs
Burger Score: 7/10
72-32 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
I read about this place on Seoul Eats and struggled to get there. First time we walked by, second it was closed (since it’s a pub also), but hey third time’s a charm, right? Joanna and I agree that it’s a pretty simple classic cheeseburger. It would curb my craving for a little but still not the best in Korea.
Burger Score: 7/10
45-6 Yongsan-dong 2-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (Near Noksapyeong station)
By far, winner of best presentation! I went with 2 of my American friends here in Seoul, and we were so incredibly excited for the burgers. I had seen these burgers on Seoul Eats, and my friend had told me about it.
The onion ring tower on the burger was as WOW as I expected…but that’s sadly where it ends. Although the burger is pretty good in comparison to the others so far here in Korea, I was expecting WAY more because of the “wow-factor” of the presentation. We also ordered the chili fries. I know Koreans love sweet everything, but c’mon chili should still be CHILI not spaghetti sauce! However, I still did devour every bite because it was all quite good for Korea.
Burger Score: 7.5/10
118-62 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Definitely, hands-down, no contest WINNER!
These burgers are absolutely on par with the burgers in LA. Kevin not only makes the best tasting burgers in Seoul, but he’s also so incredibly nice and friendly. The first time I went I had a Rise & Shine, which had bacon and fried egg on the burger aka my absolute favorites on a burger. Each bite was absolutely worth every calorie. I loved how juicy the patties were and how the egg yolk ran and made the burger even better. The second time I went I had a Chili Burger, which had chili and jalapeños. Thank goodness Kevin knows how to make real chili. It was absolutely perfect with the perfect amount of kick from the jalapeños.
Rise and Shine Burger
“King Kev” burger with 3 patties, cheeses, bacon, salami and onions. Kevin doesn’t believe I can accept this challenge, but I’m ready to prove him wrong before I leave Korea!
Burger Score: 10/10
Overall, I would say that a quality burger in Korea is pretty hard to find. While some do exist, it can be hard if you do live far away from Itaewon like I do. So as bad as it sounds (and incredibly American), the one burger that I would say never fails is a Big Mac! Always hits the spot and you know what to expect.