Eat Burger - Sinchon, Seoul
When you live in Korea for a long time one of the things you miss the most is eating food from home. Granted, there are a lot of "Western" food places to eat and you can get Indian curry, Japanese food, and pasta all over the place. However, these places are mostly made to appeal to Korean taste, so they won't taste the same as your favorite place back home. Usually the burgers here are much sweeter than I'm used to, and I prefer burgers that are salty with plenty of mustard and dill pickles.
Sometimes I'm craving an American style burger, and after I found this place it's where I go when I need that same simple and authentic taste.
I will admit that the first time I saw this place, with the sign outside that said "just do eat burger", I laughed a little bit. But then I ate there, and it has become my go-to ever since. Whenever I'm in Sinchon I recommend eating here to a friend, especially if they've never been before. There is a main row of restaurants that most people go to, and on the weekends especially it gets really crowded. This place is behind the main road so it's not as busy and I've never had to wait for a table or felt like a packed sardine.
When you go inside you instantly feel comfortable because of the warm lighting and orange and yellow interior. There are pillows by the different seats and large windows that you can look out of, so although it's not a large place you don't feel cramped at all. It feels almost like a house or a coffee shop because they decorated with colorful posters and there are plants all over. I especially love to go here on a rainy day because I just feel warm and cozy the moment I go to sit down.
(My favorite poster in the place)
Almost everything is "self", you get your own water and utensils and anything else you need, but there are still napkins and hot sauce on the tables (Louisiana Hot Sauce to be specific). The first time that I went they had the ketchup and mustard on the tables, but now the ketchup comes with your meal and you can request to get mustard on the side as well. The owner here is super nice, and if you don't know Korean he knows enough English to get you what you need and take your order. (Sinchon is where the main Yonsei Univesity campus is, and since they have an international college branch and exchange programs a lot of the people in the shops around Sinchon learned English over time. I prefer using Korean myself, but if you're not comfortable or are just visiting the country it can be a relief when you don't have to use broken Korean.)
As for the menu it's really simple! There are a few options to choose from, and you order right at the counter before taking your seat. It may seem a little pricy, however compared to other chains that sell "American burgers" it isn't that bad (I was once charged about 12,000 won, around $11-$12, for a burger that didn't taste like I thought it would at all at a different place). Just pick which burger you want, and you can just get the burger or a set, however I recommend getting the set, and you can choose "Cider" (which is basically 7up) or a Coke. They have chili cheese fries as well, and they even sell sangria! So first, about the drinks.
The soda comes in a small glass bottle, and I think it's just the right amount as well because I don't particularly like soda that much so I don't like getting a huge glass full of it. There's also something about drinking out of a "vintage" bottle that makes the whole atmosphere better to me.
If you order the sangria it comes in a cute little bottle and you pour it yourself into a plastic wine glass (so no worries if you're clumsy about breaking the glass). The bottle has pieces of fruit inside that you can choose to either pour into your glass or leave inside. I don't drink wine that often, but I do prefer red so I love getting the sangria here. The taste is a bit strong, but because it's sweetened and has some fruit in it the taste isn't overwhelming and surprisingly matches the food.
Now to the main reason I go here, the food!
The buns are really soft and buttery, the first time I picked up one of their burgers I was surprised by how light the bread felt. Since it isn't a really dense bread you don't feel heavy (or guilty) after eating it. Each burger comes with thin sliced onions, really crisp green lettuce, tomatoes, and mayonnaise. As I said earlier, you can ask for mustard, or extra ketchup, if you would like some. The burger meat isn't overly salty, but it also doesn't taste sweet (I'm sure if you get bulgogi it's a different story though), and they use simple melted cheddar cheese. Basically, it's a classic burger, nothing fancy, and I mean that in the best way.
Cheeseburger with "Cheese Chili Chips"
The chili tastes really fresh and spicy, and the main ingredients are tomato, meat, and onion. There are many types of chili, and this is the kind that is made without beans etc. If you get it on your burger it can be pretty messy (they do have special paper burger wrappers in the self bar, if you want to avoid the toppings falling onto your lap).
The Hash Burger tastes exactly the way you think it would, a basic cheeseburger with a crunchy layer of hash brown on it. This makes it a bit of a challenge to take a bite, but it is also delicious! Especially if you are a potato lover like myself.
Speaking of potatoes, the fries here are great as well. Not over seasoned, not sweet, and there's a mix of crinkle cut and thick cut together. They are really crispy and have always been cooked perfectly whenever I have ordered them, so I think they are a must! Also for the set the portion size is perfect here because I don't leave feeling too full, I just feel as though I ate exactly enough.
If you are in the area I highly recommend that you go here at least once! You can find it by the little burger sign hanging outside, and it's only a 5-10 minute walk from the subway station, depending on your walking speed. Just follow the map via the picture below or you can also find it by clicking on this Naver Map link.
Address: 이트버거: 서울특별시 서대문구 창천동 5-42 1층
Let me know if you have ever been here, or what your favorite burger place in Seoul is in the comments below! I really hope you can try this place and that you love it as much as I do~!
See you next time you jump down the rabbit hole,