Saturday, January 09, 2010
The Best Burgers in Seoul in 2010
Wow...the Korea Herald gave me the entire page for the story. Here is the article with more pictures.
Today is the day that my diet begins. Finding and ranking the best hamburgers in Seoul has been a joy and a curse. Luckily, the restaurants have gotten better but there are more of them as well. Suffice it to say, hamburgers are not just a fad in Seoul; you'll find burger restaurants dotted all over the city.
The first review that I did a year ago was received with an equal amount of praise and scrutiny. I found people are passionate about their burgers. For this review, I went to over 20 restaurants - a few more than once. This year I decided to not include franchise burgers to this list. Also, I decided to look at the signature burgers of each restaurant. My criteria for ranking were on the quality of meat, bun, toppings, service, and overall enjoyment.
10. "Slyders" from Julio in Gangnam. This Mexican joint serves up some tasty mini burgers. Does this mean that they will be the new trend? I can see it happening. They use all Austrian beef and they have three different options: classic cheese, chili, and teriyaki (not recommended).
Price: Three slyders for 7,000 won
Phone: (02) 568-5324
9. "Jack Sauce Burger" from Bistro Corner in Itaewon. The sauce was a bit too sweet for my liking, but the hickory char-grilled hamburger patty is excellent.
Price: 7,500 won
Phone: (02) 792-9282
8. "The Bacon and Egg Burger" from Tony's Aussie Bar and Bistro in Itaewon. It's breakfast on top of a burger. You get a cooked egg, bacon, and cheese on top of Australian beef. The burger is great with their hand-cut fries.
Price: 7,500 won
Phone: (02) 790-0793
7. "Sliders" from Yaletown in Sinchon. Yaletown is the youngest restaurant in the group, but they are making waves with their delicious cuisine and attention to quality. Their char grilled sliders (mini hamburgers) come on homemade bread with a dollop of mayonnaise and a single leaf of lettuce.
Price: Three mini burgers come for 8,900 won
Phone: (02) 333-1604
6. "The Webby" from Beer O'Clock in Sincheon. By the way, char-grilled= delicious. Here you get a char-grilled handmade patty topped with cheese, jalapenos, onions, mushrooms, lettuce, ham and BBQ sauce. Sure, it might sound like a train wreck of toppings, but it works damn well.
Price: 9,000 won
Phone: (02) 333-9733
5. "Paddy Mac's Big Beef Burger" from Wolfhound Pub in Itaewon. Weighing in at over a half a pound (240 grams), you get a fist full of meat topped with two slices of cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and 2 strips of bacon. The paddy is made from savory wagyu beef and it is well seasoned. You also get an option of fries, mash potatoes (recommended), or salad with your side of cow.
Phone: (02) 749-7971
4. "The Hamburger" from Sam Ryan's Sports Bar and Grill in Itaewon. If you want a classic bacon cheeseburger that's the size of a baby's head, then this is the place. The burgers at Sam Ryan's are massive. They are manly burgers that should be enjoyed with a beer and football.
Price: 13,500 won
Phone: (02) 749-7933
3. "Mushroom Burger" from Banana Grill in Hannam (near the U.N. Village). Sauteed onions and mushrooms with a hint of balsamic vinegar and mayonnaise is a great combination. Banana Grill is all about flavor and they don't ruin the burger by adding unnecessary ingredients such as lettuce, tomato, and onion when they are not needed. The meat is plush and well seasoned, the buns are toasty, and they serve great fries.
Price: 7,000 won
Phone: (02) 792-3088
2. "The Chili Burger" from Chili King in Itaewon. You need a fork to get started with this burger because you have to get through the generous heaps of chili on top of the beef patty topped with real cheddar cheese (we are not talking about the plasticy individually wrapped stuff). The chili is excellent on it's own (what else would you expect from the Chili King) but magical on the beef patty and between the rolls. The jalapenos on this dish are an added bonus.
Price: 8,900 won
Phone: (02) 795-1303
1. "The Fresco Burger" from Jacoby's Burger in Haebangchon. This is the Eiffel tower of hamburgers in Seoul. You have a moist and richly favored hamburger patty topped with mozzarella cheese, bacon, tomato sauce and a tower of onion rings. It is a beautiful thing to behold and a tad difficult to eat. The crunchy onion rings with the tar tar sauce, plush garlic beef patty, and mozzarella cheese fuses beautifully. After your burger you will be smiling with a halo of shiny beef grease around your mouth. Oh, and you can customize your burger just the way you want.
Price: 10,000 won
Phone: (02) 3785-0433
The Best Burger Franchise in Korea: "W-burger." Woah, they have excellent meat that's a little pink in the middle just like I like it.
Price: 4,700 won
Where: Throughout Seoul
Honorable Mention: "The USO Hamburger" at the USO near Samgaki Station. Get the military burger with fries for only $2.
Phone: (02) 795-3063
Open: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Weekdays
In a Class of their Own: The W-hotel Hamburger. Now I'm not talking about the X-burger (150,000 won) but its little brother. It's a classic hamburger on an oat-wheat bun speckled with pumpkin seeds and topped with melted cheese. The meat is a mix of lean sirloin and marbled wagyu beef. The meat is so good that I'm sure that Buddha change his religion just to have it.
Price: 25,000 won
Phone: (02) 465-2222
The opinions expressed here are the authors only and do not necessarily represent those of The Korea Herald. Daniel Gray works for O'ngo Food Communications. You can follow his food adventures at www.seouleats.com - Ed.
By Daniel Gray