Best Burger Spots In Seoul

Written by Marie for Shuttle

When living in South Korea you may miss comfort foods from back home even though Korean food is very delicious. When that’s the case, why not go and eat some of the best burgers in Seoul?

There is no shortage of Korean restaurants, from bibimbap to samsgyeopsal, but finding a proper western burger restaurant can be tricky. There are loads of burger restaurants, some better than others, you’ll find restaurants that are quite similar to the ones back home and others more Koreanized.

Here is our list of some of the best burger restaurants in town, in no particular order. If you know of any other must try restaurants, please let us know in the comment section below.

Pipit Burger

Pipit Burger is a small venue with only 2 burgers on the menu, the Pipit Burger and the Patty Patty. The first one is filled with all sorts of vegetables while the latter is for meat and cheese lovers. The interior is decorated with bright lights and rock n’ roll music that brings you back in time to 1950s. See full menu here.

Pipit Burger

Gilbert’s Burger & Fries

A great burger restaurant with a wide array of options. There are no less than 11 burgers on their menu and each patty is made of 100% beef. If you’ve never been we highly recommend trying the Mr. President, their signature burger, which is consists of a sesame bun, cheddar cheese, a 5 oz beef patty, red onion, tomato, dill pickle, romaine, bacon and horseradish-mustard-mayonnaiseSee full menu here.

Gilbert’s Burger & Fries

Jacoby’s Burger

Jacoby’s Burger is HBC’s vaunted burger joint. They use only 100%, non-frozen, Australian Wagyu beef. Each patty is made with 230 grams of beef and all the vegetables are fresh and organic. What’s special about Jacoby’s is that you can have your burger just the way you want it. There are multiple options regarding the bread, patties, veggies, cheese and sauces. See full menu here.
Jacoby’s Burger

Cali Kitchen

Cali Kitchen isn’t known just for their burgers, they also sell yummy burritos, nachos and a whole range of California inspired food. The flavors are probably the closest you can find to the food eaten back in California. The restaurant makes its own salsas, sour cream and other sauces from scratch. See full menu here

Cali Kitchen

Supermarket White Burger Stand

Recently opened, this new burger spot is sells some tasty and inexpensive burgers in HBC. There are six different burgers on the menu with the ultra-smashed cheeseburger being the signature dish. See full menu here

double-bacon-cheeseburger

Rye Post

Originally known for their sandwiches, which should be dually noted, Rye Post is cooking up some tasty burgers. Starting a few years back, Rye Post added burgers to their menu and they are definitely as good, especially the All American. This burger ticks all the boxes, the thin double patties with melted cheddar cheese and topped fixings is just superb. The homemade buns are baked fresh daily. See full menu here

Rye Post

Southside Parlor

Generally regarded as cocktail bar that sells all types of cocktails, from a tasty Moscow Mule to a Corpse Reviver, Southside Parlor is no slouch in the kitchen. They serve delicious food like sandwiches, tacos, chicken and burgers. The Southside Burger is a topper, served with caramelized onions, sharp cheddar cheese and sweet potato chips. See full menu here

southside parlor

Firebell

Like the name suggests, Firebell has a fire station theme going on. The whole restaurant is decorated in a red and white checker pattern. Each burger has a firefighter themed name and the decorations are really quirky. The burgers are equally impressive. The patties are thick and yummy American style burgers. See full menu here

firebell

Brooklyn The Burger Joint

One of the best fresh ground burger shops in the whole of Seoul, they use high quality meat that is freshly grounded each day. Their most famous burger is the C.R.E.A.M burger—cheddar rules everything around the meat. This started out as a small restaurant near Seorae Maeul and has now multiple spots across Seoul. Photo courtesy of 김혜린. See full menu here.
brooklyntheburgerjoint

Rocka Doodle

Not your traditional burger, Rocka Doodle is serving up some Nashville chicken burgers.  The best dish is the Grandpa, made with tender chicken thigh, American cheese, scallion mayo and lots of vegetables. You can also choose how hot you want your sauce as there are 3 different levels of spiciness, the mild, hot and fire. See full menu here.

rockadoodle

I Am a Burger &

This restaurant opened 10 years back and is serving the most delicious burgers. It started as a tiny restaurant in the Hongdae area but now have several locations throughout the city.  What makes them special is the home-baked buns. See full menu here

iamaburger

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Which of these burger restaurants is your favourite? Let us know in the comment section below.

Part 2: How to Make Amazing Food Photos

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As we spoke about in our last post, professional cameras and lenses can help with photography tremendously—provided you know how to use them. These special tools and equipment can make taking a great photo easier, but they’re by no means necessary for the process.This was a key lesson that we learned from our numerous efforts of trial and error. Some of the great food-focused Instagram feeds of the day are done almost entirely with smartphone cameras. What separates those high quality photos from their less impressive counterparts isn’t an expensive camera or sophisticated equipment; It’s knowing what it takes to compose a visually appealing and hunger inducing image.

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1. GREAT NATURAL LIGHT

From our research, we discovered that good lighting is the single most important criteria for good photography! And the very best light is indirect daylight. The natural lighting condition which produces the greatest photography opportunity is a shady spot on a sunny day. It will give your food a bright, even glow, and won’t tint the natural colors in the same way that non-natural indoor lighting will typically do.

2. A STRIKING COMPOSITION

Composition is basically an all-encompassing term for the arrangement of all the extra items in a photograph. In a well-composed photograph, you can immediately tell what the primary subject is; so we had to learn not to go overboard with the items surrounding the main subject.  We also learned that composition is second only to lighting when it comes to taking a good photograph. Especially when first starting, good composition has a lot to do with the proper positioning within the photo frame. Putting the primary subject in ¾ of the frame is a great suggestion for most food photos. But it’s also the best advice to consider the best qualities of the food you’re shooting when deciding how to position the camera.

3. PROPER ANGLES

But obviously framing your food in the right position is just one element of composition. We learned that you also need to decide what angle best suits your subject. A flat, round subject like pizza will usually look best from directly above. Meanwhile, a burger stacked tall will look great directly at eye level. But we learned from countless experiments that you just have to make sure you have something in the background like a nice solid colored wall or a decorative board to block out unwanted items like pots and pans from your kitchen. And remember, just like people, food wants us to capture its good side as well. And the best way to learn what that good side is? Shoot from multiple angles until they become your instincts.

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Once these 3 basic concepts are down, it’s time to get fun. Get creative with props. It’s especially important to be a bit creative for particularly unappetizing dishes like odd looking soups or somewhat misshapen objects like sausages.

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  • Choosing the right plate can be very useful: Square and rectangular plates are typically harder to shoot than round ones from our experience.  It’s also easier to work with smaller sized plates rather than full-size dinner plate. This is mostly due to the fact that you won’t have to worry about any unwanted extra space on the plate and the food will be most prominent. Patterns and bright colors can be a great way to add some character to plain foods, but you don’t want the platter to distract from the subject.
  • Adding personality with accessories is also fun: Napkins, utensils, and other placements can help fill up the composition/empty space and make your images more engaging. It’s very important to make sure color is considered heavily when making choices. A color wheel can give you a good sense of complementary colors.
  • Garnishing the dish: Putting an herb or a condiment on a plate can really help make a photo pop. Adding herbs, condiments, and toppings can be a great way just to dress up a dish. Some of the ugliest (but tastiest) dishes need a little help to become photogenic. Again, color consideration of the garnish is very important in order to properly enhance the dish. But no matter what, it’s most important that the garnishes make sense to each specific dish.
  • Creativity with backgrounds: White or neutral plain backgrounds can get boring. Trying a nice cutting board or platter can really have an incredible effect on photo quality. Tablecloths, placemats, and slabs of stone are all also great alternatives. Anything to freshen-up a boring kitchen table or countertop can make a photo look much more special to it’s viewers.
  • Interacting with food: If an initial photo feels flat, consider having a model lift a fork/spoonful out. We can then focus our camera on that lifting to give the photo more dimension. But even small details like making sure the fingers are clean and relatively well manicured can have a profound effect on a shot of that sort.

manimal-bbq-chicken

Learning food photography was a necessary step for us to give a better customer experience to our Shuttle Delivery community.  You may not have such lofty ambitions as ours to shoot photos but food photography is still a very fulfilling hobby. We would recommend it to anyone who loves food and enjoys the beauty, just as much as the taste. Food photography can be a cool way to allow friends or family see what you see in the food that you are experiencing. And as we have mentioned in our two part series about the subject; it’s easier than it’s ever been to make some really dazzling food images that many can enjoy. We hope you enjoyed this little 2 segment post about our journey in the world of food photography and continue to read our posts in the future.

Food Photos on Shuttle Delivery

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Upgrading our site one food photo at a time

Food Photos! Believe it or not, we hear more requests for better photos on our site than anything else. People love good food photos and they can really help our Shuttle Delivery community make better purchasing decisions.  Unfortunately not all of our partner restaurants offer photos of their menu items when they join our site. This was truly an unfortunate scenario since we really wanted to be considered absolutely customer focused.  We began to feel like we were at the mercy of partner restaurants’ desire to promote their food items effectively; so we finally decided that we would take the bull by the horns and just do our own photography of their dishes.

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Choosing our photo shoots

We decided we would first speak to the restaurants willing to make the dishes for us so we could photograph them. Some restaurants don’t think photographs are important so they were unwilling to make us dishes unless we paid for their dishes. We are still constantly working on taking more photos for the site, but we are slowly upgrading each page based on which restaurants are the most flexible about our photography efforts.  A lot of it comes down to a partner restaurant’s scheduling availability and their willingness to accept the costs of food not being consumed by a paying customer.   

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Food photos are high priority for users

It is a long and arduous journey to update the entire site with photos but we decided that this would ultimately be best for our users. Our web data was showing us that our site users were ordering more from the partners with high quality food photos.  So we knew that food photos had to become a priority for the entire site and not just some of the partner pages. Our users make us want to become better every day, so it was only natural that they would also help us become better at a skill like photography. None of us are professional photographers. We are still a young and growing company, so we could not afford to use our budget to hire any photographers; so we did the next best thing and we started learning the art of food photography!

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Learning food photography

Taking great photographs of food is a hard-earned skill, which explains why some people are lucky enough to get paid for doing it. But we learned that it’s also a lot easier to hone these days, than in years prior. Digital cameras are easier to use than ever before and phone cameras are becoming more and more sophisticated with each passing year. Everyone with an IPhone 6 and higher can become a decent food photographer with a few crucial pieces of advice. We will attack the subject of what was the best “advice” we found through food photography research in our next post.