[FOOD COURT] Get nostalgic with some classic American cheeseburgers

Burgers from Nostress Burger [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Seoul might be known as a bit of a foodie hotspot with barbecue joints on every corner and more side dishes than the eye can see, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of joints in town that specialize in a good, old- fashioned burger.

Some models their burgers after the classic cheeseburger, with a patty, some cheese and maybe a bit of onion sandwiched between two buns. Others push the boat out a little more, cramming in all sorts of different fillings for a more gourmet-style burger.

Ourstress Burger

Nostress Burger serves the most classic and simple cheeseburger. The juice from the thin patty soaks the bun, leaving diners licking their fingers and feeling satisfied. The sizzling sound of the patties grilling echoes inside the restaurant, helping diners enjoy the burgers to the fullest with the perfect backing track.

Burgers from Nostress Burger [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Burgers from Nostress Burger [SCREEN CAPTURE]

The simple cheeseburger with cheese, patty and pickles reminds many of a fancy take on McDonald’s, and its yellow packaging further encourages visitors to think of the burger franchise. The owners have leant into that comparison: They often share different images of McDonald’s burger on social media to share where their inspiration comes from, and offer diners a chance to compare what they get from Nostress Burger with the McDonald’s equivalent.

The brand first started with a small restaurant in Haebangchon, central Seoul, and have since been opening up more branches across the city.


Patty and Veggies

While Nostress Burger offers a simple burger with a thin patty, Patty and Veggies does the same thing but with a much thicker patty. The simplest cheeseburger is literally just cheese and a burger, and you can add extras inside if you want, such as bacon, hash brown, caramelized onion and fried egg. You can also choose your own sauce other than ketchup, such as tomato salsa, guacamole or beef chili, or a simpler cheese dip such as cheddar or emmental.



For those who struggle taking a bite out of the tall burgers, the restaurant also offers burger bowls, which have all the same components, but in a bowl. Patty and Veggies is also known for offering many different kinds of whiskey by the glass to pair with the smoky burger.


Fault Burger

What brings attention to Fault Burger is its unique interior, more so than the burger itself. Decorated to look like a tennis court, it’s been appealing more to those who play tennis, a sport that has enjoyed a recent heyday among young Koreans. The restaurant even features a real net that cords off the kitchen at some of its five branches. Many stackable boxes are around so that diners can piece together their own table and chairs.

Fault Burger in Gangnam District, southern Seoul [LEE SUN-MIN]

Fault Burger in Gangnam District, southern Seoul [LEE SUN-MIN]

Fault Burger even shares trivia on tennis on its social media to make it โ€œthe placeโ€ to visit for amateur athletes. Also, whenever it introduces a new menu item, the restaurant calls it โ€œthe new player.โ€

One of the key ingredients it uses in its burgers is green onions. The distinctive taste appeals to local Koreans who are used to green onion as a common component in a lot of classic Korean fare.


Brooklyn the Burger Joint

Out of all the burger places in Seoul, Brooklyn the Burger Joint is now considered one of the most classic. It now has branches all across Seoul after it first started from a small location in Seorae Villege, in southern Seoul, and they all offer quintessential retro American-style diner vibes.

burger "The Works" from Brooklyn the Burger Joint [LEE SUN-MIN]

Burger “The Works” from Brooklyn the Burger Joint [LEE SUN-MIN]

One of the most eye-catching options is Cheese Skirt, which has grilled cheese sticking out of the buns. The most classic is The Works, with all the basic ingredients one expects to see in a burger. As well as beef, it also offers fish and lamb burgers, providing some variety for those looking for something different to the American classic.

Multiple branches in Seoul

BY JIM BULLEY [jim.bulley@joongang.co.kr]



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