If you are in the mood for a real thick and juicy American style grilled hamburger (or veggie burger) in Seoul be sure to continue reading this article! Yesterday evening my friend, from Texas, and I had the good fortune to choose to dine at Jacoby’s Burger restaurant and bar in Hay-Bahng-Chong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea. Hay-Bahng-Chong is not Tommy Chong’s brother, and has never been in a Cheech & Chong movie, but is in fact a neighborhood in Seoul next to Itaewon where many foreigners live.
My friend suggested Jacoby’s Burger restaurant and bar for dinner as he had seen it earlier that day as we walked into Itaewon. Neither of us had eaten there before but I had heard the “the food is great and the service is slow”. From my experience both of those things are true. In my opinion the delicious food at Jacoby’s Burger restaurant and bar in Seoul is worth putting up with the slow service. I’m not the only one who thinks the wait is worth it because on Saturday night all the tables are full. The slow service gives you a chance to chat with your friends and have a beer before your meal anyway.
The cost of the phat homemade grilled, not fried, 100% beef burgers at Jacoby’s Burger restaurant and bar in Seoul start at a reasonable 8,000 won. For 8,000 won your cheeseburger comes with your choice of: fries, onion rings, salad or garlic potatoes. My friend had the fries which were wedge cut with the skin on. They were tasty and not too greasy. I choose the onion rings, which were crazy greasy but still quite tasty (and needed salt). Next time I would try the garlic potatoes.
I ordered a cheeseburger, medium, on a wheat bun with cheddar cheese and a grilled onion. The hamburger met all my expectations of deliciousness. My Texan friend ordered the mushroom burger on a white bun with Swiss cheese and ate his entire hamburger and what was leftover on my plate (I was totally full). A favorite dish among the other patrons at Jacoby’s Burger restaurant and bar in Seoul seemed to be the Bacon Onion Burger. This burger is quite a heart attack express spectacle and is piled high with four onion rings and topped with a couple pieces of bacon.
Each homemade hamburger or chicken fillet is custom made to order with your choice of fixins. You are given the choice of a wheat or white bun; rosemary or garlic patty; Swiss, American or cheddar cheese; grilled or raw onion, tomato, lettuce, bacon and Jacoby’s Burger special sauce. Jacoby’s Burger special sauce is similar to a spicy sweet and sour sauce. There is also a vegetarian (veggie) burger option, the primary ingredient is listed as red beans, but I haven’t tried it. You are also given a condiment basket that includes: Heinz Ketchup, French’s yellow mustard, Tabasco, mayonnaise and Jacoby’s Burger special sauce.
At Jacoby’s Burger restaurant and bar in Seoul you can also get your drink on. There are at least three beers on tap including mugs of Cass (3,500), Alley Cat (4,000) and Guinness (8,000) as well as cocktails which start at 5,000 won for a Jack and Coke.
The atmosphere was good and felt more like being in the USA or Canada than being in Seoul, South Korea. (Ah, just what I was looking for.) Almost everything in the interior is black but it is lively and stylish not dreary. All the tables and chairs (not stools, they have backs) are high, so unfortunately it is not great for your friends in wheelchairs.
I would highly recommend Jacoby’s Burger restaurant and bar in Seoul as a place to go with friends or for a third plus date. My Texan friend commented that Jacoby’s Burger restaurant and bar in Seoul is not a good choice for a first date because the delicious juicy homemade burgers are embarrassingly messy to eat. I used at least six napkins (granted they were Korean napkins of the cocktail variety).
There are other tasty foreigner food restaurants in the Hay-Bahng-Chong neighborhood. I would suggest trying Indigo (especially for diner food breakfast that is much cheaper than the places in Itaewon, Phillies for more burgers and Alexandria’s for Middle Eastern food.
To get to Jacoby’s Burger restaurant and bar in Seoul, you would take subway Brown line #6 and get off at Noksupyeong Station, it’s the station between Samgakji and Itaewon. Use the Yongsan-gu exit that has the escalator and walk down the hill (there are no stores on that side of the street) towards the Namsan tunnels (3-5 minutes). After the first light you will cross the street and see a street that forks off to your left and is lined with giant brown kim-chi pots. There are also armed Korean police guarding The Friendship House which I am assuming is a part of the nearby military base. Walk up that hill for a couple minutes and Jacoby’s Burger is on your right. If you hit the Buy the Way or Paris Baguette Cafe you have gone too far.
To reach Jacoby’s Burger restaurant and bar by taxi get into the taxi and call one of the numbers below and have Jacoby’s Burger explain the location to your taxi driver.
Jacoby’s Burger, grilled homemade burger, 45-6 Yongsan-dong 20ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea. Tel: 011-9946-4198, 02-3785-0433. Closed on Tuesday.
If you enjoyed this Insider’s Guide to Seoul article please view my other restaurant reviews by clicking on my name Tesl Goddess at the top of the page.