It’s already well known that Itaewon has an amazing burger scene, since its the locus of foreign food and activity in Seoul. But one of my new favorite burger joints is nestled within the traditional Bukchon Hanok Village, a stone’s throw from the Gyeongbokgung palace complex in Seoul.
Enter The Almighty Cheeseburger.
The Almighty Cheeseburger serves up five mouth-watering and reasonably priced burger options. The Almighty Cheeseburger, Bacon Cheeseburger, Almighty Works, Caramelized Onion, and Breakfast Burger. As you can see, none of the burgers pass the 8,000 WON mark. And the fries?? They even have sweet potato fries topped with bacon and drizzled with maple syrup. For Korea, this is a rarity. They even serve PBR and Barq’s Root Beer!
I’ll get to the eating part in a minute, but first I need to describe the interior of this place, because it is … strange.
When you walk inside you are greeted with what seems like a 1950s diner aesthetic, not at all uncommon for a burger joint in Korea. But that feeling starts to dissipate rather quickly as the sound of techno-beats surrounds you. There are no American oldies playing here.
You take your order here at the counter, but don’t get too excited by the donut burger on the menu. They stopped selling it because it was so unpopular (why, Korea?).
The chrome is abundant. With tons of cool places to set-up shop, including camouflaged movie theater seats.
As you walk up the stairs to the second floor, you pass a ginormous detailed map of Korea (unified), and two felt banners, hailing Almighty Cheeseburger as the bringer of world peace. A pretty big stance to take for a burger restaurant.
Below they have Almighty Cheeseburger printed over the volcanic birthplace of the Korean people, now located in North Korea due to the divide. It looks like an old beer ad. The only other restaurant where we have seen an illustration of this was when we tried North Korean cold noodles. And then “Tigeer” over a traditional Korean tiger print? I can’t stress enough how much I love this place. Almighty Cheeseburger uses the American-diner aesthetics throughout the store and then totally subverts it. You are eating a burger in Korea, not America.
But now about the food. We ordered the Bacon Cheeseburger, Almighty Works, and the Caramelized Onion burger. We also got a side of the Spicy Pork Fries and two cans of Barq’s Root Beer (of course).
The fries were small and thin-cut and delicious. Some of the best fries we’ve had in Korea. They are drizzled in mayo and spicy sauce, sprinkled with green onions and topped with a red pepper.
The burgers are pretty straight forward. The buns are good and the bacon is crispy. The Caramelized Onion burger had a huge blob of caramelized onions in the middle and was really, really good. The Almighty was layered with patties, cheese, onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and sauce. The bacon cheeseburger was…well, it was a bacon cheeseburger.
The experience of eating a burger here is no less of a cultural experience than grabbing a bowl of bibimbap at a traditional Hanok restaurant down the street. Go to Almighty Cheeseburger for a weird atmosphere and some darn good burgers.
137-5 Hwa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
From Anguk Station, use Exit 1. Walk straight and turn right at the Shinhan Bank. Walk straight for a few minutes. Turn right when you get to the three-way intersection right past Innisfree. You will see the sign for Almighty Cheeseburger on your right, its hard to miss!