Seoulist

Food + Drink

Going in for the Grill

Off the beaten path and slightly offbeat, the burgers at Patty & Veggies are one of Seoul's best kept secrets.

In my quest for good food in Seoul, I’ve found that there are certain nooks that are so cranny you often find yourself wondering if you should have left a trail of rice grains to help you find your way back home. But if there is any consolation for navigation, it’s that oftentimes the harder the route, the sweeter—or in this case, juicier—the reward. That’s definitely true in the case of Patty & Veggies, one of Nonhyun-dong’s best kept secrets.

A few meters southeast of the Kangnam Eulji Hospital intersection (을지병원 사거리) in Sinsa, is this irregularly shaped corner burger joint which has just five tables. The first impression may be slightly disorienting once you set foot within the restaurant because the small, dark interior is more reminiscent of an old Irish pub—complete with brass moldings and finishing—than a fresh burger joint. Once you let it sink it, things begin to make sense as figments of your memory converge and you recall things like how in the western world, the best grub can be found in pubs.

All burgers are rubbed with a generous pinch of special spices, patted down firm and grilled to a perfect char on the outside, retaining all the important juices within. One bite and the tender patty crumbles in a way that the best handmade goods are meant to.

Some of the burger recipes at Patty & Veggies are a bit outlandish, but it’s good to know that there’s something for everyone. Try the spinach pesto with mozzarella if you’re in the mood for something healthier. The Garlic Dip Burger is a fine choice if you don’t have any appointments for the rest of the day. And of course, there’s the token egg dish, the Omelet Burger, because Koreans love to drop an egg in everything from broths to buns. But as is the case of any good burger bistro, the litmus test for quality is the original burger, and the Burger Classic at Patty & Veggies will not disappoint. All burgers are rubbed with a generous pinch of special spices, patted down firm and grilled to a perfect char on the outside, retaining all the important juices within. One bite and the tender patty crumbles in a way that all handmade goods are meant to.

This perfect combination of crisp and tenderness is also found in the amazing french fries (and I use the term, amazing, sparingly!). What has traditionally been a companion dish to the burger is the scene stealer at Patty & Veggies; the side of potato wedges is deep fried to a perfect, seasoned layer of crisp, but when bitten into, it’s as warm and soft as mash. Try the fries with a side of chili for an added spice that’s hard to find in Korea.

A friend of mine, who’s tried every burger that Seoul has to offer, declared Patty & Veggies the best burger restaurant in Seoul after his first time there. He described the meal as one that you don’t forget overnight, unlike most meals that hit the spot, on the spot, but leaves no lasting impression. I couldn’t agree more. Tall and flavorful, these hand-crafted burgers will leave you wanting seconds—on your second visit, of course.

The friendly staff (of one) makes the dining experience even better, and a peek into the kitchen counter reveals the natural-born griller himself, the owner-chef, who turns out not to be so mysterious after all once you exchange of pleasantries. Heading over for a late-night bite? Call ahead to confirm that they haven’t ran out of patties (and veggies).

Notes
-Avoid peak lunch and dinner hours for immediate seating
-Walk around the corner to… Around the Corner for coffee and dessert

Additional Information

Patty & Veggies (패티앤베지스)
  • Hours
    • M-F, 11:30–23:00
      Sat-Sun, 12:00–21:00
      Closed last Sunday of the month
  • Address
    • 73 Gangnam-gu, Nonhyeon 2-dong
      Seoul
  • Notes
    • Burgers start at 7,000 won, beers at 3,800. 10 min. walking distance from Hakdong Station (Line 7), exit 8

About the author

Tim Aurgo

Tim Aurgo is a self-described foodie without borders. As an equal-opportunity consumer, he enjoys traveling to new locales and that offer a wealth of new adventures and new tastes.

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