Hello gentle reader. It’s been a long few days with graduate school taking up most of my time. However, my wife and I did find time to go out and have some dinner at Kraze Burger. If you’ve been in Korea for a long time, you’ve probably seen this restaurant chain all over the great ROK.
Normally, I don’t review chains. I mean, I’ve never thought it was relevant to review a McDonalds or a KFC. You know what you are getting with those mega chains. However, Kraze Burger is a little different, because it costs a little more and they actually put some quality and time into your meal. Now, is this a five-star joint? Absolutely not, but it’s not the bottom of the barrel either. So, if you’re a newcomer to the great ROK, or if you’ve seen this place around and want to try it out, I hope this review will be helpful.
How to get to Kraze Burger (Hagye Station): There are Kraze Burgers all around Seoul. If you are looking for a specific location near you, check out their Korean website. The location we normally dine at is just outside of Hagye Station (Line 7). Depart from Exit 6 and head straight to the big rainbow bridge. You really can’t miss it, there is a park there and now an art museum. When you get to the first intersection make a left. Keep walking straight and you will see a giant pink department store with a CGV theatre in the distance. Kraze Burger is right beside the CGV movie theatre.
Atmosphere and Service: Over the years, I’ve probably been to that Kraze Burger location at least two dozen times. I’ve never had poor service there. In fact, the service has been exceptional. The cashiers try to speak English, but more importantly, they understand English. The atmosphere can be pretty hectic. It’s a hot spot for family, and has a lively family atmosphere. If you are looking for a quiet evening, I would probably avoid Kraze Burger. However, that said, at the Hagye location, they have an outdoor section that is rarely occupied by families. Inside, the restaurant has a 1950’s diner appeal. The booths have that shiny, green glossy look, with the twinkling of sparkles. You can also choose to sit at the counter, if you are really in the mood. The walls are decorated with Warhol-like paintings, and their big screen TV is a constant loop of Kraze Burger advertisements. For some people, this could be hell, at the very least purgatory.
Food and Drink: The burgers are the main attraction, but there are other options as well, such as salads, chicken wings, and sandwiches. My usual dame is the Matiz Burger. The Matiz Burger has bacon, cheese and caramelized onions. The lettuce and tomato are quite fresh and there is a little squirt of mayo as well. I’ve never been disappointed with a Kraze Burger. It’s not the best burger in the city, but it’s consistent and the best part is that it is normally available. Jill had the KB Original, which includes cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato and is topped with a spicy salsa sauce.
The french fries are store bought, but they are still cooked until their are crispy. On this visit, I tried the cheese fries. Now, this dish was misleading. When I saw “cheese fries”, initially my first thought were french fries, covered in grated, or in the very least, liquid cheese. However, what I received was combination of cheese, honey and some type of sweet honey mustard sauce… It was a little too sweet for my liking. It completely drowned out the flavor of the french fries. I didn’t even finish it. On the other hand, Jill ordered regular french fries and they came out great. They were golden, crispy and not over salted.
If you’ve been dragging the kids around all day, Kraze Burger also serves beer! The usual Korean suspects (Cass), but they do have bottled Hoegaarden. An array of soda, juice and milk are available for the kidlets.
Value: The whole meal cost 32,000KRW. The Matiz Burger (9600KRW), The KB Original (8800), The so called “cheese fries” (7000KRW, would love to have that money back) and finally the regular fries (4500KRW) and a couple of sodas. In most cases, Jill and I share french fries, but the cheese fries were new, so I wanted to give them a shot. Live and learn. For a family, this a nice place out, and it’s not too unreasonable. In my opinion, it is probably one of the better burger chains in the city, and they are ubiquitous in Seoul. Obviously, if you are a burger connoisseur, then obviously there are some better options. But if you need a quick place for lunch, that is family friendly, this is one of the better options.
Who should go to Kraze Burger: A diner who is looking for a quick fix of American food, but not fast food. Also a great place for families!
Who should avoid Kraze Burger: Burger snobs (is there such a thing?) and people who want to avoid chain restaurants. There are literally dozens of better options in the more popular neighborhoods (Itaewon, Hongdae, etc)