<<UPDATE: SORRY BONGU….But I have since found Sangoo Beer, and even though the concept is basically the same…Sangoo has won me over with their version of the grapefruit beer, french fries, fried shrimp…and basically all the food…don’t get me wrong I still love Bongu Beer….but it’s not my favorite anymore…>>
Korea has many franchised restaurants and bars, it seems that if any restaurant has some commercial success then it will immediately franchise throughout Korea. One of my personal favorites in terms of bars is Bongu Beer. Bongu Beer started off as one of the first small, neighborhood bars. There are now hundreds of locations across all of Korea. Most neighborhoods have either a Bongu Beer or some close variation of it.
These types of bars are small an offer a limited menu of beer along with beer snacks. At Bongu Beer the draft beer costs ₩2,500 (about $2.50) for a Max Cream beer. I always order the grapefruit beer, which is the same draft beer with some grapefruit concentrate added in….think that sounds disgusting? You’re in the majority, very few people like it, which means there is more for me. The bar snacks here are always freshly made and pretty cheap. Usually when we go we order some french fries, maybe some cheese sticks (they come in wonton wrappers instead of breaded…sometimes with sugar added depending on which bar you’re at) and a fried fish snack that is kind of like a fish tortilla that has been deep fried and is delicious.
There are also usually free snacks provided too which are usually small rectangular crackers that taste just like animal crackers. One Bongu Beer we visited had free movie theater style popcorn.
I would recommend a visit to Bongu Beer (or any other small bar) to anyone of drinking age visiting Korea. It’s a great place to get beer and delicious snacks for cheap and just hang out with friends. While there you will feel like one of the locals since many Koreans (of all ages) are hanging out with their friends and family, having a good time.