I was told that I had to try Lotteria in Korea. It’s like the equivalent of McDonalds and KFC, and it is BIG in Korea. So naturally, I assumed that it was a Korean fast food chain.
I was wrong!
Lotteria is a chain of fast food restaurants in East Asia that grew out of its first shop in Tokyo, Japan in September 1972. Taking its name from its parent company, Lotte Corporation, it currently has franchises in Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar.
Even if it wasn’t originally from Korea, you’ll find that Lotteria has become so ‘Korean’ that you can barely tell the difference. Apparently, Lotteria’s success in Korea was achieved in part by introducing lines of Koreanized fast food including its now signature kimchi burger, leading to it being seen by most Koreans as a native version of most Western-style fast-food restaurants. Well!
Strangely enough, both times that I’ve eaten in Lotteria are at train stations: the first at Busan Station, and the second at Seoul Station.
I can’t exactly remember what I ordered at Busan Station for lunch, but I think the burger was quite forgettable (literally). On the other hand, I quite enjoyed the thick cut fries – not very salty or oily, but have enough carbs to satisfy the potato lover (aka me).
The second time I had Lotteria for breakfast: we ordered iced latte, iced caramel macchiato, nuggets, and mozzarella cheese sticks. We wanted to order from the self-service kiosks but they require that you must use a credit card (I don’t think even T-money was accepted), and ended up ordering at the cashier.
The second meal was also so-so, though I have to acknowledge that the mozzarella cheese sticks were the highlight of the meal. Just look at how stretchy and chewy the cheese is! 😍
I haven’t tried their Korean-style burgers and sandwiches yet, so maybe I’ll change my mind after I do. I also admit that this fast food chain is much more popular with locals and there were few tourists in sight, even though it was located at busy train stations.
If you are interested in finding a branch or taking a look at their menu, you can check out their website. Word of caution: I have been facing some problems getting the website to load.