Coca Salsa: A hidden hole-in-the-wall burger joint near Humphreys

Photos by ChiHon Kim
Photos by ChiHon Kim

Coca Salsa: A hidden hole-in-the-wall burger joint near Humphreys

by ChiHon Kim
Stripes Korea

If you are a big In-N-Out fan, then a local hole-in-the-wall burger joint near Camp Humphreys is a place you’ll want to check out.

To find Coco Salsa, head to an underground parking lot belonging to a brownstone apartment building. The location may sound strange, but I promise the burgers and tacos here are worth the journey!

One of the owners, Koh Seung-Hyeon, fell in love with the burgers at In-N-Out during his time as a backup dancer in L.A. One of his dancer friends who had previously worked at the cult-favorite American burger chain, shared with him some of the secrets of the recipe.

In 2017, back in South Korea, Koh started a food truck business serving primarily tacos and quesadillas at festivals and around university campuses. Since the juicy In-N-Out burgers were still on his mind, Koh took one more trip to the States and from that was able to settle on a recipe emulating the burgers he fell in love with.

The success of the food truck led to this brick-and-mortar location which opened in 2019. Visitors to Coca Salsa are greeted with a no-frills location with retro décor and the scent from delicious food served within. On my visit to this underground burger paradise, I ordered the double burger for 6,430 won (or $5.50) and a side of cheese fries for 5,200 won, straight from the kiosk you’ll find inside the front door.

My burger and fries arrived quickly and did make me feel like I was having grub from the famous American fast food chain. The burger was juicy and the sauce was the perfect tangy flavor I remember.

Other interesting options on the menu include customizing your burger to be “protein style,” which means you want a bunless burger wrapped in lettuce to save you some carbs. And, of course, an In-N-Out-wannabe wouldn’t be one without offering “animal style.” Order this if you want grilled onions, cheese and extra spread on your burgers (or fries!). Try their crispy chicken tenders, quesadillas, tacos, and wings if you’re not in the mood for a burger. And, by the way, Coco Salsa also has milkshakes to go with that burger!

Another thing you’ll notice on the menu is the amazing prices. Koh said he wanted to offer great burgers and other food that wasn’t expensive. He noticed that around Camp Humphreys prices were high for basic fast food and restaurant options, so he knew this would be a great place for his restaurant concept.

“I started this business because I wanted to bring inexpensive and tasty burgers to Humphrey’s young soldiers,” Koh said.

Still not convinced? Coca Salsa has takeout and drive-thru available, so you can get it on the go. Text the restaurant ahead and your order will be ready whether for dine-in or take-out. Koh’s next plan is to open a second Coca Salsa near Camp Humphrey’s walk-through gate for easier access to troops and their families on base.

So, if you’re looking for a taste from home you can’t get anywhere else, add Coca Salsa to the list of places to try. I’m definitely going to be back because I want to try their quesadillas next!

 

ADDRESS: 27, Sinheungbukro49beon-gil, Paengseong-eup, Pyeongtaek-si

NAVER MAP: (코코살사) 경기 평택시 팽성읍 신흥북로49번길 27 http://naver.me/x01fenSU

HOURS: Mon – Tue 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Weekend 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Closed on 2nd and 4th Mondays of every month.

PHONE: 010-9701-6266 (Text your order option is available), 032-656-4555

WEBSITE: https://www.facebook.com/cocosalsa01

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