Into the Cave: High Quality Pub Food in Itaewon

Into the Cave: High Quality Pub Food in Itaewon

A pub situated in the heart of Itaewon, Into the Cave provides a casual atmosphere which doesn't make a distinction between whether you want a quick bite or drink.

6 min read

Originally reviewed on July 7 2019, and May 4, 2020

Name

한글 🇰🇷 ENGLISH 🇺🇸
인투더케이브 Into the Cave

Price

Korean Won 🇰🇷 United States Dollar 🇺🇸
₩25,000 ~$20

Price is a rough average per head, excluding drinks.

Operating Hours

Day Open Close
Monday-Thursday 17:00 02:00
Friday 17:00 04:00
Saturday 17:00 04:00
Sunday 17:00 01:00

Location

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Come out of Exit 3 of Itaewon station, and it is literally a 30 second walk if you turn around.

Seoul Seek Recommendations

  • 👑 Signature
  • ✅ Counting Calories
  • 🌶️ Spicy

 

한글 🇰🇷 English 🇺🇸 Price 💵
치즈버거 Cheeseburger ₩9,500
명란크림떡볶이 (L) Fish Roe Cream Ricecake (large) 🌶️ ₩17,000
멜론칵테일 Melonade (non-alcoholic) ₩5,000
통베이컨 스테이크 Bacon Slab Steak 👑 ₩14,500
유자리움 Yuzarium (yuzu-based) Cocktail ₩10,500

We're going to throw a chili emoji onto the ricecake as it is slightly spicy in a peppery way; not spicy so much to me, but foreigners may find it has a sting.

.I don't drink, so hard to recommend any alcoholic drinks. However, this place has the best drink in Seoul, which you can read about below:

The Best Drink in Seoul: Melonade at Into the Cave in Itaewon
I never thought a drink of honeydew melon and soda could bring a tear to my eye.

Overview

This is a pub situated just a stone's throw from Exit 4 of Itaewon station. It is advertised as a Casual Pub by Juni, Juni being the owner, a former bartender who curates and creates all cocktails ordered.

The food here was surprisingly good; this was our second review, and the flavors stayed very consistent, while delivering high quality food. This is hard to find, as most pubs often sacrifice food quality for drink variety. Not this place.

The virus has hit Itaewon hard due to a massive outbreak several months ago located nearby, and business has suffered because of this. Nonetheless, Juni and crew continue forward.

The flavors here are very American for the Western dishes, and satisfyingly familiar for Korean dishes.

Arrival & Interior

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You're going to want to see something like this
Logomark while walking to the second floor
Separate menus for drinks and food; a set menu is offered for a new promotion
We sat right here both times; this is a great spot for lighting
You're free to serve yourself water if you wish not to drink anything else offered
If you have bags, take a look under the tables; there are hooks
Hang your purse or backpack up like so
All set

The Drinks

The melonade and yuzu cocktail

I'm going to just leave a single pic here of the melonade; you can find the full in-depth review of this at the top of this review.

The yuzu cocktail has alcohol; my wife says it tasted very summery and clean

Dried oranges accent a mint leaf on top of a slushie-like mixture
Served in a tempered-glass cup
Shot of the dried oranges, edible

The Burger

This is what we got; a cheeseburger and our mutual favorite, the cream ricecake with fish roe
This burger was divine, on-par with a smash burger, and that's high praise for a pub
The onions were perfectly charred, just about to be caramelized, but not quite
The fries were very sturdy, and were not oily whatsoever; they were freshly-fried and topped with salt
This tasted like an all-beef patty, although no distinction was clear; the onion was thick and juicy
Always keep a glove on you; you never know when you'll have to grab a burger
Really good size, nice body to it, bun was very soft and toasted
Looks like a cough of butter or oil to toast it
The money shot
The middle was medium to medium-well; almost perfect
The bun was filled with the meat juice and some buttery goodness
These fries were firm and crunchy as hell; shot of the pickle contained on the burger, for size comparison
Gave 'em a quick dip in the ketchup

The Ricecake

This is the large portion, which can easily serve 2, maybe 3 people
Great color and consistency
These ricecakes are shaped like barbell, hence their nickname of barbell ricecake
That orange stuff is flying fish roe, with some pollack roe spread throughout the sauce itself
Looked like some shredded parmesan
This is what you'll get in a spoonful; the sauce itself has mushrooms and some shrimp as well
You can see mushroom, shrimp, some pollack eggs (small bumps), onions, and chive garnish
The shrimp was very good to add a tad of sweetness
The ricecake

Summary

I've been here twice, and both times this restaurant has been incredibly good. The owner is very nice and caring, and makes all of the drinks herself. The ingredients are high quality, and the atmosphere is very open and welcoming.

Into the Cave strikes a good balance between a night-out go-to and a casual restaurant where you can slide in, get some familiar flavors, and slide out. There is no tension in the air here, as there is in many other places situated within Itaewon, Korea's most foreigner-heavy district.

The seats are high and comfortable, made well for long conversations or get-togethers. The tables are not massive, and there aren't a ton of non-couple tables, so make sure you come early if you want to secure one of those.

For the price, this is a very satisfying bite, and you can't ask for a better location when it comes to being near a subway exit.

Juni has something special here, something which should be known by more people visiting Itaewon.

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