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Best Korean Restaurants In NYC

10 Best Korean Restaurants In NYC

Moving away a little from our normal South Korean locations over to Manhattan to find some of the best Korean restaurants in NYC. Korea town or K-town is a district in Manhattan full of great Korean eateries you’ll need to try next time you’re in the big apple.

Excellent Korean cuisine has been available on the block of 32nd Street between Broadway and Madison Avenue since the late 1970s. However, in recent years, K-town has grown above and below 32nd Street, with fantastic places springing up from 31st to 36th Street respectively.

Best Korean Restaurants In NYC

Contents

A History Of Korea Town

A massive influx of Koreans entered the US following the Hart-Cellar Immigration Act’s passage in 1965. Census data from 1990 and 2000 show that this immigration is still going on. Between 1990 and 2000, the city’s Korean population rose by 16,755.

Many labourers who don’t speak English are brought into the city along with this influx of Koreans. As a result, they were able to find employment in small enterprises that did not need them to be fluent in English, like grocery stores, convenience stores, and clothing manufacturers. When the Korean immigrants had saved enough money, they eventually started their own modest businesses in neighbourhoods like Koreatown.

When Korean shop owners started redeveloping West 32nd Street, Koreatown started to take shape. This was in the late 1970s. Why were Korean business entrepreneurs drawn to this region so much?

Koreans, like many immigrants, arrived in the United States with very little money. Up until 1979, the Korean government set a $1,000 cap on each immigrant entering the United States; after that, they raised it to $3,000. This could be the reason why Koreatown began to grow in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Furthermore, Korean immigrants considered this region to be a good location to open a business because of the low rents and strong foot traffic brought about by the Empire State Building’s close proximity to neighbourhoods like the Garment District.

Where did recent immigrants from Korea find the funds to launch their own businesses? They depended on their family who had already made a home in the United States. Furthermore, it has been observed that recent Korean immigrants sell off their land in Korea to start over in the United States and raise money for their businesses.

Several restaurants and a bookshop are where Koreatown first began. Koryo Books, the original retailer, offers a wide selection of Korean books in addition to other goods. Kom Tang is the first Korean restaurant on the block (at least, that’s what they say). Another eatery that recently debuted in Koreatown is Kang Suh. For further details on these firms, see A New Korea: Businesses of a Blooming Culture.

Although there was never a clear intention to establish a Koreatown, this region grew to be known for its Korean presence as a result of the influx of numerous Korean eateries, shops, and other enterprises. Along 32nd Street, Koreatown’s busiest commercial district, also became known as Korea Way in 1995.

Best Korean Restaurants In NYC

The best Korean restaurants in NYC are not just found in Koreatown, but let’s concentrate on the wonderful areas surrounding 32nd Street, which happens to be one of Manhattan’s busiest areas right now.

Many K-town eateries started offering outdoor seating choices during the epidemic, with styles ranging from classic homestyle to inventive and upmarket.

Read on to check out our favourite and arguably the best Korean restaurants in NYC;

Rib No. 7

rib no 7 korea town

Oodae galbi, a unique short rib that is popular in Korea but yet uncommon in the US, is the specialty of this Korean BBQ restaurant. The meat is chopped and prepared at the table and comes from the seventh rib of the rack.

The personnel are helpful and proficient. Both the toilets and the restaurant are spotless! We choose to order the house special rib and the bare rib with accompaniments from the menu because it is simple to explore. The Korean pancake had the perfect balance of crisp and tenderness. Our wait service handled our steak and vegetables with excellent care, and I can’t recall the last time I had beef that was more tasty, tender, or prepared to our preferences. Everything about this restaurant is delicious.

The next time you want to impress a visitor or are just in the mood for a plate of succulent BBQ short ribs or pork belly, make your way to Rib No. 7 on W 33rd Street for dinner.

Address: 32 W 33rd St New York, NY 10001
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Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong

Dong Kang Ho is one of the most well-known Korean BBQ franchises in Korea, Beakjeong has also become one of the most prosperous ones in the United States. One of the most well-known comedians in Korea, Kang Ho Dong is well-known for his love of Korean BBQ. The Korean word for butcher is baekjeong. You can tell they are serious about Korean BBQ when you combine the two.

Enjoy seeing the gyeran jjim, vegetables, and corn cheese simmer while the meat cooks in the centre and at the perimeter of the grill. They will reload these side dishes as often as you’d like, and you can have them with the steak.

You must order the Korean School Lunch Box because the setting is hip and young. The dish is presented in a square tin container reminiscent of those used by Korean students up to the 1970s. A server will vigorously shake the tin box at your table while mixing an over-easy egg, rice, vegetables, and Korean hot pepper paste to perfection.

The fact that the corn and the egg are cooked on the side of the grill makes this KBBQ joint stand out. We didn’t leave the restaurant smelling like meat as we usually do because the smoke filter also immediately removes the smoke. The meat would be cooked for us by visiting servers. They respond quickly to our extra requests for extra side dishes and drink refills.

Address: 1 E 32nd St New York, NY 10016
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The Kunjip Grill

The Kunjip is the place to go if you want to experience a true, original K-town dish that was created in New York City. Considered by many as one of the best Korean restaurants in NYC, It is one of the more established Korean eateries in Manhattan and has gained popularity since it began in 2004. The Kunjip, a popular restaurant known for serving traditional Korean cuisine and drawing lengthy queues outside the door, relocated to a larger location across the street in 2014 and changed its name to “The Kunjip.”

On Korean holidays, the entire extended family would congregate at the home of the oldest uncle, known as the “big house” or “kunjip” in Korean. The play on words The Kunjip literally translates to “an even larger mansion” because the word “the” in Korean implies “more.”

The Kunjip is renowned for its affordable rates, delectable banchan, and hearty Korean casseroles and hot pots. If you’re in the mood to experience Korea’s favourite soul food, order the Gamja Jungol (spicy pork bone, potato, and vegetable casserole) and Haemul Jungol (spicy mixed seafood, vegetables, and noodle casserole).

Bring a big appetite to this Koreatown mainstay. The traditional Korean meal continues coming: boiling tofu stew, varieties of bibimbap, and plenty of meats for your do-it-yourself BBQ. Free banchan, tiny plates like steamed eggs and kimchi, are served as soon as you are seated. Once you’ve eaten your fill, a second complimentary item—a steaming cup of cinnamon tea—arrives with the check.

Address: 32 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001
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Gopchang Story BBQ

In Korea, Gopchang Story BBQ opened in 2004 and quickly rose to prominence as one of the most well-liked restaurant chains there. I was extremely happy when it finally launched in Manhattan in 2019. The tiny intestine of beef or pork, known as gopchang, is prized in Korea as a delicacy. Gopchang (the tiny intestine of beef or pork) and Daechang (the huge intestine of beef or pork) are their specialties (grilled in Korean).

Combo Gui, which includes both the small and big intestines without a marinade, is highly recommended. It is a credit to the franchise. I vouch for the fact that the restaurant’s special Snow White Magic Powder, which is applied to the gopchang and deachang as they are cooked, enhances their flavorful richness. In order to complete the dining experience at Gopchang Story BBQ, fried rice in the same hot stone pot with the savoury enchantment left behind by the Combo Gui is an absolute necessity.

This establishment does have two floors, and if you get to eat in the basement while the sunroof window is over your table, it’s a tremendous pleasure.

Address: 194 Grand St New York, NY 10013
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Turntable LP Bar & Karaoke

Turntable LP’s laid-back atmosphere makes it difficult to find a better location to hang out and have drinks with friends late at night. It boasts an outstanding collection of antique records and players on the wall, as well as a rustic décor. They have excellent Korean fried chicken. When you bite into the chicken, the soft, juicy interior crunches with intense flavour from the exceptionally crispy outside.

Their food is excellent throughout, Anju (dishes consumed with alcohol). Don’t forget that this restaurant also doubles as a Karaoke bar, so you may sing along to wonderful cuisine and beverages while dining. Even a Beatles karaoke room with albums by the band and a sizable choice of music from 1964 to 1970 is available. The ideal setting for enjoying chimaek (the abbreviation for chicken and maekju, the Korean word for beer).

Who cares if Turntable LP Bar & Karaoke doesn’t serve galbi? They offer Manhattan’s best Korean fried chicken!

Reservations for a Karaoke room must be made online on the website for a, and the process is simple. They get in touch with you by email, but you have to put down a $100 deposit for an online reservation. At the time of your reservation, the timer begins to run, so arrive on time! A call button and options are located on the walls of each room. Additionally, there are many coat/purse hooks on the walls, which is always a welcome addition.

Address: 34-36 W 32nd St Fl 5 New York, NY 10001
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Soju Haus

The kids go to Soju Haus late at night after a night of karaoke because they need food to soak up the Soju. Of course, you go there as well if you want more Soju. After my book launch, I headed there. Here, we had a really wonderful supper. The cuisine is very complex. It is pleasantly surprising. Soju Haus feels like it came directly from Seoul because the bar food is so beautifully prepared, in contrast to all the restaurants that have come before it that are very Korean American or were similar to the food from the 1980s that those immigrants brought here. It’s some seriously unique bar grub.

You must share plates in order to sample more foods and because most dishes and beverages are large in format. One or two dishes are frequently shared by two individuals. Excellent drinks include the black raspberry wine and soju cocktails.

Be sure to ask about each dish’s meat content even if it isn’t stated in the menu description. The vegetarian options are quite limited, but better than most Korean restaurants, so you can still manage.

On a weekday, you may usually find a table without a reservation, possibly after a brief wait. It is louder because it has a bar-like ambiance (in case you have hearing issues).

You may get these enormous clams in a broth (the clear clam soup with flat noodles). I find it to be such a sophisticated activity to be eating these clams while intoxicated with pals. Since the soup is so pure, you can truly only taste the clams in their natural state, which is extremely unique and Korean, which makes Soju Haus a worth entry into the list of the best Korean restaurants in NYC.

Address: 315 5th Ave Fl 2 New York, NY 10016
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Atomix

A thoughtfully chosen cuisine that is both original and experimental in the ideal measure. This restaurant I every high end and on lists of very top restaurants in the world and you can feel it the moment you walk in – it probably ranks as number one for us in this best Korean restaurants in NYC list.

Each dish comes with a post card that details the ingredients and history. I was astounded by the complexity of the layers and combinations in each dish because the presentation was flawless and all the flavours blended so perfectly. The menu was also very well-organized, and each item was carefully chosen to be as delicious as possible.

Beautiful minimalist decor with lots of clean lines and a cosy atmosphere. The restaurant’s layout was wonderful, and the lighting and loudness of the music were perfect. Le Labo perfumes were also present in the restrooms, so everything blended seamlessly. I also adored the light fixtures.

Korean cuisine is elevated by the staff at Atomix in a way that hasn’t been done before. They honour customs while fusing them with contemporary elements, taking us all on a little excursion. I really appreciate how they continue the discussion on Korean culture in both subtle and obvious ways. Each meal comes with a backstory, origin, and inspiration, and most of the ceramics they utilise are from Korean artists (with information about the artists provided).

Address: 104 E 30th St, New York, NY 10016
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Danji

A cosy, chic restaurant serving primarily small meals with a twist: Ingenious dishes like soy-poached sablefish with soft daikon, skillfully fried tofu, and a kimchee-fried-rice “paella” adorned with bacon, chorizo, and the occasional crispy chunk can be found on Hooni Kim’s menu, which combines his Korean background with his classical French training. The pair of sliders made with spicy pork belly and bulgogi meat and served on soft buns that have been butter-grilled may be the restaurant’s signature dish or meals. They are continuously served from the kitchen and devoured with the same joyous rush as a bag of White Castles.

Located on West 52nd Street, DANJI is decorated with whitewashed brick, blonde Ikea accents, naked lightbulbs, extension cords, and numerous wooden spoons that have been artistically arranged as though by David Rockwell on a $200 budget. There are thick throngs.

There is a justification. Hooni Kim, who founded this establishment in December as a modernised Korean interpretation of a Japanese izakaya, is an excellent chef. His menu features both traditional and contemporary Korean cuisine, and those who take the time and care to explore it will be rewarded.

Danji works best if you go against the grain and consume as much food as leisurely as possible, creating a tasting menu from the tapas. (Plates range from $6 to $18.)

Be warned, if you take your time ordering from the menu by placing waves of orders, a lunch at Danji is very quick to finish. However, if you stay, the group of people waiting by the bar for tables will give you the evil eye.

Address: 346 W 52nd St New York, NY 10019
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Jongro

Jongro is difficult to discover on busy West 32nd Street, continuing the rich history of exceptional K-town establishments. The first U.S. outlet of the South Korean brand is tucked away on the second level of the structure and barely draws attention with a little sign announcing its presence.

But it definitely merits consideration. The large dining room’s décor pays homage to ancient Seoul, with white-brick pillars, vintage movie posters, a tin cigarette sign, and even a few tables set beneath a gazebo. It feels like a world apart from the street below. It’s quite well-liked by the younger demographic, who rush the establishment during supper and ensure huge lines during busy times.

You will be given a menu by the hosts, and you can order beer while still standing, but not soju, until you are seated. The meat is more reasonably priced than is customary in Koreatown and substantially better than most of the more expensive things, which contributes to the restaurant’s appeal. Every diner also receives a platter with compartments for salt, sesame oil with brown sugar, and the hot bean paste known as ssamjang. Drinks are reasonably priced. Although the selection of banchan is limited, the majority of the items are excellent: tightly folded kimchi, sweet onions, thickly sliced jalapenos for topping your meat, and an egg cooked in a clay pot over its own fire.

Additionally, the restaurant provides inexpensive lunch specials including grilled mackerel, beef bulgogi, soup, kalbi or tofu gobdol, and stone bibimbap if you work nearby and are seeking for a change of pace at lunch.

Address: 22 W 32nd St Fl 2, New York, NY
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Cho Dang Gol

The numerous homemade tofu-based menu items that Cho Dang Gol prepares fresh every morning have earned it the nickname “Tofu House.”

Since Cho Dang Gol has been in business for a while, they continue to start your meal with a small bowl of their renowned housemade tofu and the remainder of their banchan. Any Korean classic you might be seeking for, such as pork belly, bibimbap, kimchi stew, and fried chicken, are excellently prepared by them. Bring a group so you can divide the wait and be prepared to wait.

There are many additional meals from the Korean peninsula to try, including tofu, even though BBQ and bibimbaps may be the dishes most associated with Korean cuisine. One of the best spots in Manhattan for Korean-style tofu is said to be the Cho Dang Gol, which has been around for ten years.

With several wooden pillars and moderately kitsch Korean artefacts adorning the walls, the décor has been designed to resemble a rustic rural inn. Anyone who has visited London’s Chinatown will be familiar with the brusque but effective service. Affordable and almost always crowded with Korean locals.

Address: 55 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001
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If you’re looking for some delicious Korean food in New York City, be sure to head to one of the ten best Korean restaurants listed in this blog post. From spicy chicken galbi to fresh seafood selections, these restaurants will satisfy any taste bud.

Did we miss any? Let us know.

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