New York is a veritable food paradise, and its Korean food scene far from disappoints. On any given night, Koreatown is bustling with eager diners of all stripes, in search of their next delicious Korean meal. There’s hardly a New Yorker who hasn’t heard of uber-popular Korean foods like Bonchon chicken, bibimbap, and of course, kalbi. However, these aside, there’s a ton of Korean food yet to be discovered, and anybody can find them, just as long as you know where to go!
As an avid Korean foodie, Marja has spent many years exploring New York’s finest Korean establishments. From where to get a satisfying late night meal to where to find the city’s best kimchi mandoo, she’s got a place for it all. She divulges her secrets here in this exclusive list of her top five Korean restaurants:
“A great place for a late night meal after a long night of Norebang”
This restaurant in the heart of Ktown is always busy, without fail. People line up for its authentic Korean food, from seafood bibimbap
, seafood pajeon
(pancake), and ox-bone stew (seolleongtang
). It is open 24 hours, every day, all day, making it one of the city’s best late-night spots.
Po Cha 32: 15 West 32nd Street
“My other late night after Norebang spot. It reminds me of the pojangmacha’s in Korea, and they make my favorite budae jjigae with lots of cheese. Yum!
Just a stone’s throw away from Kunjip, this dive bar is another one of Marja’s favorite late night haunts. The budae jjigae, aka an exceptionally spicy army base stew, is legendary.
Mandoo bar: 2 West 32nd Street
“I love to go there for a quick lunch of kimchi mandoo and a side of yukgaejang!”
This little hole in the wall serves up perfect, authentic Korean dumplings, called mandoo. Delicate mandoo are made right before your very eyes, and at $11 for 10, it’s a steal. They also offer a slew of other great dishes to mix it up a bit.
“When I’m feeling a cold coming on, I head there for kimchi sujebi. It always makes me feel better!“
This restaurant focuses on super authentic Korean food, and is especially famous for its handcut kalguksu (knifecut noodles). Equally in demand are its delicious doughy sujebi (torn noodles), and Marja loves the kimchi version.
“My new favorite restaurant. They serve traditional Korean food and the chef is from Jeollado. The ingredients are flown in every week from Korea and the food reflects that! It’s like eating in Korea minus the airfare!”
Muk Eun Ji is all about kimchi, and here, traditional aged Korean kimchi is imported straight from Jinan, Korea. The kimchi here has been fermented for at least a year, and it’s got a unique, distinctive taste. There’s an entire menu dedicated to kimchi, so it’s definitely one for the kimchi fans out there.