Korean food is extremely popular in New York. Koreatown, in Manhattan, is packed with plenty of fantastic Korean restaurants all offering up a variety of tasty dishes. But you don’t have to be in Koreatown to enjoy great Korean food in New York.
Whether you are looking for Korean Barbeque food, authentic Korean dishes, or experimental fusion cooking, you will definitely be able to find something you like. To make it easier for you, we have put together a list of the best Korean restaurants in New York. We have also made recommendations of what to order, as the menus are often pretty big and it can be quite daunting!
Keep reading to find your ideal Korean restaurant.
This restaurant in Manhattan was opened by a Michelin starred chef and his wife, who both have a deep passion for Korean food. It is a minimalist space, with all of the focus on the food. The dishes are thoughtfully put together and carefully crafted. We can recommend the littleneck clams with avocado and rice crackers.
We also love the tempura chicken brined in pineapple juice, served with spicy peanut butter and ginger sauce. If you want a vegetarian option, then order the braised eggplant with snow crab and tomato. You can finish off your meal with a traditional korean cinnamon punch topped with lychee yogurt and candied walnuts.
The beautiful space inside this elegant restaurant adds to the overall positive dining experience. There is clearly a great attention to detail, from the decor to the ceramics, and in the menu itself. With ingredients like langoustine, Hokkaido uni, Miyazaki wagyu beef and Australian abalone, you know you are in for a treat.
The fermented sauces and pastes are bursting with deep, rich flavours. They also have a cocktail bar, so you can enjoy some carefully crafted drinks with your exquisite meal.
Cafe Salmagundi is a Korean inspired restaurant in Gramercy Park. The double fried chicken wing starter is one of the most popular items on the menu, flavoured with salt and pepper or soy and garlic.
They serve bibimbap, a traditional Korean rice dish, but with quinoa for an unexpected twist. The wasabi fish roe is a bold choice of order that will certainly pay off, and the seaweed puree is also very good.
Cho Dang Gol in Koreatown offers rustic Korean cuisine. Their menu is packed with spicy stews and hearty casseroles, along with their signature soft tofu. One of our favourite dishes is the sauteed tofu trio.
It is served with stir fried belly pork, sweet potato noodles and kimchi in a spicy red pepper sauce. The result is a dish that is the perfect balance of spicy and sweet. The marinated meats are delicious, and they make an excellent bibimbap.
Cote is a crossover between an American steakhouse and a Korean restaurant, opened by Korean born Simon Kim to celebrate his country’s love for beef. It is a fantastic dining experience, with the meat cooked in front of you at grilling stations. You get to see the meat raw to appreciate the quality and marbling, before it is seasoned and cooked to perfection.
If you aren’t sure what to order then go for the Butcher’s feast – four different cuts of Beef served with an egg souffle, banchan, seasonal side dishes and various stews. This is not the cheapest night out but you certainly won’t be disappointed with the food.
Dons Bogam in Midtown is a blend of a Korean Barbeque restaurant and a New York Wine bar. The food is cooked in front of you at the table and the servers are very knowledgeable about the food and the wine. The meat is good quality and flavoured well.
You can choose from pork marinated for 24 hours in red wine (cabernet sauvignon), fried pork mandu, or a beef platter. You can also get traditional meals like kimchi stew and silken tofu soup. There are over 50 different wines to choose from to accompany your meal, along with 15 types of sake and Korean liquors.
Gentle Perch has a fun menu, full of Korean classics with a twist. The dishes are designed to be shared, so bring your friends, order a variety of things from the menu, and tuck in.
We recommend the marinated beef short rib with salad and a nori vinaigrette. Pair this with the fried rice with smoky bacon, or the fried rice cakes in a cheesy kimchi sauce.
This restaurant in Brooklyn has a fantastic selection of dishes, making the menu memorable and unique. The interior is light and spacious, to match the contemporary style of the food. There is a good selection of sparkling spirits which are perfect for starting off or ending the evening. There are so many great things to order that it is difficult to narrow them down to make a recommendation.
You should definitely try the Tteokbokki, which is a spicy rice cake topped with chorizo and semi hard cheese. The fiery tofu stew packed with seafood is also excellent, served with warm ciabatta and seaweed butter. They also have gluten free options, like the sesame oil glass noodles with mushrooms. Finish off the meal with some warm beignets.
Hahm Ji Bach is a wonderful Korean Barbeque restaurant. There are so many tasty options on the menu that we suggest that you get a group of friends together so you can mix and match your meals.
We recommend the Samgyeopsal, tender marinated pork belly slices cooked until crispy, wrapped in crisp lettuce, and topped with daikon radish, scallions and spicy kimchi. We also love the Mit Bachan, a hot clay pot dish with kimchi, tofu, pickled cucumber, spicy mackerel, and soft steamed eggs.
This vegetarian Korean restaurant prides themselves on their excellent service. If you come here, you have to try the DIY Ssam Bap. Pick from three rice options- white, brown or nutty multi-grain – then add your toppings.
Leafy lettuce, sesame leaves, avocado slices, bean sprouts, carrot, cucumber, radish, pickled daikon, – there are plenty of toppings to choose from. Finally, top it with miso ssam sauce. Delicious!
Hyun is a luxury Korean Barbeque restaurant in Koreatown, Manhattan. With private dining rooms paneled with dark wood, slate tables, and tableside grills, this is definitely an up market way to enjoy Korean cuisine. The dim lighting sets the mood, and the atmosphere in the restaurant is quite relaxed and calm.
The meats, like the Wagyu Beef, are seasoned simply, and served alongside a range of Korean dishes that are packed with flavour. We love the silken chawanmushi (savoury egg custard) and the various pots of cooked rice with indulgent toppings like sea urchin and truffle.
The counter style seating in this restaurant means that you can watch all of the food being freshly prepared. The specialty dish is ramyun, and our favourite is the gochu ramyun with pork broth, with curly noodles, bean sprouts and pickled cabbage.
We also recommend the Persion cucumber kimchi with plum dressing and sesame seeds. The menu is not extensive, but it is reasonably priced and everything is cooked perfectly.
If you want some top quality Korean seafood then get yourself over to Jua. The interior is chic, with wooden tables and exposed brick walls. With the inventive Sashimi, served with fresh fruit like berries and lime.
We recommend getting the caviar in a crispy seaweed basket, or the slices of smoked yellowtail served cold and flavoured with yuzu and pepper.
Kochi is a fine-dining Korean restaurant with minimalist yet warm and welcoming decor. The menu is technical and creative, and incredibly mouthwatering. The starters are delicate, like sweet potato and sunchoke gratin with doenjang bechamel sauce, or pine nut and potato milk soup.
The main dishes are bursting with exciting flavours, like candied anchovy, toasted nori with brown soy butter rice, and salmon bibimbap with pollock roe. To round off your meal, finish with the black sesame ice cream. This will not be a cheap evening out, but it will certainly be worth it – you will still be fantasising about this meal for weeks to come.
Oiji is an elegant Korean bistro in the East Village, with cozy intimate seating that is perfect for a date night. They also have a few long tables to accommodate larger groups. The menu is modern, like the restaurant, putting a contemporary spin in Korean classics. The barbecue Wagyu slices are heavenly, topped with sauteed maitakes.
We also recommend the raw scallop slices with shredded snow crab, or the baby octopus with chilli sauce. Foodies rave about the short rib stuffed bone marrow with mushrooms. You can finish off your meal with honey butter potato chips with vanilla bean ice cream- a sweet and salty treat!
Gopchong Story BBQ puts the spotlight on grilled gopchang – pig or cow intestines – an essential but often overlooked element of Korean cuisine. There is a variety of offal on offer, including tripe and beef heart.
It is all flavoured and cooked to perfection, and provides a great opportunity to dive into authentic Korean culture. The beef intestine casserole is outstanding, with a spicy mix of ox intestines and beef and plenty of vegetables.
The Coop specializes in Korean beer and fried chicken, but they also have plenty of other tasty treats on offer. Sink your teeth into some spicy, crunchy chicken wings coated in soy garlic sauce.
Then follow them up with mozzarella fondue and pumpkin, with side of fried rice. The range of alcoholic drinks is impressive, with beers, spirits, liquors and fruity cocktails. This is a fun place to hang out with friends and socialize, whilst treating yourself to some super tasty Korean food.
This list is quite varied to showcase the different types of Korean food on offer, but Korean Barbecue restaurants could have a list all of their own. There are a few more that are worth a special mention. Jongro BBQ in Manhattan is extremely popular due to the reasonable prices and large portions.
The meat is delivered daily for ultimate freshness and cut to order at the in house butchery. Miss Korea BBQ in Koreatown offers a range of meats, stews, vegetables, and Korean favourites like Dak Galbi – stir fried chicken. Gaonnuri provides an impressive rooftop Korean barbecue experience with views of the Manhattan skyline.
You can order a la carte or choose a set menu with a variety of meats, banchan, stews, and egg casserole. The marinated duck, jumbo shrimp and boneless short ribs are particularly tasty, with the Kimchi stew. Sik Gaek in Queens offers all the Korean Barbecue favourites alongside pan fried seafood pancakes, oyster hot pot, and spicy seafood broth packed with octopus, clam and shrimp.
It is a family style restaurant, with wooden clad walls and Korean pop blasting through the speakers. Kunjip in Midtown West offers a unique ‘grill it yourself’ dining experience. The meats are served alongside traditional stews, rice dishes and banchan. You can finish off your meal with a warming cup of cinnamon tea.
Korean cuisine is so varied, from hearty stews to raw fish, from vegetarian rice dishes to barbequed meat, there is just so much on offer. Korean food is best eaten in large groups, so you can share the different dishes and small plates and try a bit of everything. A lot of the restaurants are set up for a very sociable style of dining, which Korean food enthusiasts really enjoy.
We hope that this list makes it easier for you to narrow down your choices, though it would be great if you got to try all of these fantastic restaurants over time! You can also explore Koreatown to find your own favourites, but pay close attention to where they source their ingredients and how fresh they are to ensure you are getting good quality food that is a true reflection of Korean cuisine.