NYC: Guide to Korean Restaurants

by Pilots + Cabin Crew
Guide to Korean Restaurants in New York City

Korean food has been trending in NYC for quite a while, but which restaurants are the best? Local expert April shares her favorite Korean restaurants in the city:

Rib No. 7

Rib No. 7 is a new Korean BBQ restaurant known for excellent marinated beef. I usually prefer un-marinated meat for bbq, but the Dressed up Oodae Galbi (marinated prime aged rib) at Rib No. 7 is delicious. In Korea, we have fried rice after the barbecue, and at Rib. No. 7 you can order fried rice prepared at your table with the grease from the barbecue, so remember to save some appetite for that.

Rib No. 7, 32W 33rd Street (between Broadway and 5th Ave), Koreatown, New York

Yoon

The original branch is located in Busan in Korea, and it is highly popular and known throughout the country. My dad used to work in Busan, so I have been with him to Yoon on several occasions. I was therefore delighted to find out that the youngest of the 3 sons of the founder had decided to open a Yoon branch in New York City.

The signature dish at Yoon is the non-marinated galbi, which is divine. Another dish that I often order, and that you don’t find at many other Korean restaurants is the Octopus over rice, which is also very good.

Yoon, 8 West 36th Street, Midtown West, New York

Samwon Garden Korean BBQ

Koreatown is smack in the middle of Manhattan, so the area is easily accessible and very popular among tourists. Though the food in Koreatown is often westernized and not very authentic, but there are some exceptions. One of them is Samwon Garden Korean BBQ, which is a Korean restaurant from Seoul. It recently opened in NYC, and it is very popular among Koreans. In spite of the name, Samwon Garden Korean BBQ also serves regular Korean food, not just barbecue, and their lunch specials are very good too.

Samwon Garden Korean BBQ, 37 W 32nd St, Koreatown, New York

Her name is Han

The food at Her Name Is Han is very authentic Korean but the ambience is really cool and stylish, more like a typical NYC restaurant, and the food is really good.

Her name is Han, 17 E 31st St, Midtown, New York

Take 31

Take 31 is a Korean-style izakaya located right next to Her Name Is Han, and and the two spots have the same owner. Koreans like to eat something when they are drinking and Take 31 serves the kind of food you would want along with your beer/soju/makgeolli. And talking about makgeolli, Take 31is known for their fruit-flavored version of this traditional Korean rice wine.

Take 31, 15 E 31st St, Midtown, New York

Atoboy

This is Korean fusion food when it is best. Maybe it is just me, but I think they are just getting better and better over time? The prix fixe menu consists of 5 dishes for 75USD (July 2021) and includes gratuity. Atoboy also has a 2 Michelin star (2021) sister restaurant, Atomix. I haven’t been there yet, as it is impossible to get a table, but I’ve heard it is supposed to be very good.

Atoboy, 43 E 28th St, NoMad, New York

Oiji

Oiji is a modern Korean restaurant in East Village. It is extremely popular right now, so no matter when you go, it always seems to be jam-packed. Try their honey butter chips, this is the dessert everybody is talking about:)

Oiji, 119 1st Avenue, East Village, New York

Jua

This Korean fine dining restaurant opened during the pandemic, and it is such a nice place. The food is very different from the spiciness and heavy marinades that people usually associate with Korean food. The flavors are natural and somewhat light and subtle, with some fusion elements mixed into the modern Korean dishes.

The tasting menu consists of 7 courses and costs 120USD (July 2021).

Jua, 36E 22nd Street, Flatiron, New York


So I know this was supposed to be about Korean food in Manhattan, but I just want you to know that you find the most authentic Korean food out in Murray Hill in Flushing. It is difficult to visit the restaurants out there if you do not speak Korean, as most menus are Korean only and the staff only speaks very little English, but the food is very good and much cheaper than in Manhattan. 


April, local expert New York City


April – NYC Local Expert

April is originally from Seoul in Korea, but she has been living in New York City for 19 years, so she is a real New Yorker now. Though she has not forgotten her love for Korean food, and if there is anyone who knows the Korean restaurant scene in NYC, it is April. 

Follow April on Instagram >>


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