There are a number of options for enjoying delicious Korean food in New York City. Whether you're looking for barbecue or bibimbap, here are the best restaurants in Manhattan serving the cuisine.
What It Is: A Gramercy hotspot by husband-and-wife team Junghyun and Ellia Park with an emphasis on family-style dishes.
What Our Inspectors Say: "The enticing menu woos diners with its adventurous-yet approachable-take on Korean food."
What It Is: "For a change of pace in bustling Koreatown, Cho Dang Gol offers the barbecue-weary an opportunity to explore some of this nation's more rustic cooking."
What Our Inspectors Say: "Soft tofu is the specialty of the house and for fitting reason (it's downright delicious)."
What It Is: "This Korean steakhouse is a high-minded tribute to owner Simon Kim’s home country, and its renowned love for great beef."
What Our Inspectors Say: "The marbling on their aged rib eye, cut into cubes for tabletop searing, looks like something Michelangelo may have sculpted."
What It Is: "Chef Hooni Kim's Hell's Kitchen hot spot is both festive and bustling."
What Our Inspectors Say: "Equally impressive are the menu's myriad small plates, each of them a refreshing take on Korean specialties."
What It Is: A Korean barbecue spot in K-town for exceptional grilled meats.
What Our Inspectors Say: "For the ultimate payoff, opt for the memorable beef platter. It features thinly-sliced macun and yangnyeom galbi set beside king trumpet mushrooms that are meaty and mouthwatering in their own right."
What It Is: "A vegetarian in another space and time," per the restaurant's website.
What Our Inspectors Say: "The ssam bap offers a fun DIY experience with a long platter of fillings."
What It Is: A contemporary take on Korean cuisine that is open for both lunch and dinner.
What Our Inspectors Say: "The signature house-made tofu is unmissable: these chilled scoops of soybean curd are a toasty shade of brown, sprinkled with slivered green onion, sesame seeds, and accompanied by soy sauce and perilla vinaigrette."
What It Is: "Cool, chic, and completely urbane, Jungsik is the epitome of contemporary elegance."
What Our Inspectors Say: "The modern cuisine is confident, complex, and happens to be leaning much more toward Europe than Korea of late. No matter—the cooking remains profoundly enjoyable."
What It Is: This bi-level Midtown West restaurant is open 24 hours.
What Our Inspectors Say: "Everything is excellent, but a steaming bowl of galbitang—bobbing with tender and fatty short rib, glass noodles and juicy daikon slivers—truly transcends."
What It Is: A 24-hour hotspot located in the heart of K-Town.
What Our Inspectors Say: "Make sure to go for the outstanding clay pot galbi highlighting tender USDA Prime beef short ribs marinated on the bone for 24 hours, then cut tableside and grilled to heavenly perfection on the spot."
What It Is: "The modest space is spread over two floors and is mighty popular for barbecue-seeking groups."
What Our Inspectors Say: "The fact that these grills still use charcoal only adds to the overall lure. And no matter the time, one can expect to find hordes of diners huddling around platters of marinated beef short ribs (kalbi) or thinly-sliced pork belly (samgyupsal)."
What It Is: "Oiji's modern take on Korean dining is a reminder that this food is so much more than barbecue."
What Our Inspectors Say: "Devoid of smoky tabletops, the dining room is small and attractive, with an open kitchen to sneak peeks at the very talented chefs as they prepare a cuisine rooted in culinary tradition, but with creative and refined touches."
Hero image courtesy of Diane Kang/Atoboy.