According to my Korean friends in New York, K-Town in Flushing is the place to go for authentic Korean food. But Flushing is far away from Manhattan, so for those of you not yet ready to take the long ride, I’ve put together this list of nice Korean restaurants in Manhattan.
Tiny Korean restaurant with really nice food. For three years (2012-2014) Danji had a Michelin star, but even though they’re not Michelin-starred anymore, the food still holds the same high quality. The tofu with ginger and scallion dressing and the spicy k.f.c., Korean Fire Chicken, wings have been on the menu as long as I remember, and shouldn’t be missed.
Danji, 346 W 52nd St (between 9th Ave & 8th Ave), Midtown West, New York
The street level restaurant is no different from most other restaurants in Manhattan’s K-Town, but one stair up (through a separate street-level entrance) you’ll find that the food is slightly better and the service slightly more attentive. This is where the Koreans go, and it was also a Korean friend who told me about it. Go there for: Korean barbecue.
Miss Korea, 10 W 32nd Street 2F (between Broadway & 5th Ave.), Koreatown, New York
Danji’s sister restaurant in Flatiron District. The food is down the same alley and within the same price bracket as what you’ll find at Danji, but the bar area is bigger and more bustling, so if you’re down to go out, Hanjan is a better choice than Danji. This is also the place to try makgeolli, Korean unfiltered rice beer.
Hanjan, 36 W 26th Street, (between Broadway & 6th Avenue), Flatiron District, New York
More K-Pop than traditional Korean, Thursday’s Kitchen caters to the hip young East Village crowd.? It’s The chef is Korean but he’s been trained in Europe which shows in the menu, which is a nice little mess of Korean/international fusion dishes. Wonder what everybody’s drinking? It’s the Capri drinks, which are served in small bags like the Capri-Sun juice drinks.
The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, so prepare to line up.
Thursday Kitchen, 424 E 9th Street (between 1st Ave. & Ave. A) East Village, New York
2-starred Michelin restaurant (2017). Even though there are subtle hints here and there, Jungsik isn’t a traditional Korean restaurant, so go somewhere else for bulgogi and bibimbap. Instead, Jungsik has the stylish touch and the extreme attention to detail that characterize the new wave of contemporary restaurants in Seoul, so if you’re interested in getting a glimpse of what is going on at the rapidly evolving contemporary Korean food scene, Jungsik is the place to go. The impeccable service is unmistakably Korean too.
Jungsik, 2 Harrison Street (between Hudson St & Greenwich St), Tribeca, New York
And if you go to Flushing, make sure you visit Kum Sung Chik Naeng Myun. It was a friend who recommended me this place, which does excellent duck barbecue. Another place that everybody’s raving about in Flushing K-Town, but which I have yet to visit, is Mapo.
Kum Sung Chik Naeng Myun, 40-07 149th Pl, Murray Hill, Flushing, New York