After living blocks away from New York City’s Koreatown, I’ve had plenty of bibim bop and yummy Korean barbecue. It’s a fantastic place to grab lunch or dinner for either those who live in New York, or those who are visiting.
Even better, it runs 24-7. You can come for dinner, or sing karaoke late into the night.
There are a number of fantastic Korean restaurants in New York’s Koreatown. Each has its specialty, but most serve Korean barbecue, hot soups, bibim bop and other dishes.
The most exciting part, at least for me, is at the beginning of the meal when the free appetizers are brought to the table. At pretty much all the restaurants, you get a tableful of free, small dishes before the meal, which range from cold pickles to tiny fried fish. There’s kimchee, of course, the famous Korean pickled cabbage dish.
Korean barbecue can be fun to order, because it is cooked on your table in front of your eyes. But my favorite’s the noodle soups, which are hearty in portion and spicy and savory. You can also get bibim bop, which consists of veggies, pickles and an egg atop rice sizzling in a hot stone bowl. Plenty to feast the eyes on and fill up the belly!
There are also quite a few cute dessert spots in Koreatown to sate your sweet tooth afterward. You can get frozen yogurt at one of two shops. For a more authentic experience, you can also go to a little bakery where you can get a bowl of shaved ice topped with sweet red beans, chopped fruit and a dollop of ice cream on top.
Nearby, there are also little stores where you can buy jewelry, hair accessories, books, or trinket gifts for your friends back home.
After dark, it’s karaoke time. Music drifts out of open doors and neon signs light up along the street. There’s a bunch of karaoke places in Koreatown where you can try your hand at singing.
But if singing’s not your thing, Koreatown’s also close by other attractions. Down the block is the Empire State building, where you can ride the elevator to the top for a grand view (and for a fee). There’s also Herald Square and the Manhattan Mall on the other side. And the Fashion District’s not far either, for those who are in New York so they can shop till they drop!
For those looking for a unique experience for their taste buds in New York, Koreatown is a good place to look.