By Chef Esther Choi

Korean cuisine has so much more to offer than just barbequing your own meat. It is actually very complex and there are many different types of dishes to be enjoyed. Most of which a lot of Americans have yet to discover. I hope to spread the gospel. 

MANHATTAN'S KOREATOWN'S RESTAURANTS

Photograph courtesy of Kunjip

Photograph courtesy of Kunjip

Classics

KUNJIP | This is a classic, general Korean restaurant.
 32 West 32nd Street, New York, NY 10001
T: 212.216.9487 | www.kunjip.net

BCD TOFU | Order the soft tofu stew.
5 West 32nd Street, New York, NY 10001
T: 212.967.1900 | 
bcdtofu.com

E-MO KIMBAP | This is a tiny kimbap take-out bar (but the best!).
2 West 32nd Street, New York, NY 10001
T:
 212.594.1466

HYO DONG GAK | I would call this classic food. Come here for the mix of Korean and Chinese noodles.
51 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001
T: 212.69.6674


Photograph courtesy of Gaonnuri

Photograph courtesy of Gaonnuri

New School

GAONNURI | For a beautiful view of the city and clean, modern Korean food.
1250 Broadway, Penthouse, 39th Floor, New York, NY 10001
T: 212.971.9045 |
www.gaonnurinyc.com
BOOK A TABLE

JONGRO BBQ | This is a famous Korean barbecue chain and decently priced.
22 West 32nd Street, New York, NY 10001
T: 212.473.2233

TAKE 31 | For Korean pub food.
15 East 31st Street, New York, NY 10016
T: 646.398.9990 | 
www.mytake31.com

SOJU HAUS | This is a bar/pub with food and soju.
315 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10016
T: 212.213.2177 | 
www.sojuhaus.com

POCHA 32 | Come for the night scene, for the soju and the street food, budae jjigae is a must. They have an amazing soju cocktail menu, the best one being watermelon soju. It is served inside a whole watermelon and is fun to drink (definitely a crowd pleaser).
15 West 32nd Street, Second Floor, New York, NY 10001
T: 212.279.1876 | 
pocha32nyc.com

Cover photo courtesy of Soju Haus

Chef Esther Choi of mŏkbar 

Chef and owner of mŏkbar, a Korean ramen restaurant in New York's Chelsea Market. She grew up cooking traditional Korean food with her grandmother in New Jersey, went on to cook Middle Easter cuisine at ilili, and Mexican cuisine at La Esquina before opening her own restaurant.

Get chef Esther Choi's recommendations in the Find. Eat. Drink. iPhone app.

Choi recommends ordering the kimchi ramen.

"It holds a special place because it is inspired by my favorite childhood soup, kimchi jjigae. Turning it into a ramen has instantly made it my favorite ramen. However, it is important that you have a hocake because this crispy pork bun had a big part of my younger years in Korea. It only took me a few minutes to come up with the name ‘hocake’ which is based on ‘ho-tteok’ directly translating into ‘ho- ricecake’. (ho having no meaning at all in this context).

"It holds a special place because it is inspired by my favorite childhood soup, kimchi jjigae. Turning it into a ramen has instantly made it my favorite ramen. However, it is important that you have a hocake because this crispy pork bun had a big part of my younger years in Korea. It only took me a few minutes to come up with the name ‘hocake’ which is based on ‘ho-tteok’ directly translating into ‘ho- ricecake’. (ho having no meaning at all in this context).

mŏkbar
Chelsea Market, 75 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10011
T: 646.964.5963 | mokbar.com


VIDEO


MANHATTAN 24-HOUR GUIDES


More Manhattan Features