A Guide Through Koreatown in Palisades Park, NJ

A Korean dinner spread.
A Korean dinner spread. | © Jakub Kapusnak / Unsplash
Photo of Emily Tan
25 May 2018

New Jersey welcomes people from all over the world, and in Palisades Park, the large Korean population has established a Koreatown in the suburban area. From authentic foods to traditional spas, here are a few of the things visitors should be sure to check out.

Eat Korean BBQ

Chung Dam Dong Restaurant

Restaurant, Korean, $$$
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Seafood Scallion Pancake
The seafood scallion pancake at Chung Dam Dong Restaurant. | © Emily Tan

Chung Dam Dong Restaurant isn’t easy to find—it’s on the second floor of a building—but it’s worth the extra effort. Not only do they serve an array of meats that are great for Korean BBQ, but they also have special dishes, such as this seafood scallion pancake, which is huge and meant for sharing.

So Moon Nan Jip

Restaurant, Korean, $$$
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Korean barbecue | Korean barbecue

So Moon Nan Jip is one of the most popular places to get Korean BBQ in Palisades Park. There are a variety of meats for the grill, several soups, and the noodle dishes are just a little extra spicy. Visitors are sure to leave this restaurant with a full and satisfied belly. So Moon Nan Jip is also great for late night cravings, as it’s open until 2 a.m. daily.

Save room for dessert

Cafe Leah

Cafe, Dessert Shop, Bubble Tea Shop, Dessert, $$$
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For desserts different from the usual fare, stop by Cafe Leah for a bingsu, a Korean shaved ice dish. The café has a variety of flavors, including matcha, cheesecake, or mango, so all cravings are sure to be satisfied here. The desserts are highly photogenic, and if you’re in need of a pick-me-up, you’re in luck—Cafe Leah has all the typical coffee concoctions, but visitors might instead opt for the signature iced tea topped with a fluffy piece of cotton candy.

Cafe Sheeroo

Cafe, Dessert Shop, Dessert, $$$
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There are many delicious dishes at Cafe Sheeroo, but there are two must-tries—the Korean shaved ice (patbingsu) and the sweet toast. Combining a variety of flavors, these classic South Korean desserts are best washed down with a traditional tea, such as jujube or green plum. Fans of Cafe Sheroo can also hire them to cater their next big event.

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Unwind at the spa

King Spa & Sauna

Spa, Health Spa
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A woman sleeps during her massage appointment | A woman sleeps during her massage appointment

With six sections spread over three floor that are filled with saunas and treatment rooms, not only can guests get massages and facials at King Spa & Sauna, but they can also get their nails and hair done, too. New Yorkers who crave a quick getaway can take shuttles from Manhattan and Queens.

Sol Sauna & Massage Spa

Spa
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Sol Spa & Sauna offers massages like the one pictured here. | Sol Spa & Sauna offers massages like the one pictured here.

Compared to Korean spas that increasingly provide a wider range of elaborate services (such as dining options) and pools, Sol Sauna offers a simpler experience. Tucked inside a mini mall, Sol Sauna & Massage Spa offers massages, reflexology, and body scrubs. Patrons can relax in the spa’s two hot rooms and a steam room for a small fee.

Pick up local goods

Korean Red Ginseng (정관장) Pal Pk

Shop
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Fresh ginseng made into a cup of tea. | Fresh ginseng made into a cup of tea.

Stop by Korean Red Ginseng for a taste of the Korean secret superfood said to enhance immunity and energy and to strengthen memory. Korean Red Ginseng carries the root in different forms, and visitors can try it in teas or take it in capsule form to see if it gives a needed boost.