Packing more than 100 shops, eateries, and businesses into a one-block radius, Koreatown is a must-see in Manhattan’s Midtown. To keep ‘K-town’ from overwhelming you, here is our guide to the best things to see and do in Koreatown, New York City.
For light bites sure to satisfy your Instagram – we mean, appetite – look no further than K-town cafe Grace Street. Join the Street’s trendy clientele in avocado-katsuobushi waffles (a riff on avocado toast featuring sesame seeds and smoked tuna flakes), Korean donuts, shaved snow, and drinks such as roasted oolong milk tea and hot matcha cocoa for a meal that’s almost too pretty to eat.
At the popular Space Billiards, you can expect disco balls, pool tables, Asian-inspired bar foods and, well, just about anything other than space itself. With its affordable prices and party vibes, this place is known to fill up fast. Luckily, fried dumplings, sweet and spicy rice cake skewers, and Empire State Building views make any wait time pass quickly.
A K-town staple for a reason, Korean barbecue is more than a mere meal; it’s an experience. At local hotspot Jongro BBQ, rare cuts not normally found are grilled table-side for you, while banchan, or Korean side dishes, are replenished often. Must-try dishes include the Korean-style pork belly, beef platter, steamed egg, and seafood pancake.
Make any outing a party at Gagopa Karaoke. Those who manage to locate the spot’s entrance will be rewarded with private karaoke rooms, a multilingual music catalog, and standout customer service. Tip: Gagopa is BYOB and BYO-food, so reserve your room stat, and don’t forget the pizza and beer – or, tteokbokki and soju.
French-inspired goods by way of Korea are what’s on offer at Paris Baguette, the only bakery chain where pain au chocolats are washed down with bubble tea. Take a cue from Paris’ patrons, and enjoy your customary coffee or tea with a green tea fresh cream cake slice, matcha-berry choux, or a red bean and green tea pastry puff.
Once you’ve had your fill of barbecue and bubble tea, you’re going to want to detox. Luckily, you’ll find local ijimjilbang K-Town Sauna nearby. Here, self-pamperers can relax and restore in various saunas, hot and cold tubs, and even a traditional Korean medicine room.
While technically a bookstore, K-town’s Koryo Books brings in more music fans than bibliophiles. Its selection of the latest K-pop releases and artist merchandise (think: posters, pins, notebooks, and more) makes Koryo the best bet for local fans of Korean pop culture.
Not many casual buffets can earn a whopping 2,300-plus Yelp recommendations, but Woorijip Authentic Korean Food isn’t just one of many. Affordable prices and late closing times make this cafeteria-style eatery a popular night-out pick, where Korean home cooking, including japchae, katsu, and savory pancakes, make for an unexpected nightcap.
Lose yourself in the cutting-edge design and menu of The Maze, a resto-bar merging Mexican and Korean cuisines. Here, bulgogi is served with sliced tortilla wraps, quesadillas come loaded with kimchi, bacon, and cheese, and grilled steak is smothered in Korean-style sauce.