The D.C. area has a wealth of fantastic Korean restaurants, ranging from barbecue spots to galbi, bulgogi, fried chicken, and more. Yes, you might have to go to nearby Annandale for some of these, but you will not regret it for a second. Here is the ultimate guide to finding authentic Korean food around D.C.
Restaurant, Korean, Vegetarian$$$
Mandu, K Street Northwest | Courtesy of Mandu
With two locations in D.C., Mandu is one of the best bets for Korean food in the city. Their pan fried mandu are addictive, and the entrée highlights include a fantastic dolsot bibimbap (a hot stone bowl filled with beef, rice, and vegetables) and the kimchi jigae (a spicy kimchi soup with pork and tofu). Their late-night happy hour at the K Street location offers a number of tasty Korean snacks, including the mandu.
The addictive Korean-style wings at Bloomingdale’s KoChix are double fried for the perfect crispiness and available in soy garlic, honey spicy, or hot honey spicy flavors. They also offer a delicious bibimbap and bulgogi bap that you’ll want to try.
One of the newer Korean spots in the city, Zannchi is a casual dining concept in Georgetown that is bringing fresh Korean cuisine. They have small plates, hot stone rice bowls, and rolls in a simple menu that offers a number of flavorful vegetarian options as well as heartier dishes such as bulgogi BBQ bibimbap.
Generally considered the mecca of Korean barbecue around the area, Honey Pig has a cult-like following. The restaurant is incredibly popular for its meats grilled tableside. Marinated bulgogi and galbi are classics, and their crispy seafood pancake is one of the best. They are open 24 hours; therefore, you can get your Korean food fix anytime!
The modern and hip Bul is a “pojangmacha,” modeled off bustling pop-up street food carts in Korea. They have a variety of small street food dishes, incredible soup bowls, and rice and noodle recipes, all of which go perfectly with an evening of soju drinking.
Like Honey Pig, Kogiya is a popular choice for Korean barbecue in Annandale. Their all-you-can-eat set menus offer a combination of meats and also includes soup, rice, and an array of banchan (a selection of tiny appetizers). It’s a great spot for a group to feast together.
Bonchon Navy Yard, Washington | Courtesy of BonChon
Spicy Korean fried chicken is the specialty at Bonchon, a Korean chain known for their double fried wings. Get an order of the soy garlic or the hot and spicy wings, and enjoy the crunchy outside and flavorful, juicy meat. They have a few appetizers and entrées as well, but the chicken is the order of the day.
Yechon Korean Restaurant, Annandale | Courtesy of Yechon
It’s easy to see why Yechon is always full. Not only is it open 24 hours, but the upscale ambiance and beautifully presented high-quality barbecued meat also make it a huge draw. The side dishes offer a good spread, and the value for money factor is very high here. Their seafood pancakes are some of the best around.
Lighthouse Tofu is an unassuming little spot that specializes in “soondubu”—soft tofu soups that come boiling hot and in various spiciness levels. Customize your soup with seafood, meat, or vegetarian choices, and enjoy the banchan while waiting for the comforting bowl to arrive.
Gom Ba Woo is a small and cozy Korean eatery that has some of the best dumplings in town and one of the best seafood pancakes. Start with those and then get one of their delicious and comforting stews.