The Best Korean Restaurants in Seattle

A dish at Tofully | Courtesy of Tofully
A dish at Tofully | Courtesy of Tofully
Photo of Jacklyn Grambush
29 December 2017

From Microsoft to Boeing to the University of Washington Medicine, the state of Washington attracts people from all over the world, a concept perhaps best illustrated in Seattle’s variety of authentic, quality ethnic food. For some of the Emerald City’s best offerings in Korean cuisine, check out the list below.

BlueStone Bistro

Restaurant, Korean
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BlueStone Bistro is still fairly new on Capitol Hill and has quickly established itself as a go-to Korean restaurant. The exterior may not be particularly inviting, but it gives way to a small, spotless restaurant that’s usually packed. Often using seasonal ingredients, the restaurant is known specifically for its bibimbap and gochujang recipe.


Restaurant, Gastropub, Korean, Contemporary, Asian, $$$
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Korean Gastropub Fare
Korean Gastropub Fare | © Chan

Located in the historic Pike Place Market, Chan is “Seattle’s only Korean Gastropub.” Blending modern, local, and traditional elements, the chef of Chan’s praised Korean dishes, Heong Soon Park, has been awarded for his sustainability practices. Serving soju and shrubs made in-house as well as makgeolli and Korean beers, the restaurant’s craft cocktails have been designed to complement the food.

Girin Korean Ssam Bar

Restaurant, Korean, $$$
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The upscale Korean restaurant of Girin respects the legacy of Korean recipes as well as the local region of the Pacific Northwest. Adding a modern twist to traditional cuisine, Girin’s side dishes, kimchi, noodles, and dumplings are all made from scratch in-house. In addition, the bar offers two types of home-brewed makgeolli, an old Korean liquor experiencing its own renaissance in Korea and beyond.


Restaurant, Korean, Fusion, Steakhouse, Asian, Contemporary, $$$
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Dish at Joule
Dish at Joule | © jwalsh / Flickr
Joule is one of three restaurants in Seattle that are part of the Relay Restaurant Group. Started and owned by husband-wife pair Rachel Yang and Seif Chirichi, Joule first opened in 2007 before being renovated six years later into a contemporary Korean steakhouse. Now, it offers dishes for dinner and brunch (including a brunch buffet with a monthly rotating theme) that marry tradition and innovation in legendary ways.

Kimchi Bistro

Restaurant, Korean
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Almost 15 years old, Kimchi Bistro was one of the first Korean restaurants in the downtown Seattle area. As a no-frills venue with no website or social media presence, the restaurant lets the food do all the talking. The spicy dishes will capture the hearts of visitors, including those expecting authentic Korean cuisine.

Kimchi House

Restaurant, Korean
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Located in Ballard, the Kimchi House is a cheap, cash-only stop for a menu of no more than 20 authentic, Korean dishes—both traditional and fusion. Offered dishes include kimchi soondubu soup, bibimbap (cool or hot), kimchi pork pancake, and the kimchi house sandwich.


Restaurant, Cocktail Bar, Korean, Street Food, $$$
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Another restaurant in the Relay Restaurant Group, Revel came about in 2010, and it offers a bit more of an artsy vibe, with music, art, and an outdoor fire pit. Revel’s menu is made up of Korean street food. The restaurant has a neighboring cocktail bar, Quoin, and Grill Shack during the summer, which serves in-house-butchered cuts of meat.


Restaurant, Korean, Soup
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A dish at Tofully
A dish at Tofully | Courtesy of Tofully
Tofully is a small, hole-in-the-wall gem in Seattle’s International District that serves Korean soup and barbecue. Reasonable prices and authentic cuisine cause the spot to often be packed to the brim. Quick, casual, friendly service adds to the delicious food, making Tofully a great excuse to explore the Emerald City’s Chinatown.


Restaurant, Korean, BBQ, $$$
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Opened in 2014, the third Relay Restaurant Group venue in Seattle focuses on Korean barbecue, featuring tabletop grills on which patrons can cook their meat. The other areas of the restaurant include Trove Bar, which highlights beer; Trove Parfait, providing parfaits with a Korean twist; and Trove Noodle, offering made-to-order, fresh noodle dishes.

Umma’s Lunch Box

Restaurant, Korean, Asian, Sushi
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Umma’s Lunch Box, located inside Rainier Square, is a Korean lunch buffet that is also available for catering. Not only is their food authentic, scrumptious, and thus popular, but the restaurant is actively health-conscious and sustainably minded. Many dishes are homemade, and traditional ingredients are substituted if quality versions are not accessible. Discounts are provided for customers who reuse Umma’s microwave- and dishwasher-safe box multiple times.

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