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Good Korean Food

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Love Dok Suni but don't want our out-of-town guests to wait in line too long. Which Korean restaurant should I take them instead of Dok Suni

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  1. there's Do Hwa on Carmine and Woo Lae Oak in SoHo on Mercer. For authentic hardcore Korean, try Kang Suh or Dae Dong both on 32nd Street.

    1. if you want to stay downtown, I like Choga on Bleecker. I eat there for lunch a lot, and have noticed that I'm not the only repeat customer.

      But if you don't mind heading to Herald Square, I think Seoul Garden on 32nd Street is much better. Not as cute, but much more delicious. Out of town guests might prefer cute.

      1 Reply
      1. re: melon

        Second Choga. I'm a regular when I'm in the neighborhood. Great stews and soups, fresh banchan, one of the few places with good kimchee. Just take note that BBQ is not their strength, with no table grills. For any table grilling, go straight to Koreatown.

        Some of the places I like: KunJip, KangSuh (for BBQ), ChoDangGol (for stews) and LiHua (for stews & bibimbap in the Chinatown area).

        I'm not a fan of DokSuni, DoHwa or Woo Lae Oak, though.

      2. it's not as dark and EastVillage vibey as Dok Suni, but i think the food is much better and more authentic at Dosirak on 13th St, just west of University Place...it's a small, mellow place, w/ an NYU grad student kinda atmosphere...very casual but they do have good, cheap wine by the glass and the Jeyuk Ssam (pork stir-fried, to be wrapped in lettuce leaves) rocks...but it's very casual and not really a night-on-the-town kinda place...more like a place to grab a tasty homestyle meal w/ a glass of wine and then head off to hear music or go to party, etc

        1. by default, choong moo ro (w. 32nd st btwn broadway & 5th ave in koreatown) is one of the better korean bbq restaurants in manhattan. i say "by default" because no korean restaurant in manhattan, bbq or otherwise, is much better than average. to be blunt, korean food in manhattan sucks.

          anyhow, choong moo ro has decent stews and banchan as well; whenever my korean friends from out of town or relatives from korea visit nyc and insist on eating korean food in manhattan, i take them there. sterile but clean decor and convenient midtown location.

          gam mee ok, across the street on 32nd st, doesn't do bbq but serves the best sullungtang (beef broth) in manhattan, and has great kimchi to boot. they do serve a decent bibimbap but if you're not ordering the sullungtang, you're missing the point of going there.

          cho dang gol, on 35th btwn 6th/5th aves, is a tofu stew specialist that makes their tofu in-house.

          hyo dong gak, on the same stretch of 35th , is the best korean-style chinese food (jja jang myun noodles in brown sauce, large dumplings, spicy seafood noodle soups) in manhattan.

          sadly, i cannot recommend any korean restaurants outside of the 32nd-36th street area. maybe dosirak, as someone else mentioned, if you want something quick and simple; it's not the best, but at least it's far better, cheaper, and more honest than any of the other korean places downtown.

          4 Replies
          1. re: surly

            Wholly agree with the above post by Surly...one addition, I like Yu Chun on 36th st (across the street from Woo Choon). They are the only place that serves decent Mool Neung Myun.

            1. re: Lau

              woo chon, across the street from yu chun (yes they rhyme) has terrible mool neng myun. i like yu chun, but that's a specific type of MNM, which is made out of a root that makes the noodles black. they also have ice in their broth, and once i thought the broth was a tad too "thick". kang suh on 32nd closest to broadway on the south side (by the garage) has consistently had excellent mool neng myun, and offers a lot of ban chan (side dishes)

            2. re: surly

              "sadly, i cannot recommend any korean restaurants outside of the 32nd-36th street area. maybe dosirak, as someone else mentioned, if you want something quick and simple; it's not the best, but at least it's far better, cheaper, and more honest than any of the other korean places downtown."

              Though I agree with many of your recommendations (I would also add in KunJip in the Koreatown area as a notable place), don't dismiss Choga, which I recommend above, in the GV area, and LiHua, in Chinatown, for decent inexpensive chigae (stews) and bibimbap.

              1. re: surly

                I definitley agree with surly on this one. In korea, most restaurants are known for one dish and getting any other dish there is just silly. So decide what you want and then choose your restaurant accordingly.

                If you want good variety check out Kunjip. They are well priced always reliable.

                I also really enjoy Kang Suh for their BBQ. They have private rooms so it's great for large parties.

              2. Has anyone tried Don's Bogam bbq & wine bar? I ask because according to menupages, it is one of 2 Korean restaurants that delivers to the east 30s where I live. The menu indicates that they have dol sot bibimbap and yu kwe, both of which I love, and neither of which I am sure travels very well. Any thoughts about this place or others to get these dishes and also eun dae goo jorim?

                1. My Korean friends/Korean aficionados all love Junjip in Koreatown. And you get out of there for very little $$ for a lot of food. I think Dok Suni comes close to it in terms of quality, and beats it in ambiance. I would skip anywhere else in the E. Village, at least (Temple, down the street, has not impressed me). I hear Woo Lae Oak is more "Americanized" but have not been.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jonasblank

                    I think you meant KunJip. And yes, I agree that is my favorite place in K-town. If you want to stay in the East Village, there is also a korean/japanese place on 9th street and 3rd Ave on the 2nd floor. I don't know the name, but it is connected to Angel Share. I'm not sure if they take reservations, but the korean food is pretty good, and you can always have a drink at Angel Share if there's a wait.

                    1. re: krhong

                      it's called village yokocho. i prefer their japanese izakaya (bar food) dishes over the yakiniku. japanese korean bbq is always blander than the original and doesn't taste quite right. albeit, its fun to grill here and be able to order sake and japanese yaki skewers with your meal. their kimchi buta (pork) stir fry is actually quite good.

                  2. Chodanggol is one of my favorite Korean restaurants in Manhattan.
                    I love their healthy pork wrap(??) and their fresh tofu dishes.
                    Their side dishes are delicious too.

                    1. i haven't been, but i've heard rave reviews (from koreans) about a new restaurant on 18th street. i think its just called Manna but here's the menupages link:


                      they also don't seem to have the full menu up. not sure what it was before but they changed management and chefs and supposedly their food rocks now.

                      1. My favorite is Chung Moon Roe (I think I have the spelling almost right) on 32nd and 5th.

                        1. If you like Dok Suni, Li Hua (on grand near lafayette) is a good susbtitute. It's cute, never crowded, and quite a bit less expensive than Dok Suni. Those two are my favorites (though I have to admit that I almost never go to the places up on 32nd street).

                          1. My favorite places have been mentioned (Seoul Garden, Kang Suh, Cho Dang Gol, Woo Chon, and to a lesser extent, Gam Mee Ok), except for Han Bat, which to me has a diner-like atmosphere and cheap prices to match, and serves excellent food. I do think some of the other places are better, overall, but I love the dolsot bibimbap at Han Bat (both regular and hyaemul=seafood), and they always provide a good banchan. Service even when they're slammed tends to be friendly and helpful. A line is possible at peak times, but it's a lot better than Dok Suni.

                            1. I totally concur with the mention of DoSirak on 13th St (near Univ. Place). It's got such a nice little vibe and excellent food.