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May 2, 2009 02:15 PM

sundubu (soon tooboo) in chicago area?

in about a month we will be going to chicago for a day or two and i am dying for some suntubu. are there any restaurants specializing in this? i ran a search and came up with nothing, but part of the problem might be spelling and there are probably a dozen or more ways to transliterate "sundubu"...

thanks so much in advance!

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  1. This is a Korean restaurant that specializes in tofu, probably has what you want:

    1. For the benefit of anyone who, like me, was not familiar with this term before seeing this topic, Wikipedia notes that sundubu is the Korean word for a type of tofu called "soft/silken tofu", as noted at

      Metromix lists 60 restaurants serving Korean cuisine in the Chicago area; maybe one of them has it, or can prepare it with an advance request.

      1. You are referring to soon doo boo, or some spell it as soon tofu. Ferret's link (So Gong Dong) is one i've been to a few times, and has many different varieties of the stew. It is a great hot bowl for Chicago winter nights.

        Other Korean restaurants might have it as a soup option. One such place is Jin Ju. Jin Ju though is the kind of modernized stylized places that caters to a younger crowd, and makes purists cringe.

        Another place i've been to is Woo Lae Oak in Rolling Meadows. It is part of an international Korean chain.

        Sogongdong Tofu House
        3307 W Bryn Mawr Ave, Chicago, IL 60659

        Jin Ju Restaurant & Bar
        5203 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

        Woo Lae Oak
        3201 Algonquin Rd, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008

        1 Reply
        1. re: ms. chow

          man i am so happy to read this. jinju, woolaeoak i am not so interested in (they seem to be general restaurants). sogongdong is probably right up my alley.

          thanks so much for hooking us up. we are in central illinois and the only sundubu we can get is what we can cook up from scratch. not impossible but its still a chore (i like to eat. cooking, not so much).

          thank you again!

        2. The main place we go for Soon Doo Bu (soft tofu in spicy broth) is Chodang (Cho Dang) Tofu in Mount Prospect. This is the best place we've found here in Chicago, and the place that gets 95% of the way to the quality of the large Korean tofu restaurants in LA and NY like BCD.

          We've also gone to sogongdong a few times as well when we didn't want to drive out on the Kennedy to Mt Prospect, so have some perspective on the 2 places.

          Comparing the two, I'd definitely give the preference to Chodang. Their tofu has a better silky texture and their rice in the stone pot is definitely better. (ask for it extra crispy on the bottom). One time last fall we went to sogongdong, and their tofu was in smaller pieces in the broth as opposed to a nice large block. Almost like they ran out of the whole blocks.

          Chodang have also opened a second branch in Naperville though I can't vouch for their quality. The menu is limited to just the tofu stews, kalbi and mandoo dumplings, but if it's tofu you're craving, I'd say Chodang is the place to go.

          Chodang Tofu

          1719 W Algonquin Rd
          Mount Prospect, IL

          1271 E Ogden Rd
          Naperville, IL

          2 Replies
          1. re: tex888

            tex888: thank you so much for this tip... as we will only have two days there we will def just go to chodang instead of sgd. but since we are also in central illinois permanently im sure we will eventually get the chance to go to sgd and compare.

            we are originally from l.a. and now i realize just how spoiled we were by the convenience of socal.

            thanks again for the tip!

            ps do you also have tips for the following dishes:

            naengmyeon (mul or bibim)

            would appreciate it much. the drive up is 2.5 hours and we just dont have the time to try places randomly since we only get the chance to go up only every now and then

            also if you ever need recs for specific dishes in l.a. i have got them.

            1. re: doughnut

              >> we are originally from l.a. and now i realize just how spoiled we were by the convenience of socal.

              We have some amazing food that will impress anyone willing to try it. I often find myself missing many of the awesome foods in Chicago when I travel to California! I suggest you introduce yourself to a wider variety of foods, particularly the kinds you find in abundance in Illinois and in Chicago. There are some foods for which you can find restaurants here just as good as the best places in Southern California, such as provincial Mexican cuisine, Thai food, and contemporary fine/finer dining; others where the availability and quality are better here than there, such as Greek, Polish, and steakhouses; and still other kinds of food you can't find in SoCal at all, such as authentic Chicago deep-dish pizza and our local Italian beef sandwiches. You can even find a fair amount of variety in ethnic food and other interesting foods in central Illinois, in places like Champaign/Urbana, Bloomington/Normal, etc., with recommendations over on the Midwest forum.

              "When in Rome..."