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May 1, 2003 01:59 AM

Best Korean Restaurants in T.O.?

  • j

Give me your top 10!

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  1. Dont really have a top ten, but all along Yonge street between Sheppard/Steeles is considered somewhat of a Korean district. That stretch is essentially littered with mom and pop restaurants that serve excellent homestyle Korean food.

    My personal favourite would be the so aptly named "Family Restaurant" on the SE corner of Cummer/Yonge.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Andy

      There are lots on Bloor between Christie and Palmerston. Some look like they should be super cheap because they are brightly lit and usually filled with students. Very few gringos in attendance. Has anyone tried one of these?

      1. re: David

        I had some great Korean short ribs at a place called Korea House(?) on Bloor close to Clinton. The facade is easily recognizable because the place has concrete and stone on the outside instead of windows, and a giant yellow and red sign. Give it a try.

        1. re: Brian

          Korea House underwent a change of management a little over a year ago. It's still quite good, but I grew up going to the old one, so it doesn't have the same nostalgia factor for me. The Bugogi is good, but not the way I remember it.

        2. re: David

          One of the great ones on that part of Bloor is the Soondubu house (actually called Buk Chang Don) which is bright orange - you can't miss it. Very authentic spicy soondubu chigae which is basically spicy stew with soft tofu. So good!
          Only 6 items on the menu, so they can really focus their energy.

          1. re: the_girl

            Thanks for the tip. I ate there last night and what a deal! Delicious food, lots of it, friendly service very accommodating to us round eyes. And the price can't be beat - $6.95 for the entire meal. Next time I'll splurge and add the Korean rice wine which is supposed to be therapeutic as well as tasty.

            1. re: David

              Do you mean the Soju? It isn't rice wine, it's sweetpotato alcohol (a bit like vodka, but with more flavour). You should certainly try it, but be forewarned, you buy it by the bottle, and it packs a real punch!

      2. This is a first post but I've eaten at quite a few of the Bloor/Christie Korean restaurants.

        The Korea House: I'm not sure of a change in management but its been redecorated. A good basic place.(midrange)

        Seoul House: A student place, no license. The food is good here, I recommend the Spicy Pork(Pork Bokum).

        This name is off a bit(Seajung), its on the north side green and white sign. This place is a bit more upscale, there has been a change of heart at this location. At one time, they weren't interested if you weren't a Korean business man. No a new manager is there and he seems to deal with non-Koreans. Very friendly, accomodating to veggies. I had the BBBQ eel which was good. I would recommmend.

        Happy House: I'm not sure if they like me here. I haven't been here for awhile but the Happy House special hits the spot: rice/soup for all, pork and kimchi stir fry and 4 or 5 beers for $20 bucks. I'm not kidding. You can also get a bottle of solju(sp?)instead of beer. This info is 2 years old

        Joons: This is a nice place down a flight of stairs near Palmerston. They make a dish call Dat Calbi(sp?). Which is spicy chicken, cabbage and rice cooked at your table. Cheap, no license. Since you're cooking the food yourself at the table, use common sense. I really wanted that chicken cooked and heated it to lava heat and burnt my mouth.

        Korean Village: A good choice if you want sushi with your Korean food(Japanese sushi not kim bop). Slightly upscale, its been awhile but I guess it wasn't good enough to go back to.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Alastair

          Since a Korean friend introduced us to Korean food years ago, we've mostly eaten at Korean Village - her family's choice. Service is very friendly and IMO they have the best stone bowl in the city - although once I had one that was a bit greasy.
          Sometimes when we just couldn't drag our butts all the way up to Bloor, we would go to San on Queen West, which is good too.

          1. re: Alastair

            Re: Joons, it IS licensed. I had one of their 'cook at your table' seafood & pork dishes a few nights back with a beer.

            A couple of notes: you need to order at least two helpings to get "cook it at your table", and you have to order the same dish. So no solo dining if you want the "cook it at your table" dishes (unless you're really hungry! All kitchen dishes are available as single helpings, of course) And it's a bit confusing on the menu, but you can't just order a single helping of "cook it at your table" and have them cook it in the kitchen (ie same dish, but not cooked at your table). Confused? Heh!

            Also, they don't take debit (or visa?)... I believe they're cash only.

            But it was delicious. Make sure you get the 'rice cakes' option in your "cook it at your table" dish: they're actually tubes (like really, really thick pasta) and had a unique texture. I'd go back just for them.


          2. I've been to lots of places in the Bloor/Christie Korea Town (I live in the area) and Korea House is definitely my favourite. Tons of variety and flavour when it comes to panchan and great portion sizes. We always order:

            -Kimchi Chigae (A must-have here. The perfect combination of spicy and sour)
            -Chicken Kanpoongi (The least healthy thing on the menu. Fried, battered chicken in a spicy sauce. Blows your average General Tso's chicken out of the water)
            -Both the Chicken and Beef Bulgogi (The milder flavour of these dishes act as a great balance to the spicy heaviness of the other dishes)

            We've had lots of other dishes there too (Kalbi, many of their soups, Bi Bim Bop etc.) and never been disappointed.

            1. Gu Mi @ Lawrence & pharmacy is a nice little surprise for the area. They do Japn as well but the Korean fare is much better (run by koreans).

              1. Not truly authentic but Seoul City is a fusion restaurant strongly oriented towards Korean food. Fantastic short ribs, great cuisine, good service, and luxe surroundings... Good value for the food too!