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The 7 Best Korean Barbecue Restaurants in New York City

Get grilling.

New York City is a bustling hub of pan-Asian cuisine that harbors a dynamic range of eateries, from storied hole-in-the-wall ramen shops to Michelin-starred restaurants offering Asian-fusion tasting menus. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, Korean barbecue restaurants—offering fresh and marinated cuts of meat to be grilled and eaten with a variety of small side dishes (called banchan)—have been making a buzzy comeback, experiencing a resurgence in popularity amongst locals and visitors looking to gather around a shared grill.

A few terms and facts that can be useful to know, if you’re new to the Korean dining scene: galbi is marinated short rib; jjigae is a stew; soju is a clear alcohol derived from grains; and banchan refers to a host of small side dishes (think kimchi, pickled onions, fluffy steamed eggs) that tend to accompany any large shared platters in Korean cuisine. Jjigae, cold noodles, and pan-fried savory pancakes are staple sides of most Korean barbecue restaurants, alongside bowls of white or purple steamed rice; soju is almost always the drink of choice to wash down red meat. Traditionally, Korean barbecue is a heated and intimate experience shared among many, fused with smoke, sizzle, and the clink of glassware; but many restaurants across New York have taken the concept and elevated it to a fine dining experience, conducted in sleek, airy environments with attentive and skilled wait staff.

In general, Korean barbecue in New York City isn’t cheap, but these recommendation steers clear of all-you-can-eat options. Good cuts of meat are inherently pricey and trading price for bulk will most likely leave you disappointed by the experience, especially when the all-you-can-eat options in the city can still cost you anywhere between $30-50 per person, frequently with a time cap. Instead, opt for a combination meat platter shared among 3-4 people, which will run $40-80 per person.

Best Korean restaurants—both for grilled meats and off-grill plates—tend to sprout up where Korean communities congregate across the city. Koreatown, and the surrounding streets in Midtown Manhattan, is the most readily expected example, but there are also burgeoning Korean communities in Flushing, Queens, Palisades Park, and Fort Lee, New Jersey, all reachable by trains from Manhattan. These restaurants in Flushing, Palisades Park, and elsewhere tend to be lower in price and more generous with their portions than their Manhattan counterparts, but situated further out from the epicenter of the hustle and bustle.

So if location and convenience are important factors to your dining experience, here are Manhattan’s best Korean barbecue restaurants, best enjoyed with a group of loved ones.

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Gopchang Story BBQ – Manhattan

WHERE: 312 5th Ave 2FL

Gopchang in Korean refers to small intestines of cows or pigs; and in Korean cuisine, these vitamin and iron-rich intestines can be stewed, boiled, sausaged, or grilled to transform into the perfect drinking companion. Gopchang BBQ serves gopchang (marinated or fresh) that is grilled to salty, chewy perfection, alongside other delicacies like beef tongue, heart, and tripe prepared for the more adventurous eater. Towards the end of your meal, be sure to order an add-on of fried rice and fish roe and a server will fry them together on the same grill—the result is a perfectly seasoned gopchang-and-fish-roe fried rice that will keep your mouth watering for more. You can expect a bustling, intimate, and heated atmosphere typical of a casual Korean restaurant.


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Jongro BBQ

WHERE: 22 W 32nd St. 2FL

Jongro BBQ is a spinoff of a popular barbecue chain in South Korea, set in a classic décor reminiscent of 1970s Korea with wooden beams and gazebos, black-and-white photographs, and white brick columns. For visitors unaccustomed to entering businesses via elevators, it can be slightly difficult to find, as there will be no ground-floor signs to guide you; but find your way up and you’ll encounter a swarm of students and young professionals looking for a barbecue fix in a relatively affordable price range. For dinner, try the large beef combination platter for both fresh and marinated cuts of meat: the marinade is just the right combination of salty and sweet; the prime ribeye is unexpectedly tender without being greasy.

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Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong NYC

WHERE: 1 E 32nd St.

Baekjeong—a “butcher” in Korean—is a popular mini-chain in Los Angeles that made their headway to New York City in 2013, first to Flushing, Queens then to Manhattan. The décor is spare (expect the usual stainless-steel vents and tableware typical of casual Korean restaurants) with booming music, which can make conversations difficult; but the quality of the meat is consistently good at a reasonable price (the large pork and beef combo that runs $159.99 will comfortably feed four adults with average appetites). The complimentary steamed egg and corn cheese are placed in the outer well of the grill and cooked in front of your eyes. The short rib is juicy and tender; the steamed egg is exceptionally pillowy and melts on your tongue. The cocktail list is fruity and creative—try the yogurt soju cocktail for a bite of tangy sweetness.

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Yoon Haeundae Galbi

WHERE: 8 W 36th St.

A contemporary, New York City spinoff of the original Haeundae Amso Galbi located in Busan, South Korea, this bustling barbecue house carries on the tradition of a house-special cut that tenderizes the meat to a bite so juicy that it will fall apart on your tongue. If you’re a first-timer, opt for the prime or prime-marinate package and try the massive steamed galbi dumplings. Be sure to save a bit of your appetite for the potato noodles boiled in the leftover (but delicious) bulgogi marinade and juices. The drink menu is substantial, but you can’t go wrong with the Korean Traditional Soju Flight, which includes four different shots of premium Korean soju.

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WHERE: 315 5th Ave 3FL

A relative newcomer to the city’s Korean barbecue scene, NUBIANI offers an elevated grilling experience in a spacious, dimly lit setting. The prices are set a notch higher than the surrounding places, but the beef cuts are of superb quality and cooked to meticulous perfection by the servers. The noodles are the co-stars of the show in their own right: japchae—marinated glass noodles with sweet soy sauce and vegetables—is bouncy; the spicy buckwheat noodles cooked in beef broth with “homemade spicy sauce” strikes a fine note between sweet, tart, and spicy. The yuzu ice cream served at the end of the meal is a refreshing touch to round off the experience.

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WHERE: 1250 Broadway 39FL

Located in a high-rise corporate building in the heart of Koreatown, Gaonnuri—a Korean word that roughly translates into “the center of the world”—is encapsulated in floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Manhattan. You will pay a sky tax for the airy view, so you’re better off staying clear of appetizers and spending your hard-earned dime on the meat: the Gaon set will give you the most variety, with a curated assortment of ribeye, galbi, and pork, accompanied by banchan, salad, soybean stew, and steamed egg. The ribeye is meaty and lean; the banchan, though not extensive, is prepared with care and mostly good: the tart pickled cucumbers are a delicious counterpart to the meat. The service is efficient and can be paced to your liking, so you will find yourself full and satisfied at the end of your meal.

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COTE Korean Steakhouse

WHERE: 16 W 22nd St.

As the only Michelin-starred Korean barbecue restaurant in the world, Cote is widely known across the city’s residents as one of the best-refined barbecue experiences that also gives you the most bang for your buck. The Butcher’s Feast includes the usual banchan, salads and lettuce, steamed egg, and stews, with four cuts of beef, for $68 per person, which stands on par with the city’s average Korean barbecue prices. The meats are consistently prime quality—the wagyu is heavenly soft and tender—and the wait staff is knowledgeable, attentive, and skilled. There is an extensive wine list and an in-house sommelier who will suggest the best pairing; or for a separate nightcap, you can head downstairs to Undercote, a moody, subterranean speakeasy that will make you feel like a member of an exclusive club.