The Absolute Best Korean BBQ Restaurants In The US

Korean barbecue restaurants take the concept of group dining to the next level. The Korean barbecue experience features tabletop grills flanked by seared meats and an array of condiments. Diners who partake in the Korean barbecue experience are encouraged to explore their food as much as they are to eat it. The cuisine and its communal approach have ancient, historical roots. 

Bulgogi is a kind of salted meat that is frequently consumed at Korean barbecues (via Food Worth Waiting For). Bulgogi was originally called maekjeok and originated in the Goguryeo era, which spanned from 37 B.C. to A.D. 668. This marinated meat became very popular in the 1950s, with the rise of slicing machines that were introduced to Korea during the Korean war. 

Most Korean restaurants serve meats such as bulgogi with banchan and barley tea. Banchan includes dishes such as kimchi and kongnamul or seasoned soybean sprouts (as per Thrillist). According to Statista, "Korean cuisine has continued to gain worldwide popularity since the early 2010s, and roughly 30 percent of respondents in a survey on Korean cultural contents in 2021 stated that Korean food was very popular in their country." The growing popularity of Korean barbecue restaurants means that lively barbecue joints can be found nationwide, from strip mall haunts to fine dining favorites, from the incredible quality to simply average. 

Hae Jang Chon Korean BBQ - Los Angeles

Hae Jang Chon Korean BBQ, which opened in 2002, is dedicated to bringing premium, top-tier meats to the KBBQ game. The restaurant was voted "the most delectable deal in Los Angeles & SoCal for Korean food" by the Los Angeles Times in 2009. Hae Jang Chon attracted legions of fans known to wait multiple hours to enter the restaurant's smoky interior (via Dine Delish). After all, people stand in long lines all the time to get their hands on the latest iPhone model or video game consul, so why not Korean barbecue?

At this KBBQ eatery, hungry diners can enjoy bottomless lunch and dinner at reasonable prices, a rarity in the restaurant scene. Reviewers gush about Hae Jang Chon on Yelp. Stalwarts like beef tongue, short rib, and pork belly stand out as the talk of the town. Plus, with a menu that offers over 30 options to choose from, an empty stomach is the last thing you'll worry about. 

Quarters Korean BBQ - Los Angeles

Bar-hoppers and gourmands alike will find lots to love with Quarters. The Koreatown staple's name cheekily references its quarter-pound portions. The restaurant hit the scene in 2014 following founder Cris Lee's prior success in bringing Korean BBQ franchise Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong to the U.S., which has become a prime LA barbecue spot (via On6thAvenue). Both establishments are located in the Chapman Plaza. Diners at Quarters BBQ can expect this Korean institution to really deliver on tastebud-bending fare. Quarters' boundless menu encourages experimentation at every juncture, ranging from helpings of short rib and pork jowl to inventive sides.

Rolling up the perfect morsel of meat to stuff into your mouth is just one incredible part of the tantalizing journey. Since Quarters is all about indulging the senses and having a good time, it makes sense to dine in groups so the whirlwind of flavors can be appreciated in full. The pork jowls and beef short rib, for example, impressed the Los Angeles Times, which described the gochujang marinade coating them as "a perfect balance of spicy and sweet" and suggested the larger combo platters for better value. If you're extra hungry, order a round of tapas like the 3 Alarm Wings or Korean Nachos for the table. You'll want to try these before the meat coma inevitably settles in. 

Antoya Modern Korean Barbecue - New York City

Formerly known as Samwon Garden BBQ, Antoya is one of the big players of Korean cuisine in New York City. Since adopting the new name last year to "create an innovative Korean BBQ experience in the Big Apple" (via Yahoo News), the enthusiasm for the restaurant has yet to falter. In 2021, Antoya earned the Michelin Guide's highly coveted Bib Gourmand honor. The original Samwon Garden BBQ was founded in Korea in 1976, and its third U.S. outpost was set up in Manhattan in 2018 (per Samwon Garden BBQ).

Antoya's menu is comprehensive without scaring off newcomers to the cuisine. Barbecue favorites like thinly-sliced rib eye and kimchi fried rice are interspersed with Woosul, a beef tongue specialty topped with scallions and miso sauce. There's also Sullung Tang (ox bone soup), which makes a fantastic side dish or light dinner. One reviewer on Tripadvisor who dined there was blown away by their culinary experience: "Some of the best Korean I've ever had. Galbi jjim ribs, Samwon Mandoo potstickers, glass noodles, all excellent."

San Ho Won - San Francisco

San Ho Won has truly carved out a spot in San Francisco. The founder of this trendy Mission District restaurant, Corey Lee, is also the mastermind behind Benu, a fine-dining destination that has received glowing accolades from Eater, Esquire, and The New York Times (as per Eater). Oh, and on top of that, Benu has three Michelin stars, which tells you all you need to know about its quality. 

Obviously, San Ho Won has a lot to live up to, and the eatery achieves this through ample flourishes of authenticity. The menu features condiments like kimchi, which is fermented with shrimp, seaweed, and 1000-day sea salt, while the grills are fired upon a bed of lychee wood coals. In a review from The Infatuation, Julia Chen waxes poetic on the galbi, calling it "a gateway to epiphany-inducing euphoria." The satisfaction is palpable; the review goes on to reverently state that "one bite of the double-cut beef short rib will make you reconsider everything you thought you knew about galbi." Connoisseurs of Korean cuisine heading to the Golden City will certainly have their meats cut out for them here.

Meet Korean BBQ - Seattle

Seattle is known for more than just the flannel-torn days of grunge music and the Space Needle. Meet Korean BBQ epitomizes the very best of Korean cuisine in the Emerald City. Heong Soon Park — who operates Pike Place establishments Chan and Bacco Cafe – launched the new eatery in 2020, taking over the space that formerly housed Korean restaurant Trove (via Eater Seattle). Since setting up shop, the restaurant has more than proven itself a worthy substitute. The overall cozy ambiance of this restaurant provides the perfect antidote to a gloomy day in Seattle.

Diners can enjoy a selection of prime meats at Meet Korean BBQ. The restaurant's menu has seared cuts of beef or pork that can be purchased as part of a feast and are served with ssam, corn cheese, banchan, egg soufflé, and Wagyu Soybean Stew. Waitstaff are on hand to attend the grills, but aspiring pitmasters can cook the meats if they wish, making the collaborative possibilities endless. For liquid refreshment, guests can partake in craft brews alongside soju, wine, and cocktails such as the lychee martini or Akashi highball. 

Bori - Houston

Fall-off-the-bone ribs may reign supreme in Texas, but they ain't the only barbecue game in town (as per MasterClass). Bori is a popular Korean restaurant in Houston (via Houstonia). Bori channels the Lone Star State's penchant for juicy, fat-rippled meats, but with the strong, fermented spices that draw diners to Korean cuisine. Local honors, such as the Houston Press bestowing the restaurant with the title of Best Korean in 2020, certainly add to its buzzworthy status. The restaurant has an art gallery that showcases the family's art collection as well as local Korean artists. The space is available for parties and private events.  

The atmosphere is upscale, but its communal nature invites plentiful opportunities for filling your plate. Instead of smoky, sugary barbecue sauce, you've got gochujang. Instead of tangy coleslaw, there are pickled radishes. Corn on the cob, meet creamy corn cheese. There's enough overlap between Korean BBQ and American BBQ that all meat-lovers will find plenty to fill their plates and their bellies. One downside (if there is one) to Korean barbecue is the strong scents that seep into your clothes. Bori remedies that by having vents at every table, letting you bring home memories of your delicious meal, not the smell. 

Manna Dosirak - Washington, D.C.

Eating Korean barbecue can be a lengthy affair. Between the cuisine's complex aromas and the sheer amount of food on the table, it's not always doable for those on a tight schedule or budget. Manna Dosirak in Washington, D.C., is an affordable alternative that's just as delicious. The Korean word dosirak translates to lunch box. The restaurant assembles Korean fare in aesthetically pleasing containers tailor-made for customers to grab on the go. Owner Pil Cho operated a burger place called K Burger at the same location, prior to embracing traditional Korean cooking and opening Manna Dosirak (via Washington City Paper). As Cho himself says, "It's traditional Korean — the food we love." 

Manna Dosirak's boxes are built on a variety of meats, vegetables, and banchan, resulting in a rainbow-colored medley that looks as good as it tastes. Diners can choose from proteins such as bulgogi, pork, and squid. Boxes come with a choice of white or brown rice alongside two side dishes for a balanced bowl. Sides include grilled kimchi and yellow corn with cheese, though you can add a fried egg or kimchi fried rice at an extra cost. None of the boxes exceed $15, so customers won't have to drop wads of cash — or a full evening — to taste a little bit of everything. It's convenient, it's cheap, and it will fill you up. 

Cho Sun Ok Restaurant - Chicago

When in the Windy City, feasting at Cho Sun Ok is a must. Chicago's Lincoln Square is filled with bars and incredible eateries (via Time Out). This historic Chicago neighborhood has harbored hidden gem Cho Sun Ok since 1980 (via OpenTable). Don't be surprised to find long lines trailing out the door on Lincoln Avenue — this restaurant's cramped interior is too small to meet the feverishly high demand that the charbroiled meats have incited for over 40 years (via Foursquare). When you finally do get a table, be prepared to fill up your plate. 

Servers will be working the grills at break-neck speed, maneuvering the tongs so that every juicy morsel is delivered right at the peak of freshness. As per one reviewer on Yelp, "Everything tasted like home-cooked food and soups were delicious. I was happy we left with some fried rice made with the leftover banchan and rice they brought out, and it made for a yummy snack later that day." As for drinks, guests can imbibe their own beverages because the restaurant is BYOB. If you can set aside the cramped dining room and slow service some customers have mentioned, you'll find a restaurant that's on par with the gogi-jips in Seoul. Try everything, if you can. What have you got to lose?

Seoul Korean BBQ & Hot Pot - Aurora, Colorado

For foodies in the Denver area, it doesn't get any better than Havana Street (via 5280). The street has over 100 diverse eateries, allowing diners in Aurora, Colorado, to try everything from Salvadoran pupusas to bubble tea within blocks of each other. This includes Seoul Korean BBQ & Hot Pot, which offers both Korean barbeque and hot pot in two separate dining areas.  

Seoul Korean BBQ was voted the Best Korean restaurant in Asian Avenue Magazine in 2019 for its large portions and delicious specials such as braised fish, broiled fish, mackerel, potato noodles, stir-fried squid, and boiled tofu. 

All the main players including galbi, bulgogi, pork jowl, and pork belly are available for your grilling pleasure, complete with a fermented round of banchan to complement the feast. If red meat isn't your thing or you feel like spicing things up, check out popular house specials, including bibimbap, or the fan-favorite kimchi fried rice (per Seoul Korean BBQ & Hot Pot). 

KPub Grill and Beer Taproom - Portland, Oregon

Portland residents with a liking for pork bulgogi, pan-jeon (green onion pancake), or concocting colorful bibimbap bowls can be found at KPub Grill and Beer Taproom. This trendy Korean establishment has served as a gathering place for barbecue fiends since 2019 (via Foodeist). In addition to having 14 beer taps and a bibimbap bar, KPub Grill and Bar Taproom is located in Park the Carts, a food truck hub that boasts diverse cuisines from around the world. Park the Carts aims "to bring the community together through love and food."

Contrary to the carnivore-heavy leanings of traditional Korean barbecue, vegans and vegetarians won't need to worry about being the odd ones out in the group. Tofu can substitute chicken or pork in customizable bibimbap bowls. Don't forget to wash it down with any of the beers available on tap. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and has plenty of dining options such as takeout, delivery, or dine-in to ensure that this delicious KBBQ is never out of reach.

Dons Bogam BBQ & Wine Bar - New York City

Dons Bogam BBQ & Wine Bar owner K. R. Choi brought esteemed chef Woo Kim to Dons Bogam in 2006. This Midtown institution offers exceptional KBBQ just a few minutes away from the Empire State Building. Considering the menu offers an extensive wine selection and prime meats such as American Kobe beef, those seeking out a fine culinary experience and fantastic Korean barbecue will get their money's worth here. Seeing head chef Woo Kim working his magic in the open kitchen is just the cherry on top. 

The Michelin Guide, which has featured the restaurant on a list of best Korean spots in New York City, suggests going with the beef platter. You'll get a sampler of popular meats such as maeun and yangnyeom galbi paired with tender mushrooms grilled to perfection. As one reviewer on Yelp wrote, "For the meat portion, we chose the marinated beef combo, which comes with ribeye, marinated short ribs, and spicy short ribs. Fantastic food! The ribeye was cooked to perfection."

Moo Woo Korean BBQ - Las Vegas

It's easy to work up an appetite in Vegas — all that blackjack and shopping are bound to take their toll. Moo Woo Korean BBQ is located in Centennial Hills in Las Vegas and is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Don't be turned off by this restaurant's somewhat suburban placement — it has all the components of a solid barbecue joint. Diners can stuff themselves on delicious appetizers and meats, with prices that won't threaten to break the bank. Everything you could possibly want after hitting the slot machines, no?

If the restaurant's name intrigues you, it should: According to the website, "moo woo" is named after the happy noises made by cows. True to its name, customers happily gush about this eatery. Reviews on Tripadvisor consistently highlight the excellent food and service. One person raves about Moo Woo Korean BBQ's "yummy food" and "fantastic service," in addition to praising its authenticity: "Always personal and cheerful service and always delicious food! We lived in Seoul for 8 years, and this tastes like home!" 

Daedo Sikdang - Los Angeles

Daedo Sikdang is a culinary institution in Korea that has been around since 1964. The upscale steakhouse has dazzled diners with the finest cuts of beef and an impressive bar boasting wine, soju, and signature cocktails. With decades of experience behind them, it's no surprise foodies flock to try it for themselves, even if it takes a solid hour-long wait to do so (per Time Out). The first U.S. location launched in Los Angeles' Koreatown in 2020, and to no one's surprise, the restaurant delivers on all the promises kept back home. Top-tier food and impeccable service are the names of the game. 

Unlike most KBBQ joints across the country, their menu only features beef. They only serve Certified Angus Beef Prime which has higher standards than USDA Prime. This infinitely stricter criterion results in the "amazingly tender" and "incredibly juicy" meats served at this restaurant. The fact that it's similar in flavor to the prime Korean hanu beef makes it even more special (per Eater LA).

San Soo Gab San - Chicago

People in Chicago craving spicy, umami goodness have a wealth of options for KBBQ at their fingertips. San Soo Gab San was voted Best Korean Restaurant by Chicago Reader; Cho Sun Ok Restaurant, which is also mentioned on this list, bagged the runner-up position. San Soo Gab San is also the recipient of the Michelin Guide's Bib Gourmand. This casual stop really does serve some of Chicago's finest KBBQ, offering a sprawling spread of grilled meats, stews, and so much more. 

At this place, feasting your eyes goes beyond metaphor. As one reviewer on Tripadvisor notes, "I can't begin to pronounce what we had for lunch, but when you are served 14 different sides and three different meats, rice, and a complete vegetable stir-fry, you've landed in foodie heaven." The cuisine, as the Michelin Guide notes, stays pretty true to its native roots and doesn't "bow or cater to Western sensibilities," so Korean transplants feeling homesick will be delighted to dine here. The ambiance may be fairly basic, but with good friends and good food, it won't matter a bit. 

Honey Pig - Various locations

Honey Pig has locations in Maryland, Virginia, Texas, and even Taiwan, with more restaurant openings on the horizon. Honey Pig founder Mickey Kim has ensured that Korean heritage and culture permeate every part of the restaurant. Night owls will be pleased to know many of the locations stay open late, should the twilight craving for kimchi kick in.

If you prefer slowly savoring your meats, you might find Honey Pig a tad overwhelming. A review from The Baltimore Sun found the portions generous and the atmosphere "fast. Faster than you can say kimchi" as the servers sprint from table to table, delivering one batch of meat and banchan after another. Yet this kaleidoscopic dining experience is what adds to the fun of Korean BBQ, especially when you've got hunger pangs and a whole group of your best friends to feed. When at Honey Pig, nothing but pigging out will do. 

Baekjeong - New York City

The first Baekjeong in the U.S. opened in Los Angeles in 2012. Baekjeong NYC opened in Manhattan's Midtown in 2014, following off the success of the international chain's Los Angeles location two years prior. Since then, they've expanded to seven outposts across California and New York, with two arriving in the spring — one in San Jose, another in Lynwood, Washington.

The vibe, as Gayot notes in a review, is both "festive" and "upscale." It's also a beacon for celebrity sightings: A hall of fame photo gallery on the restaurant's website showing past visitors like Anthony Bourdain, Ed Sheeran, and Channing Tatum only adds to its hip pedigree. 

But Baekjeong (Korean for butcher) lives up to its name, with tender meat morsels capable of withstanding the heat. The rest of the menu, however, is just as stellar. New York Magazine calls the banchan "reliably on point" and the kimchi "requisite," both necessary components to enjoy the pork jowl or sliced brisket's "superior quality." One pro tip? Listen to Yelp reviewers and get on the waiting list through Yelp's app. It'll save time for more eating and less waiting. 

Park's BBQ - Los Angeles

The crown jewel of LA's Koreatown — and Tinseltown has many contenders — has got to be Park's BBQ. According to The Infatuation, Park's BBQ elevates "the Korean BBQ experience to a level you won't find anywhere else in town." This Koreatown landmark, which Seoul native Jenee Kim established in 2003, is regarded as one of the city's shining stars, has garnered praise from LA Weekly, Bon Appétit, and has been featured in the book "1001 Restaurants You Must Experience Before You Die" (per Park's BBQ). In a market that is saturated with spice-drenched meats and piquant sauces, Park's is easily a cut above the rest. 

Looking at Park's BBQ's menu alone will produce sensory overload, as barrages of beef, pork, and seafood options cover the meats, and that's before getting to the rest of the entrées. To avoid decision fatigue, Condé Nast Traveler recommends that you "[s]plurge on the combos; the P1 comes with bulgogi, rib-eye steak, and boneless short rib, as well as all the banchan you can eat." Kimchi fried rice, tofu stew, and glass noodles are other particular highlights. Patrons can visit the original location on Vermont Avenue, or check out their side ventures such as fast-casual restaurant Oleego and butcher shop Parks2Go.