For as many historic landmarks that Philadelphia boasts, there are at least as many Korean restaurants. Despite the rash of recent closings, mom and pop joints and cozy neighborhood eateries with affordable ethnic treats share the city streets with stylish bistros and upscale restaurants. Whether you’re craving kalbi, kimchi or kongbiji, Philly has a restaurant to whet your appetite. Here’s a list that narrows down the best Korean food in the City of Brotherly Love.
300 E. Main St.
Norristown, PA 19401
August Moon, a clean, contemporary Korean restaurant with a full sushi bar, is a Norristown favorite. The kitchen turns out steamy hot traditional offerings like seafood pancakes and bibimbap, but it’s hard to beat the sushi and Korean grill selection. While the menu is a bit pricier than others, August Moon is a great place to take a date, especially on jazz nights when live bands perform. A fully stocked bar and easy parking are added bonuses.
Related: Top Sushi In Philadelphia
468 W. Cheltenham Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19126
The year 2009 brought a lot of changes for Cafe Soho – new ownership, a renovated interior and an expanded menu. In fact, Philadelphia Magazine honored Cafe Soho with the award for best friend chicken in 2010. Today, the menu features a few Korean-Japanese fusion dishes as well as a good-sized selection of traditional Korean fare including kimchi, bulgogi, warai pork cutlet and seafood pancakes. Don’t miss Cafe Soho’s signature dish – double-fried boneless chicken tenders topped with scallions and your choice of sauce.
732 DeKalb Pike
Blue Bell, PA 19422
If you’re looking for a quick bite in the burbs or need to feed a large, choosy crowd, Korea Garden is a great option. A warm wood-paneled interior with a small fountain, main dining area and sushi bar sets the mood for a filling lunch or dinner. Electric grills are set at each table for a Korean BBQ that is sweet and tasty. You can watch the action, or take part in the cooking process. Kimchi, fried mackerel and galbi are customer favorites, and a kids’ menu offers chicken, pork and salmon dishes.
3801 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Koreana Food attracts a mix of working people and college students overflowing from the nearby cafeterias of Drexel University and University of Pennsylvania. Order at the counter, get your number and wait to be called for your Korean feast. You can also grab it and go at this no-frills gem. The prices can’t be beat, and the portions are super-sized. Customer favorites include bulgogi, kimchi and crunchy, double-fried wings.
Seorabol Korean Restaurant
5734 Old 2nd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19120
While the exterior may seem inauspicious, Seorabol’s interior reflects a Korean-style architecture that contributes to an unparalleled dining experience. The restaurant’s massive menu features traditional Korean dishes, including bulgogi and a wide selection of banchans, made by Chef Cho, while his brother is lord of the sushi. Patrons rave about the restaurant’s seafood pancake, but the real star of the show is the Korean BBQ cooked with charcoal grills. You know the fabulous food has to be authentic, as Chan Ho Park made it a point to dine here when he pitched for the Phillies.
Susan DeFeo has been a professional writer since 1997. She served as a community events columnist for New Jersey’s “Cape May County Herald” for more than a decade. A writer for numerous online publications, Susan has covered health, fitness, beauty and travel, all subjects that are near and dear to her as a married mother of seven children. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.