Authentic Korean Cuisine Near NYU

Experience a variety of authentic Korean food with these five restaurants.

Food Gallery 32 is a multi-level food court located in the heart of Manhattan’s Koreatown. (Photo by Helen Chen)

The rise in popularity of K-Pop in America brought with it a love for Korean music, culture and, perhaps most importantly, Korean food. 

International Korean students attending NYU chose to fly halfway around the Earth to go to school in New York City. To those students missing home and all of the others who simply enjoy some good kimchi, these authentic Korean restaurants will satisfy your tastebuds.

Boka $$
9 St. Marks Place

Boka is the go-to spot for gatherings of friends or those 3 a.m. cravings. The restaurant serves authentic Korean fried chicken, which is not only crispy, but also extremely juicy and flavorful. Boka also offers Korean specialties, such as soy sauce marinated rib-eye bulgogi, pan-fried glass noodles and apple-braised pork belly.

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Still wondering what to order? Steinhardt alumna Sumin Choi has some advice.

“I usually get their drumsticks and wings combo in soy garlic flavor,” Choi said. “The fried skin is very crispy, the sauce is tasty, and the size of each piece is pretty big. It’s good for sharing among two or three people along with other dishes on the menu.”

Despite the cozy ambiance, Boka can get crowded and loud just like any other spot on St. Marks, so remember to make a reservation or settle in for delivery.

Bowllin’ $$
27 Waverly Place

Combining authentic Korean food, asian fusion and poke, Bowllin’ is the place to grab a quality lunch without breaking the bank. You can customize your bowl with various options ranging from poke to bulgogi to sweet chili chicken. The interior design is beautiful and the staff welcoming, although the seating area is quite small. One idea might be to take your food to-go and enjoy it in Washington Square Park.

Paris Baguette $$
264 First Ave.

Despite its name, Paris Baguette was actually born in South Korea. With a variety of sweet and savory pastries that pair well with their strong, dark roast coffee, Paris Baguette is perfect for either breakfast or lunch.

CAS first-year Hye Yeon Park expressed excitement when asked about Paris Baguette.

“The place has everything you see in a Korean drama,” Park said. “All the beautiful and yummy cakes that appear on the screen — they’re all here!”

Park suggested the strawberry mousse cheesecake and the mozzarella onion bread.

Food Gallery 32 $
11 W. 32nd St.

Food Gallery 32 is a multicultural food court packed with colors and flavors located in the middle of the always bustling Koreatown. While walking through the three-story building, you can easily pick up a three-course meal, topped off with a cup of boba. 

CAS first-year Allen Lee explained why he gravitates towards Food Gallery 32.

“The prices are a bargain considering the quality of the food,” Lee said. “The decorations feel very cozy. Plus, they play great K-pop here.”

With a personal love for chicken, Lee recommends the Pelicana fried chicken.

BCD Tofu House $$
5 W. 32nd St.

BCD Tofu House is a restaurant known for its pork-based broth and nutritious tofu. The items are familiar to most Korean restaurants, but the food presentation is uniquely lively and bright with the help of gold-leaf decorations. BCD’s specialty is hot seafood tofu soup, which is bubbling furiously when presented at the table. Though the soup is intended to bring the heat, one can always adjust the spice level.

Email Alex Tran at [email protected]

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