Having lived near LA for over three years, I have come to the conclusion that Koreatown is hands down one of California’s top places to eat. No matter in which direction you look, the streets are full of restaurants advertising full menus in both English and Hangul. From basic boba and Korean BBQ to exotic eats that are hard to find outside of Korea, K-town has it all!
With so many places to eat, it’s extremely hard to choose just one to fulfill your lunch needs. Although I had the chance to try out many different places during my frequent trips to Los Angeles, I often found myself returning to the same restaurants. They have become my favorite places to eat in town and I couldn’t recommend them more. Therefore, I decided to create this guide for visitors on where to find the best food in Koreatown Los Angeles!
NOTE: This guide focuses only on Korean cuisine. I believe that the best way to experience a culture is through one’s belly, therefore I eat mostly Korean food when I visit Koreatown. However, there are many other options to choose from.
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BCD Tofu House
BCD Tofu House is a Korean-American restaurant chain that specializes in Soon Dubu, a spicy Korean-style soft tofu stew served boiling in a traditional stone pot. However, besides excellent soon dubu, the restaurant also serves a variety of large and delicious combos. I once celebrated my birthday at BCD Tofu House and my combo included soon dubu as well as an entire grilled fish! And of course, everything is accompanied by a very generous assortment of side dishes (including a smaller grilled fish!) with constant refills, as it is common in Korea.
BCD Tofu House has various locations across Southern California, including two in Koreatown. This makes the restaurant a perfect place for a fun meal with a group of friends, no matter where they are coming from.
Wilshire Blvd. Location
3575 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Regular hours: 24/7
Western Ave. Location
869 S. Western Ave #2
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Regular Hours: 6am-11pm
For more information, check out BCD Tofu House’s official website.
Gwang Yang BBQ
Whether you’re out with friends, family, or planning a romantic date with your S.O., Korean BBQ will offer you the ultimate dining experience (provided you all eat meat). After all, what activity is more bonding than grilling the finest cuts of meat together with your loved ones?
While there are countless restaurants in LA Koreatown specializing in Korean BBQ, Gwang Yang BBQ was one that stood out to me immediately. Was it the restaurant’s romantic setting in a small Seoul-like shopping center, the neat interior design, or the quality of the meat? I’m not sure but most foodies will agree that Gwang Yang BBQ is definitely among the best higher-end dining spots in Koreatown LA.
Another thing that makes Gwang Yang BBQ stand out is its specialization in bulgogi. So, if besides the Korean BBQ classics of brisket and ribs you’re also a fan of this savory-sweet Korean specialty, Gwang Yang BBQ is definitely the place to spend a nice evening.
3435 Wilshire Blvd Adult, Los Angeles, CA 90010
Regular hours: 11:30 am – 11 pm (workdays), 12:00 pm – 11 pm (weekend)
For more information, check out Gwang Yang BBQ’s official website.
Kyodong Noodles At Madang
Located in Madang Courtyard (my favorite mall in Koreatown!), Kyodong Noodles At Madang is a true gem in Koreatown LA. The restaurant specializes in Chinese-Korean cuisine and although the name is not entirely misleading since the noodle dishes are awesome, Kyodong Noodles At Madang has much more to offer. From juicy mandu (Korean-style dumplings, to delicious bulgogi, to house-style mayonnaise fried chicken, this restaurant has it all in generous portions.
What fascinates me the most about Kyodong Noodles is its modern design. Just like in Korea, the restaurant uses buzzers that buzz when your food is prepared to pick up from the counter. If you need to use the bathroom, you’re in for a wonderful, ummm, bathroom experience since the restaurant offers Japanese-style high-tech toilets with special functions to its clients.
And if you happen to get lost in Koreatown with an empty stomach during the pandemic, I have even better news for you: Kyodong Noodles At Madang is one of the few restaurants in LA that still allow for indoor dining. When you enter the restaurant, your temperature gets automatically checked, you’re generously offered hand sanitizer, and socially-distanced seating, all high-tech Korean style.
Overall, Kyodong Noodles at Madang is perfect if you’re out alone or with a friend and looking to eat a quick delicious and authentic meal in a stylish environment.
621 S Western Ave Suite 303, Los Angeles, CA 90005
Regular hours: 11 am – 7:30 pm
For more information, check out Kyodong Noodles At Madang’s official website.
Koreatown Plaza Food Court
How could I leave out such a classic? Probably the number one place a first-time visitor to LA’s Koreatown will check out is the Koreatown Plaza mall, a place so famous that it’s even been mentioned in k-pop songs! Naturally, a lot of visitors who come to this place to buy skincare products and k-pop merchandise also decide to have lunch at the mall’s food court. And that’s definitely anything but a bad choice!
Koreatown Plaza’s food court offers a huge variety of mostly Korean specialty foods but also a few Japanese and Vietnamese places. There you can find all kinds of authentic Korean dishes that aren’t on the menus of many restaurants in America, such as my favorite dish, bulgogi soup. Since the food court allows you to order food from any restaurant and sit down on the tables in the center, this place is perfect for when you’re out with people who have slightly different tastes than you. It’s probably not the best place for indecisive minds like me but you can still rest assured that you’ll get some of the best food in Koreatown!
928 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90006
Regular hours: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
For more information, check out the mall’s official website.
A supermarket? Yes, you heard that right! H Mart may not offer you the dining experience of your dreams but it’s the best place in Koreatown to not only find fresh Korean specialty groceries but also to buy delicious takeout food that you can enjoy at home. From braised tofu, steamed sweet potatoes, and delicious kimchi jeon to marinated BBQ meat and exotic greens, H Mart really lets you bring the best of Koreatown’s food into your own four walls.
There are three branches in Koreatown alone, located in the Madang Courtyard, Koreatown Plaza, and Shopping Center On 6th malls. Shopping there validates your parking in the malls’ parking structures, which are also very close to the supermarkets’ entrances. This makes shopping at H Mart an overall very convenient and enjoyable experience.
Madang Courtyard Location
See ‘Kyodong Noodles At Madang’ section
Regular hours: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Koreatown Plaza Location
See ‘Koreatwon Plaza Food Court’ section
Regular hours: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Shopping Center On 6th Location
3500 W 6th, Los Angeles, CA 90020
Regular hours: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
For more information, check out the supermarket’s official website.
As one of Southern California’s culinary hotspots, LA’s Koreatown is home to an innumerable count of authentic Korean restaurants. While probably not a single restaurant in Koreatown can be considered a bad choice, I’ve definitely found a handful of favorite spots during my frequent visits to the area. I hope this guide is useful and will help you make the best decision when you’re out on the hunt for the best food in Koreatown!
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This all looks so delicious! Thanks for sharing!
I’ve never tried Korean food but have heard great things about it! I’d would love to try the Soon Dubu…after all who can resist the charms of a spicy soup! And maybe some banchan too.
Trust me, you won’t be able to resist it! And good thing is, a lot of banchan comes with every meal so you’ll definitely get the chance to try a lot.
THANKS so much for this blog! I love love love Korean food, but there are so many options in LA. Thanks for all the reviews & guidance.
Right! Korean food is also among my absolute favorite cuisines and the variety of it in LA is amazing.
Yummy! I love Korean food and I have been in Koreatown before in LA and I had some amazing food. Great guide and a must visit for anyone going to LA.
Absolutely! I really hope more people will consider eating in K-Town when visiting LA 🙂
I wish I had read this post when I visited LA few months back. I had no idea about the Koreatown. I want to try all of it!
Definitely check out Koreatown next time you’re in LA 🙂