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Where to Eat Korean Food in Boston

Allston is a good place to start

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Kimchi Kitchen
| Kimchi Kitchen/Facebook

Boston doesn’t have a Koreatown in the same way that Los Angeles and New York City have Koreatowns, but it’s got Allston, and that’s a very good thing. Harvard and Brighton avenues are lined with great Korean restaurant after great Korean restaurant. Kimchi fried rice? Check. Galbi and bulgogi on an open flame in the middle of the dinner table? Check. Crispy fried chicken wings? Double check.

But Allston isn’t the only neighborhood in and around Boston for Korean: Cambridge, Somerville, and Arlington have their own jams, and the city proper outside of Rat City has several good spots too. Here are a dozen of the best — some more traditional, some leaning in a more modern or fusion direction. Go eat all the banchan you can handle.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Woori Korean Fusion Grill

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9 Medford St
Arlington, MA 02474
(781) 648-4781
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Woori Korean Fusion Grill is one of the best bets for Korean outside of Boston proper. Get the spicy, crispy chicken, or get out.

woori spicy crispy chicken
This spicy, crispy chicken is to die for
Woori/Facebook

2. Reliable Market

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45 Union Square
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 623-9620
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Reliable Market is Union Square’s go-to for Korean and Japanese groceries (it’s also got a tremendous craft beer selection.) The shop started serving hot food for dining in about a year and a half ago, and boy is that a good thing. Get the spicy pork bulgogi.

Spicy pork bulgogi and assorted banchan at Reliable Market
Spicy pork bulgogi and assorted banchan at Reliable Market
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

3. Buk Kyung

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9a Union Square
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 623-7220
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Whether you hit the OG Buk Kyung in Somerville or the second iteration, Buk Kyung II, in Allston, the meal is going to impress. The tofu kimchi jaeyook — a spicy pork dish — is reliable, as is the naengmyeon, which is a dish of cold buckwheat noodles served with thinly sliced beef, daikon radish, cucumber, and a boiled egg served in a chilled beef broth. On a cold day, try the mandu soup.

Tofu kimchi jaeyook at Buk Kyung Somerville
Tofu kimchi jaeyook at Buk Kyung Somerville
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

4. Kimchi Kitchen

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847 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141
(617) 714-3232
Visit Website

Kimchi Kitchen opened in 2015 and has quickly become one of the area’s favorite Korean restaurants. As the name would suggest, it’s got some kimchi. Also: Be sure to try the popcorn chicken.

Popcorn chicken and tteok-bokki from Kimchi Kitchen
Popcorn chicken and tteok-bokki from Kimchi Kitchen
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

5. Kaju Tofu House

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56 Harvard Ave
Allston, MA 02134
(617) 208-8540

Both locations (there’s a second in Kenmore Square) are beloved, but try the original in Allston. The soft tofu soup and the kimchi stew are what you should be eating.

kaju tofu
Kimchi and pork soft tofu soup
Nina N./Yelp

6. Kimchipapi Kitchen

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81 Harvard Ave
Boston, MA 02134
(617) 208-8005
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Kimchipapi Kitchen is a new addition to the Allston Korean food scene. Owner Joon Son — a.k.a. the Kimchipapi himself — is a proud Allston rat, and he’s serving up a fusion of Korean, Japanese, and poke in his clean, well-lighted space.

glory bowl kimchipapi kitchen
A “glory bowl” from Kimchipapi Kitchen
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

7. Myung Dong 1st Ave

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90 Harvard Ave
Allston, MA 02134
(617) 206-3229
Visit Website

Go to Myung Dong 1st Ave, watch K-Pop videos on the televisions, eat cheap/delicious ramen or “hangover cure” haejang-guk, and get faded on the soju watermelon.

myung dong 1st ave
The most dangerous drink in the city
Myung Dong 1st Ave/Facebook

8. Bonchon Chicken

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123 Brighton Ave
Boston, MA 02134
(617) 254-8888
Visit Website

Okay, okay: It’s a chain. But so is KFC, and there’s a good chance you still eat that sometimes! The fried chicken at Bonchon is revered because the fried chicken at Bonchon is out-of-this-world good.

Fried chicken at Bonchon
Fried chicken at Bonchon
Bonchon/Facebook

9. Coreanos

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172 Brighton Ave
Boston, MA 02134
(617) 208-8822
Visit Website

When Wan’s closed, it was a real blow for Allston residents. “Why’d it close? What’s going in next? Will it be any good?” Lucky for all, Coreanos was the next tenant at 172 Brighton Ave. The galbi short rib taco is a must, as is the kimchi fried rice with chicken. Keep an eye out for the restaurant’s new food truck as well.

Three Korean fusion tacos sit in a paper container on a wooden counter
It’s all about the tacos at Coreanos
Coreanos/Facebook

10. Korean Garden

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122 Harvard Ave
Boston, MA 02134
(617) 562-8989
Visit Website

The bibimbap and the various soups at Korean Garden are noteworthy (the mandu-guk, comprised of beef and vegetable dumplings in beef broth, is exceptional), but this spot is best known for its Korean barbecue. Be that square, conservative eater here and get the galbi and the chicken gui. Oh, and the banchan is plentiful.

korean garden
Barbecue at Korean Garden
Jonathan N./Yelp

11. Seoul Soulongtang

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1245 Commonwealth Avenue
Allston, MA 02134
(617) 505-6771
Visit Website

Seolleongtang means “beef bone soup” in Korean. The name of this joint, then, is quite clever. Go there and get exactly that: oxtail bones and thinly sliced beef brisket with noodles in a subdued beef broth.

Seoul Soulongtang
Soup from Seoul Soulongtang
Mark T./Yelp

12. Sojuba

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1260 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 424-1260
Visit Website

As the name might suggest, Sojuba is lousy with soju. Be careful: Soju is sneaky strong. Drink responsibly-ish, and snack on some drinking food, like the crispy chicken and scallions.

A spread of food at Sojuba
A spread of food at Sojuba
Sojuba/Facebook

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1. Woori Korean Fusion Grill

9 Medford St, Arlington, MA 02474
woori spicy crispy chicken
This spicy, crispy chicken is to die for
Woori/Facebook

Woori Korean Fusion Grill is one of the best bets for Korean outside of Boston proper. Get the spicy, crispy chicken, or get out.

9 Medford St
Arlington, MA 02474

2. Reliable Market

45 Union Square, Somerville, MA 02143
Spicy pork bulgogi and assorted banchan at Reliable Market
Spicy pork bulgogi and assorted banchan at Reliable Market
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Reliable Market is Union Square’s go-to for Korean and Japanese groceries (it’s also got a tremendous craft beer selection.) The shop started serving hot food for dining in about a year and a half ago, and boy is that a good thing. Get the spicy pork bulgogi.

45 Union Square
Somerville, MA 02143

3. Buk Kyung

9a Union Square, Somerville, MA 02143
Tofu kimchi jaeyook at Buk Kyung Somerville
Tofu kimchi jaeyook at Buk Kyung Somerville
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Whether you hit the OG Buk Kyung in Somerville or the second iteration, Buk Kyung II, in Allston, the meal is going to impress. The tofu kimchi jaeyook — a spicy pork dish — is reliable, as is the naengmyeon, which is a dish of cold buckwheat noodles served with thinly sliced beef, daikon radish, cucumber, and a boiled egg served in a chilled beef broth. On a cold day, try the mandu soup.

9a Union Square
Somerville, MA 02143

4. Kimchi Kitchen

847 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141
Popcorn chicken and tteok-bokki from Kimchi Kitchen
Popcorn chicken and tteok-bokki from Kimchi Kitchen
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Kimchi Kitchen opened in 2015 and has quickly become one of the area’s favorite Korean restaurants. As the name would suggest, it’s got some kimchi. Also: Be sure to try the popcorn chicken.

847 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141

5. Kaju Tofu House

56 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134
kaju tofu
Kimchi and pork soft tofu soup
Nina N./Yelp

Both locations (there’s a second in Kenmore Square) are beloved, but try the original in Allston. The soft tofu soup and the kimchi stew are what you should be eating.

56 Harvard Ave
Allston, MA 02134

6. Kimchipapi Kitchen

81 Harvard Ave, Boston, MA 02134
glory bowl kimchipapi kitchen
A “glory bowl” from Kimchipapi Kitchen
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Kimchipapi Kitchen is a new addition to the Allston Korean food scene. Owner Joon Son — a.k.a. the Kimchipapi himself — is a proud Allston rat, and he’s serving up a fusion of Korean, Japanese, and poke in his clean, well-lighted space.

81 Harvard Ave
Boston, MA 02134

7. Myung Dong 1st Ave

90 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134
myung dong 1st ave
The most dangerous drink in the city
Myung Dong 1st Ave/Facebook

Go to Myung Dong 1st Ave, watch K-Pop videos on the televisions, eat cheap/delicious ramen or “hangover cure” haejang-guk, and get faded on the soju watermelon.

90 Harvard Ave
Allston, MA 02134

8. Bonchon Chicken

123 Brighton Ave, Boston, MA 02134
Fried chicken at Bonchon
Fried chicken at Bonchon
Bonchon/Facebook

Okay, okay: It’s a chain. But so is KFC, and there’s a good chance you still eat that sometimes! The fried chicken at Bonchon is revered because the fried chicken at Bonchon is out-of-this-world good.

123 Brighton Ave
Boston, MA 02134

9. Coreanos

172 Brighton Ave, Boston, MA 02134
Three Korean fusion tacos sit in a paper container on a wooden counter
It’s all about the tacos at Coreanos
Coreanos/Facebook

When Wan’s closed, it was a real blow for Allston residents. “Why’d it close? What’s going in next? Will it be any good?” Lucky for all, Coreanos was the next tenant at 172 Brighton Ave. The galbi short rib taco is a must, as is the kimchi fried rice with chicken. Keep an eye out for the restaurant’s new food truck as well.

172 Brighton Ave
Boston, MA 02134

10. Korean Garden

122 Harvard Ave, Boston, MA 02134
korean garden
Barbecue at Korean Garden
Jonathan N./Yelp

The bibimbap and the various soups at Korean Garden are noteworthy (the mandu-guk, comprised of beef and vegetable dumplings in beef broth, is exceptional), but this spot is best known for its Korean barbecue. Be that square, conservative eater here and get the galbi and the chicken gui. Oh, and the banchan is plentiful.

122 Harvard Ave
Boston, MA 02134

11. Seoul Soulongtang

1245 Commonwealth Avenue, Allston, MA 02134
Seoul Soulongtang
Soup from Seoul Soulongtang
Mark T./Yelp

Seolleongtang means “beef bone soup” in Korean. The name of this joint, then, is quite clever. Go there and get exactly that: oxtail bones and thinly sliced beef brisket with noodles in a subdued beef broth.

1245 Commonwealth Avenue
Allston, MA 02134

12. Sojuba

1260 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215
A spread of food at Sojuba
A spread of food at Sojuba
Sojuba/Facebook

As the name might suggest, Sojuba is lousy with soju. Be careful: Soju is sneaky strong. Drink responsibly-ish, and snack on some drinking food, like the crispy chicken and scallions.

1260 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02215

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