clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Joule’s short rib steak with grilled peppers and kimchi, splashed with a brown sauce.
The short rib steak at Joule.
Courtesy of Joule

Where to Get Knockout Korean Food in the Seattle Area

With satisfying barbecued meats, simmering jjigae, and more

View as Map
The short rib steak at Joule.
| Courtesy of Joule

In the past, a lot of diners would need to drive well outside Seattle’s center to score great Korean food, either north, stretching up to Lynwood, or south, to Federal Way or Lakewood’s Korean dining district. These areas remain packed with great Korean restaurants, but there are also good options closer to the center of Seattle. These include refreshing, modern takes on Korean food at James Beard Award-nominated restaurant Joule, Paju (which was one of The New York Time’s favorite restaurants in the country in 2021), and the upscale newcomer Wero.

Note: This list focuses on restaurants slightly closer to central Seattle, and does not include the many fantastic Korean restaurants in Federal Way or the Tacoma area. Many of those are included in Eater Seattle’s maps for Federal Way and Tacoma.

Know of a spot that should be on our radar? Send us a tip by emailing seattle@eater.com. As usual, this list is not ranked; it’s organized geographically.

For all the latest Seattle dining intel, subscribe to Eater Seattle’s newsletter.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
If you book a reservation through an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

After operating as a pop-up for two years, Wero officially became a brick-and-mortar restaurant in the spring of 2022, taking over what was formerly a gastropub called the Gerald, where chef Wes Yoo had already been at the helm. Yoo’s small menu comprises updated takes on classic Korean comfort food (Wero means “comfort”). Highlights include jeon (a huge, crispy pancake made with potato, kimchi, and mung beans), kalbi-marinated steak ssam, and jiajang dubop (roasted pork shoulder with mushrooms and vegetables in fermented black bean sauce). The cocktails shine too, like the luminous green sumnara, with vodka, soju, vanilla, coconut, honey, lemon, matcha, and ginger beer. 

A ceramic plate with steak topped with micro greens, lettuce, a small bowl of red-brown sauce, and a few side dishes, including kimchi.
Wero’s steak ssam is made with kalbi-marinated American wagyu zabuton and served with a variety of banchan.
Wes Yoo

Watson's Counter

Copy Link

Ballard’s Korean-influenced coffee shop serves wonderful brews and Instagram-worthy French toast, which has the perfect combination of crunchiness and sweetness thanks to a cereal-coated crust (options include Fruity Pebbles or Frosted Flakes). Those with a strong appetite may want to tackle the barbecue plate, with roasted pork, samjang, and various kimchi, or the Korean poutine.

Choice Deli & Grocery

Copy Link

What looks like (and is) an upscale bottle shop at first glance hides a wonderful secret: some of the best Korean fried chicken in the city. The menu includes standard Asian American fare like gyoza and broccoli beef as well, and the business was featured in The Seattle Times a few years back for its teriyaki. But the juicy, crispy Korean fried chicken is the star of the show here — and also perhaps the best deal in town, at only $9.99 for twelve pieces. The chicken is perfect for enjoying with one of the many local beers on tap.

Golden-brown fried chicken wings in a takeout box.
A dozen crispy rice-flour chicken wings with Korean barbecue sauce is only ten bucks at Choice in Ballard.
Meg van Huygen

This cozy Lower Queen Anne restaurant serves up contemporary takes on classic dishes like yukhoe (beef tartare) and haemul pajeon (seafood pancake). But the Paju fried rice is the real showstopper with a smoked quail egg yolk centered on the squid ink-blackened, kimchi and bacon-enhanced rice. In 2021, the restaurant was listed as one of the New York Times’ best restaurants in America.

Squid ink fried rice with a smoked quail egg at Paju.
Squid fried rice with a smoked quail egg.
Jay Friedman/Eater Seattle

Hae-Nam Kalbi and Calamari

Copy Link

This popular Shoreline restaurant has a widespread menu of Korean classics, with large portions at reasonable prices. It’s a good place to try bibim naengmyeon, offering diners a spicy mass of buckwheat noodles with daikon kimchi, beef slices, Asian pear, and half of a hard-boiled egg. And, yes, the kalbi and calamari are excellent as well.

Pork belly and squid stone pot at <span data-author="-1">Hae-Nam Kalbi </span><span data-author="2187728">and </span><span data-author="-1">Calamari.</span>
Pork belly and squid stone pot
Jay Friedman/Eater Seattle

Old Village Korean BBQ Bistro

Copy Link

This restaurant at the northern edge of Seattle is particularly popular for its grill-your-own Korean barbecue. Diners can choose from platters of kalbi (boneless, or even better, with the bone), skirt steak, brisket, and beef tongue.

Bibimbap in a stone pot at Old Village Korean BBQ&nbsp;Bistro.
Bibimbap in a stone pot.
Courtesy of Old Village Korean BBQ Bistro

Stars In The Sky

Copy Link

This Korean pub in Edmonds had been known for karaoke in pre-pandemic times, but what really sings here is the Korean fried chicken (KFC), which one can get “naked” or seasoned in choices of Asian garlic, sweet & spicy, extra spicy, and honey butter garlic. Diners should also try the tteokbokki rice cakes and the corn cheese.

KFC sweet and spicy, alongside the “naked” version at Stars in the Sky.
KFC sweet and spicy, alongside the “naked” version.
Courtesy of Stars in the Sky

At this James Beard Award-nominated Fremont restaurant known for its meats, diners will find short ribs with grilled peppers and kimchi (simply called “that” short rib steak). But there are non beefy options on the menu, including a delightful kombu-cured mackerel. The more casual sibling spot Revel also recently got a Fremont revival, and serves excellent dumplings, noodles, and rice bowls. Both are open for takeout and limited dine-in.

Joule’s short rib steak with grilled peppers and kimchi, splashed with a brown sauce.
Short rib steak.
Courtesy of Joule

Traditional Korean Beef Soup

Copy Link

This restaurant's namesake dish (called seolleongtang in Korean) features a broth made from ox bones, brisket, and other beefy body parts, cooked for more than 24 hours. The “mixed” version is a treat with brisket, tongue, and shank. The spot is open for dine-in, but the soup is a comfort food classic that still holds up when reheated at home.

Seolleongtang and banchan at Traditional Korean Beef&nbsp;Soup.
Seolleongtang and banchan.
Jay Friedman/Eater Seattle

Kong Tofu House

Copy Link

The casual Korean chain offers some of the best value for soondubu jigae (silken tofu stew). There are other solid items on the menu, but the soft tofu soup is the main draw, the fiery bowls filled with a choice of beef, pork, seafood, intestines, dumplings, vegetables, and more.

Top-down view of soon doo boo chigae and banchan at Kong Tofu House.
Soon doo boo chigae and banchan.
Courtesy of Kong Tofu House

Milkie Milkie Desserts Cafe

Copy Link

The bingsoo (shave ice) here in the International District and at the Edmonds location is lusciously snowy and comes in a variety of flavors including taro, green tea, and black sesame. Diners can also get them topped with fresh mango or strawberries. There’s also a selection of toast made with injeolmi — a chewy, soft rice cake similar to Japanese mochi.

Green tea toast and taro bingsoo at Milkie Milkie.
Green tea toast and taro bingsoo
Jay Friedman for Eater

Meet Korean BBQ

Copy Link

This new Capitol Hill Korean barbecue spot has launched a takeout and delivery service in conjunction with Pike Place sibling restaurant Chan. Items include corn cheese and wagyu soybean stew, as well as a chef’s choice of four cuts of assorted meats, either grilled or raw, with japchae, banchan, ssam, and pa muchim. It’s also open for dine-in service.

Korean Tofu House

Copy Link

For over a decade, this U District mainstay has been a popular spot to indulge in soondubu jjigae, a spicy tofu stew. Even if the usual college crowd has thinned out due to the pandemic, it’s still worth the trip for both the soup and other excellent dishes, such as kimchi fried rice and beef short ribs.

Soondubu jjigae at Korean Tofu House in a pot with sides in the background
Soondubu jjigae at Korean Tofu House
Courtesy of Korean Tofu House

Chi Mac

Copy Link

Chi Mac feels like a good fit for the Ave (University Way) in the University District, offering a college bar vibe, crushable chicken wings, and Korean beer and soju. The restaurants batters and sauces its chicken with a refreshingly light touch, whether diners choose dry, parmesan-sprinkled snow wings or delicately glazed, crispy soy garlic wings. It’s open for takeout and dine-in service, and there’s a newer Bellevue outpost as well.

Sam Oh Joung Restaurant

Copy Link

Here’s another Lynnwood standout boasting a broad menu, with a few items of special interest. The chung gook jang chigae is a fermented soybean and soybean paste soup that has a strong, funky flavor. Gamjatang is a spicy pork-bone stew with vegetables, and the ganjang-gejang (raw crabs in soy sauce) is a saline, nectarine treat.

A orange-colored soup topped with straw mushrooms and scallions in a black bowl.
The pork bone soup at Sam Oh Joung Restaurant.
Jay Friedman/Eater Seattle

Ka Won

Copy Link

This Lynnwood spot is one of the more popular places for bulgogi (marinated meat typically grilled with onions and peppers). One of its specialties is ttukbaegi bulgogi, which comes with sliced rice cake, vegetables, and glass noodles cooked in beef rib broth.

A meaty Korean dish at Ka Won in Lynwood.
Lynwood’s Ka Won is a popular spot for bulgogi.
Courtesy of Ka Won

Folks are doing some revolutionary fast-food work in a little hut in the Lynnwood H-Mart parking lot. The little sister of Everett’s Chop Express, the Lynnwood Chops only does bowls and Korean burritos, but not quite like their inventor, L.A’.s Roy Choi, does them. These are lined with white rice, like a sushi roll, then wrapped in a tortilla. Chops also ups its Korrito (Korean burrito) game by offering eight different fillings, including the Flaming Boar, with barbecued pork, daikon, cilantro, cabbage, and spicy mayo, and the Locosoba, with bulgogi beef, soba (noodles), scrambled eggs, cheese, cabbage, and mayonnaise. It’s a whole new level.

Two burrito halves filled with bulgogi, vegetables and rice.
The Flaming Boar at Chops is loaded with saucy Korean barbecued pork, dressed with fresh veggies and mayo, encased in rice, and rolled in a tortilla.
Meg van Huygen/Eater Seattle

WeRo

A ceramic plate with steak topped with micro greens, lettuce, a small bowl of red-brown sauce, and a few side dishes, including kimchi.
Wero’s steak ssam is made with kalbi-marinated American wagyu zabuton and served with a variety of banchan.
Wes Yoo

After operating as a pop-up for two years, Wero officially became a brick-and-mortar restaurant in the spring of 2022, taking over what was formerly a gastropub called the Gerald, where chef Wes Yoo had already been at the helm. Yoo’s small menu comprises updated takes on classic Korean comfort food (Wero means “comfort”). Highlights include jeon (a huge, crispy pancake made with potato, kimchi, and mung beans), kalbi-marinated steak ssam, and jiajang dubop (roasted pork shoulder with mushrooms and vegetables in fermented black bean sauce). The cocktails shine too, like the luminous green sumnara, with vodka, soju, vanilla, coconut, honey, lemon, matcha, and ginger beer. 

A ceramic plate with steak topped with micro greens, lettuce, a small bowl of red-brown sauce, and a few side dishes, including kimchi.
Wero’s steak ssam is made with kalbi-marinated American wagyu zabuton and served with a variety of banchan.
Wes Yoo

Watson's Counter

Ballard’s Korean-influenced coffee shop serves wonderful brews and Instagram-worthy French toast, which has the perfect combination of crunchiness and sweetness thanks to a cereal-coated crust (options include Fruity Pebbles or Frosted Flakes). Those with a strong appetite may want to tackle the barbecue plate, with roasted pork, samjang, and various kimchi, or the Korean poutine.

Choice Deli & Grocery

Golden-brown fried chicken wings in a takeout box.
A dozen crispy rice-flour chicken wings with Korean barbecue sauce is only ten bucks at Choice in Ballard.
Meg van Huygen

What looks like (and is) an upscale bottle shop at first glance hides a wonderful secret: some of the best Korean fried chicken in the city. The menu includes standard Asian American fare like gyoza and broccoli beef as well, and the business was featured in The Seattle Times a few years back for its teriyaki. But the juicy, crispy Korean fried chicken is the star of the show here — and also perhaps the best deal in town, at only $9.99 for twelve pieces. The chicken is perfect for enjoying with one of the many local beers on tap.

Golden-brown fried chicken wings in a takeout box.
A dozen crispy rice-flour chicken wings with Korean barbecue sauce is only ten bucks at Choice in Ballard.
Meg van Huygen

Paju

Squid ink fried rice with a smoked quail egg at Paju.
Squid fried rice with a smoked quail egg.
Jay Friedman/Eater Seattle

This cozy Lower Queen Anne restaurant serves up contemporary takes on classic dishes like yukhoe (beef tartare) and haemul pajeon (seafood pancake). But the Paju fried rice is the real showstopper with a smoked quail egg yolk centered on the squid ink-blackened, kimchi and bacon-enhanced rice. In 2021, the restaurant was listed as one of the New York Times’ best restaurants in America.

Squid ink fried rice with a smoked quail egg at Paju.
Squid fried rice with a smoked quail egg.
Jay Friedman/Eater Seattle

Hae-Nam Kalbi and Calamari

Pork belly and squid stone pot at <span data-author="-1">Hae-Nam Kalbi </span><span data-author="2187728">and </span><span data-author="-1">Calamari.</span>
Pork belly and squid stone pot
Jay Friedman/Eater Seattle

This popular Shoreline restaurant has a widespread menu of Korean classics, with large portions at reasonable prices. It’s a good place to try bibim naengmyeon, offering diners a spicy mass of buckwheat noodles with daikon kimchi, beef slices, Asian pear, and half of a hard-boiled egg. And, yes, the kalbi and calamari are excellent as well.

Pork belly and squid stone pot at <span data-author="-1">Hae-Nam Kalbi </span><span data-author="2187728">and </span><span data-author="-1">Calamari.</span>
Pork belly and squid stone pot
Jay Friedman/Eater Seattle

Old Village Korean BBQ Bistro

Bibimbap in a stone pot at Old Village Korean BBQ&nbsp;Bistro.
Bibimbap in a stone pot.
Courtesy of Old Village Korean BBQ Bistro

This restaurant at the northern edge of Seattle is particularly popular for its grill-your-own Korean barbecue. Diners can choose from platters of kalbi (boneless, or even better, with the bone), skirt steak, brisket, and beef tongue.

Bibimbap in a stone pot at Old Village Korean BBQ&nbsp;Bistro.
Bibimbap in a stone pot.
Courtesy of Old Village Korean BBQ Bistro

Stars In The Sky

KFC sweet and spicy, alongside the “naked” version at Stars in the Sky.
KFC sweet and spicy, alongside the “naked” version.
Courtesy of Stars in the Sky

This Korean pub in Edmonds had been known for karaoke in pre-pandemic times, but what really sings here is the Korean fried chicken (KFC), which one can get “naked” or seasoned in choices of Asian garlic, sweet & spicy, extra spicy, and honey butter garlic. Diners should also try the tteokbokki rice cakes and the corn cheese.

KFC sweet and spicy, alongside the “naked” version at Stars in the Sky.
KFC sweet and spicy, alongside the “naked” version.
Courtesy of Stars in the Sky

Joule

Joule’s short rib steak with grilled peppers and kimchi, splashed with a brown sauce.
Short rib steak.
Courtesy of Joule

At this James Beard Award-nominated Fremont restaurant known for its meats, diners will find short ribs with grilled peppers and kimchi (simply called “that” short rib steak). But there are non beefy options on the menu, including a delightful kombu-cured mackerel. The more casual sibling spot Revel also recently got a Fremont revival, and serves excellent dumplings, noodles, and rice bowls. Both are open for takeout and limited dine-in.

Joule’s short rib steak with grilled peppers and kimchi, splashed with a brown sauce.
Short rib steak.
Courtesy of Joule

Traditional Korean Beef Soup

Seolleongtang and banchan at Traditional Korean Beef&nbsp;Soup.
Seolleongtang and banchan.
Jay Friedman/Eater Seattle

This restaurant's namesake dish (called seolleongtang in Korean) features a broth made from ox bones, brisket, and other beefy body parts, cooked for more than 24 hours. The “mixed” version is a treat with brisket, tongue, and shank. The spot is open for dine-in, but the soup is a comfort food classic that still holds up when reheated at home.

Seolleongtang and banchan at Traditional Korean Beef&nbsp;Soup.
Seolleongtang and banchan.
Jay Friedman/Eater Seattle

Kong Tofu House

Top-down view of soon doo boo chigae and banchan at Kong Tofu House.
Soon doo boo chigae and banchan.
Courtesy of Kong Tofu House

The casual Korean chain offers some of the best value for soondubu jigae (silken tofu stew). There are other solid items on the menu, but the soft tofu soup is the main draw, the fiery bowls filled with a choice of beef, pork, seafood, intestines, dumplings, vegetables, and more.

Top-down view of soon doo boo chigae and banchan at Kong Tofu House.
Soon doo boo chigae and banchan.
Courtesy of Kong Tofu House

Milkie Milkie Desserts Cafe

Green tea toast and taro bingsoo at Milkie Milkie.
Green tea toast and taro bingsoo
Jay Friedman for Eater

The bingsoo (shave ice) here in the International District and at the Edmonds location is lusciously snowy and comes in a variety of flavors including taro, green tea, and black sesame. Diners can also get them topped with fresh mango or strawberries. There’s also a selection of toast made with injeolmi — a chewy, soft rice cake similar to Japanese mochi.

Green tea toast and taro bingsoo at Milkie Milkie.
Green tea toast and taro bingsoo
Jay Friedman for Eater

Meet Korean BBQ

This new Capitol Hill Korean barbecue spot has launched a takeout and delivery service in conjunction with Pike Place sibling restaurant Chan. Items include corn cheese and wagyu soybean stew, as well as a chef’s choice of four cuts of assorted meats, either grilled or raw, with japchae, banchan, ssam, and pa muchim. It’s also open for dine-in service.

Korean Tofu House

Soondubu jjigae at Korean Tofu House in a pot with sides in the background
Soondubu jjigae at Korean Tofu House
Courtesy of Korean Tofu House

For over a decade, this U District mainstay has been a popular spot to indulge in soondubu jjigae, a spicy tofu stew. Even if the usual college crowd has thinned out due to the pandemic, it’s still worth the trip for both the soup and other excellent dishes, such as kimchi fried rice and beef short ribs.

Soondubu jjigae at Korean Tofu House in a pot with sides in the background
Soondubu jjigae at Korean Tofu House
Courtesy of Korean Tofu House

Chi Mac

Chi Mac feels like a good fit for the Ave (University Way) in the University District, offering a college bar vibe, crushable chicken wings, and Korean beer and soju. The restaurants batters and sauces its chicken with a refreshingly light touch, whether diners choose dry, parmesan-sprinkled snow wings or delicately glazed, crispy soy garlic wings. It’s open for takeout and dine-in service, and there’s a newer Bellevue outpost as well.

Sam Oh Joung Restaurant

A orange-colored soup topped with straw mushrooms and scallions in a black bowl.
The pork bone soup at Sam Oh Joung Restaurant.
Jay Friedman/Eater Seattle

Here’s another Lynnwood standout boasting a broad menu, with a few items of special interest. The chung gook jang chigae is a fermented soybean and soybean paste soup that has a strong, funky flavor. Gamjatang is a spicy pork-bone stew with vegetables, and the ganjang-gejang (raw crabs in soy sauce) is a saline, nectarine treat.

A orange-colored soup topped with straw mushrooms and scallions in a black bowl.
The pork bone soup at Sam Oh Joung Restaurant.
Jay Friedman/Eater Seattle

Related Maps

Ka Won

A meaty Korean dish at Ka Won in Lynwood.
Lynwood’s Ka Won is a popular spot for bulgogi.
Courtesy of Ka Won

This Lynnwood spot is one of the more popular places for bulgogi (marinated meat typically grilled with onions and peppers). One of its specialties is ttukbaegi bulgogi, which comes with sliced rice cake, vegetables, and glass noodles cooked in beef rib broth.