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A person grilling meat on a tabletop grill that’s surrounded by side dishes.
Diners can grill their own meats at Korean barbecue expert Gogi.
Gogi [Official Photo]

20 Top Korean Restaurants in Chicago

Pass the kimchi, please

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Diners can grill their own meats at Korean barbecue expert Gogi.
| Gogi [Official Photo]

One of life’s most satisfying pleasures is watching plate after plate of banchan fill up the table. Chicago’s Korean lineup offers much more than just barbecue, though, as fusion spots and fancy restaurants are adding some extra flair to traditional dishes. From bibimbap and kimchi pancakes to hearty bowls of stew, there’s a lot to explore on the following menus. The latest additions to the list include contemporary newcomers Jeong and Perilla, and soup specialists Han Bat and Ssyal.

As of March 2, Chicago restaurants are permitted to serve customers indoors with a 50 percent maximum capacity per room, or 50 people — whichever is fewer. Regardless, the state requires reservations for both indoor and outdoor dining. However, this should not be taken as an endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns. For updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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bopNgrill

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A trip to bopNgrill means kimchi fries. Topped with caramelized kimchi, truffle oil, cheese, bacon, scallions, and sesame seeds, they’re the star of the show. But the other Korean-influenced options, such as the kimchi burger, rice bowls, and spicy pork dumplings, are highly recommended as well. A second outpost is located in Lakeview. Carryout orders can be placed here; delivery is available through third party services.

A prime spot for Korean barbecue, Gogi separates itself from the pack by focusing on quality meats and service. The staff will cook items like galbi, bulgogi, and samgyeopsal on the tabletop charcoal grills so diners won’t have to worry about it. It’s a great introduction to the dining experience for first-timers.

A person grilling meat on a tabletop grill that’s surrounded by side dishes.
Gogi is one of the best Korean barbecue spots in town.
Gogi [Official Photo]

Dak specializes in crispy and perfectly seasoned fried chicken wings. But the full menu includes rice bowls and entrees like bulgogi and dukbokki, which are also worthy choices. The wings are coated with either the signature soy-garlic-ginger sauce or a sweet and spicy red pepper sauce that adds a kick. And don’t overlook that side of moo, the restaurant’s own pickled radish. Online ordering is available here.

San Soo Gab San

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This late-night Korean restaurant is a perfect place to pad the stomach after some drinking. Regardless of the hour, San Soo Gab San satisfies with excellent banchan, kimchi-jjigae, seafood pancakes, and grilled meats. A second location is in suburban Morton Grove.

A person grilling meat on a tabletop grill that’s surrounded by banchan.
Fans love the grilling experience and variety of side dishes at San Soo Gab San.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

A favorite for after-hours Korean bar food, Dancen is best known for its fire chicken. The amazingly spicy dish is a must-try for first timers and should be ordered with a layer of melted cheese on top. The space is small, which makes the tall flames from the open grill seem ever-looming, but the succulent skewers of meats and solid drinks make it worth the wait.

Han Bat

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Those in the know head to this unassuming Lincoln Square spot for a Seoul specialty — ox bone soup. The comforting milky white broth, called seolleongtang, is teeming with noodles and choice of cow parts such as brisket, flank steak, tripe, tendon, and tongue. The dish can also be seasoned with salt, chopped green onions, and chili paste, and is served alongside rice and kimchi.

Feeling under the weather? A bowl of Ssyal’s samgye-tang, or ginseng chicken soup, should do the trick. An entire Cornish hen is stuffed with glutinous rice, jujubes, garlic, and ginseng root and then simmered to produce the nourishing broth. It’s served with sweet brown rice and mixed greens.

A bowl of Korean ginseng chicken soup.
Fans of Ssyal come for the ginseng chicken soup.
Ssyal [Official Photo]

Cho Sun Ok

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If there’s no line out the door at Cho Sun Ok, diners should consider themselves lucky. Offering Korean barbecue and a long list of traditional soups and noodles, this no-frills Lincoln Square restaurant is a Korean staple. It’s also BYOB, so feel free to pair the food with whatever whets the appetite.

Parachute

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Chefs Johnny Clark and Beverly Kim are lauded for their Michelin-starred work at Parachute, and the accolade is well-deserved. The couple regularly change the menu but whatever they offer is consistently excellent and elegantly plated with Korean and American influences. The bing bread is a must (it also spawned a cookbook), while rotating bibimbaps are always a solid choice. Parachute is currently offering an abbreviated to-go menu, as well as Korean-inspired pizzas from a new spin-off called Korini’s Pizza. Order pickup here; delivery ordering is available through Tock.

Joong Boo Market

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Joong Boo is a great place to stock the pantry with foodstuffs like miso, specialty noodles, and soy sauces. Tucked away in the back is a noteworthy restaurant, dubbed Snack Corner, with a few tables and plenty of delights to enjoy. Pick from dishes such as bibimbap, sundubu-jjigae, and tteokguk (rice cake soup) before taking care of a little grocery shopping.

For the ultimate sauced chicken wings, Crisp is king. Three sauces — barbecue, a housemade marinade called Seoul Sassy, and Buffalo — are available, or diners can opt to keep them plain. The Seoul Sassy is the crowd favorite, made with soy, garlic, and ginger and tossed with crunchy scallions. The jumbo-sized wings boast a shatteringly crispy exterior, and diners would do well to make it a double order. Online orders can be placed here.

Del Seoul

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This fusion spot serves exciting West-Coast-style Korean tacos stuffed with kalbi, sesame chili shrimp, and more. It’s a great spot for a quick meal, and the menu includes other items like Korean barbecue bento boxes, banh mi with bulgogi, and kimchi fries. Online ordering is available here.

Four Korean barbecue tacos.
Korean and Mexican flavors meet at Del Seoul.
Del Seoul [Official Photo]

Landbirds

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Owner and chef Eddie Lee replicates the Asian-style lollipop wings he grew up eating at his tiny Logan Square restaurant. Inspired by Chinese-Korean stalwart Great Sea, these finger-licking-good bites are made by cutting the meat on full-sized wings and pushing it down the bone. They’re then twice-fried and tossed in a special sweet and spicy sauce, which is available in four different heat levels. Each order comes with a side of rice, but diners can also opt for musubi fried rice filled with Spam, kimchi, and the house sauce.

En Hakkore

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The menu is short but sweet at this Korean-fusion spot. Customers can get bowls of bibimbap, mandu dumplings, japchae, and tacos served on Indian-style paratha. A sister restaurant, En Hakkore 2.0, offers additional items like kimchi and bulgogi fries.

Mott St

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The ever-popular Asian-fusion restaurant has been huge hit with Chicagoans since debuting back in 2013. Chef Edward Kim delivers Korean-inspired creations, such as cabbage stuffed with kimchi and pork shoulder; mentaiko kimchi udon; and “Everything Wings” glazed with soy, jaggery, and dried chilies. The burger also ranks among the city’s finest and features two chuck patties topped with American cheese, sweet potato straws, hoisin aioli, pickled jalapenos, dill pickles, and miso butter onions. Pickup and delivery orders can be placed on Mott Street’s website.

Eater Chicago’s 2019 Chef of the Year Dave Park and partner Jennifer Tran elevated Korean cuisine to new heights with the opening of their contemporary restaurant in West Town. The couple showcase Korean ingredients and flavors through intricate and refined plates. Park constructs beautiful dishes like salmon tartare dressed with creme fraiche and crispy rice pearls; and seared scallop with beurre blanc sauce, spinach, trout roe, and chives. As a result of the pandemic, Jeong has pivoted to focus on a dine-in tasting menu.

A bright sashimi dish that’s shaped like a disc.
Chef Dave Park take a fine dining approach to Korean cuisine at Jeong.
Jeong/Hahm Visuals

Perilla

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Grilled meats may seem like the main attraction at this Korean American restaurant but the rest of the menu also deserves to be explored. In addition to barbecue items like marinated galbi, short rib, and pork belly, there are terrific versions of fire chicken, kimchi pancakes, hot stone bibimbap, and other classics. A Korean fried chicken spin-off, Sir Chicken, operates out of Perilla’s kitchen as well. It features double-fried pieces of poultry that are coated in a sweet and spicy sauce and finished off with sesame seeds, toasted seaweed, and dehydrated scallions. Carryout orders can be placed here; delivery is available through third party services.

SGD Tofu & Korean BBQ

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Housed in the food court of H Mart, this small national chain focuses on the bubbling hot tofu stew known as sundubu-jjigae. The dish features a spicy broth loaded with soft tofu, veggies, noodles (optional), and choice of protein. Other menu items include dolsot bibimbap, fried dumplings, beef short ribs, and bulgogi. Additional SGD Dobu outposts are located in suburban Schaumburg, Glenview, and Oakbrook Terrace.

A variety of Korean dishes spread out on a table.
Visit H Mart’s food court for warming tofu stew.
SGD Tofu & Korean BBQ [Official Photo]

Ahjoomah's Apron

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One of the few Korean restaurants in Chinatown offers all of the essential soups, noodles, grilled meats, and traditional dishes that one would expect. Whether it’s kimbap or jajangmyeon, both novices and vets will find something to enjoy. Online ordering is available here.

Maria’s Packaged Goods’ attached restaurant Kimski fuses Korean and Polish cuisine for some of the most interesting bites in Chicago. Think smoked and fried wings in a sweet and spicy sauce, and a Polish sausage topped with soju mustard, kimchi sauerkraut (lovingly dubbed “kraut-chi”), scallions, and sesame seeds. The patio and a long list of beers from Maria’s are the cherry on top.

bopNgrill

A trip to bopNgrill means kimchi fries. Topped with caramelized kimchi, truffle oil, cheese, bacon, scallions, and sesame seeds, they’re the star of the show. But the other Korean-influenced options, such as the kimchi burger, rice bowls, and spicy pork dumplings, are highly recommended as well. A second outpost is located in Lakeview. Carryout orders can be placed here; delivery is available through third party services.

Gogi

A person grilling meat on a tabletop grill that’s surrounded by side dishes.
Gogi is one of the best Korean barbecue spots in town.
Gogi [Official Photo]

A prime spot for Korean barbecue, Gogi separates itself from the pack by focusing on quality meats and service. The staff will cook items like galbi, bulgogi, and samgyeopsal on the tabletop charcoal grills so diners won’t have to worry about it. It’s a great introduction to the dining experience for first-timers.

A person grilling meat on a tabletop grill that’s surrounded by side dishes.
Gogi is one of the best Korean barbecue spots in town.
Gogi [Official Photo]

Dak

Dak specializes in crispy and perfectly seasoned fried chicken wings. But the full menu includes rice bowls and entrees like bulgogi and dukbokki, which are also worthy choices. The wings are coated with either the signature soy-garlic-ginger sauce or a sweet and spicy red pepper sauce that adds a kick. And don’t overlook that side of moo, the restaurant’s own pickled radish. Online ordering is available here.

San Soo Gab San

A person grilling meat on a tabletop grill that’s surrounded by banchan.
Fans love the grilling experience and variety of side dishes at San Soo Gab San.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

This late-night Korean restaurant is a perfect place to pad the stomach after some drinking. Regardless of the hour, San Soo Gab San satisfies with excellent banchan, kimchi-jjigae, seafood pancakes, and grilled meats. A second location is in suburban Morton Grove.

A person grilling meat on a tabletop grill that’s surrounded by banchan.
Fans love the grilling experience and variety of side dishes at San Soo Gab San.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Dancen

A favorite for after-hours Korean bar food, Dancen is best known for its fire chicken. The amazingly spicy dish is a must-try for first timers and should be ordered with a layer of melted cheese on top. The space is small, which makes the tall flames from the open grill seem ever-looming, but the succulent skewers of meats and solid drinks make it worth the wait.

Han Bat

Those in the know head to this unassuming Lincoln Square spot for a Seoul specialty — ox bone soup. The comforting milky white broth, called seolleongtang, is teeming with noodles and choice of cow parts such as brisket, flank steak, tripe, tendon, and tongue. The dish can also be seasoned with salt, chopped green onions, and chili paste, and is served alongside rice and kimchi.

Ssyal

A bowl of Korean ginseng chicken soup.
Fans of Ssyal come for the ginseng chicken soup.
Ssyal [Official Photo]

Feeling under the weather? A bowl of Ssyal’s samgye-tang, or ginseng chicken soup, should do the trick. An entire Cornish hen is stuffed with glutinous rice, jujubes, garlic, and ginseng root and then simmered to produce the nourishing broth. It’s served with sweet brown rice and mixed greens.

A bowl of Korean ginseng chicken soup.
Fans of Ssyal come for the ginseng chicken soup.
Ssyal [Official Photo]

Cho Sun Ok

If there’s no line out the door at Cho Sun Ok, diners should consider themselves lucky. Offering Korean barbecue and a long list of traditional soups and noodles, this no-frills Lincoln Square restaurant is a Korean staple. It’s also BYOB, so feel free to pair the food with whatever whets the appetite.

Parachute

Chefs Johnny Clark and Beverly Kim are lauded for their Michelin-starred work at Parachute, and the accolade is well-deserved. The couple regularly change the menu but whatever they offer is consistently excellent and elegantly plated with Korean and American influences. The bing bread is a must (it also spawned a cookbook), while rotating bibimbaps are always a solid choice. Parachute is currently offering an abbreviated to-go menu, as well as Korean-inspired pizzas from a new spin-off called Korini’s Pizza. Order pickup here; delivery ordering is available through Tock.

Joong Boo Market

Joong Boo is a great place to stock the pantry with foodstuffs like miso, specialty noodles, and soy sauces. Tucked away in the back is a noteworthy restaurant, dubbed Snack Corner, with a few tables and plenty of delights to enjoy. Pick from dishes such as bibimbap, sundubu-jjigae, and tteokguk (rice cake soup) before taking care of a little grocery shopping.

Crisp

For the ultimate sauced chicken wings, Crisp is king. Three sauces — barbecue, a housemade marinade called Seoul Sassy, and Buffalo — are available, or diners can opt to keep them plain. The Seoul Sassy is the crowd favorite, made with soy, garlic, and ginger and tossed with crunchy scallions. The jumbo-sized wings boast a shatteringly crispy exterior, and diners would do well to make it a double order. Online orders can be placed here.

Del Seoul

Four Korean barbecue tacos.
Korean and Mexican flavors meet at Del Seoul.
Del Seoul [Official Photo]

This fusion spot serves exciting West-Coast-style Korean tacos stuffed with kalbi, sesame chili shrimp, and more. It’s a great spot for a quick meal, and the menu includes other items like Korean barbecue bento boxes, banh mi with bulgogi, and kimchi fries. Online ordering is available here.

Four Korean barbecue tacos.
Korean and Mexican flavors meet at Del Seoul.
Del Seoul [Official Photo]

Landbirds

Owner and chef Eddie Lee replicates the Asian-style lollipop wings he grew up eating at his tiny Logan Square restaurant. Inspired by Chinese-Korean stalwart Great Sea, these finger-licking-good bites are made by cutting the meat on full-sized wings and pushing it down the bone. They’re then twice-fried and tossed in a special sweet and spicy sauce, which is available in four different heat levels. Each order comes with a side of rice, but diners can also opt for musubi fried rice filled with Spam, kimchi, and the house sauce.

En Hakkore

The menu is short but sweet at this Korean-fusion spot. Customers can get bowls of bibimbap, mandu dumplings, japchae, and tacos served on Indian-style paratha. A sister restaurant, En Hakkore 2.0, offers additional items like kimchi and bulgogi fries.

Mott St

The ever-popular Asian-fusion restaurant has been huge hit with Chicagoans since debuting back in 2013. Chef Edward Kim delivers Korean-inspired creations, such as cabbage stuffed with kimchi and pork shoulder; mentaiko kimchi udon; and “Everything Wings” glazed with soy, jaggery, and dried chilies. The burger also ranks among the city’s finest and features two chuck patties topped with American cheese, sweet potato straws, hoisin aioli, pickled jalapenos, dill pickles, and miso butter onions. Pickup and delivery orders can be placed on Mott Street’s website.

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Jeong

A bright sashimi dish that’s shaped like a disc.
Chef Dave Park take a fine dining approach to Korean cuisine at Jeong.
Jeong/Hahm Visuals

Eater Chicago’s 2019 Chef of the Year Dave Park and partner Jennifer Tran elevated Korean cuisine to new heights with the opening of their contemporary restaurant in West Town. The couple showcase Korean ingredients and flavors through intricate and refined plates. Park constructs beautiful dishes like salmon tartare dressed with creme fraiche and crispy rice pearls; and seared scallop with beurre blanc sauce, spinach, trout roe, and chives. As a result of the pandemic, Jeong has pivoted to focus on a dine-in tasting menu.

A bright sashimi dish that’s shaped like a disc.
Chef Dave Park take a fine dining approach to Korean cuisine at Jeong.
Jeong/Hahm Visuals

Perilla

Grilled meats may seem like the main attraction at this Korean American restaurant but the rest of the menu also deserves to be explored. In addition to barbecue items like marinated galbi, short rib, and pork belly, there are terrific versions of fire chicken, kimchi pancakes, hot stone bibimbap, and other classics. A Korean fried chicken spin-off, Sir Chicken, operates out of Perilla’s kitchen as well. It features double-fried pieces of poultry that are coated in a sweet and spicy sauce and finished off with sesame seeds, toasted seaweed, and dehydrated scallions. Carryout orders can be placed here; delivery is available through third party services.

SGD Tofu & Korean BBQ

A variety of Korean dishes spread out on a table.
Visit H Mart’s food court for warming tofu stew.
SGD Tofu & Korean BBQ [Official Photo]

Housed in the food court of H Mart, this small national chain focuses on the bubbling hot tofu stew known as sundubu-jjigae. The dish features a spicy broth loaded with soft tofu, veggies, noodles (optional), and choice of protein. Other menu items include dolsot bibimbap, fried dumplings, beef short ribs, and bulgogi. Additional SGD Dobu outposts are located in suburban Schaumburg, Glenview, and Oakbrook Terrace.

A variety of Korean dishes spread out on a table.
Visit H Mart’s food court for warming tofu stew.
SGD Tofu & Korean BBQ [Official Photo]

Ahjoomah's Apron

One of the few Korean restaurants in Chinatown offers all of the essential soups, noodles, grilled meats, and traditional dishes that one would expect. Whether it’s kimbap or jajangmyeon, both novices and vets will find something to enjoy. Online ordering is available here.

Kimski

Maria’s Packaged Goods’ attached restaurant Kimski fuses Korean and Polish cuisine for some of the most interesting bites in Chicago. Think smoked and fried wings in a sweet and spicy sauce, and a Polish sausage topped with soju mustard, kimchi sauerkraut (lovingly dubbed “kraut-chi”), scallions, and sesame seeds. The patio and a long list of beers from Maria’s are the cherry on top.

Related Maps