Highlights of K-Town

By Helen Yang & Pang Joo Zheng

Ann-yeong Ha-se-yo 안녕하세요(How are you in Korean)! Once visitors come to New York City, one of the interesting places to visit is K-town (Korean Town). K-town is located on 32nd Street in Manhattan, where visitors can find traditional Korean cuisine, entertainment, museum, and so much fun there. We are going to introduce several must-see places in K-town. Korean Town was founded in 1970. After passage of the Hart-Cellar Immigration Act of 1965, many Koreans began moving to the United States. New York City became one of the destinations they chose to move to, and they started their business on 32nd St.-Korea Way. After reading our article, please be sure to find some time to visit K-town!

 Restaurants

Korea Spoon
39 W 32nd St (at 5th Ave and Broadway) New York, NY 10016

Step onto 32nd St., the beginning of Korean Town, and a chic, modern and spacious restaurant comes into view. Compared to other Korean restaurants in the area, Korea Spoon is a newly-opened restaurant. And it looks quite different from the other restaurants. The ambience is upscale and makes you feel comfortable. Most of the decor is imported from Korea. If you are on a date and want to have a conversation with more privacy, Korea Spoon would be a good choice. The service they provide in the separated dining areas for BBQ-oriented and non-BBQ customers, is very attentive. And the separated ding areas help prevent the restaurant from becoming too smoky. Both the food and interior decor of Korea Spoon combine to give you a fine dining experience. The other features of Korea Spoon are full bar service and 24 hours of business. Korea Spoon can be a peaceful and modern choice without taking a bite out of your budget.

Shilla Korean Barbecue House
37 West 32nd Street, New York, NY 10001

Shilla is always one of the must-eat spots when mentioning Korean BBQ in K-Town. It is open 24/7. From the many autographs and celebrity photos hanging on the wall, we can tell that the food here is practically guaranteed authentic and tasty. It is located in the heart of Manhattan’s K-Town. There are three floors of seats which can accommodate many parties or groups. Open since 2005, Shilla has earned a word-of-mouth reputation from both local residents and online reviews. What deserves to be mentioned are the lunch specials here… which are great deals! The appropriate portion of entree and a great variety of side dishes can cost less than $10 from 11 am to 3 pm on weekdays. And if you are a student, you can get even better prices with a valid student ID. This is a must try for anyone who enjoys reasonably priced good food and a laid back atmosphere!

Kum Gang San Restaurant
49 West 32nd Street, New York, NY 10001

Kum Gang San is one of the famous mountain ranges on the Korean peninsula. A lot of people will take a visit to Kum Gang San because there are many pretty views to see there. Today, you also can pay a visit to Kum Gang San and it is just located in K Town New York City! Kum Gang San restaurant has 18 years of history and they are open 24 hours a day. Kum Gang San serves both Korean and Japanese Food. Barbecue and cold noodles are popular food in the restaurant, and they also make kimchi themselves. If you come to Kum Gang San at 7 to 10 at night, you will not only can see a piano performance but also a traditional Korean instrument performance-Gayageum. Kum Gang San offers different kinds of wine, beer, and rice wine. The interior design of the restaurant is amazing! They’ve created a fake mountain inside the restaurant which makes you feel like you’re eating outdoors!

Muk Eun Ji

34 W 32nd St 1st Fl (bet. 5th Ave. & Broadway) New York, NY 10001

Muk Eun Ji is one of the places in K-town that serves Korean-Chinese cuisine. What they offer is highly exotic and authentic ancient Korean food. They have several specialty dishes. The kimchi they provide is called Muk Eun Ji, same as the restaurant name, which means one of over 400 Korean kimchi. It is fermented over a year at the minimum, and all cabbages come from a high elevation. This is a kind of original ancient kimchi recipe, and many people have fallen in love with its taste. We also recommend jja jjang muen (black bean noodle). The noodle is handmade, so it is very chewy and tastes delicious.

Also, you can get a free drink by check-in on social media.

DonsBogam

17 East 32nd Street, New York, NY 10016

When you come to Dons Bogam, you can totally feel this restaurant is different from other restaurants in K-Town. The owner put the bar right at the entrance and you may think this restaurant is more like a bar or lounge. Actually, Dons Bogam is a Korean restaurant. They serve Korean BBQ and other Korean dishes. The Korean table top barbecue is set in a modern and chic decor. One special thing about this restaurant is they serve wine if you choose to eat BBQ. It is totally different from a lot of restaurants. Bibimbap is the other specialty at DonsBogam. There are many kinds of Bibimbap to choose from. If you are a wine lover, DonsBogam is a good place to go, they have a great wine selection from which to choose from. And the liquors there are not only Korean brands, but also some from Europe and other regions. You can enjoy the wine with your friends or colleagues, and the environment makes you feel very relaxed.

Sake Bar Kirakuya

2 W 32nd St 2F (between Broadway & 5th Ave) New York, NY 10001

Although 32nd St. is the so-called Korean Town, there is a hidden Japanese gem which is claims it is the #1 sake place in New York City. Kirakuya is famous for its extremely broad selection of sake. There are more than 150 brands. The entrance is not easy to find, but once you’re there, you most likely be impressed by the interior design and atmosphere. The place is restful, classy and makes you feel like you’re in Japan. Kirakuya not only provides traditional Japanese food, but also serves fusion cuisine, such as some Italian-style dishes. The food is consistently good and there is a variety of menu items to choose from, and most are within a medium price range. If you are interested in sake, this is your first choice in New York City.

Shopping

Home & Home

Home & Home is a Korean chain store with a focus on electronics and household items. They have different locations in the U. S. and Canada, such as Flushing, New Jersey, Manhattan’s K Town and Toronto. The one in Manhattan’s K Town is a relatively small branch compared to its other locations. Although it is not very big, nor easy to find, it is a lifestyle department store which is convenient to find diverse Korean branded products. In K-Town, there is no other store like it. If you are fond of Korean brands, or you’re on a budget, this is a great place to check out and decorate your home in Asian style.

 

 

Cheong-Kwan-Jang

Have you ever tried ginseng-related products to improve your health? Korea is well-known for the origin of ginseng. And Cheong-Kwan-Jang is the representative brand and has a 100+ years reputation among customers, especially in Asia, such as China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. There are now several branches as well in the U.S., including Korean Town. The store looks tiny but provides various ginseng products along with attentive and friendly service. The employees readily share detailed information about ginseng.

Shine 32

35 W 32nd St (between 5th Ave & Broadway New York, NY 10001

Are you fond of sparkling accessories? As the name implies, Shine 32 provides plenty of sparkly stuff that will satisfy any girl’s princess syndrome. Although Shine 32 is a small store in Korean Town, it carries a wide variety of accessories, including hair clips, jewelry, cell phone cases, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and so much more. Over 70% of the products are imported from Korea, and the rest are designed by Shine 32 themselves. If you are someone who likes handmade or unique jewelry, Shine 32 is definitely the place for you.

Entertainment

Chorus

25 W 32nd St New York, NY 10001

Chorus is one of the popular KTVs in K-town. Chorus has a large bar compared to some other KTVs in the same area. If you are a person who prefers to have more audience listening to you, you can choose to sing at their open bar. They provide a large screen and you can sing there. Chorus offers a lot of different beers and cocktails. If you want to know what kind of cocktails are offered, you should definitely stoppay a visit to Chorus. Their business hours are from 1 pm to 4 am. Chorus has many rooms, and reservations are recommended. After 9 pm, people who are under 21 years old are not allowed to enter because Chorus offers different kinds of liquors and beers. Chorus give 50% discount for customers if they visit from 1-7 pm.

The Music Story

34 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001

An alternative to Chorus is The Music Story located across the street. If you like different kinds of themes in the KTV like Beatles designed room. The owner is creative because they use LD to decorate the whole KTV room. If you want to have private party , The Music Story is a great choice to have a fun time. The environment in this KTV is amazing and you should be sure to visit and discover it for yourself. At the same time, if you just want to chill with your friends, you can choose a seat at the bar. They play many different kinds of songs at the bars. Moreover, if you are cocktail lover, you also can find different cocktails in this KTV. They also serve various imported brands of beer and wine from around the globe. A 50% discount is offered when you visit from 1-7 pm.

VU Rooftop Bar

17 W 32nd St 14th Fl (between Broadway & 5th Ave) New York, NY 10001

When we talk about rooftop bars in New York City, most people might think everything inside the bar is expensive. Today, we are going to introduce you to a rooftop bar located in K town. You would never guess there is a rooftop bar in K town because it is on 14 floor of La Quinta hotel. When you enter to VU rooftop bar, you will see an open air lounge. The lounge is a great place to gathering and relax with friends. A lot of people choose to sit there and enjoy an amazing view of Empire State Building (see above). There is no cover charge, and a bottle of Bud or Bud Light is only four dollars. They also have other brands of beer, whisky, wine, and cocktails. A Lychee martini is the most popular cocktail in VU. Bring your friends or colleagues to VU rooftop bar and you will totally be attracted by the view!

Museum

Lee Young Hee Korea Museum

2 West 32nd Street, New York, NY 10001

Are you interested in Korean traditional culture? You may not know that there is a Korea museum hidden in K-Town, since it is located on the third floor of a building. Although it is not a large-scale museum, there are various displays. If you are curious about the history of Korea, you should definitely visit this museum. Lee Young Hee is the founder of this museum. The purpose she founded this museum was to provide and educate American, Korean and people who are interested in the Korean culture. Here you can learn about the over 5,000 years of history, art, and lifestyles of ancient Korea.. You can find Han-Bok (traditional Korean costume), ornaments and many diverse historical items. Admission is just $5.

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About the Author: Rick Lin

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