All the classics—bulgogi, bibimbap, tteokbokki and kimchi
Owned by Le Cordon Bleu graduate Injin “Lauren” Kim, this trendy barbecue joint is just a stone's throw from Benchasiri Park. It serves East-meets-West fare with standard beef cuts like rib-eye and wagyu, but you will also find lesser-used chuck rolls and tasty intercostal muscle, pork belly and Boston butt. Another specialty is white-cream spaghetti with Korean beef bulgogi.
2/F, Mille Malle, 66/4 Sukhumvit Soi 20, 081-949-4851. Open daily noon-3pm, 5-11pm. Available to book on FoodPanda
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This modest little spot close to Terminal 21 is a gem, and it dishes up arguably the best bibimbap—hot stone pot rice with meat, vegetables and egg—in an area densely populated with Korean restaurants. You can also take your tangy, eggy, stodgy bowl of perfectly-crisped rice alongside excellent grilled mackerel. Or enjoy fatty beef, cooked at your table by competent and friendly servers.
P.S. Tower, Asoke Rd., 02-664-4088. Open Mon-Sat 11:30-2am; Sun 11:30am-midnight
After more than a decade in operation, this unpretentious three-story spot remains a buzzing destination. The air is filled with the delicious aroma of grilled meats, and the walls are covered with autographed photos of local celebrities. The menu offers a wide variety of meat cuts destined for the grill, as well as smart mixed salads, and staples like bibimbap and hae mool pa jeun seafood pancakes.
T1/F, Sukhumvit Plaza, Sukhumvit Soi 12, 02-653-3815. Open daily 11am-10pm. Other branch: Beehive
From its wood, brick and breeze block-clad home in Sukhumvit’s Korea Town, this family-friendly street-style restaurant serves a full menu of hot pots, barbecue platters, and sides like kimchi pancakes and ssal tteokbokki (stir-fried rice cakes). Faux windows "look out" on sepia pictures of the homeland, and blasting K-pop videos complete the vibe.
Sukhumvit Plaza, Sukhumvit Soi 12, 02-039-4945. Open daily 10:30am-6am
This hip cafe moved to a bigger venue in late 2018 to accommodate growing crowds. From a glass-walled kitchen, classics like tteokbokki and flavorful kimchi fried rice appear on cutting boards and hot plates. The dining room is a moody mix of deep red, dark turquoise and steel.
111/1 Phahonyothin Soi 7 (between Ari Soi 3 and 4), 083-177-5533. Mon 11:30am-9pm; Tue-Sun 11:30am-9:30pm
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Kongju was established over 20 years ago—long before the current fascination with all things Korean. The staff also greets diners wearing hanbok (traditional formal dress) and points the way to a elegant dining room. The chefs are award-winning, and menu boasts an exquisite selection including timeless Goo Jeol Pan served in an octagonal box to resemble a flower, and ho bak kal bee tchim—stewed ribs served in a pumpkin.
2/F, Pathumwan Princess Hotel, 444 MBK Center Phayathai Rd., 02-216-3700. Open daily 11:30am-2pm, 5:30-10pm
Unless you happened to catch the energetic servers popping their heads out with a harmonized “anyoung haseyo!” you may well have passed this restaurant without noticing. The menu includes a long list of classic Korean dishes and barbecue ingredients, including sirloin, marinated beef, prime rib, bibimbap and tteokbokki. The attentive staff is led by a caring Korean chef/owner, who walks around to greet the customers and genially ask whether the food is okay.
74 Sukhumvit Soi 26, 02-261-0560. Open daily 11am-11pm
Thought well known for its cheery fonts and cartoon forest murals, Kiani is famous for its owners’ open-armed welcome (“the nicest people ever” according to online reviews we wouldn’t disagree with). Many call it Bangkok's most authentic Korean—thanks to generous portions of pork kimchi soup, spicy Korean barbecue, bibimbap and more. Special mention goes to the pork jab chae (glass noodle stir-fry) plus, of course, the legendary service.
90 Thonglor Soi 2, 02-714-7730. Open daily 11am-9pm. Available to book on FoodPanda.
Hidden in a tucked-away corner of Thonglor, this Korean barbecue joint has Seoul expats tripping up from Asoke. Kosirae’s bibimbap is delicious, though the inexpensive meats and tangy marinades also keep the crowds coming Friday nights. Hang around for the sweet, snowy shaved ice bingsu.
97 Sukhumvit Soi 57, 02-714-8683. Open daily 11:30am-9pm