If the best Indian restaurants in Austin and the best ramen in Austin are of any indication, the city knows how to dish delectable ethnic food. Although the local Korean scene is small, it is certainly mighty. From traditional spots offering banchan, soups and stews with kimchi to more modern settings, the best Korean restaurants in Austin offer some of the most exciting cuisine around (to be thoroughly washed down at one of the best dive bars in Austin). Pro tip: always put an egg on it.
Best Korean restaurants in Austin
This north Austin mom-and-pop Korean restaurant is one of the city’s go-to spots. With an extensive menu and banchan selections, all diners will be pleased. Classic items like beef bulgogi, various bibimbaps and seafood pancakes anchor the menu but more adventurous eaters may enjoy the spicy silken tofu stew with shrimp, squid and mussels or Korean blood sausage stew. Free barley tea, servers who speak Korean and a happy hour during lunch time on the weekdays set this place apart.
Austin's first tortilla-wrapped kimchi comes courtesy of Chi’lantro, which has grown into three brick-and-mortar locations since first launching as a single food truck back in 2009. For a quick, cheap, on-the-go lunch, order the spicy pork burrito. But let's be honest: the best time to enjoy these craveable cross-cultural eats is after the bars close. Two am kimchi fries, anyone?
Big eaters, rejoice! This spot in a strip mall off Howard lane is known for its all-you-can-eat barbecue tables. Beware: tables are limited, so make sure you make a reservation to enjoy the $25 deal. The non-AYCE price point is a little bit higher than the average Austin Korean restaurant but, on the plus side, you’ll taste the hard-to-find flavored sojus. Stop in for lunch and you can take advantage of similar dinner sized portions for $2 less.
A staple of the downtown lunch scene, Koriente is more than Korean food. It’s a garden fresh eat-the-rainbow twist on Korean cuisine. Devour healthy options, home-grown and locally sourced vegetables, rice and noodle bowls with your choice of tofu, beef, mahi mahi, ahi tuna or chicken. Unlimited miso soup and salad, bubble tea and bright simple Korean-inspired bowls are the eatery’s staples.
Korean Komfort is one of the few Korean food trucks in Austin. It’s a cornerstone of the West Campus food truck park and serves a limited but rich menu of so-called comfort food. Diners can enjoy the spicy Bulgogi, Korean fried chicken, kimchi fried rice and mandoo at the picnic tables scattered about the park or as convenient takeout.
“Korean fusion done right” is the tagline for this Asian fusion spot in north Austin. The open, airy restaurant lends itself to fast-casual lunch or dinner. Korean items are blended with all sorts of other ethnic cuisines: Mexican (k-town tacos), Italian (Korean arancini), American (katsu dogs) and Hawaiian (poke nachos topped with fresh ahi and seaweed salad). The Seoul fries—waffle fries topped with house-made kimchi, spicy mayo and your choice of meat—is obviously a fan favorite.
Think of Gangnam Zip as the place that makes people feel comfortable although completely unfamiliar with Korean food. Choose one of five protein options (beef ribs, bulgogi, spicy chicken, chicken teriyaki and spicy pork), select your rice or noodle and add sides for $9.99. Dine in the clean and bright space or choose mains and banchan from the prepared foods refrigerator to take home with you.
Hidden in a business complex on Anderson Lane, this dimly lit restaurant has been serving Korean barbecue, hot pots and sushi for over 15 years. Choose from marinated beef, pork, pork belly and ribs and grill them tableside. Meals are often served with a variety of banchan. The restaurant is your go-to spot for a quick and inexpensive lunch.
Found on the corner of a strip mall where a wig shop and a Tejano bar are also located, College Roadhouse is an amalgamation of a bar, restaurant and karaoke lounge. The staff tries to cater to the western crowd with a selection of craft beer options and mozzarella sticks but the majority of the menu is clearly dedicated to the in-the-know clientele. Silk worm pupa, soju, Korean fried chicken, gizzards, kimchi and kimmari grace the menu. If you feel like performing, call ahead to reserve their karaoke room—it’s free!
Serving sushi and Korean dishes, Osio offers a contemporary take on both types of cuisine. Don’t let the location in Barton Creek mall fool you—this modern spot is a city favorite. Enjoy udon, gyoza dumplings, creative sushi and nigiri alongside your beef or pork bulgogi and definitely stop by for the daily lunch specials or mocha bubble tea.
This bright and modern restaurant boasts several wooden booths, each housing a grill table and a separate bar featuring beer, wine, sake and spirits. Although the menu highlights soups, bibimbap, noodles, dumplings and bulgogi, the eatery is most well-known for the Korean barbecue. Selections include fresh beef short ribs, boneless beef, marinated pork ribs, chicken, brisket, pork belly, cow tongue and jumbo shrimp.
Mom’s Taste is less of a restaurant and more of a take-and-bake specialty shop. This small market can be difficult to locate because the sign is relatively nondescript. Once inside, shoppers will find pre-packaged Korean banchan, marinated meat, prepared soups, seaweed salad, kimchi and assorted authentic fresh items labeled in Korean.
Attached to Han Yang Korean market, Manna is a fast casual spot serving inexpensive Korean dishes and sushi in north Austin. Notably, the menu features a selection of traditional porridges including pine nut, vegetable, abalone, mushroom and oyster. Soju, baekseju and makgeolli (Korean spirits) are also available.
Grab some Korean comfort fare at this little eatery on the Drag. Following a renovation of the original space, the location looks updated and clean. Enjoy eclectic interpretations of traditional Korean dishes (think bulgogi with rice and glass noodles, for example). But beware: banchan is not available (kimchi is the only offered side dish) and acoustic issues render the space a bit unrelaxing.
This authentic Korean joint is tucked away in a little shop off of Airport Boulevard. Dine in or take out largely portioned Korean specialties including homemade dumplings, soft tofu soup, spicy pork bulgogi and bibimbap—with either meat or vegetarian options. The service often leaves something to be desired but, if you’re prepared for it, it won’t put you off the steaming bowl of kimchi jigae in front of you.