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The best hidden spots in Koreatown, NYC

Koreatown, which is widely known for its great food and karaoke joints, is bursting with underrated spots to explore

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Brenna H.

One of the best parts of New York is its cultural mosaic. At the center of its Korean influence, Koreatown might feel like an alien land to some (good luck reading the signs, English-speakers), but once you snoop around, you’ll discover some of the best hidden spots in the nabe. Did you know that K-town is home to some great karaoke bars and plenty of tasty Korean BBQ restaurants? How about  something a little more low-key, like excellent spots to relax and play billiards at pool halls? We’ve come up with a list of lesser-known or underrated joints that are definitely worth checking out, so read on to make sure you get this neighborhood right.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Koreatown, NYC

Hidden gems in Koreatown, NYC


Gagopa Karaoke

Ready for your super-star moment? Alert the squad, rent a room ($30 an hour) and get comfy on a red leather sofa, while you and your friends belt out some choice numbers. Gagopa’s got a generous BYOB policy, and its own soft selection of booze (no liquor) stocked in a cooler behind the bar. Moreover, it’s open till 5am, so there’s plenty of time to get down in this down-and-out K-town spot.

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Midtown West

Koryo Books

If you’re into K-pop culture at large, this is where you should throw your Gangnam-style birthday party (invite us). Whatever kind of obscure merch you’re into (say, a notebook with Goo Hara plastered on the cover), they’ve got it in stock. They even carry actual CDs, DVDs, and actual books, which in 2016 seems downright quaint (even for a K-pop bookstore).

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Midtown West

NY Study Room

In New York City, a clean, well-lighted place is a rare thing indeed. A trip to your local coffee shop or the public library is likely to provide neither of those things. So where can you go to read or write? This K-Town study hall is a good option. Hit the books before you hit the karaoke bar (see Gagopa), and if you need a snack, they’ve got scrumptious noodles on deck (and on the cheap).

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Midtown West

Premier 57

If you need to relax, unwind at this misty main lounge, furnished with modern white chairs and nature-scenes projected on the wall. Find your zen in the meditation room, repose in the rooftop hydro-pools, laze in the jacuzzi-laden spas (which vary by temperature) or do whatever strikes your tranquilizing aims inside this soothing oasis.

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Midtown East

Space Billiards Inc.

This wacky pool hall would seem out-of-this-world weird anywhere but K-Town. Where else can you eat steamed vegetable dumplings (10 for $10) and shoot pool under neon lights and the twirling glint of disco balls? But beware: It might have “space” in the name, but this place can get crowded quick.

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Midtown West

Pocha 32

While using solo-cup-strewn nets as the decor may seem like the design choice of a mad, drunken fisherman, Pocha 32 is among the City’s best locales to eat and drink. Imbibe the generous watermelon soju, then slurp a stew brewed with squid, tripe, onions and pork.

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Midtown West

Looking for a place to rejuvenate?


Sophy B

Premier 57 is not in Koreatown. Koreatown is in the radius of 31st - 33rd between Madison and Broadway. Premier 57 is all the way up on E. 57th St between Lexington and Park.