Food & Drink

The 8 Best Korean Restaurants in Boston

Published On 03/25/2015 Published On 03/25/2015
Christina Ng/Thrillist
Christina Ng/Thrillist
bibim
Christina Ng/Thrillist
Christina Ng/Thrillist
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1. Buk Kyung 9 Union Sq Ste A, Somerville, MA 02143 (Somerville)

Koreans say Buk Kyung is as close to authentic Korean food as you get in Boston. The restaurant specializes in Chinese-influenced Korean dishes, evident in its community-sized plates and signature jajangmyun, or soybean-paste noodle. The restaurant’s no-fuss yellow décor and tag-team husband-and-wife duo further confirm that it serves the real-deal Korean.

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2. Kaju Tofu House 57 JFK St, Cambridge, MA 02138 (Allston Brighton)

Kaju Tofu House has been a Boston staple and Best of Boston Korean restaurant winner for multiple consecutive years. Its signature sundudbu jjigae (spicy soft tofu soup) arrives bubbling hot in a traditional stone bowl, adding spectacle to what was already a phenomenal dish. With Kaju’s 2013 expansion to Harvard Square, the supply of Boston’s best jjigae can be had on both sides of the river.

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3. Koreana 158 Prospect St, Cambridge, MA 02139 (North Cambridge)

This semi-upscale establishment specializes in traditional Korean barbecue, and each of the restaurant’s tabletop grills are fitted with custom smoke ventilators, designed to keep the fumes down and the eating atmosphere friendly. The kalbi -- barbecue short ribs -- as well as dolsot bibimbap and jjigae (Korean stew) are among the crowd favorites.

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4. Myung Dong 1st Avenue 90-92 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134 (Allston Brighton)

Named for a famous bustling street in Seoul and located in the old spelling bee fan favorite Suvarnabhumi Kiri, MD1 is a "po jang ma cha" (Korean dive bar) from the owners of Buk Kyung I and II, serving beer, wine, and soju (a strong Korean sake) pair

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5. Meju 243 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144 (Somerville)

From the team behind Bibim, Meju has a similar modern, country-like feel. But unlike its sibling in the center of bustling Harvard Ave, Meju sits in a much quieter spot in the heart of Davis Square. It now serves a full menu with exotic add-ons such as the signature gojujang meatballs, and Aeronaut Brewery supplies the unique, locally produced suds.

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6. Bibim 166 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02139 (Allston Brighton)

Bibim is a restaurant known aesthetically for its clean, French, country-bistro feel (exactly what you’d expect, right?). Though it serves classic Korean staples like bibimbop and bulgogi kimbap, it's actually the red bean shaved ice that takes home the grand prize.

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7. BonChon 57 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (Harvard Square)

After two years of construction fits and starts and tantrums, the much anticipated Korean fried chicken and tabletop-BBQ-grilling basement spot Bull Korean BBQ is now officially open in the Galleria at Harvard Square! Only thing is, it's now under the umbrella (and name) of NYC Korean chicken powerhouse BonChon -- so don't call it that other thing, or stuff will get awkward really fast.

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8. Seoul Soulongtang 1245 Commonwealth Ave, Allston, MA 02134 (Allston Brighton)

Soulongtang, Korean oxtail soup, is the reason customers come into Seoul Soulongtang. The broth, which is a local specialty of Seoul, is made by extracting flavor from ox bones and brisket after they've been boiled for hours until everything turns milky and flavorful. The hot soup is served with thin cuts of beef, vermicelli noodles, and an abundance of chopped scallions.

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