Where to Get Korean Barbecue in Houston
From all-you-can-eat buffets to dry-aged ribeye, H-Town has you covered.
Much like Asiatown off of Bellaire Boulevard and the Mahatma Ghandi district off of Hillcroft, for years, Houston’s Korean enclave was centered along Long Point Road in Spring Branch. Lately, however, thanks in large part to the popularity of all things Korea—such as the success of boy bands like BTS, movies like the Oscar-winning Parasite, and Netflix series like Squid Games—Korean restaurants are are starting to pop up elsewhere around Houston, making access to great Korean food that much easier. Want to feast on Korean barbecue but don’t know where to start? From traditional to trendy, a la carte to all-you-can-eat, get your stretchy pants ready because here are 15 must-try Korean barbecue restaurants in Houston right now.
Debuting during the pandemic with an a la carte menu, Handam has since pivoted to a hybrid a la carte and all-you-can-eat dining model. Interested in higher-end cuts like Prime galbi short ribs or Prime beef belly? Order a la carte or choose from one of the pre-set family style combos. Feeling especially hungry and want to try a variety of meats? Do all-you-can-eat. There are two price points—$30 and $35, respectively—the latter includes premium meat offerings, which is really the way to go. All orders come with 12 complementary and refillable banchan side dishes. The restaurant uses charcoal grills and invested in a state-of-the-art downdraft ventilation system—the only one of its kind in Houston—to create a smokeless experience where you won’t smell like meat and smoke when you get home. Handam also has a full liquor license, so round out your meal with craft cocktail, beer, or soju. If it’s in season, don’t miss the giant shareable fresh watermelon soju.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or join the waitlist via Yelp.
Tucked away in the heart of Spring Branch, Bori offers Space City’s most refined and elegant Korean barbecue experience. Housed on a private parcel of land, the restaurant is the centerpiece to a larger Korean cultural complex that includes a landscaped sculpture garden, several private rooms, a lobby bar and waiting area, and an art gallery. The extensive menu features appetizers like japchae noodles and octopus carpaccio, premium meat options ranging from dry-aged ribeye to A5 Wagyu, and pre-set meat platters like the tantalizing Butcher’s Feast, everything served with six complimentary banchan side dishes. When it comes time to cook, no need to lift a finger. The servers undergo extensive training to ensure that your order is cooked to perfection over in-table grills, each of which features updraft ventilation to minimize smoke.
Taking over the former Ritual location on Studewood at White Oak, this new Korean barbecue house by Ken Bridge (owner of Pinks Pizza, Ready Room, Lola’s, and more), is meant to be a love letter to Los Angeles’ decades-old K-BBQ scene. 90’s hip hop rhythms, red neon lights, and a newly installed updraft ventilation system set the stage for one of the best Korean barbecue experiences in Houston. Start with appetizers like the bulgogi tteokbokki rice plates, or their kimchi pancake. Then feast on their Butcher Room a la carte selections such as the marinated special galbi short ribs or Kurobuta pork belly. There are pre-set meat combos for parties of three, four, and six, as well as seafood options like king crab legs served with gochujang garlic butter. All orders come with Korean green salad, cheese corn, egg soufflé, and a selection of Bridge’s family recipe banchan. Drinking is encouraged. Choose craft beer and/or house cocktails on tap, and soju in fun flavors like peach, watermelon, or pear.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or reserve on their website.
Gen Korean BBQ House
The only Houston outpost of this popular California-based chain, Gen is the place to go for a high energy all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue experience. It’s so popular, in fact, that there is almost always a wait, but it’s worth it. Once you’ve gained access, your table is yours for a good two hours. Get your fill of pork belly samgyubsal (in six flavors!), beef options like Hawaiian steak, calamari, and more. You’re in charge of cooking yourself, but that’s the beauty of it. Complimentary banchan are served automatically, but you can also order appetizers like chicken wings and stews, which are also included. And don’t sleep on the drinks. There’s also a lively bar area where you can imbibe on your choice of cocktails, beer, wine, or soju.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order takeout or delivery via Yelp.
It’s hard not to fall in love with Honey Pig. The seventh outpost of a successful chain from Virginia, owner Mickey Kim plastered the entire restaurant with street art-style chubby pink piglet—imagery perfect for an Instagram-Tiktok generation. Add in high energy K-pop videos playing on flatscreens, charcoal cast iron grills, high quality meats, and the experience feels a lot like something straight out of a Korean drama. Located in the heart of Asiatown in the newly renovated Diho Square, this is a place for a good time. So, bring friends, order your meat combo of choice, feast on perfectly cooked meats (the servers do it all for you), and wash it down with some beer or soju. The spicy pork belly is stellar, and so is the kimchi pancake. Also, make sure to ask the server for kimchi fried rice at the end of your meal.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or call 713-842-7993 for parties of 10 or more.
Though it’s not strictly a KBBQ spot—the huge menu offers dolsot bibimbap rice bowls, traditional Korean casseroles, noodles, stir fries, and soups—this unassuming mom-and-pop currently offers the best Korean barbecue in Katy. Order from a selection of the usual suspects like galbi (marinated short ribs), LA Galbi (short ribs cut crosswise), samgyeopsal (pork belly). When you want a taste of everything, get the TK Supreme Combo, which includes galbi, beef, chicken and pork bulgogi, pork belly, spicy squid, scallop, and jumbo shrimp. All orders are served with complimentary banchan, presented beautifully on white porcelain platter, that look and taste like they came straight from a grandma’s kitchen.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or call 281-206-7471 for reservations (which are highly suggested).
BBQ Garden Korean Restaurant
Ask most Koreans where to go for Korean barbecue in Houston, and BBQ Garden will always top the list. The restaurant distinguishes itself with its charcoal grills, undiluted flavors, and private booths. Though the Korean barbecue is the main event, the restaurant offers a full menu spanning Korean street foods, cold noodles, stews, bibimbap rice bowls, and more. Start with the seafood pancake or the pan fried mandu dumplings, add the marinated galbi or the Triple Combo (choice of three meats or seafood), then wash it all down with a Korean army stew or an ice cold bowl of spicy naengmyeon buckwheat noodles. The restaurant is open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
Chances are, you’ve seen beef cooked on a hot rock before, but have you seen beef cooked over a giant heated stone slab? If not, you’re in for a treat. The brainchild of chef Pascal Choi, this Korean-esque steakhouse features premium meats cooked over a hot stone slab. Order as you would at a steakhouse, and then watch as the meat instantly sizzles and smokes the minute it’s placed on the slab. The majority of beef options are 1855 Prime Black Angus, while short ribs are sourced from local rancher 44 Farms. Can’t decide what to order? Try the Chef’s Table Combo with boneless short rib, flat iron, marinated short rib, and NY strip. All meat orders come with a choice of two sides. Choi’s kimchi is exceptional, but you can also get grilled zucchini, cheese corn, and more. Don’t sleep on the appetizers, street foods, noodle, and rice dishes, either. The sotteok pork sausage and grilled rice cake skewers are super fun, and the dolsot bibimbap rice bowl is fantastic. For dessert, choose a creation by pastry chef Hui Lim, which span from chocolate concord cake and mango parfait to bananas foster creme brûlée.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or reserve via Minitable.
Lucky Palace Korean Restaurant
Located on Bellaire Boulevard in a nondescript strip mall, this under-the-radar family-owned spot is the place to go for meat combos and homemade tasting banchan side dishes. The owner, Jun Kil, and her daughter Cassandra are usually on hand, providing service with a smile. To get the full barbecue-at-your-table Korean BBQ experience, skip the a la carte menu and order from one of Korean BBQ Combos. The largest Combo C, which is meant to share, includes a taste of everything with Prime Angus beef brisket, pork belly, “Kobe”-style beef, squid, marinated “Kobe”-style beef, marinated beef short rib, and Prime beef ribeye steak. Rounding out the menu are traditional Korean stews like gamjatang pork stew, jjajangmyeong black bean noodles, and chef’s special budae jigae army soup.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or call 713-393-7025 for reservations.
Seoul Garden Restaurant
One of the OG Korean barbecue spots on Long Point, chances are, if you’ve had Korean barbecue, you’ve been to Seoul Garden. Traditional furnishings, private rooms sectioned off by sliding doors, and a menu of classics—soups, stews, entrees, and, of course, meats for the grill—provide an all-around Korean restaurant experience. Order an appetizer like the haemul pajeon seafood pancake, choose one of the Special Set Grill Menus, and if you want to be extra fancy, upgrade with a premium meat option of Snake River Farms Kobe-style boneless short ribs. For a great deal, visit during the Monday through Friday lunch hours to enjoy bento box, dolsot bibimbap, and lunch special set menus.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or, for parties of six or more, call 713-935-9696 or visit the website to reserve.
Korea Garden Restaurant
If traditional Korean barbecue is what you’re after, the ambiance at Korea Garden is hard to beat. The interiors are designed to mimic the feel of dining at a sidewalk restaurant in Korea—complete with tiled awnings and a cascading garden feature in the center of the restaurant. Choose a la carte items like LA galbi, chaedol (thinly sliced brisket), and bulgogi, or opt for a combo. The popular BnB Combo comes galbi three ways (marinated, unmarinated, and LA-style), while the K.G. Special covers the full spectrum of Korean barbecue meats (marinated and unmarinated galbi, spicy pork, pork belly, chicken, jumbo shrimp, and veggies). For something other than straight KBBQ, try the Korean beef tartare appetizer with strips of Korean pear, or the thoroughly impressive bo ssam, a deconstructed lettuce wrap dish with sliced pork belly, oyster salad, kimchi, and full accoutrements.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or, for reservations, call 713-468-280 or fill out the Google form on the website. On weekends, reservations are only available for parties of six or more.
Kure Wings And Grill
One of the newest entrants in the all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue game, Kure Wings & Grill took over the spot on Gessner formerly occupied by Flower Piggy. The $28.99 all-you-can-eat dinnertime price tag includes appetizers like chicken wings and seafood pancakes, traditional banchan, seafood options like baby octopus and shrimp in choice of sauces, and a selection of beef, chicken and pork. By popular request, the restaurant also offers a fully Halal menu for $32.99.
Bon Korean BBQ
Blue and red neon, shiny metal hoods, and the smell of Korean barbecue greet you at Bon KBBQ in Asiatown. One of a handful of spots that offers all-you-can-eat, the restaurant opened as Jin Korean Barbecue but recently changed its name. The food here is served buffet-style. You walk up to the buffet, choose the meats, veggies, and sides that you want, then bring them back to your table to grill yourself. Premium meat selections like galbi short rib and hangjungsal cured pork cheeks can be ordered from your server. Lunch rings in at an incredibly affordable $18.99, while dinner and weekends, it’s $27.99 all in. With 12 banchan side dishes, up to 27 protein choices from spicy pork belly to beef tongue and head-on shrimp, cooked foods like japchae and tteokbokki, not to mention a variety of sauces, soups, and dessert, it’s easy to stuff yourself silly. Just make sure not to go overboard and get too much, or risk the $20 charge for leftover food. There’s also beer, wine, and more than 15 flavored sojus to choose from, so eat and drink responsibly.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or reserve via the website.
Occupying the corner spot of a nondescript strip mall on Long Point, giant posters of food—army soup, Korean barbecue, seafood pancakes, etc.—are posted on the walls outside the restaurant to showcase the traditional menu, which covers the full spectrum of appetizers, soups and stews, noodles, mains, and of course, barbecue. Inside, seating is partitioned off into socially distanced, private cubicle spaces. This means that you’ll be doing most of the cooking by yourself, with service available at the push of a button. Try the cheese Tteokbokki rice cakes, the marinated galbi (which comes in a big roll attached to the bone) and samgyeopsal pork belly for barbecue, and finish off with a soup like the spicy beef yookgaejang.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, call 832-767-6818 for reservations.
Red walls, shiny metal exhaust hoods, in-table grills, and the smell of Korean barbecue greet you at this Korean barbecue house on Long Point. Patrons are presented with three buffet menus at different price points. The most expensive, $42.95, comes with unlimited seafood and meat, while less expensive options offer more limited choices. Picture menus depicting each of the choices help you decide which one to go for. All orders come with four banchan, a salad, cheese corn, and tteokbokki rice cakes.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or call 713-465-6400 for reservations.