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.
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).