10 Best Korean Restaurants In Vancouver That Will Transport You To Korea
Korean cuisine is steeped in centuries-old traditions of simplicity, harmony and visual appeal. And, just like dynamic Korean dramas and incredible K-pop, it also took the world by storm, has earned legions of fans, and remains a favorite go-to food across the globe.
For Vancouverites, there are an abundance of Korean eateries dotting the city, and sometimes it can be challenging to find the best one, or simply the kind that serves exactly what you’re looking for in a traditional Korean meal.
To help you out, we’ve curated a list of the 10 best Korean Restaurants in Vancouver serving authentic and mouth-watering dishes to fulfill all your Korean food-loving cravings.
Right in the heart of downtown Vancouver West End is the award-winning Korean Royal Cuisine gem, Sura. Renowned for its stylish and elegant ambiance, amazing service, and wide array of mouth-watering dishes, this is one of the city’s favored hotspots among locals and visitors for authentic Korean fare.
The menu at Sura is a beautifully balanced mix of crisp salads, hearty soups & stews, noodles, barbecue and more. Try their famous Daeji Galbi with its super flavorful house sauce, a steaming bowl of Kimchi Jjigae, or a heaping plate of Japchae. Pair off your meal with a glass of Korean Rice Wine, or a delicious soju cocktail.
And if you’re looking for great Korean food in Richmond, you’ll find Sura at Aberdeen Centre as well. That location also has Korean BBQ on their menu!
Tip: If you have friends who need an introduction to Korean cuisine, this is definitely the spot to do that.
Address: -1518 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC V6G 1C3 -4151 Hazelbridge Way, Aberdeen Centre, Richmond, BC V6X 4J7
If you’re looking for a restaurant that gives off that warm, cozy feeling of home, with all your favorite Korean dishes on the menu, and served by super-friendly attendants, then So Hyang is the place to visit. Located on Vancouver’s charming and quaint Fraser Street, this is a great place for a relaxing evening out with friends, and of course some amazing Korean cuisine.
Start off with a spicy Kimchi Jun to get your taste buds rolling, then sample their signature barbecue Squid Bulgogi, or share a scrumptious Hot Pot. Their Khan Pung Gi (deep fried chicken in sweet and spicy sauce) is just divine and a must try too.
Fun Fact: The restaurant offers unlimited sides, so grab some and indulge to your heart’s content!
Tip: So Hyang is a neighbourhood favorite, so expect long lines and a wait if you don’t get there early.
When it comes to Korean food, everyone knows BBQ is one of its most tempting features that has hordes of Vancouverites scrambling for a taste. There’s really nothing quite like it, especially when it’s done well, and the folks over at Kook on First Avenue do Korean BBQ so well, the place is always buzzing.
There’s so much to sample at this fun and modernistic spot, so enjoy browsing through their menu. If you can’t decide what to order, we have a few recommendations. The Marinated Galbi (prime short ribs) are fantastic and super flavorful, and the Seafood BBQ is yummy! If you’re in a group, opt for one of their amazing Combos which serve upto six people.
Pro tip: Kook is known for their super-cool smokeless table-top grills, so take advantage of that novelty when you dine in.
If you haven’t yet visited the Sooda Korean BBQ, then you need to put it on your list of great food places to experience in Metro Vancouver! Serving Korean fusion specialties and BBQ, these folks know how to do things in style. Trust us, you don’t want to miss out, so grab a few friends and just go. You won’t regret it!
When you’re there, sample their fabulous Special Dak Galbi (spicy chicken skillet,) the Special Spicy Pork, or their signature and ever-popular Honey Garlic Sooda Box. If you’re a seafood lover, then go for pancakes with squid, shrimp and green onion. Round it all off with some imported soju, or a deliciously hot bowl of sake.
Another hidden gem we discovered a while back when we went to Simon Fraser University is Kimbap Cheonguk, which literally translates to Kimbap Heaven. This traditional Korean food spot in Ktown boasts an easygoing and friendly vibe, super-quick service, and some of the freshest and best-tasting rolls in the city.
If you’re there for the rolls, then order the Tuna and Crabmeat Kimbap, or try their Beef roll which is a popular item on the menu. Their Naengmyeon (chewy noodles in a slightly acidic broth, refreshing pickled radish and cucumber, topped with half a hard boiled egg and meat slices) is a firm favorite and has customers coming back for more. Their Rabokki (spicy instant noodles and rice cakes) is also a treat you shouldn’t miss out on a taste of it.
Zabu Chicken isn’t just any fried chicken restaurant that highlights Korean style fried chicken, and home-style Korean cuisine. Its dimly lit and buzzing ambience of blaring Kpop in the background and pitchers of beer and soju bottles at each table, gives that late night hot spot for youngsters. But best of all…they put a lot of care to perfecting the right flavour and crunch, Zabu is easily the pioneer of the Korean fried chicken mania among Vancouverites.
Their signature series consists of Soy Sal-Sal Chicken, which is moist tender meat lightly battered and coated with crispy rice puffs, and Yang Nyum Chicken which has Korean style fried chicken in light batter, seasoned with a chili–garlic sauce. Also popular here is the Soy Original and Hot original Chicken which consists of a whole chicken marinated in their secret sauces. The Jokbal (Korean traditional BBQ pork feet) and Japchae (Stir-fried sweet potato noodle, vegetables, and beef) are among the best-selling items here.
Kosoo has a philosophy to deliver the highest quality & innovative Korean food, while upholding the traditional flavours that have been around for centuries. There is a unique modern flair to their way of cooking, that is based on Seoul’s food style. Both their restaurants are upscale in appearance, with a cozy ambience and warm welcoming staff.
Try out their Royal Cuisine Geongol, which is a Korean style hot pot with beef or seafood, along with vegetables and mushrooms. One of the more popular Korean dishes served here is a combination of Jokbal and Bossam (pork belly and feet) which is a must try. They also do a variety of soul food amongst which the Kimchi Jjigae and Doenjang Jjigae are extremely popular.
Tip: Round off your meal with some Chunga (Korean Sake) or Makgeolli (Korean Rice Wine) and enjoy a truly traditional experience.
Maru is the place you go for a down to earth, no frills, authentic Korean meal. The food here is full of flavour, fresh and generously portioned. The bistro is inspired by the “Baek ban jip,” a folksy dining restaurant that offers home style and casual foods. With friendly servers and high quality Korean food, Maru is another glittering star among Vancouver eateries.
With a wide range of delicious food available here, you’ll be challenged to settle on just one favourite, but to help you along, we recommend the Ssam (Lettuce wraps) or their Dolsot Bibimbap served in a hot stone bowl. The superbly flavour-packed and spicy Kimchi and Squid Pancake is quite popular, and so are the pork and kimchi dumplings.
Protip: Maru also has a lunch special with quite a few amazing dishes. Do try the Cold Buckwheat Noodle and Grilled Meat Combo which is exquisitely well balanced.
If you are into popular Korean dramas (and who isn’t?) then you should already be familiar with BBQ Chicken. This fast growing chain serves a variety of fried and barbecued chicken with various toppings and sauces, from cheese to soy garlic, and the spicy yet sweet yangnyeom sauce. An exciting introduction is the Mala cuisine inspired fried chicken with hot and spicy sauce.
Start off with some tempting appetizers like the Spicy Dukk Bokki (Traditional Korean spicy sauce with rice cake, vegetables, and egg) or the delicately made Rice cake balls stuffed with Cream cheese and then deep fried. They also have a wide variety of fried chicken wings and a grilled version of Jamaican Wings with a special jerk sauce.
The Secret Sauce Chicken and the Golden Fried Chicken are big favorites, but you can also order their Sandwich Combos or Over Rice options for a filling and balanced meal.
Address: -329 North Rd #640, Coquitlam, BC V3K 3V8 -1780 – 4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond, BC V6X 4J7 -2 – 2755 Lougheed Hwy, Port Coquitlam, BC, V3B 5Y9 -5557 Dunbar St, Vancouver, BC V6N 1W5
Passion8 Dessert Cafe should be on everyone’s bucket list when it comes to the tempting goodness of Bingsoo. Known for their beautifully presented desserts consisting of shavings of sweet iced milk topped with rich and exotic flavors, Passion8 is also quite popular among Vancouverites for their rich and decadent cakes, as well as sandwiches and salads.
One of the more popular bingsoo here is the Mango Bongo that has freshly sliced mangos with homemade cheesecake and ice cream on snow shaved ice. Doesn’t that sound divine? Also recommended is the Real Tiramisu Snow Mountain and the Mr. Choco Brown which is loaded with homemade brownies and chocolate flakes, with chocolate flavoured ice cream all served on a milky snow mountain.
Protip: The servings at Passion8 are extremely generous, so order with care.
Address: -3010 Cambie St. Vancouver BC. Canada -403 North Rd, Coquitlam, BC V3K 3V9
That wraps up our 10 Best Korean food spots in the city, and we hope you make it to all of them and enjoy great tradition, gorgeous food, and memorable moments. After that, if you’re still looking for some fun indulgences, check out our list of 10 Best Ramen restaurants, and of course the ever popular Bubble Tea spots in Vancouver.