During the last year, I wrote two blog posts about Chicago’s fantastic Asian cuisine (Chicago’s Best Asian Restaurants – Part 1 and Chicago’s Best Asian Restaurants – Part 2). That’s a lot of spice! However, today I want to share my favorite spots which I deem to be Chicago’s 6 Best Korean Restaurants. Grab your metro card and follow me!
What: Creative, elevated Korean-American cuisine by Top Chef contestant, Beverly Kim, featuring fresh, seasonal produce and a beautiful array of herbs. I loved the
pork belly pancake with kimchi and black garlic as well as the seared ahi tuna dish with an abundance of fresh greens.
Don’t forget to try the beautiful cocktails here at Parachute!
Where: 3500 N. Elston Avenue (Take the Blue Line to the Belmont ‘L’ stop.)
Joong Boo Market (Avondale)
What: A stellar Asian supermarket with a somewhat hidden lunch counter offering hot and spicy items such as soups, stews, plates and dumplings. Also, the separate dumpling cart in the parking lot sells dumplings as big as your head for less than $2. This place also made my list of Chicago’s Hidden Eats and Chicago’s 5 Great Healthy Cheap Eats.
Where: 3333 N. Kimball Avenue (Take the Blue Line to the Belmont ‘L’ stop)
What: Fast-casual north side spot for expertly made Korean fried chicken. Sure, they sell classics like bi bim bop, but the fried chicken is the shining star here. I recommend you ask for the Seoul Sassy sauce.
Where: 2940 N. Broadway (Take the Brown or Purple Line to the Wellington ‘L’ stop.)
Del Seoul (Lakeview)
What: Fast-casual spot specializing in Korean street barbecue. This place made my list of Chicago’s Best Tacos for a good reason. I recommend the blackened tofu tacos and the sesame-chili shrimp tacos.
Where: 2568 N. Clark St. (Take the Red, Brown or Purple Line to the Fullerton ‘L’ stop)
Ahjoomah’s Apron (Chinatown)
What: Truly authentic Korean cuisine in Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood. “Ahjoomah” means “grandma” and the recipes here are served with love! I recommend the dolsot bi bim bop, all of the hearty soups on the menu, the mul-mandu (spicy boiled dumplings) and the fish dishes.
Where: 218 N. Cermak Rd. (Take the Green Line to the McCormick-Cermak ‘L’ stop or the Red Line to the Cermak-Chinatown ‘L’ stop)
What: Korean-Polish counter-serve spot on Chicago’s south side. The funky bar setting offers my favorite meat in tube form, the Kimski dog, as well as other excellent barbecue items. Currently, I am craving their tri-tip sandwich. The brews and drinks are great. Kimski connects to the famous Maria’s Package Goods & Community Bar where their occasional weekly menu gained a cult following. The dogs and sandwiches are just a few of the Korean menu items you will find here at Kimski.
Where: 960 W. 31st St. (Take the #8 Halsted bus to 31st St.)
In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA trains and buses to get to Chicago’s 6 Best Korean Restaurants. Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking. Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!