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Best of Toronto

The Best Bibimbap in Toronto

Posted by Darren "DKLo" Susilo / July 29, 2013

Bibimbap TorontoThe best bibimbap in Toronto is all about balance. The stone bowl has to be just hot enough in order for the entire dish (which usually includes a cracked raw egg) to be cooked thoroughly while ensuring the base of the bed of rice to be crisped just right. Not to mention that the hot sauce that complements the entire dish needs to have the right combination of sweet and spiciness. Thank goodness I never have to resort to making my own bibimbap because I can get them instead at these fine establishments.

Here's the list of the best bibimbap in Toronto.

See Also:

The Best Korean Restaurants in Toronto
The Best Korean BBQ in Toronto
The Best Late Night Korean Restaurants in Toronto

Writing by Darren "DKLo" Susilo. He hangs out on the twitter and his own mansion. Lead photo by Tom Cochrane

Buk Chang Dong Soon To Fu

Buk Chang Dong Soon To Fu

Buk Chang Dong Soon ToFu is one of the first names on the lips of Korean food lovers in Toronto. With multiple locations in the GTA including a new one near Dundas and Spadina this chain only offers beef and vegetarian (with optional tofu) bibimbaps at under $8, which makes it a winner in my books already. If you want a bit more kick, just order their namesake hot tofu soup on the side to complement your meal. More »

Cho Dang Soon ToFu

Cho Dang Soon ToFu

This Etobicoke restaurant prides itself on their homemade spicy tofu soup but diners here shouldn't ignore their bibimbap with its flavourful beef and velvety smooth egg (around $10). The restaurant isn’t fancy and the fact that they also serve Japanese-style bento boxes may cause many to doubt their pedigree, but if there’s one Korean restaurant that’s worth seeking out near Dundas and Kipling this is it. Service is friendly, too! More »

Korean Village Restaurant

Korean Village Restaurant

Generic name aside, Korean Village has been a popular spot in Koreatown since 1978, and a quick glance at the number of people packed in here during mealtimes proves they haven't lost a step. This restaurant provides several varieties of excellent bibimbap, all at $10.99 a pop. The usual beef and veggie varieties are here but my personal favourite is the succulent chicken bibimbap. Have it with a side of their unique kimchi pizza for an awesome flavour combination. More »

ToFu Village

ToFu Village

What is it with the tofu-named restaurants and their excellent bibimbaps? Yet another place that excels in both dishes, Tofu Village offers several kinds of bibimbap at around $9. Apart from the interesting steamed shrimp variety, my personal favourite is the veggie bibimbap with its heaping amounts of vegetables. And yes, order that side of spicy tofu soup to round out your meal. More »

Bi Bim Bap Stone Bowl

Bi Bim Bap Stone Bowl

The only restaurant on this list with bibimbap in its name, this Eglinton West restaurant serves up a wide range of dolsot offerings including a unique mushroom bibimbap ($12.99) which features various kinds of mushrooms along with fresh vegetables in a delicious garlic sauce. Other notable options include the organic tofu, spicy chicken, and various beef varieties, all at $11.99. The only downside? The cracked egg is an extra $0.99 which is sort of like paying extra for pickles on your burger. More »

Bapbo

Bapbo

Despite a name that sounds a bit like what the Minions in Despicable Me say, Bapbo is nothing to laugh at when it comes to bibimbap. The large variety on offer here are both rather pricey and decadent, which actually is a pretty fair trade-off in my opinion. Case in point is the rich and savoury kimchi bacon bibimbap ($11.95). If bacons not your thing (crazy talk, I know), a worthy alternative is the lobster tempura bibimbap ($15.95) or the more modest spicy chicken bibimbap ($12.95). More »

Swish by Han

Swish by Han

I always get images of Nike whenever I see this restaurant’s name, and their bibimbap certainly invites you to just do (eat) it. Located between the St. Lawrence Market and the Financial District, Swish is one of the few Korean restaurants around town that exude a contemporary vibe. Prices aren't for the budget conscious though. Case in point is the lobster ($15) from the dinner menu. The lunch menu offers more variety and slightly more modest prices including the seafood medley ($14) and the rib eye beef bibimbap ($12). More »

Song Cook's

Song Cook's

Hidden behind a grocery store near Yonge and Steeles, this always popular Korean restaurant sticks to the basics when it comes to their bibimbap. There’s no crazy variety here. The standard order might be the regular beef ($9.50) though they do have a gem called YangPoni bibimbap ($17) which is essentially an extra large version of the dish with two eggs. A nice bonus is that you get purple rice with the dish which is more nutrient packed than the usual white variety. More »

Cho Sun Ok

Cho Sun Ok

Cho Sun Ok in North York is about as popular as a Psy concert in Seoul. Among its many offerings, the bibimbap here is one for the purists. You'll be relegated to the standard beef variety ($9.95) or veggie, of course, if you ask to hold the beef. Either way, it comes with a homemade sweet and spicy sauce that you'll want to bottle and put that s**t on everything. More »

Kimchi Korea House

Kimchi Korea House

Located in the heart of old Chinatown, Kimchi Korea House serves your usual assortment of Korean favourites in a bright, spacious, and modern environment. If you love variety in your bibimbaps, this is definitely the place to go. Some notable options include the spicy kimchi ($8.95), LA ribs( $13.95) and salmon ($10.95). As an added side bonus, the banchans you get at this place seem to be even more abundant than at your typical Korean restaurants. More »

Sunrise House

Sunrise House

Last on the list, this family-run Koreatown spot makes a delicious spicy bulgogi bibimbap ($8). They also offer spicy squid, shrimp, and the regular beef (each $8). The seafood Korean pancake here is a great side dish to share while you munch away at your bibimbap. Service is polite and quick too! More »

Discussion

20 Comments

hmm / July 29, 2013 at 10:57 am
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You guys are forgetting BIBIMQ downtown Toronto.
it's between Bloor and Wellesly on Yonge street,
they are cheap, tasty and easily reached!

Bibimbap @ BibimQ!
hmm / July 29, 2013 at 11:01 am
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I also think real Bibimbap shouldnt have Tempura and stuff on them
they are fusion recipe, mixing japanese food with Korean.

Bibim = Mixed
Bap = rice

cant mix tempura with rice.
its like having tempura on meatball pasta.
the lemur / July 29, 2013 at 11:11 am
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'the fact that they also serve Japanese-style bento boxes may cause many to doubt their pedigree'

Seriously? You haven't noticed that pretty much all the established Korean restaurants in Toronto have a few Japanese items on the menu?
Mimi / July 29, 2013 at 11:43 am
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re: the lemur

...also, I thought bento was a part of Korean culture too (though they might have a different name for it)

I've been going to the Korean BBQ at Silverstar Boulevard for ages and eating their Boxed Lunch special ($4.99). Of course, it's probably far from Authentic Pure Korean since they finish their boxed lunch dealie with a HK-style milk tea. AND it's co-owned by the same people who own Made In China grill stuff next door.
Mimi / July 29, 2013 at 11:46 am
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Quick question for author: Which is the bibimbap that opens the earliest (and when, and how long does it take for food to hit the table)?
Murr / July 29, 2013 at 11:48 am
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Leave it Toronto to take a dish that is the cultural equivalent of eating leftovers out of the fridge and put lobster tempura on it. It's cold bonchan mixed with crusty rice. Never understood the fascination. Stop gilding the lily.
Sean / July 29, 2013 at 12:12 pm
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Bapbo should not be on this list. I had bibimbap there a few weeks ago and it was the worst bibimbap I've ever had - I lived in Korea for 14 years and know what it should taste like.
the lemur replying to a comment from Murr / July 29, 2013 at 12:23 pm
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I agree that adding tempura anything is overkill, but it's much more than cold leftovers and certainly not the same as banchan. The attraction is mainly the dolsot (hot stone bowl) version, because the bowl cooks the rice, the veg and the egg (provided you stir it all together).
the lemur replying to a comment from Mimi / July 29, 2013 at 12:25 pm
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There's a Korean boxed meal called dosirak but it's very different from bento in that the box itself is hot and you are supposed to put the lid on and shake it to mix it all up.

I suspect most Korean restaurants offer a few Japanese dishes because when there weren't so many of them it was a way of appealing to people who were familiar with Japanese food but not Korean food.
Fumanchu / July 29, 2013 at 07:29 pm
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This list should have had Yoko's on McNicoll in North York.
meezstephanie / July 29, 2013 at 08:17 pm
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I like Buk Chang Dong Tofu a lot, too, but I'm glad someone else gave a shout out to BibimQ (near Yonge and Wellesley). Great food, good prices and such a nice pair of owners.
Mimi replying to a comment from the lemur / July 29, 2013 at 09:09 pm
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re: the lemur

I don't think I've ever had a dosirak then, though I totally have to track one down. I've been having bento everytime! I THINK what's in it is Korean food at least, grilled meat, japonica rice, vinegar carrots, and bean sprots and fermented(?) bean curd(?) with sparks of red pepper.
Michael / July 29, 2013 at 10:30 pm
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I second the BIBIMQ love. Aside from the bibimpap, I've tried their Pork Bone Soup, and their Soondubu soup. They make great korean food (at least in my opinion) at a very reasonable price.
BiBimBap / July 30, 2013 at 09:17 am
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Thank you for allowing us to be on this list. I can help with some history. There is no wrong way to make BiBimBap. Leftovers shared among friends late at night in front of the fridge, with tempura, raw beef, fish or even Uni (personal favorite) if you mix rice and anything it can be called BiBimBap. There are traditional ways to make BiBimBap as they made for Kings and 'Respect to Elders Ceremony' but no single official way exists. The most important thing is to use the best ingredients and bring out the best flavours from each ingredient. That is what BiBimBap us all about. Also when I was a kid we all called our lunch boxes Bento. It is a Japanese word that was commonly used back in the 60s. Now we prefer the word DoSiRak as it is Korean but both words were used in Korea in the past. All the restaurants here are doing it right. If you have any cultural or historical questions feel free to call or visit anytime just to chat.
Sandman replying to a comment from Murr / July 30, 2013 at 01:07 pm
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Don't worry MURR, you have no idea what you are missing.

Shouldn't this article be published in the winter?
Bibimbap is the greatest thing in the cold weather.
Hipster / July 30, 2013 at 11:08 pm
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ya dude. my friend told me bibimbap (whatever it is) is so in right now!
bibimbapabst is cool too (whatever it is with a blue ribbon pabst)
Yankee / August 4, 2013 at 02:28 pm
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WTF is a bibimbap?? I swear, you torontonians always go through your lame phases.
Edwin / September 14, 2013 at 09:54 am
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I agree with first poster, BimbimQ is great as I live close to it. DanJi that is just down the road from BibimQ (still on Yonge) is also fantastic and is cheaper as well.
TofuBowl / December 20, 2013 at 10:28 am
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Seor Ak San consistently has delicious bibimbap! Very authentic and the chefs there are so warm and welcoming.
Patt replying to a comment from Fumanchu / August 5, 2014 at 01:18 am
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I agree with you. Their Bibimbop is delicious.

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