The Best Korean Restaurants in Toronto
The best Korean restaurants in Toronto are as diverse as the neighbourhoods in which they are found. From traditional family fare, tabletop bbq, high-end fusion, post-party comfort food and mom and pop operations that specialize solely in tofu, this list of Toronto's best Korean restaurants has something for everybody. That variety applies equally to the geography with establishments from Etobicoke to Thornhill and everywhere in between.
Some of my personal go-to restaurants missed the cut, including Cho Wan Family Restaurant in North York and Sariwan in Thornhill, but no matter where in Toronto you live the list below proves there will likely be an abundance of options for great Korean food just around the corner.
Here are the best Korean restaurants in Toronto.
Completely hidden from street traffic and featuring only the subtlest of signage, this sprawling family restaurant is the definition of a hidden gem. Unlike many well-kept secrets however, Song Cook’s is hardly a hole-in-the-wall. In fact, it might be the biggest Korean restaurant in the city. Clean, modern decor, a real host and spacious dining areas separate Song Cook from its homelier contemporaries. Add a large menu of home-style cuisine and it’s easy to understand why waits are common. More »
Meld the flavours, tradition and techniques of Korean cooking with the palate, aesthetic and price points of more trendy Toronto eateries and you end up with Swish by Han. Sure, the ban chan isn’t complimentary here, but where else in the city could you order kimchied pears with stilton cheese and wash it down with yuza tea? Swish by Han isn’t exactly up to the standards of a Momofuku Ssam Bar, but it certainly doesn't hurt for trying. More »
Nothing is as soothing on a cold winter day than the spicy, steaming broth and velvety textures of soon tofu. With multiple locations across the city, Buk Chang Dong and its seven item menu of stews has been keeping Torontonians warm during the most blustery of months for years; particularly when you only have $10 in your pocket to spend on food. More »
This no frills family-style restaurant is one of the old guard amongst the increasingly competitive strip of options at Yonge and Finch’s uptown Koreatown. Simple, crowded and serving staple items like bim bim bap and jap chae en mass, they’re clearing doing something right. The restaurant has expanded with two sister locations in recent years. More »
Although it’s on the menu of every other restaurant on this list, when I specifically crave gamja tang I always instinctively think of the Owl. Why? Because there’s pork bone soup, and then there’s pork bone soup at 3 a.m after a heady night on the town. It’s the same, but better, and it tends to create a bias. Places that are open 24-hours a day tend to attract loyal followings and the Owl is no different. More »
The longtime go-to Korean restaurant for many living in-and-around the Annex, Ka Chi doles out home-style cuisine to consistently teeming crowds at several locations around the downtown core. The ambiance is casual if not sometimes a bit rushed, but cheap food, satisfying portions and local familiarity has made this a regular pit stop for many folks craving Korean. More »
The second of the Soon Tofu restaurants on this list, Cho Dang is a bit outside the usual haunts for Korean fare, nestled along Dundas West in Etobicoke. It’s worth the bus ride however, with silken tofu made in-house along with fresh soymilk that you can buy and take home for your own little stockpile. The stews and stone bowl rice you’ll probably have to come back to the restaurant for however. More »
With two uptown locations, this BBQ restaurant eschews the all-you-can-eat mentality of its competitors to focus on a la carte portions of high-grade kalbi, bulgogi, pork belly and other fresh marinated options. Cook it yourself or have it cooked for you, but you may never go back to the world of AYCE Korean BBQ after having tasted the good stuff. More »
This Korean/Japanese restaurant features a menu combining the best standard fare from both cuisines. Decorated more like a Japanese restaurant with wooden booths and room separators, this Scarborough favourite is a nice option when you want unexpectedly fresh sushi and tempura alongside your dolsot bi bim bap. More »
The menu at this watering hole may be fairly run-of-the-mill, but it does have an ace up its sleeve with its proximity to several Karaoke establishments, some located in the same building or immediately next door. On slow nights, the chintzy interior and khan poung ki (fried spicy chicken) can be endearing with enough good company. But the five beers that come with the food for only $20? A winner every time. More »
This quaint and cozy restaurant features authentic low tables for cross-legged dining (the downtown location at least) and a simple but traditional menu. The ban chan is particularly generous here as is its reputation for Soon Dae Gook (a blood sausage made of pork or cow intestines). In other words, come for the guts but stay for all the freebies. More »
This pseudo-bar serves plenty of traditional dishes but is known primarily for its delicious Korean Fried Chicken. Be it the light and crunchy skin of a whole deep fried bird or diced thigh meat on a hot plate tossed with kimchi sauce, the poultry here compliments its assortment of cheap domestic beers perfectly. The proletariat decor is just the cherry on top. More »