The best places to find authentic Korean food all seemed to be tethered to Lamar Boulevard. There are a couple downtown worth noting, however North Austin keeps the best kimchi and bulgogi secrets. Surprizingly, there are hardly any Korean themed restaurants south of downtown. A few of the places recommended below cross into sushi territory but have notable Korean menu items.
Geisha Sushi & Grill (616 East 6th Street) Downtown fusion restaurant where bibimbab and bulgogi on the menu. Geisha shares the block with El Sol y La Luna, a local Mexican restaurant, and is a short walk from Esther’s Follies if you like twisted political comedy shows (8pm start time).
Koriente Restaurant (621 East 7th Street) North from Geisha on Sabine Street you’ll find Koriente. A quaint and cozy spot to enjoy vegan-friendly MSG-free Korean fare and bubble tea. Nearby you will find Lipstick24 and Barbarella to get your groove on after dinner.
Together Restaurant (9200 N. Lamar Blvd.) Nestled between a Mexican joint and a Pho place you’ll find Together. The menu is full of authentic Korean dishes, some of which are only in Korean so you might have to ask what they are. The decor is old and doesn’t really seem Korean, more like a collection of posters of places the owners might have been or want to go. The Effiel Tower being among them. The kimchi was fresh, crisp, and clean tasting. I had the beef bulgogi which came in a bowl of sweet broth topped with carrot and onion slices. Very affordable if you don’t mind the setting.
Korea House (2700 West Anderson Lane #501) My favorite Korean restaurant in this area. Often a lunch spot for traveling clients who want to try something other than BBQ or Mexican, this is at the top of the list. Service can be curt but they are generally quick. The lunch bento boxes are plenty of food and are great when you can’t decide what to order. Prices are fair.
Tous Les Jours (6808 N. Lamar Blvd) A French-Korean bakery chain that started in Korean in 1997 and opened thier first store in the USA in late 2000. It smelled amazing in here! Beware if you have nut allergies by reading the labels. So many delicious pastries with almond cream that I could not test for you, but I did buy a chocolate croissant and a bean bun. There are a few sandwiches if you’re looking for a light lunch with a juice or coffee.
Manna Korean Restaurant (6808 N. Lamar Blvd) Manna shares the same plaza as Tous Les Jours, Rockin Rice, a Korean grocery store, Austin Karaoke, and a hair salon. You are greeted with a smile by the waitress and hostess for the cozy Korean restaurant. Clean design, Korean television, and a peek of the wizardry in the kitchen is visible from your table. I had to try the Bi Bim Bap in Hot Stone! I even took a video so you could hear the snap-crackle-pop of the rice in the blazing hot stone bowl.
Umiya (1540 Cypress Creek Road, Cedar Park) Usually pretty busy for dinner but worth the wait once you get in. The Korean dishes are delicious and the sushi is reasonable with a fair quality. A good place to eat if your night includes Cedar Park Center for a hockey game.
Here’s a handy map
Thanks Michelle from Foodie Is The New Forty for some of the photos!