Wednesday, October 04, 2006

How About a Little Seoul Food?

Some people call it Koreatown, some say K-Town. But unlike the Koreatowns in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Manhattan's Korean enclave isn't much of a neighborhood; in fact, it is just a single block of 32nd Street between Broadway and Fifth Avenue.

Few Koreans actually live here. There isn't much residential space on the block or in the surrounding area. But K-Town has become the cultural center for New York's growing Korean population.

At ground level you will find an assortment of shops, newsstands, banks and hotels, but the street is dominated by dozens of Korean restaurants and cafes. This area is busy 24/7 and if you are in the mood for an inexpensive prepacked lunch box, a stylish sweet snack, a traditional barbecue or an elegant dinner - regardless of whether you are a vegetarian, a seafood fan, a calorie counter or a lover of bloody red meat - you'll easily find something to suit your taste and your budget.

Don't miss the eggless scallion pancakes at Woorijip, the cold acorn noodles (yes, they're made from acorns) at Hangawi, the freshly-baked cakes and buns at Koryodang Bakery or the green tea frozen yogurt (so addictive it is affectionately called crackberry) at Pinkberry. If the day is sunny, you might prefer to sit outside at the tables on the plaza to watch the busy social scene.

Once your craving for Seoul Food is satisfied, remember to look up. The higher floors of the buildings on this block are packed with businesses that cater to the needs of the Korean community, offering herbal medicines, spas and beauty treatments, tutoring and language lessons, employment and travel agencies, tattoo parlors, internet cafes and raucous karaoke bars.

On 32nd Street Posted by Picasa

Animated billboard with Korean subtitles Posted by Picasa

Pinkberry yogurt shop Posted by Picasa

Girls on the plaza Posted by Picasa

On the plaza Posted by Picasa

Korea Way sign Posted by Picasa

Newspaper stand Posted by Picasa

Looking in to Woorijip Posted by Picasa

Nightlife on the upper floors Posted by Picasa

  • Hangawi Restaurant

  • Woorijip Restaurant

  • Koryodang Bakery

  • Pinkberry

  • Village Voice: Close-Up on Koreatown

  • K-Town Comes of Age

  • New York Times: Beer For Breakfast

    At 10/05/2006 06:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


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    Best wishes for continued ascendancy,
    Dr. Whoami

    P.S. Here's some blogs that I found
    of interest
    as I negotiated my way
    through cyberspace:

    Is Jesus God?
    Religion Comparison
    Watch The Jesus Movie
    Muhammad or Jesus???
    Answering Islam
    A Short Look At Six World Religions
    God's Word in different languages...
    How to become a Christian
    Who Is Jesus?
    See The Word
    Around the Well
    Every Student
    'Thought & Humor'

    Only one of these is amalgamated with me -
    can you determine which one??? Tell me
    sometime what your thoughts are
    about all this:O)

    At 10/06/2006 04:12:00 PM, Blogger Do Kwang said...

    Hey, I suggest you turn on the spam guard and stop Mr. Bold Guy up here from visiting you a second time.
    Meantime, thanks for visiting my blog in spite of the language barrier and even messaging. I dream of Brooklyn, I swear!

    At 10/06/2006 04:22:00 PM, Blogger tlc illustration said...

    Wow! Quite the spam hit!

    Fascinating blog. You lead quite a tour. My husband is Korean-American and we greatly enjoy Korean food. I'm as white as they come, so it is interesting to visit places where I'm such a minority. We live in the Pacific Northwest, which has a very active Asian community, but you still have to work at it to find places to be a minority at! :-)

    At 10/06/2006 07:52:00 PM, Blogger Pendullum said...

    When I go to NY in the next time I am certain to got to little Korea...

    At 10/07/2006 09:36:00 PM, Blogger Annie said...

    I loved your introduction to Seoul Food and I thought I'd show you an advertisement for some southern Little Rock AR soul food.

    Hey, thanks for visiting my blog.

    I like your blog very much.

    At 10/07/2006 09:59:00 PM, Blogger J. Andrew Lockhart said...

    This is really interesting! I love the photos, too.

    At 10/07/2006 10:03:00 PM, Blogger Quodlibet said...

    I used to live in S. Korea and loved the people, food and the culture. Amazing place to live. I most certainly miss the food. I live in Calgary and there are a few Korean restaurants, but I have to say, they don't quite live up to my memory of Korean food. Nice blog!

    At 10/07/2006 11:37:00 PM, Blogger tallulah said...

    I am salivating while reading your blog. I love food and New York is so different from Way Down In Mayberry (where I live). It's nice to see some culture.
    Great pictures!

    At 10/08/2006 05:37:00 AM, Anonymous Carlynn said...

    Hi, thanks for your comment on my post. I hadn't thought of that alternative to a lampshade but it appeals to me. I was even thinking, "Mmmm, not the prettiest head for a lampshade but with a few highlights, maybe an earing or two, there is potential there."

    What a great site you have. New York is such a cool city and I love Asian food, I am definitely noting down addresses for our next visit. I have to try Green Tea ice cream if it's that addictive and the shop itself looks so cool. I've always wanted to do the silk road but I had never thought of doing an equivalent tour in the town I live, I have to check out the options as we have a wide variety of restaurants here.

    At 10/08/2006 12:20:00 PM, Blogger Blage said...

    Thanks for posting to my blog...your photos are great! Will check out little Korea next time I'm in NYC.

    At 10/08/2006 01:38:00 PM, Blogger Jeff De Rosa said...

    Wow. I wish I found this blog earlier on in the year. Your cultural descriptions are amazing. Makes me much more anxious to get to NYC... or at least out of here. Hell, I'd settle for Manhattan Kansas right now!

    At 10/09/2006 08:45:00 AM, Blogger ~tanty~ said...

    Hi, nice blog you have here. And thanks for visiting my blog. I have moved and here is my new address:

    At 10/10/2006 04:35:00 AM, Blogger Seesaw said...

    Beautiful photos, great blog.


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