The start of your first day in Koreatown will undoubtedly be a little different. The charm of your new neighborhood is that you feel like you are not home – rather, you will feel as if by magic you had been transported to Korea. The first stop on your Korean NYC getaway begins at Bread & Butter. The Asian-themed grocery store is open 24-7, and it has several locations in Manhattan. This location is the most popular, offering a solid and straightforward breakfast and coffee to get your day started. Feel free to explore the store to experience all the little Korean culinary nuances scattered throughout.
Yet again, at the very start of your afternoon, Korean food becomes the center of attention. The place to be is the Food Gallery 32. The cafeteria-styled food court, the largest culinary venue in Koreatown, has become a popular for residents from K-Town and NYC in general. The multi-cultural foodie destination includes 14 vendors to choose from for your luncheon needs. Revel in the offerings such as Kung Fu Tea, Korea House, Kobeque and The Gochujang (Korean-style school food). Don’t miss a chance to experience Sweet Churros as these will possibly be the best ones you’ll ever taste.
Just beneath all the shops on West 32nd, there’s a place you must visit. The Koryo Bookstore is a remarkable kaleidoscope of all things Korean. The bookstore carries hard-to-find Korean books, stationary and toys. There’s even a section of posters and pictures of K-Pop singers that are currently popular in Korea. But of course, their main draw is an endless plethora of books. A large selection of English-language books complements their Korean counterparts.
There are plenty of Korean BBQ joints to choose from in K-Town. Today, I’ll help you make your decision. Grab a seat at Jongro BBQ. The restaurant is possibly the most popular spot in the area and it usually gets busy early and late to cater to the partygoers, so a dinner around this time of the day is perfect. The meats are freshly delivered daily and are cut in-house (yum!!). The atmosphere that also adds to the experience is the joint’s decor that pays homage to the 1980’s Korea. What gives the idea away is the sea of posters, enhanced with the menu that includes snacks from the era – the biggest plus among the regulars.
You do know that you can’t leave K-Town without doing karaoke. There are more than 20 karaoke venues located on Korea Way – so your challenge tonight is in picking the right one. The best place to display your vocal skills is at Spot Karaoke & Lounge. The karaoke joint is located on the 9th floor at 34 West 32nd Street. When the elevator doors open, you are greeted with a revelation of the musical sense. From K-Pop to K-Rock to classic rock, you’re exposed to the sounds of singers and revelers dancing on tables and chairs. Just think about karaoke on steroids and you’ll get Spot Karaoke.