There’s a reason ‘bibimbap’ seems to be the base beat of all your friends’ conversations these days.
It’s because Korean food is hot right now – and we mean that both literally and figuratively. From sizzling sirloin and blazing buldak to fiery kimchi jjigae and steaming tteokbokki, this East Asian cuisine is as rich in spiciness as it is in sweetness. And while the flavours are addictively tantalising, it’s the dining experience that keeps people wanting more. Searing some meat on the table grill, experimenting with unique wrap concoctions, trying different meats and vegetables with various dips and sauces, trading a sip of broth here for a forkful of noodles there… it’s all about appreciating the unparalleled joys of eating with those around you, celebrating Korean culture and tradition, and building intimate food-loving communities.
Itching to plunge a piece of pork belly into a bowl of ssamjang? Ready to slurp down a pot of miyeok guk? Put on some K-pop music, practise saying ‘jebal’ (‘please’) and ‘gamsahabnida’ (‘thank you’), and read on for our ultimate guide to Korean food in Australia, so you can find the best Korean restaurants near you.
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Whether you’re looking for little-known Korean gems or barbeque hotspots across the country, our experts at Westpac Concierge can secure tables at restaurants so you’re never disappointed. We’ll provide recommendations for the best places to eat and help manage your reservation. Looking to make it a night out to remember? We’re poised to elevate the everyday. If you’re a Westpac cardholder, you might already have access.
Best Korean restaurants in New South Wales
Best for: a contemporary-cool dining experience
When Daero Lee and Illa Kim opened Soul Dining back in 2019, they could never have imagined the tidal wave of Korean food obsession in Australia that would come with it. Now a group composed of Soul Dining, Soul Deli, and Dosirak by Soul, it’s known for marrying its founders’ Korean and German heritage with their Australian surroundings for a contemporary take on the cuisine – think soyabean powder-dusted pork jowl with German red cabbage.
📍 204 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010
Best for: a cosy and intimate setting
Diners at KOBO need only whisper their compliments from their bar stool perches to be heard by executive chef Jacob Lee, a mere arm’s length away and hard at work. With an eight-seat dining space and a menu that is refreshed every three months, this restaurant inspires patrons to return again and again to experience each new selection that reflects different regions, seasons, and memories of Korea as expressed by the chef. From abalone claypot rice to soft buckwheat crepes, Lee’s diverse and inventive culinary expressions are endless.
📍 4 Loftus Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
Sáng by Mabasa
Best for: Instagram-worthy plates
Located in Surry Hills and owned by chefs Seung Kee Son, Jin Sun Son, their son Kenny Yong Soo Son (Studiokyss’ owner-designer) and his partner, Youmee Jeon, this intimate restaurant and bar is a family affair by all accounts. Experimental gourmands and design savants, the Sáng clan bring a unique flair to the Korean cuisine table – marrying contrasting flavours, textures, and colours to serve artfully curated, unconventional Korean dishes such as gujeolpan and janchi guksu.
📍98 Fitzroy Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010
Best for: impressing the in-laws
If you’re looking for a restaurant that will stir curiosity and spark conversation, look no further than Jung Sung. Seducing visitors with its luxe design and sophisticated plate presentation, this Chippendale restaurant presents Korean-Australian fusion cuisine in a new light – one infused with luxury and elegance, where fermented brussels sprouts are a sumptuous delicacy and bibimbap is a multidish affair instead of a one-bowl wonder.
📍 Level 3/2-10 Kensington Street, Chippendale, NSW 2008
Best Korean restaurants in Victoria
Best for: a home-cooked meal (literally)
On a fresh spring day in November 2019, Jung Eun Chae opened the doors of her one-bedroom Brunswick apartment to welcome the first-ever guests of CHAE, a six-person restaurant located inside her snug abode. With an infinitely accumulating wait list, Chae’s thoughtfully prepared Korean dishes speak for themselves. Inspired by her mother’s South Jeolla roots and her teachings from Korean Buddhist nun and chef Jeong Kwan, Chae presents the best of traditional Korean food in an intimate, comfortable setting.
📍 33 Mountain Road, Cockatoo, VIC 3781
Jan Chi Korean Feast
Best for: unfettered and unabashed culinary indulgence
‘Jan chi’ is Korean for ‘feast’, and that is exactly what diners can expect of head chef Steven JH Ryu’s Bridge Road restaurant. Whether you opt for the specially curated ‘Feed Me’ menu or the 350g bulgogi steak, satisfaction and satiation are guaranteed. Bonus: the Korean cocktail bar and eatery is a feast for the eyes as well, with its rendered concrete walls and custom illustrations of Somaek and gochujang.
📍 362 Bridge Road, Richmond, VIC 3121
Best for: celebrity-chef sightings
‘Celebrity chef’ just barely captures the magnitude of Paik Jong-won’s influence. With a TV series, a 5.2 million-subscriber-strong YouTube channel, and a collection of more than 2,000 restaurants around the world, he has formed a South Korean cooking empire. His new Melbourne outpost, Paik’s Bibim, distinguishes itself from the rest with its focus on healthy cooking, making it the perfect place to go for a refreshing meal and a potential celebrity sighting.
📍262 Spencer Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Best for: trying dishes that have gone viral on social media
‘Hansang’ translates to ‘table full of food’, and this restaurant takes its name seriously. Rather than the typical few side dishes, Hansang piles its tables with so many plates that there is nary a spot to rest an arm. From grilled mackerel sizzling in soya sauce and wasabi reduction to a fiery kimchi stew laden with pieces of fatty pork, the fully loaded menu means diners are lucky if they can make it through two or three courses.
📍 347/349 King Street, West Melbourne, VIC 3003
Best Korean restaurants in Queensland
Best for: dancing from buffet to barbeque and back
Dining at Hanwoori is about as hands-on an eating experience as you can find in an establishment titled a ‘restaurant’. Guests begin by making their selections at the bottomless buffet, with its seemingly ceaseless supply of fresh cut meats, fermented vegetables, and dipping sauces – and then sit at a table with its own individual grill to commence the delightful Korean dining dance between sizzle, sip, and savour.
📍1/70 Mary Street, Brisbane City, QLD 4000
Best for: a bar-hopping break
Flanked on all sides by some of Brisbane’s busiest bars, Seoul:Ssamm is the ideal spot to stop for a little bulgogi break. The lively atmosphere and buzzy service keep the energy of a night out alive, while the adventurous meat dishes dripping with tangy sauces and fun, bite-sized finger foods are sure to satisfy your midnight cravings. The cool and sultry ambience is punctuated by an interior design with a dark, monochromatic colour palette of timber and black leather.
📍 Shop 8, 100 McLachlan St, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006
Best Korean restaurants in South Australia
Best for: nostalgic feelings for the good ol’ days
KOKKO doesn’t dabble in the infinite array of Korean dishes. It does one thing, and one thing only: Korean fried chicken. But don’t be fooled by its seemingly one-dimensional menu. With its complex preparations and myriad dips, KOKKO’s chicken is anything but simple. And the nostalgic associations with fried chicken – think greasy fingers and sauce-smeared smiles – are only further accentuated by the diner’s unique playground-inspired design of white tiles, primary colours, and geometric shapes.
📍 1/1 Margaret Street, Norwood, SA 5067
Plus 82 POCHA
Best for: award-winning Korean food
One of four restaurants in the Plus 82 Group started by four Le Cordon Bleu Adelaide alumni, Plus 82 POCHA marries traditional Korean flavours with a rustic and natural preparation to deliver dishes that are instant crowd-pleasers, from crispy Korean fried chicken to tangy kimchi pancakes. With accolades such as 2019 Restaurant & Catering Hostplus Awards for Excellence for Best Asian Restaurant (South Australia), Plus 82 POCHA is a duck soup addition to your ‘Korean restaurants to try’ list.
📍 Shop 3/25 Grenfell Street, Adelaide, SA 5000
Best for: dumpling daydreams
Owner Ki Dong Ra twists and pinches each little dumpling by hand at this cosy Korean joint on Bank Street. In addition to the standard chicken, pork, and vegetable dumplings, Mandoo also offers a special kimchi dumpling, marrying the crunchy, spicy fermented cabbage with the supple, doughy outer layer for the perfect balance. Walk into Mandoo and you’re guaranteed to see diners happily dunking these steaming dumplings into saucers of tangy ganjang sauce while serenely sipping on hot green tea.
📍3/26 Bank Street, Adelaide SA 5000
Best Korean restaurants in Western Australia
Best for: quick and easy post-work dinner
This no-frills, all-about-the-food Korean BBQ joint is the perfect cure for that post-long workday sleepy stupor. The aroma wafting from bulgogi will immediately pique your interest, as its short ribs, skirt steaks, and pork scotch fillets wear that signature smoky cloak that comes from a charcoal grill. If you’re in the mood for something a bit lighter, but equally as warming, the restaurant also offers a variety of Korean soups, hot pots, and noodles that are sure to satisfy your comfort cravings.
📍 282 Hay Street, Perth, WA 6004
Best for: a satisfying meal that’s worth the queue
Those with little patience for long queues may be deterred from dining at Palsaik, but – as proven time and time again – where queues accumulate, good food awaits. And this Korean BBQ restaurant is no exception. A haven for meat lovers, it is known for the eight different kinds of pork belly on its menu, each with a unique marinade and preparation technique. Dining solo? Try the set menu and taste it all. With a group of friends? Go for the full Korean BBQ experience.
📍 78 Barrack Street, Perth, WA 6000
Best Korean restaurants in Tasmania
Tasty Korea Chicken and Beer
Best for: chicken and beer. Need we say more?
Like your favourite white T-shirt and a pair of blue jeans, sometimes it’s best to stick to the basics. Tasty Korea takes this to heart with its simple menu that features chicken and beer as the stars of the show, with burgers and soju as the supporting actors. Battered in various powder and sauce combinations, the chicken brings all the nuances of Korean flavour to the table – from spicy and sweet, to buttery and cheesy.
📍 207 Elizabeth Street, Hobart, TAS 7000
Best for: a cosy escape on a rainy day
The smattering of Korean newspaper clippings lining the walls of this minimalist restaurant only further accentuate its cute and quirky ambience. With a menu that has just about every Korean dish you could imagine and a staff as kind as they are knowledgeable, Kalbi is the kind of place you duck into on a rainy day for a quick meal that is guaranteed to warm you up and make you feel welcome.
📍396 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart, TAS 7000
Best Korean restaurants in Northern Territory
Best for: celebrating with loved ones
Named after the Korean term for ‘cheers!’, Zzan is the perfect place to clink glasses with friends, enjoy Korean and Japanese fare, and admire the serene harbour view. It is the first restaurant by chef Bruce Shin, a local Darwinian from Korea who previously managed award-winning Deck Bar and Eva’s Café in Darwin’s Botanical Garden. Try traditional Korean barbeque with a side of Japanese favourites such as miso-glazed eggplant for the ultimate Asian fusion experience.
📍 8 Conacher Street, Fannie Bay, NT 0820
Little Miss Korea
Best for: seasonal Korean cuisine
Opened by celebrity chef Chung Gae Lee in 2015, Little Miss Korea has since earned a panoply of awards recognising its quality fare and talented creator – including Best Asian Restaurant in the Northern Territory. Lee was born in Seoul and grew up with an appreciation for seasonal Korean cooking instilled in him by his family. He brings this heritage to Little Miss Korea, where cold noodles mark the beginning of summer and warm soups abound in winter.
📍Austin Lane, Darwin City, NT 0800
Best Korean restaurants in Australian Capital Territory
The Tasty Hill
Best for: meat lovers
Opened just last year, The Tasty Hill is the latest addition to Canberra’s Korean dining scene, and it’s already made a name for itself. A traditional Korean barbeque establishment, it offers all the trimmings – from complementary kimchi to myriad types of meat – but the Wagyu beef is the true star of the show. The precise marbling and deep red hue are clear indicators of quality (as any good meat lover will attest), making it a must-try menu item.
📍 Shop 1/3, 16 Moore Street, Canberra, ACT 2601
Best for: authentic Korean BBQ
When Hangari Kimchi opened its doors 14 years ago, it made a name for itself as the first authentic Korean BBQ restaurant in Canberra. It has done that title justice ever since with its full-scope array of Korean staples. Though it’s known for its barbeque, the tables come with or without individual charcoal grills, accommodating those who want the barbeque experience as well as diners seeking more à la carte options such as hot soups and stews.
📍5/55 Woolley Street, Dickson, ACT 2602