Koreatown in New York

There is so much to love about Koreatown in New York City! Although Koreatown (or K-Town as the locals call it) is practically just one block in Manhattan, the environment is truthfully larger than life. Most restaurants are open 24 hours in K-town, making it a popular location during the workday, and an extravagant neon wonderland at night. 

Koreatown is a highly commercialized area, so you can expect to find things like Korean barbeque, sweet shops, Korean-style spas, a bookstore with tons of K-Pop gifts, and tons of places to sing karaoke with your closest friends. K-Town isn’t necessarily your best bet if you’re looking to go clubbing, dancing, or to visit speak-easys. But, if you’re interested in Korean food, sipping soju, and singing Sweet Caroline with your friends in a private karaoke room, look no further!

Although there are tons of things to see and do in K-Town, we’ve hand-picked the best of the best so you can truly make the most of your experience! Read on to learn more.

Koreatown Has So Much To Offer!

With so many options to choose from, it’s no wonder that K-Town attracts so many visitors each year. It is truly a one-of-a-kind experience that you just have to see to believe. Whether you’re planning on just passing by Korea Way, or having a full night-out in K-Town, you’ll definitely be making lasting memories either way!

My TOP 5 in Koreatown, NYC

Top 5 Sights

  • visit the Empire State Building at night
  • stroll along Korea Way
  • have some fun at Gagopa Karaoke
  • eat amazing food at Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong
  • play a few rounds of billiards at Space Billiards Pool Hall & Sports Bar

Where is the Koreatown located?

K-Town is generally located between 5th and 6th Avenue on 32nd Street in Midtown Manhattan. However, you’ll find additional Korean restaurants and shops as far out as Madison Avenue, and between 30th and 34th Avenue. To put it into perspective, K-Town is directly adjacent to the Empire State Building. As long as you can spot the top of this skyscraper, you should be able to make it to Koreatown from virtually anywhere in the city.


How to Get to the K-Town NYC

  • Metro: Subway lines B D F M N Q R W to “34 St – Herald Sq”
  • Hop on Hop Off Bus: Stop 4 of the red downtown route of BIG BUS (the dark red buses) or stops 4 and 5 of the red downtown route of Gray Line Sightseeing (the ones with the bright red buses). My tip: the tickets for the buses are included in many of the New York City passes – which one is the best for you, you can see in my pass comparison for New York!

Why is it called Koreatown?

This tiny pocket of Manhattan sprouted up after Korean immigrants started coming to NYC in 1953 after the Korean War. Although many current residents of Korean heritage live nearby in Queens or Brooklyn, K-Town is still a wildly popular location. In fact, most of the restaurants you’ll find here feature authentic Korean dishes and drinks. For this reason, many Korean-Americans agree that the dining experience closely resembles being in Korea.

What To See in Koreatown, NYC

The major New York attractions are all within easy reach from here, as you are right in the center of Midtown Manhattan. And these are the spots you shouldn’t miss when being in Koreatown:

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    Korea Way

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    Korea Way isn’t as much of a shop as it is the street where most of the shops are located. Sure, this block on 32nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenue is where most of the locations above are located, but Korea Way is truly a spectacle in and of itself. While you’re out exploring the shops in Koreatown, be sure to take a moment to just stand and look down the street–it’s a beautiful sight, and it truly allows you to appreciate the diversity allowed to flourish in NYC.

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    Food Gallery 32

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    As the only multicultural food court with three floors of restaurants, Food Gallery 32 just has so much to offer! Why visit just one restaurant when you could come here and grab bubble tea, Korean noodles, Kimbap, fried dumplings, and pastries from several different restaurants. This dining excursion is definitely something to be witnessed. Although it tends to get busier during the usual dining hours, the wait times aren’t too long and there’s generally something available for everyone.

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    The Face Shop

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    Are you looking for some of the finest exfoliates, emulsifiers, moisturizers, and balms anywhere in NYC? If so, you definitely can’t miss The Face Shop. This K-Town shop stocks the best Korean beauty products around to help you feel lavish and lively. With walls of items to browse through, it’s surely a must-see shop, even if you end up only buying a small hand cream or several.

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    Koryo Books

    Book Store in Korea Town
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    Koryo Books was one of the first stores to put K-Town on the map. Among the books available, you’ll find fashion magazines, cooking companions, and craft books, as well as novels, magazines, and Korean translations of popular English bestsellers. If you’re a K-Pop fan, you’ll also encounter tons of BTS goodies, including posters, dolls, clothing, and more!

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    Other Shopping in Korea Town
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    This Korean grocery store isn’t necessarily unique to the K-Town area, but it fits in perfectly with the environment here. H-Mart has foods, drinks, and candies that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s well-worth a visit, even if you’re just stopping in to pick up some ChocoPies or a bag of wasabi corn chips. If you’ve never visited an H-Mart before, you’re in for a real treat by visiting this one in K-Town.

The Best Guided Tours in and around K-Town

There are tours where New York guides show you the neighborhoods:

Steffen Kneist Loving New York
Save big on New York attractions and tours

Budget Tip

Many of the attractions and tours in th NYC are included in one of the New York City passes. So you can easily and quickly save up to 70% – how does it work?

You can see that in my ultimate New York Pass comparison, here you can see my personal New York Pass Reviews after more than 20 visits to New York and our free New York Pass Advisor answers the question: “Which New York Pass is the best?

Best Things To Do in Koreatown

When visiting Koreatown, there are a couple of places that you absolutely cannot miss!

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    01 Space Billiards Pool Hall & Sports Bar

    With 12 billiard tables and plenty of cocktails to choose from, Space Billiards is an iconic location in K-Town. This bar is a fantastic option for casual weeknights unwinding with friends, or during weekend extravaganzas late into the night. You can sit down to watch the big game on TV, play a few rounds of billiards, or book one of the karaoke rooms.

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    02 Spa Castle Premier 57

    The Spa Castle is located in the heart of Manhattan and opens the doors to an extraordinary wellness oasis. Here the most diverse wellness cultures meet. Immerse yourself in a traditional Japanese bathing culture, enjoy the hydrotherapy pools typical of Germany or let yourself be pampered in the Korean beauty spa.

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    03 Gagopa Karaoke

    There are a lot of great karaoke establishments in Koreatown, but if you’re looking for the absolute best, Gagopa Karaoke is surely somewhere near the top. Open from 7pm to 4am every day, this karaoke bar has private rooms that can be reserved in advance, making it a great option for large gatherings.

Top Restaurants and Bars in Koreatown

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    01 Grace Street

    Affectionately considered to be one of the top Korean dessert cafes in K-Town, Grace Street has something to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. From coffee to Korean doughnuts, shaved ice to mochi waffles, this cafe truly offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience. The open seating area is incredibly inviting and the wait staff is warm and hospitable. After a long day walking around NYC, you definitely deserve one of the sweets from Grace Street. 

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    02 Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong

    Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong is another phenomenal restaurant for Korean barbeque. The meat here is very high-quality and is a great option for large group dinners. If you call in advance, you can usually make reservations for groups of 6 or more. We would specifically recommend trying the melon liquor, the galbi grilled beef, and the dosirak lunch box.

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    03 Korea Way

    Korea Way isn’t as much of a shop as it is the street where most of the shops are located. Sure, this block on 32nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenue is where most of the locations above are located, but Korea Way is truly a spectacle in and of itself. While you’re out exploring the shops in Koreatown, be sure to take a moment to just stand and look down the street–it’s a beautiful sight, and it truly allows you to appreciate the diversity allowed to flourish in NYC.

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    04 Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao Koreatown

    Xiao Long Bao, commonly known as Soup Dumplings, traces its roots back to Nan Xiang County in Shanghai, China. In 2006, “Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao” made its debut in the heart of Flushing, New York, a hub for Asian cuisine, and has since garnered a devoted following among food enthusiasts in the city. For over 16 years, Nan Xiang has been the top choice for local Chinese immigrants seeking authentic Northern Chinese, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang cuisine. Beyond the local Chinese community, numerous Western diners also flock to Nan Xiang to savor our renowned dishes, as recommended by various publications and food bloggers.

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    05 Pocha 32

    If you’ve been out late partying or exploring the town, you should definitely check out Pocha 32 for some late-night eats. If you want to keep the party going, you can order a round of yogurt soju for the table. Or if you’re looking for something savory and filling, try the budae-jjigae, a Korean spicy sausage stew. The gently draped green netting along the ceiling also makes for a wonderfully comfortable environment to sit and relax with friends.

  6. Turntable Chicken Jazz Korean BBQ

    06 Turntable Chicken Jazz

    Although Korean barbeque is one of the biggest draws of K-Town, Turntable Chicken Jazz offers a unique and delectable alternative. Whether you go for the fried chicken, kimchi pancakes, or the miso ramen, you’ll always feel like you’re at a party at this restaurant and bar. Turntable Chicken Jazz is another beloved restaurant in K-Town, so it’s always good to call ahead and make reservations if you’re hoping to sit down in a timely manner.

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    07 Yoon Haeundae Galbi

    While you’re exploring K-Town, you’re undoubtedly going to catch the powerful scents of Korean barbeque here and there. Yoon Haeundae Galbi is, hands-down, one of the best options in the area. As is customary, this restaurant has a wait staff that is trained to cook your food to perfection right at your table. It’s a family style restaurant, so you can expect to be passing bowls of food around the table. One thing to note though, it’s a lot of meat, so those on vegan diets may wish to look elsewhere.

Hotels near K-Town, NYC

If you are looking to stay in this area, look no further. Below are our favorite places to stay:

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    01 Ace Hotel New York

    4 stars | This charming boutique hotel has two stylish restaurants and a bar. The Herald Square underground station is in the immediate vicinity of the hotel. Each of the spacious rooms is individually designed.

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    02 Archer Hotel

    4 Stars | The Archer Hotel is a boutique hotel right on Bryant Park – the perfect location! The rooms are truly stylish and from some of them you can even see the Empire State Building. What we also liked: the small bar on the roof of the hotel!

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    03 Arlo NoMad

    4 Stars | This beautiful hotel is pretty much right where you want to be during your (first) visit to New York: just around the corner from the Empire State Building! This place isn’t only exceptionally stylish, it also has a rooftop bar and terrace from where you have a sensational view of New York – and the Empire State Building from up close, of course. Hard to beat. 

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    04 Hilton Garden Inn West 35th Street

    3 Stars | The Hilton Garden Inn West 35th Street made it onto my list of the best hotels in New York, not only because it’s sensationally located – many of the most famous sights like the Empire State Building, Bryant Park and Times Square are all within easy walking distance. But also because its price-performance-ratio is outstanding! 

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    05 Hotel 31

    2 Stars | Hotel 31 is located between Park and Lexington Heights on 31st Street, hence the name. Around the hotel there are various cafés, restaurants & bars – we were really satisfied! The Empire State Building, Times Square, Herald Square and Madison Square Park are within easy walking distance. The hotel is almost a bargain by New York standards: prices for double rooms start at 120 EUR (excluding breakfast). The rooms are deliberately kept simple, but this is absolutely fine for a couple of nights. And you will likely use your hotel room mostly for sleeping anyway. Some rooms have their own bathroom – others have a shared bathroom on the same floor and an extra bathroom with toilet. These are cleaned several times a day and are therefore pretty much spotless. The hotel won’t win any design awards in the near future, but the location, the price and the cleanliness make Hotel 31 a recommendation!

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    06 Kimpton Hotel Eventi

    5 Stars | This luxurious boutique hotel is one of the top addresses in Chelsea. The in-house restaurant serves everything: breakfast, lunch as well as dinner à la carte.

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    07 Moxy NYC Chelsea

    4 Stars | The Moxy NYC Chelsea is one of my insider tips in New York, because it meets my taste exactly: it is built in factory loft style, so you can expect floor-to-ceiling windows with great room height. The view is magnificent, the staff is super nice and everything is freshly renovated. This is how a New York hotel should be!

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    08 The Refinery Hotel

    4 Stars | I can’t recommend the Refinery Hotel highly enough – it is ideally located (only two blocks away from Bryant Park), has one of the most relaxed rooftop bars in the entire city (with a view of the Empire State Building) and the rooms are large and nicely furnished. You’ll definitely feel at home here!

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    09 The Setai Fifth Avenue

    5 stars | The Setai Fifth Avenue at the Empire State Building was once called “The Langham” and is a luxury hotel with great service that impresses couples in particular. The Langham Place, New York, Fifth Avenue is located in the city’s most popular neighborhood and has great public transportation connections.

    The rooms are very modernly furnished and just under 40m² in size. The bathrooms convince with shower and bathtub and a TV integrated in the mirror. Sports enthusiasts will love the in-house gym, which is very well equipped, and gastro fans will be delighted with the Michelin-starred restaurant. Being right next to the Empire State Building, The Setai Fifth Avenue is perfectly situated for a day of sightseeing in New York.

    This hotel at the Empire State Building is particularly suitable for travelers with a slightly higher travel budget, as the Langham Palace is not entirely inexpensive, but something very special in any case!

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    10 Pestana Park Avenue

    4 stars | The Pestana Park Avenue is for me one of the most beautiful hotels in Murray Hill: the hotel rooms are really big for New York standards, very nice and modern furnished and some of them even have a balcony from which you can look at the city and especially at the Empire State Building. It has only recently opened, so the furnishings from the lobby to the terrace to the rooms are all up to date.

    Attractions like Bryant Park and Grand Central Station are within a few minutes walking distance, you are in the heart of the city!

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    11 The Shelburne Sonesta New York

    4 stars | The Shelburne Hotel is located in Murray Hill between 37th and 38th Street and is one of my personal recommendation. We ourselves have stayed at this hotel several times …

    It is very close to attractions like the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. The shopping street 5th Avenue, Park Avenue, as well as the Grand Central Station and Times Square are also within walking distance. Our room had a view of the Empire – absolutely brilliant!

Neighborhoods Nearby

Koreatown is bordered by Chelsea to the west – and Midtown surrounds it to the north and west.

Neighborhoods that are similar to Koreatown NYC

K-Town is truly unique in New York and there is no neighborhood quite like it. The only district I can think of would be Chinatown.

Profilbild Steffen Kneist
About the author

I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 25 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On my blog I show you the best and most beautiful spots of the city, so that you have a really good time! You can also find lots of insider tips in our New York travel guide. Also check out my hotel finder for New York!

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