7 Korean Restaurants Worth Driving Out Of Miami For
photo credit: CLEVELAND JENNINGS / @EATTHECANVASLLC
Somewhere between efficient public transportation and a mute button for DJ Khaled on the list of things Miami needs, you’ll find Korean restaurants. We have a couple great options (shout out to Korean Kitchen and Cote) but a county this big sure could use more. The good news is that there are indeed a lot more Korean options if you’re willing to make the reasonable drive to Broward County. Lauderhill in particular is an epicenter of Korean food in South Florida, but this guide also has options in Weston, Davie, and even one that’s only 10 minutes away from the Miami-Dade County line.
Gabose is a Korean barbecue spot, and the best place in South Florida to do the cooking yourself on a little charcoal grill in the center of the table. That’s why there could be an hour-plus wait here on weekends (and they don’t take reservations). But it’s worth it to watch marinated short rib, thin-as-paper beef tongue, and spicy baby octopus turn into crispy deliciousness before your eyes. The marinades here are so tasty that even the nearly blackened pieces you forgot about for 10 minutes still taste good. The huge menu also has dishes the restaurant cooks, and there are non-grill tables—but hold out for one of those grills. You can always kill time at Gabose Pocha, their sister restaurant next door, which is less about the food and more about soju and karaoke.
Of all the excellent Korean options in Broward, U Know Korean Bistro requires the shortest commute for a Miamian. This casual restaurant is in a Hollywood strip mall, and it’s worth traveling for, especially if you’ve been craving a massive Korean meal. Portions are big and the menu covers a lot of ground: from one of the best seafood pancakes we’ve ever had to noodle dishes, soups, bibimbap, grilled meat, and more. But the jokbal is worth prioritizing. And unlike many Korean spots in South Florida, they offer a spicy version that’s fried and looks like it was dipped in a volcano. It comes with plastic gloves so you can really rip that meat off the bone with no fear of getting spicy sauce under your fingernails.
The handwritten chalk menu that lines Minji’s walls (featuring a soju-chugging Pikachu) is almost as fun to read as it is to eat. Consider your options carefully while K-pop concerts play on the TV behind you. Start with one of the small plates, like spicy tteokbokki, a kimchi pancake, or fried Korean dumplings the size of your fist. For bigger plates, your options are noodle dishes, Korean barbecue, stews, and soups—but the best things here involve broth. Their excellent naengmyeon comes with chunks of ice floating in the tangy broth, and there might not be a soup on Earth that’s more appropriate for infernally hot South Florida.
Here's the best news you'll get all day. Since we published this guide, we learned that Choong Man has a new location in North Miami Beach. And if you, like us, struggle not to order Korean fried chicken at every single Korean restaurant you encounter, you'll love this place. Choong Man encourages you to embrace that impulse by serving nothing but Korean fried chicken. You will still need to make choices. Pick from tenders, drumsticks, wings, gizzards, or a whole chicken, chopped and served family-style. Then you've got to pick a sauce and whether you’d like it smothered in sliced onions, spring onions, bburinkle cheese powder, or none of the above. We still really like their Davie location too (it has robots that bring you your food).
It’s tough to resist the siren song of the adjacent Flanigan’s with a waterfront view of a man-made lake—but shield your eyes if you must, and go to Myung Ga Tofu & Barbecue instead. Everything here is good, and there are tons of options. But like the name implies, the two priorities are tofu soup and barbecue. The tofu soup arrives in a sizzling cauldron adjusted to your preferred spice level with silky tofu dispersed generously throughout the soup. You get to choose if you want anything else in it, and options range from kimchi and clam to shiitake mushroom. As for barbecue, anything on the grilled section—from galbi to spicy octopus—is good. Just be sure to start with the puffy, crunchy, absolutely perfect wings as your appetizer.
If you want Korean barbecue, and don’t particularly care about grilling it yourself, Gogiya in Davie is a great option. The menu is big, but the proteins are what this spot does best. They make our favorite galbi, marinated to tender perfection. But as good as that is, we will never be able to come here without ordering the bossam. The boiled fatty pork belly is fanned out across the plate like a deck of cards, and the lettuce wraps it comes with are crisp and sturdy. If you also happen to order the galbi, you can borrow its onions while assembling your wrap. The restaurant has combination platters that feed up to six and dinner won’t take several hours since you won’t have to grill it all up yourself.
There are a few locations of this Korean bakery scattered around Broward, which used to be known as Paris Morning Bakery (and still may show up on Google as such). The one in Lauderhill isn’t the biggest, but since it’s in Lauderhill, it can easily become part of an all-day Korean food crawl (which should include a trip to Oriental Market, an excellent Asian market next door). Plus, it has a row of fluffy, not-too-sweet Korean pastries you can take to go, as well as cakes. There are also bingsu and boba tea, making this a pretty perfect place to hide on a very hot day. And each Paris location stays open late so it’s great for a quick dessert run after dinner.