The Best Korean BBQ In Seattle
photo credit: Brooke Fitts
Going out for Korean BBQ is about the most fun you can have while hanging out over a searing hot surface. Whether you’re with a big group who wants to throw back shots of soju to the soundtrack of sizzling meat or you’re just looking to have a calmer weeknight dinner that involves lots of banchan and tofu soup, there’s a place for you on this guide. Our favorite spots include casual restaurants that feel like you’re grilling at home, upscale places with staff that cook for you, and all-you-can-eat buffets.
Looking for great Korean food beyond BBQ? We have a guide for that, too.
When a Korean BBQ restaurant requires you to do the cooking, a group meal can quickly turn from a good time to sweaty work, but not at Meet. Servers at this Capitol Hill spot—with big shiny windows, an open kitchen, and grills set into wooden tables—take on the responsibility of perfecting the wagyu for you. They also have some of the tastiest proteins in town, like gochujang-marinated kurobuta pork, kalbi short rib, or prime ribeye if you’re feeling particularly fancy. Meet works well as a group dinner before hopping around to some bars on the Hill.
Maybe it’s the EDM DJ sets playing on every TV, but Bellwether feels like a meat-fueled party. Everyone is here for a good time, from big groups piling into booths to solo folks. And while the meat options are nothing exceptional, it’s the hot bar that makes this International District spot worth a visit. Grab as much purple rice, chicken wings, chow mein, and cheesy corn as you want—without having to flag down a server for the 10th time.
Aside from Bellwether BBQ, Son Of A Butcher in Eastlake is one of the only great places for Korean BBQ in Seattle proper. Here, you can slap a giant bone-in short rib on the grill while J. Cole blasts and soju pours, all without leaving city limits. The best way to go is to order a couple of meats a la carte—like beef bulgogi and hickory smoked pork belly—and lean into their sides. We’re fans of the delicate tobiko-topped egg souffle, kimchi pancake with crispy edges, and torched cheese corn that we may have contemplated stuffing into our bags for later.
Sometimes, going to an AYCE operation can mean nagging a server to restock your bulgogi for the third time, but not at New Gangnam BBQ IV in Shoreline. Their finest contribution to the KBBQ universe is a $25 lunch special that features a refrigerated buffet of raw meats so that you can grab exactly what you want to cook—like particularly tasty marinated chicken, spicy pork, and cuts of frosty beef belly. Take advantage of the well-stocked banchan bar while you’re here, but just stay away from the “hot” bar of lukewarm gyoza, egg rolls, and wings.
This Shoreline strip mall spot knows that its decor is dated—there’s a disclaimer on the menu with a reminder that they still have an excellent health score rating and only serve high-quality meats despite their interior. At The Grill King, you’ll find deeply marinated short ribs, super thin cuts of meat served frozen to stay fresh during grilling, and platters of banchan with fantastic garlicky bean sprouts and penne mac salad. The attentive staff greets regular customers by name, and the $25 all-you-can-eat dinner price is one of the best values in town. They’re open until midnight, too, so count us in when it's time for late-night pork belly.
Follow the ridiculous neon glow from DaVinci Dental to K-BBQ Woobling, located in the building across the street. This upscale Bellevue spot is perfect for a special occasion or date night that calls for lots of pork belly and slivers of kimchi pancake. The proteins arrive curled in the shape of roses and served on fancy wooden display boards, the grill is Sur La Table quality, and they even delicately score each piece of meat for you to maximize on the crispy bits. For a group, there’s no better setup than the mixed meat combo, with some notable stars like pork jowl, marinated short rib, and a cold sesame broccoli banchan that we find difficult to stop snacking on.
Don't count on this place for any impromptu situation—during prime dinner hours, wait times can be up to two hours long. But don't let that stop you. Much like everything at The Village At Totem Lake in Kirkland, Seoul Meat Co. is state of the art, with polished grill tops, a giant “AYCE” neon sign, and vent fans that look like robots hanging over your table. Their protein selection is serious, with 15 different cuts of beef and 10 types of pork rubbed in seasonings like curry powder or truffle salt. But it’s their seafood items that shine, like cajun mussels and huge shrimp doused in creamy garlic butter. Plus, they have covered and heated outdoor seating, which is ideal for anyone who doesn't want to smell like seared brisket for the next three days.