There has never been a more exciting time for people to experience Korean fine dining. In the last decade a new generation of talented young chefs has emerged, pairing global techniques with familiar Korean flavors. These masterful creations are presented in sleek settings with top-notch service and there are now no fewer than six Michelin starred Korean restaurants in NYC.
- Jungsik, 2 Stars
- Atomix, 2 Stars
- Cote Korean Steakhouse, 1 Star
- Jua, 1 Star
- Kochi, 1 Star
- Jeju Noodle Bar, 1 Star
Korean cuisine is red hot in popularity in New York City but the most exciting bites to be had these days are not exactly in Koreatown. Chef-driven, ingredient-forward contemporary Korean fine dining has been on the rise ever since Hooni Kim first opened the groundbreaking Danji on W. 52nd Street in 2010. The elegant and visionary Jungsik opened the following year in Tribeca and has consistently earned two Michelin stars since 2013. Jungsik also proved to be the training ground for many young Korean chefs who have since gone on to open up other mega-successful modern Korean restaurants like Atomix and Jua.
New York City has always been known for its world class restaurants and the NYC Korean fine dining scene has finally found its place as one of the top options for seekers of the best gastronomic experiences in the city.
Here are our picks for the top 10 modern Korean fine dining restaurants in New York City, ranging in prices from $68 per person to $375 per person. Don’t miss our special bonus pick at the end.
Jungsik deserves to be first on this list as they have been the starting point and inspiration for so many of the other restaurants recognized here. The executive chef Jungsik Yim trained at top restaurants such as Aquavit and Bouley, and is the leader of a modern and unique understanding of contemporary Korean cuisine that he named “New Korean”. He opened his first restaurant “Jung Sik Dang” in Seoul in 2009 which was acclaimed by diners and food critics alike.
Yim then opened his second restaurant in New York City in 2012 and Jungsik became the first Korean restaurant in New York City to be awarded two Michelin stars.
The tasting menu price is hefty but still feels reasonable when compared to other top NYC restaurants such as Masa ($750 Omakase) or even Per Se ($355 prix fixe). Dining at Jungsik is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you simply must try. Jungsik offers exquisitely crafted food that highlight the beautiful colors and textures of artfully prepared courses of food, each of which offers a combination of flavors so unique you will truly savor every bit.
Signature Menu – $285
Wine Pairing – $175
Tues – Sun: 5:00pm to 9:00pm
This one-Michelin Starred restaurant which opened in 2019 is one of the leading upscale Korean restaurants in New York City. Chef Hoyoung Kim who previously worked at other Michelin Star restaurants like L’Astrance (3 stars) and Jung Sik (2 stars) beautifully presents a modernized Korean-inspired seven-course tasting menu with a variety of wood-fire techniques. The menu is refreshed each month which will create a unique fine dining experience for you each time you visit Jua.
Tasting Menu – $135
Beverage Pairing – $95
Tues – Sun: 6:00pm to 11:00pm
Kochi NYC is a lovely gem of Korean gastronomy that opened in Hell’s Kitchen in 2019, right before the pandemic. Since then, Kochi has received a Michelin star and has become one of the most prominent upscale Korean restaurants in New York City. Chef Sungchul Shim, who previously worked at Neta and Per Se, offers a menu that honors the traditional flavors of Korean royal court food while enhancing his tribute with modern gastronomic techniques using the freshest local ingredients.
The restaurant offers a tasting menu consisting of nine courses. Throughout the menu, five courses feature skewers since Kochi (꼬치) in Korean means skewer and the word is the restaurant’s name and identity.
(Read our full review of Kochi NYC)
Tasting Menu – $135
Sool Pairing – $95
Mon – Sun: 5:00pm to 12:00am
Cote is New York City’s first dedicated Korean Steakhouse which was opened in 2017. With the high-end, exceptional cuts of quality meat prepared on a Korean barbeque grill in the middle of the table and traditional Korean dishes, owner Simon Kim created the perfect fusion between Korean BBQ and American steakhouse at Cote. It quickly became the go-to place for a different kind of steakhouse experience and quickly earned a Michelin-star.
The excellently priced Butcher’s Feast is a $64 per person prix fixe option. It gives you four different kinds of USDA Prime & American Wagyu beef, several banchan sides, a mouthwatering savory egg soufflé, spicy Kimchi stew, savory deonjang jjigae, and a soft serve for a dessert which is a lot of food. You will leave Cote with a full stomach and deep satisfaction.
Cote Korean Steakhouse
Sun – Mon: 5:00pm to 11:00pm
5. Oiji Mi
Oiji Mi which opened on May 10, 2022, at Flatiron, is the more luxurious and extensive version of Oiji, the beloved East Village restaurant which has been temporarily closed since April 2022. At Flatiron, Chef Brian Kim and partner Max Soh wanted to explore more upscale Korean cuisine without losing their playful takes on Korean food, which they did expertly at Oiji.
If Oiji (East Villiage) presented fun, modernized, and innovative Korean dishes like a bowl of Honey Butter Chips and Pine Leaves Smoked Mackerel, you will find the dishes luxed-up with foie gras and caviar at Oiji Mi. The restaurant offers a five-course prix fixe menu in the Main Dining Room, while an a la carte menu can be found in the Bar & Lounge.
Tasting Menu – $135
Sun – Mon: Closed
Tues – Sat: 6:00pm to 11:00pm
Atomix is one of the most acclaimed Korean fine dining restaurants in New York City. The two Michelin-starred restaurant was also chosen as #43 of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2021. Chef Junghyun and his wife Ellia Park as manager created this unprecedented Korean restaurant in 2018 which followed after their beloved first restaurant, Atoboy. Known as a masterful food scientist, Chef Junghyun had worked at Jungsik Dang in Seoul and then at Jungsik in Manhattan under Chef Jungsik Yim and also led Jungsik to receive its second Michelin star.
Atomix is a 14-seat tasting-menu only restaurant where diners sit around a single U-shaped counter. The menu changes quarterly which beautifully and playfully reflects each season of the year. The prices for the tasting menus are the most expensive among the restaurants featured in this article. However, you will experience a different level of dining at Atomix. The astonishing attention to every detail and Chef Junghyun’s imaginative and delectable creations have many wondering if a third Michelin star is on the horizon.
Chef’s Counter Tasting Menu – $375
Bar Tasting Menu – $270
Mon – Tues: Closed
Wed – Sun: 5:30pm to 11:00pm
In 2016, Chef Junghyun Park after working at Jung Sik decided to open his first solo project, the family-style sharing restaurant Atoboy, with his wife, co-owner, and manager Ellia. This fun and imaginative restaurant soon became an NYC foodies’ favorite and one of the most popular upscale Korean restaurants in New York City. Since then it has been serving top-notch food inspired by the concept of banchan: small side dishes served with every Korean meal.
The prix-fixe menu at Atoboy is $75 with the hospitality included. The price is remarkably much lower than other upscale Korean restaurants in New York City, and you may argue that the experience is not exactly fine dining. However, the food quality is equal to those restaurants and you can enjoy the food in jeans and a t-shirt. “Ato” means gift in an ancient Korean language and you will indeed feel you received the best gift after dining at Atoboy. You should definitely order their add-on fried chicken (a $25 option) which is incredibly juicy with a thick, crispy crust. You won’t regret that you paid $25 extra from the first to last bite.
A 5-course Prix-Fixe Menu – $75 with the hospitality included
Sun – Thurs: 5:00pm to 9:00pm
Fri – Sat: 5:00pm to 10:00pm
Danji is a treasure tucked away in Hell’s Kitchen where you can enjoy high-end Korean cuisine for a more affordable price than other upscale Korean restaurants in New York City. In 2010, Chef Hooni Kim launched an upscale Korean restaurant, Danji and it became an instant hit with New Yorkers. The dishes are beautifully prepared through classic Korean cooking techniques to amplify the authentic Korean flavors with Chef Kim’s classic French cooking background (he previously worked at Daniel).
Danji’s tasting menu is a little bit different from other upscale Korean restaurants in New York City. Instead of individual portions, the dishes are served in a traditional Korean family style in several courses and are meant to be shared among diners at the table. There are a la carte menu options as well if you decide to forgo the tasting menus.
Tasting Menu – $68
Beverage Pairing – $34
Sunday: 5:00pm to 9:00pm
Tues – Thurs: 5:00pm to 9:00pm
Fri – Sat: 5:00pm to 10:00pm
You may not equate fine dining with the words “all you can eat”, but Hyun reimagines the Korean BBQ concept. It’s truly one of a kind and centered around one ingredient: Japanese A5 Wagyu, which is butchered in-house daily. The restaurateur Jaehyun Kim launched Hyun in 2019 with the unique idea of AYCE Korean BBQ offering only Japanese A5 Wagyu, the best beef in the world. You’re given a 90 minute eating window but within that time allotment the only limiting factor is stomach space.
In addition, their seven-course tasting menu option gives you more than just unlimited Japanese A5 Wagyu. It also offers seafood, Korean pickles, sot-bap (pot-cooked rice with assorted seasonal mushrooms), and so on. Hyun is also preparing an Omakase by HYUN five-course tasting menu which is served on an eight-seat chef’s counter. If you like AYCE Korean BBQ and want to taste the best quality meat, this is the place for you.
HYUN-makase 7-Course Tasting Menu – $210
HYUN-makase Wine Pairing – $60
HYUN-makase daily special cuts selected by the chef 8 – 10 cuts– $130
Mon – Wed: Closed
Thurs – Sun: 4:30pm to 12:00am
With the vision of offering high-end Korean cuisine with a killer view, owner and architect Andy Sung and Executive Chef Tae Goo Kang opened Gaonnuri on the 39th floor of a skyscraper overlooking the Manhattan skyline in K-town in Manhattan in 2012. Among upscale Korean restaurants in New York City, its stunning views are unrivaled. The food here is also wonderful. Their five-course tasting menu is fabulously fused between Asian and European cuisines and their vast a la carte menus host marvelously traditional Korean dishes. “Gaonnuri “means the center of the world in Korean and you will feel like it when you dine there at night looking over the breathtaking view of the NYC skyline.
5 Course Tasting Menu – $135
Mon – Thurs: 5:30pm to 11:30pm
Fri – Sat: 5:00pm to 12:00am
Sunday: 4:00pm to 10:00pm
Bonus: The Woo
The opening of The Woo in 2018 was the marvelous comeback of Woo Lae Oak, the pioneer of upscale Korean restaurants in New York City which first opened in 1974 in midtown Manhattan. The Woo is a sleek and contemporary bi-level restaurant that is a modern upgrade from its predecessor. With their history of having Korean BBQ restaurants in NYC for three generations, the granddaughter, Julie Choi’s The Woo carries her family’s legacy into the present with confidence and flair. Diners will be exposed to a Korean BBQ hands-on experience that encompasses all your senses with stylish presentation and the highest quality ingredients.
Ms. Choi is a Korean restaurateur who holds a Grand Diplôme of Cuisine and Pastry Arts from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in London and an International Hospitality Management degree from École Hotelière de Lausanne in Switzerland. And while the Chef Cuisine is non-Korean Eli Martinez, we love that he has worked for all three generations of the Choi family and combines a passion for fine Korean food and service.
Saturday: 12:00pm to 11:00pm
Sunday: 12pm to 10:00pm
Mon – Fri: 3:00pm to 10:00pm
Hanyoo Park is a content creator for Best of Korea. She was born in Seoul, Korea, and currently lives and works in Manhattan. She is mom to a middle schooler and a proud maximalist who loves everything about life.