Annandale, VA has long been a popular destination for anyone looking for great Korean food around the Capital Beltway. But booming interest in Korean food is just as real, if less splashy, than the tidal Hallyu Wave for K entertainment. From BBQ and bar food to luxe cuisine, Korean restaurants seem to be everywhere and many would put the DC scene in the top three metro areas to get the best K food on the East Coast.
Here are my top 12 Korean restaurants in DC and the surrounding areas, not in order and definitely not just in Annadale, where you will find the great Korean BBQ restaurants with AYCE options all the way to sophisticated Korean fine dining with an astonishing 6-course tasting menu where you will marvelously experience each dish with all of your five senses.
In Annandale, VA
Incheon Restaurant has quickly become one of the hardest reservations to book since its opening during the pandemic in 2021. Chef Justin Ahn meticulously oversees his 6-course tasting menu and nails each course! My favorite was Ssam, pork belly which has been sous vide for 24 hours. This meat will melt in your mouth with astonishing flavor. The portions are generous and you will enjoy premium fare at a reasonable price of $70. Please remember this restaurant is reservation only for dinners and is only open from Thursdays to Saturdays.
Tasting Menu – $70
Beverage Pairing – $55
Sun – Wed: Closed
Thurs – Sat: 5:00pm to 10:30pm
Jang Won Restaurant specializes in Korean Chinese cuisine and has long been considered one of the best Korean restaurants in DC Metroarea. Their jjajangmyun, jjambbong, and tangsuyuk are outstanding at affordable prices and you will be hard pressed not to leave the restaurant full and utterly satisfied.
Sun – Thurs: 10:30am to 9:00pm
Fri – Sat: 10:30am to 10:00pm
When you have that BBQ craving, Kogiya Korean BBQ is the place to go. The restaurant has two AYCE BBQ options at $33 per person and $38 per person, which is not bad at all for as much scrumptiousness as you can handle. They also have set menus with high-quality cuts of meat if you are in the mood for indulging in an elevated carnivore experience instead of going for sheer bounty. Either way, you will have a fabulous time relishing great Korean BBQ.
Sun – Thurs: 11:00am to 11:00pm
Fri – Sat: 11:00am to 12:00am
In Centreville, VA
4. Honest Grill
The three owners of Honest Grill (Wan Bok Lee, Will Won, and Sanghyun Lee) opened this high-end Korean BBQ restaurant in 2021 during the pandemic, united and inspired by their shared love of superior Korean BBQ meat. They offer the best quality beef and pork, including dry aged ribeye. The restaurant’s other Korean dishes are excellent as well, understandably, since Wan Bok Lee’s mother owns Taste of Korea, one of the premier Korean restaurants in the DC area and she shares her recipes with her son (and his friends). Honest Grill also offers lunch menus, which feature lower prices for the same excellent meat quality.
Sun: 12:00pm to 9:00pm
Mon – Fri: 11:30am to 2:30pm, 5:00pm to 10:00pm
Sat: 12:00pm to 10:00pm
Abbaee Soondae specializes in Soondae (Korean blood sausage) and has a reputation for the best soondae in the DC area. More importantly, their other menus are just as superb. Their tang/jjigae (soup and stew dishes) are so good that you may find yourself there in the morning, gratefully easing the consequences of heavy imbibing night before. Their tonkatsu is so crispy and delicious that your kids, or kids at heart, will beg for one more bite. This restaurant truly is one of the best Korean restaurants in the beltway that will satisfy all members of the family.
Sun – Sat: 10:00am to 10:30pm
6. Gom Shabu Shabu – Centreville
Gom Shabu Shabu is a Korean Hot Pot restaurant with very affordable prices and is one of the most popular Korean restaurants here. You can choose the AYCE meat option or order meat a la carte. However, I recommend the AYCE meat option since the price is not much more per person. Also worth mentioning is that their lunch menu prices start much lower than similair options on the dinner menu.
Gom Shabu Shabu
Sun – Thurs: 11:30am to 10:00pm
Fri – Sat: 11:30am to 11:00pm
7. Sō Korean BBQ
You can’t go wrong with Sō Korean BBQ. The restaurant offers a la carte, set menus, and AYCE for Korean BBQ. They are all excellent choices. If you want to pamper yourself with the best cuts of meat, go with the Prime set menu. If you don’t want to limit yourself to the quantity of meat you would consume, go with AYCE. If you want to pick and choose, go with a la carte menus. There are no wrong choices here.
Sun – Thurs: 11:00am to 11:00pm
Fri – Sat: 11:00am to 12:00am
Gogiville – VA is another outstanding Korean BBQ restaurant in Centreville, VA. The restaurant offers a la carte and set menus. Gogiville’s meats are remarkably moist and tender. Their marinated meats are perfectly balanced between sweet and savory. Their side dishes are supporting players that sometimes threaten to steal the spotlight, especially the corn cheese. You will enjoy each bite at Gogiville and find yourself hoping that the dining experience never ends.
Sun – Sat: 12:00pm to 1:00am
In Chantilly, VA
Taste of Korea has a wide range of Korean traditional food and their dishes are wonderfully delectable. Since it opened in 2016, they have served the best Korean home-style cooking. Their mandu is big and juicy, their kimchi pancake is so crispy and flavorful, and their bibimbap is full of delicious bulgogi and vegetables. All the dishes are just so good. This is quite simply sublime home cooking at its best.
Wed – Sun: 11:00am to 3:00pm, 4:00pm to 9:00pm
Mon – Tues: Closed
In Fairfax, VA
Meokja Meokja – Korean BBQ opened in 2018 and it became the best Korean BBQ restaurant in Fairfax, VA. Meokja Meokja means let’s eat, let’s eat in Korean. As you can tell from the name of the restaurant, they are very serious about what they bring to your table. Their pork and beef are tender and juicy, just heavenly. You can either order meat a la carte or set menu. I would order the set menu if you are with two or more people as a way to sample more types of meat.
Sun: 12:00pm to 10:00pm
Mon – Sat: 5:00pm to 10:00pm
In Springfield, VA
11. Makchang Dodook
Makchang Dodook is one of the most well-known Korean franchised restaurant brands that started in Daegu, Korea. And Makchang Dodook in Springfield, VA is extremely popular for very good reason. Makchang means pork intestines in Korean and Makchang Dodook’s specialty is pork intestines. Beef large intestines are a bestseller as well. Both pork intestines and beef large intestines are considered to be a delicacy in Korea and Makchang Dodook delivers both dishes masterfully.
They offer a la carte, set menus, and AYCE which also include regular cuts of pork and beef. But the pork intestines and beef large intestines are must haves here.
Sun : 12:00pm to 11:00pm
Mon – Thurs: 4:00pm to 11:00pm
Fri – Sat: 12:00pm to 12:00am
In Washington, DC
Good Korean restaurants in DC proper are not easy to find. But you can count on BUL Korean Bar & Restaurant which is a Korean bar/restaurant that offers Pojangmacha-style dishes. Pojangmacha (포장마차) is a bar that is a small tent or street stall found in South Korea which serves anju (안주, food that you eat when you drink alcohol). The restaurant has a wide selection of Korean beers and alcohol such as makgeolli (막걸리, Korean rice wine) and soju. It’s most famous for its Korean fried chicken. But their kimchi dumplings and pancakes are amazing as well. If you’re looking for a deliciously good time with friends when many other restaurants close for the night, this is the place to be.
Sun : 5:00pm to 9:00pm
Tues – Thurs: 5:30pm to 10:00pm
Fri – Sat: 5:00pm to 11:00pm
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 a mom to a middle schooler and a proud maximalist who loves everything about life.