Koreatown LA is more than just KBBQ. After a drive through Koreatown, you’ll find that there are many things to do: including interesting landmarks, restaurants/bars/nightlife, and some of LA’s best hidden gems.
Established by Korean immigrants in the early 1900s, Koreatown LA is vibrant community with over 500+ restaurants and 5,000+ businesses across 150+ city blocks.
Due to sheer size of Koreatown LA, (it’s the largest in the world) we have put together this comprehensive guide of 100 uniquely Koreatown things to do so that you can experience the full depth of our vibrant community, beyond the KBBQ and soju.
Let’s kick it off with #1!
Dawooljung, meaning ‘a harmonious gathering place’, is the first Korean traditional monument built in Los Angeles commemorating the centennial anniversary of Korean immigration to the United States in 2006. It reflects a traditional building style of Korean architecture. Enjoy strolling around the small garden with cute flowers. Take some time to look at the meticulous details of the structure. Don’t forget to take a beautiful photo with the pavilion.
Soowon Galbi offers the best Galbi dishes- they are tender and very delicious! Just imagine the deep and sweet taste of marinated galbi grilled over a charcoaled fire. Don’t forget to order a bowl of savory Naengmyun(cold noodle) for a finale.
Mrs. Park of Big Bear Farm has been making Korean health broths for over 20 years on Olympic Boulevard in Koreatown, Los Angeles. Known best for her customizable Korean Health broths, Mrs. Park still runs the shop day to day ensuring her customers are healthy. Try goat broth
Paris Baguette is a ‘French-inspired’ Korean bakery and cafe. It is one of the most famous bakeries in South Korea having a wide variety of pastries and cakes. Try their sweet potato mousse cake or blueberry yogurt cake. If you like strawberries, try strawberry pastries. Enjoy Peanut crumb bread or walnut cream cheese bun with your favorite coffee. Their bread products are flavorful, yet not so heavy.
As long as you’re in Koreatown, you would never want to miss out on a PC-gaming experience in a PC cafe. Here at 88 PC Cafe you could enjoy it with your friends with a fast speed internet and computers with good performance. 88 PC Cafe has variety of games including Apex, Anthem, LOL, PUBG, Fortnite, Overwatch, CS GO, DOTA2, L4D, etc. Headphones are allocated for each and every computer.
If you are a golf fan, come practice for a perfect swing at Los Angeles’s biggest semi-indoor golf range! You can either get a computer-aided lesson or a supervision from a pro instructor, or just relax and go at your own pace. Bring your own golf club though, since they do not rent golf clubs at this time.
‘Gol Tong’ is a playful way to call a stubborn or a dumb person in Korean. Gol Tong Chicken is a no-frills Korean chicken place owned by ‘Director Gol Tong’, or Kil Chae Jeong, a former movie director. His fried chicken dish is topped with seemingly random ingredients like pineapple, avocado, peach and berries but together combined, they harmoniously create one flavorful masterpiece. There are so many Korean fried chicken places and franchises now in LA but Gol Tong is a must-try, as it was even featured in Eater LA.
Ever tried soondae? Although it uses pork blood as a main ingredient, it does not taste anything like animal blood. You’ll soon fall in love with this marvelous combination of pig intestine filled with pork blood and slightly spiced cellophane noodles. If you wish to go au naturel, a plate of classic Soondae is recommended. Soondae-guk(soup) and stir-fried Soondae are also greatly appetizing variations.
Dol-sot Bibimbap is slightly different from normal Bibimbap in the way it is served. Instead of placing fresh vegetables with rice, you mix steamed vegetables with rice. Take a mouthful of savory dish with a sizzle- for one wholesome meal of the day, it is as good as it gets.
Korean traditional medicine, also known as Han Bang, is a widely acknowledged method as opposed to Western medicine. Some doctors would even recommend mixing both methods together to get an ideal remedy for pains and sicknesses. At Kyung Hee Acupuncture and Herbs, you will be able to experience an immediate relief of migraine or chronic pains with Korean medicine and acupuncture. Try herbal medicine to enhance your physical health, too.
Maze room is probably one of the best ways to spend some memorable moments in Koreatown with friends and family. It may be a good place to impress your date through solving puzzles, too. Try Magic Kingdom or The Abyss for a moderate-to-advanced level room escape. You can also try coming around the holidays to get sweet discounts. We suggest you book in advance.
Yu Chun’s buckwheat noodles have a refreshing tangy flavor with icy cold broth. Try Jonathan Gold’s favorite, Chic Naengmyun(arrowroot cold noodle). Whereas Naengmyun is traditionally a summertime dish in South Korea, it can be eaten at any time whenever you are craving for something that cools you down.
Kobawoo House offers a very delicious and flavorful dish of pork belly. Meat is nicely sliced and soft, not being too chewy. They give you lots of banchans and will offer as much as you want if you ask for more. Kobawoo also has different kinds of sauces and spices to dip the meat in, including fermented shrimps and Ssamjang.
Wi Korean BBQ is an authentic LA-style Korean barbeque house. It is not one of the most sophisticated KBBQ places like some, but it never cuts corners in their meat quality or banchans which gives truly a high value for money. Their beef brisket is savory and pork is juicy with not too much fat. In addition, they have great customer service, catering to different needs of every customer.
You might be able to find some decent Korean movies on Amazon Prime Videos, but probably not the trending ones which are also in theaters in Korea at the same time. Here at CGV you could enjoy these latest movies in a full cinema screen and theater setting. All Korean movies provide English subtitles so there is no need to worry about language.
Ever wondered what Korean letters or publications look like? Aladdin Bookstore is a great place to look around and even purchase a new/used book of your preference. To all the book lovers and collectors out there, their book may be a perfect souvenir to take home.
Arena Koreatown is a nightclub located in the heart of Koreatown. No need to go as far as Vegas, just enjoy a fun night-out with friends here at a local spot. Music is really loud, so just make sure to get ready to party the night away. Their DJ-handpicked music list usually includes some generic hip hop and pop songs. GET RATCHET here at Arena Koreatown!
You may be quite familiar with breakfast burritos, but what would a breakfast Kimbap look like? Kimbap is a Korean dish that looks similar to roll or sushi, but made in Korean style with seaweed and rice as a base with different ingredients like carrots, cucumber, radish, egg, spinach, etc. Kimbap House puts great attention to detail when it comes to good ingredients. Try their Bulgogi Kimbap to start a day off, which has a clean flavor that makes an ideal, healthy breakfast. Note that they accept cash only for one roll of Kimbap.
Spend some quality time with friends and family at this bowling alley in Koreatown. They’ve recently reopened in June 2021. Hit some strike and have a full experience by visiting the arcade or billiards area, too. Unlike many businesses, they have a dedicated free parking spot.
Break Room 86 is an 80’s retro-themed bar with karaoke. There’s a super fun surprise speakeasy door, which is truly a hidden gem of this spot. Come with your besties to have some enjoyable moments with vodka drinks and cocktails.
Wi Spa is a Korean-style spa. The place itself is definitely a category of its own- you’ll love the experience of just relaxing in a hot room, enjoying Korean treats, going into hot/cold tubs and even getting your body scrubbed. You could enjoy it with friends, but going alone is even better for unwinding yourself.
Etude W Salon is a hair salon located in California Marketplace with lots of skillful hair designers. You could book appointments for various services through their website, from bang trim to kids’ cut, digital perm and blow-dry styling. To check out the portfolio and see the style of each technician, visit their own Instagram profiles in advance.
Pharaoh Karaoke is a decent karaoke with great service, clean facilities and good amenities. Relieve your stress while singing as much as you want and make unforgettable memories with friends. Package that comes with soju and food is also a good deal. Remember to make reservations, especially for group visits or on the weekends since they have limited capacity.
Hana nail is renowned for amazing skills and satisfactory results, along with favorable staff. Spend a day just sitting down and treating yourself to gel mani and pedi for good self-care. As the technicians consider customer’s satisfaction a priority, they’ll keep checking in with you to make sure everything is okay. At the end of the day, you’ll love your beautiful nails!
The Wiltern opened in 1931 as a mesmerizing example of Art Deco architecture. The theater is actively putting up concerts and shows, taking careful measures of only those who got negative in COVID-19 test result and can prove they are fully vaccinated could participate in the events. Get some snacks and drink at the bar if you feel like it, too! Overall you could enjoy the ambience and appreciate the wonderful historic style of the structure.
It’s time to shed pandemic weight gain! Pursue a healthier lifestyle with Pilates by Yolisa. Yolisa takes very good care of each person, giving everyone the exact exercise they need to strengthen and balance their body.
Taejo Kickboxing is pretty well known to locals for sparring and taking boxing lessons. Worry not if you are a beginner, friendly and respectful instructors will go over the basics with you. It is a great place to bring your kids, since they are excellent with youth too.
Get some fun for the night through ax-throwing with friends or family. There is also a kick-ass bar where you could enjoy drinks and bar food while throwing the axes. A friendly coach will be assigned to walk you through the entire time.
Check this studio out to learn poomsae, or enjoy learning Taekwondo as a martial arts itself! It is also a great opportunity to have a spirit of self control, respect and courtesy. The masters and instructors are really dedicated to make sure each student gets their best Taekwondo experience.
Practice and become a pro here at Young Dong Billiards. Being a favorite local pool hall to many, this place is famous for its cleanliness and the tables being in a good condition. Enjoy shooting a ball at a reasonable price which is around $15/hour.
Taste of Korea is now offering an online tour. For only $35, enjoy a virtual tour with 4 types of Korean instant noodles and desserts! You could taste the traditional ones(Ramyeon) with a twist as well as fusion noodles. Find more about these dishes by listening to interesting stories that even native Koreans may not know about! All you need is hot water.
Seoul Salon Restaurant and Bar is a nice place with fancy dishes. You could have a meal or just typical Korean bar food with drinks. They have some decent fusion dishes like Gochujang Pork Belly Pasta or Rosé Tteokbokgi. The retro-style ambiance is great as its decorative features well portray Korea in its early 20C.
Taking lessons at Larchmont Ballet is allegedly rigorous and fun! The instructors who give detailed instructions are simply nothing shorter from amazing. Become a dancer, improve your techniques and stay in shape as you experience the fat being replaced with muscles.
If you want to keep your memory of visiting Koreatown LA, Tom’s 1 Hour Photo will offer you a good deal on 90’s style studio sessions. Get some cheesy photo on a date or with your friends! It’ll be hard to stop giggling the whole time.
Try this indoor baseball batting cage with Chimaek (Fried Chicken and Beer) to hang out with your friends. If you love watching Dodgers games this is a perfect place to try it yourself without being under pressure. In an international mode, you could get a free hat and get on the wall of fame if you hit a home run.
Located on the topmost floor of California Marketplace, this cafe features traditional Korean teas as well as unique Korean snacks from decadent walnut cookies to honey drizzled crispy rice waffles. Spend an afternoon relaxing with a warm cup of herbal tea, surrounded by a beautiful interior highlighting Korean art and culture.
Burning calories doesn’t always have to be so grueling and boresome. Get that feeling of rejuvenation you get while flying around the room on an aerial yoga swing! You’ll soon begin enjoying your work out sessions and get your body toned in no time.
Ann Bridges Art Studio is an awesome art studio located in Wilshire Center. You could take many different kinds of classes in sessions, including watercolor, drawing or young artists class. You would thoroughly enjoy the experience by getting detailed instructions and lots of hands-on experiences.
Koreatown Pizza Company offers a wide selection of pizza dishes, including the basics like cheese or pepperoni to Korean-style ones like KBBQ Kalzone, Bulgogi or Hawaiian (Yes, this one has pineapple in pizza). Surf and Turf or The Kingsley are also popular choices. You could also order Korean side dishes like Kimchi Fried Rice to complete a delicious meal.
One More Kitchen is one of the most interesting places on 3rd street. They look very modern from outside. Inside it is gorgeous with all the lights and cute decorations. You can enjoy a casual dining experience accompanying cafe drinks, which reminds of an urbane cafe concept in Korea. Dishes include Italian-Asian fusion like Mala Pasta or Kimchi Burger. For a refreshing drink, Matcha Latte is highly recommended. They have their own private parking lot, which is a relief for those always struggling to find a parking spot!
Once you try Gopchang(beef intestine) you’re gonna love it because it is so good. Ahgassi Gopchang, an affiliate brand of Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong in the same hospitality group, offers high quality Gopchang and KBBQ with good customer service. Try Gopchang with Soju, a combination that could never go wrong.
Document coffee has a great artsy vibe with its art museum-like atmosphere. Their coffee is pretty good too. Try Document Cafe Horchata with food, if you have a sweet tooth. They also make some flavorful basics such as Document cold brew. If you want to try something new you could also try tea+lemonade drinks or Korean tea.
Hanbok is a traditional Korean dress. These days people wear them for events like a wedding or a birthday party. Meehee Hanbok offers specially curated bridal gowns. They have a uniquely beautiful collection of Hanbok, not being a cookie-cutter at all! Rent Hanbok for a special themed wedding- you’ll never regret.
Get flowers for someone you love, even if it is not for a special occasion! Ladies at Western Flowers will create a beautiful bouquet just for you that goes beyond your expectations. They work with your budget so don’t worry about the price too much.
The picture doesn’t do it justice for Bingsoo(Korean Shaved Ice) at Oakobing. Try the melon/ mango ice shaves with a piece of Injeolmi croissant. With an awesome presentation and a great flavor, You’ll absolutely love the ultimate experience.
Bamboo Salt is well known for treating a sore throat and body detoxification. Getting a natural remedy would help your body restore faster and in a healthier way than relying on synthetic drugs. Here at The Bamboo Salt you could explore a wide collection of natural remedy products from bamboo salt to radish extract, garlic tablets and red ginseng.
Kae Sung Kimchi Market is easily one of the best Kimchi stores in Koreatown LA. They are so famous for making great Kimchi products without using artificial flavors. If you’re ever hankering for decent kimchi, don’t hesitate to give it a shot.
Featured in a Buzzfeed video where a former K-pop star Tiffany Young searches for the best ice cream in LA, this popular dessert shop serves an adorable fish-shaped waffle cone filled with your choice of milk, matcha, ube, or black sesame soft serve ice cream. You can also add fillings such as red bean, Nutella, or custard, as well as toppings like oreos, strawberries, macarons and more. Check out Somi Somi on the 3rd floor of Madang mall. The entrance to the parking lot is located in the back on S Manhattan, and is free with validation.
If you want to get some light exercise for only $7, go visit Hyundae Ping Pong Club. You can also use the ping pong machine if you’re practicing by yourself. The tables are quite nice and there is a net in the back for stray balls. After sweating out for a bit, you could wash and refresh yourself at a spa that’s located in the same building. (Whereas the table tennis club is a co-ed area, the spa is for male only.) There are a plenty of parking spots behind the building, which is great!
Spend some quality time with your friends at this historical bar with a art deco era vibe! They have a good selection of drinks which you could choose from with some late night food. Waiters are straightforward and will give you good, uninterrupted service.
Get your hair cut, permed or dyed here at Hair Day. All technicians are very skilled, detail-oriented and patient as they are fully qualified from simple trim to a perfect style that fits the customer’s face shape!
With Myeongrang getting a head start, Korean hotdogs have become quite the trend over the past few years, and they still satisfy the global tastes. Try the no-frill OG hot dog, or potato hot dogs with crispy small chunks of potatoes. Check out the perfect cheese pull, isn’t it lovely?
Han Bat Sul Lung Tang is a place to get authentic Korean comfort food. For those who want a hot bowl of ox tail soup as a good healthy meal, this place is definitely worth checking out.
If you’re looking for a Korean restaurant and cafe vibe with multiple levels, an outdoor patio area, and a fully stocked cocktail bar as well, look no further. Be sure to checkout One More Kitchen & Cafe and their amazing space on 3rd Street.
If you love Japanese cuisine or Katsu, you should try Tokyo Hamburg. From meat-lovers menu, Katsu, Udon, Izakaya to vegan menu, this place definitely hits the spot for all those who are craving for modern Korean Japanese. Don’t miss the hamburg steak that comes out on a sizzling hot stone. They also offer happy hour all day with only $1 oyster and $4-5 alcohol drinks.
If you’re feeling stiff and/or have chronic pain that hasn’t been resolved by Western medicine, definitely try one of the most popular treatments in Eastern medicine.
Skip the restaurants and get delicious groceries and foods from a very famous Korean grocery store, H Mart. Here at Hmart, you could get Korean snacks, drinks and frozen food that are rare in any other stores. Get a box of soju and beer with some Korean chips, now you’re good to go for a 2nd round after dinner with your friends!
Koreatown Plaza is an old fashioned Korean shopping mall with lots of stores, food court, and a bakery. As it maintains its structure and the vibe from the early 2000’s. Koreatown Plaza place has a history of its own that would make some reminiscent of past memories and just be enjoyable to some.
If you’re looking for an authentic Koreatown mall experience, look no further Koreatown Plaza is an art deco mall with 3 sprawling floors and a down to earth but tasty Food Court. Inside Koreatown Plaza, there is a classic-style food court called ‘Food Gallery’. Grab lunch and spend some time chit chatting with friends as if you’re back in school! There are multiple kinds of cuisines you could choose from, including Katsu, noodles, Kimbap, comfort foods, and shaved ice.
Yun Kum Jae Kumdo has been in Koreatown for more than 10 years! With great instructors and masters, learn how to wield the sword.
Looking to get in shape but tired of running in place and doing repetitive workouts at a traditional gym? Get your kickboxing game on with a local legend at Taejo Kickboxing right on 6th Street.
Looking for a chill night with great drinks and good music? Look no further, Paper Tiger Bar is a low key lounge, bar, and club with a diverse crowd.
Check out this place if you’re looking for an upscale bar with ‘Cheers’ vibe. Enjoy a moody night out with your favorite people.
Dave, one of the best traditional tattoo artists in Los Angeles works here at The Queen’s Head Tattoo. Get your new beautiful tattoo here.
Guelaguetza epitomizes Koreatown while focusing on Mexican cuisine and specifically mole. An iconic purveyor of mole, Guelaguetza is in an historical restaurant building with Korean roofing which resembles the relationship between the Latinx American and Korean American in Koreatown.
Got enough Korean Fried Chicken in your system this month? Try the very famous and iconic Pollo Ala Brasa on Western for delicious fire roasted rotisserie chicken of all types!
Want to try a unique twist on delicious Korean BBQ Pork Belly? Try Eight Korean BBQ on Western to get a taste of 8 different flavors of Pork Belly.
Apt 503 is a diverse and happening night club in the heart of Koreatown right on Wilshire. Located in a high rise office building with an interior designed like a massive loft apartment, Apt 503 is definitely a place you want to check out if you’re a fan of nightclubs!
Ready for a new twist on coffee? Try Coffee Signal for a great pastry and cup of coffee just the way you like it!
TehranRo is a brand new Mediterranean restaurant in the heart of Koreatown on 6th Street City Center Mall. Taste the freshest Mediterranean in town at TehranRo!
Korean Chinese cuisine is a signature staple of the Korean diet. Quite different form American Chinese, Korean Chinese involves Black Bean Noodles and Spicy Seafood Soup. Chinese Korean is such a huge industry in Korea that there are even special bowls designed for “ban-ban” half Black Bean Noodles & Half Spicy Seafood Soup. Definitely check it out!
Wanna kick back with some tasty boba and hookah? Look no further than Boba Bear in Koreatown LA right on Western Ave!
Looking for some tasty dessert to finish off your night of Korean BBQ and Soju? Definitely make a pit stop at Bumsan Organic Milk Bar and find out for yourself why there’s always a line! It does move quickly.
If you’re looking for a down to earth boba spot that never misses the mark, check out I Love Boba and one of their 3 locations in Koreatown!
Looking for a hip place with prohibition era vibes? Check out the Normandie Club on 6th street late night to mingle amongst some of the coolest people in Koreatown.
Looking for a place to celebrate and dine in style? Be sure to checkout The Venue a sprawling restaurant and lounge that touts some of the largest dining spaces in Koreatown LA.
Looking for a dive bar vibe that keeps the pretentiousness out? Be sure to drop into Frank ‘n Hank for an All American dive bar experience right in the heart of Koreatown LA.
Ready for something unusual? Rated as one of the strangest but yet interesting spots in Koreatown, Cafe Jack is a restaurant shaped like a full size boat right in the heart of Koreatown on Western Avenue. If you’re looking for a strange yet intriguing twist on Koreatown cuisine, definitely check it out!
Love sports bars? Look no further that LAces, the newest sports bar in Koreatown right on Western Ave.
Need to get your shoes repaired? Stop by and pay Willie a visit at Willie’s Shoe Service on Western Ave.
Ever wonder what a fully custom suit or dress feels like? Let the professionals at Pro Tailor hook you up with a look that will make you look like a million bucks!
If you’re looking for that new watch, diamond piece, or even need a repair, stop by Wilshire Jewelers for a down to earth jewelry shopping environment.
Need to replace your watch battery? Looking to make some customizations to your watch? Look no further! Yoon’s Watch Repair has got you covered!
Beverly Locksmith is the best locksmith in Koreatown. Not only does Jin get the job done, he does it with a smile everytime!
Have some car troubles? Worried about being taken for “a ride” by a schemey mechanic? Don’t worry, Mr. Han at Han’s Beverly Auto will give you transparent service without the dealership price.
Looking to add some privacy to your car and block out the Cali sun? Want a better sound system so that you can drive around with crisp audio to fit your mood? Stop in 6 Autosound for great work at a great price.
Sometimes not only am I craving Thai, but I am also craving a drink. The perfect solution for this craving is Thai Angel!
Located at the LINE Hotel, Openaire is a beautiful American fare restaurant known for brunch and mimosas. Definitely check out this awesome place with your crew on the weekend.
Chow down on a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken at the “Ugliest Commercial Building” in all of LA, KFC on Western! Is it a bucket of chicken, or a chicken, or BOTH?!
If you’re into skateboarding and want to see some of LA’s best street skaters, look no further. Radio Korea has become the unofficial street skating Mecca in LA. Thanks to the lax security and the low edges and masonry, skateboarders around the world have been coming here to shred for years.
Koreatown Run Club is one of the nation’s top community focused run clubs. Founded by Koreatown icon Mike Pak, KRC is a great way to work on your health and meet cool people at the same time.
Love rice cakes? Love spicy foods? Yup Dduk LA has got you covered! Try Korea’s most famous Tteokkbokki chain also here in Koreatown LA!
Looking for some new clothes? Love street style? CNVS is a street style clothing focused on providing you the latest looks and styles from around the world.
If you need some everyday home goods of high quality from Korea check out Kim’s Home Center, they’ve got the latest and traditional Korean home products to better your everyday life at home!
If Kim’s Home Center is a bit too straight forward, stop by the iconic home decor store 6ixthSense in the heart of Koreatown on 6th street.
Korean Spas are world famous and known for their opulence and ability to soothe the soul. If you’re looking for a spa that is truly unique in Koreatown check out Crystal Spa and their Charcoal Sauna.
Known as the only authentic Korean duck purveyor in LA, Dha Rae Ok is a local institution that draws an older and more traditionally Korean crowd. Last we heard you have to order 1 day in advance since everything is made to order and cooking the duck takes a full day.
Although we could list every single thing worth checking out in Koreatown LA, sometimes the best things in life are unexpected and stumbled upon.
Checkout every corner of Koreatown and you’ll be sure to find a hidden gem on most of the 150+ city blocks that make up the most exciting neighborhood in Los Angeles.
We hope that this guide helps show the world the true depth of Koreatown LA and enables those unfamiliar with our neighborhood an easier way to discover excitement, experiences, and happiness in Koreatown LA.
So Yun Um is a Korean American Filmmaker and Digital Content Producer born and based in Los Angeles. She explores the intimate stories of marginalized people through her poetic visual language and poignant editing style.
Controversial mural in Koreatown now actively being modified.
On September 20th, 2021, the LA Lakers announced a 5-year global marketing partnership with Bibigo, an international Korean food giant.