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A College Student’s Guide to Koreatown

You’re new in Koreatown after getting into a university based in Los Angeles. It’s an eye-opening experience to roam around Koreatown because it’s a nightlife that you probably have not experienced before. Koreatown is filled with delicious eateries, cute cafes, fun nightlife, and more. As a college student, you will find your favorite things to do and enjoy in Koreatown. I’ve handpicked a few places that you can visit even if you’re under or of age!

Food

Koreatown is developing into a multicultural community with a mix of different cultures coming together. You can explore what kinds of cuisines are hidden within the area.

As a college student, food is the most important aspect of our day as there are two types of college students: the ones who order out and the ones who cook at home. But the restaurants in Koreatown are unique and delicious that any college student can enjoy. From home-cooked-style meals to pub-styled delicacies, Koreatown has a variety of restaurants that you can enjoy with friends and classmates. 

If you’re of age, you can stop by a pocha to drink and enjoy delicious side dishes or anju that pair well with alcohol. Anju often consists of spicy or fried food. In addition, hot soup and noodles are definitely a highlight of Korean cuisine as Koreatown has a lot of restaurants that specialize in hot soup. It’s a great food to eat whenever you’re feeling sick or hungover from the night before.

Here are my top picks that you should visit with your friends.

1. Kyodong Madang

Fast Chinese food restaurant located in Madang Courtyard, and you can also visit the H-Mart, Daiso, Somi Somi, and Sul&Beans located right in the Courtyard. The most recommended items that you will enjoy would be their jjajangmyeon (black-bean paste noodles), their jjampong (spicy seafood noodle soup), and their ul-ppong (non-spicy white seafood noodle soup). 

621 S Western Ave Suite 303
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 380-0664

2. Han Bat Shul Lung Tang

Han Bat is a classic Korean hot soup restaurant that serves a simple menu of ox-bone tail soup, which is the best soup to eat when you’re feeling under the weather. The soup is brewed from ox-bone tails that create a thick, white broth that helps re-energize yourself.

4163 W 5th St, 
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 383-9499

3. Honey Night

A fantastic pocha to visit with your friends if you are of age. With delicious side dishes that pair well with soju and beer, you can have a great time drinking with your friends until 2 am. The most recommended items from their menu would be their Korean Army Stew, Corn Cheese, King Galbi Chicken, and Kimchi Cream Pasta. 

3526 W 8th St, 
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 263-9949

4. Oo Kook Korean BBQ

If you’re wanting to have a delicious Korean BBQ that is also AYCE, you can want to try out Oo Kook Korean BBQ. It is definitely a great place to try with your friends. Although there are some restrictions that every restaurant has, All-You-Can-Eat is one of the best options to go to as there is no limit to what you can eat and order. 

3385 W 8th St,
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 385-5665

5. Pho 24

Pho in Koreatown is not authentic pho as it has a Korean twist to the soup. However, you can still get pho when you are craving it as it is just as beneficial as authentic pho. Come try it at Pho 24 as they also serve other delicious items you can order along with pho like fried rice, Thai tea, wok noodles, and more. 

3450 W 6th St,
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 388-5507

Entertainment

As a college student, the stress from studying and working can pile up. Sometimes, being stuck on campus or in your dorm room is just not the answer to trying to de-stress yourself. Your mind will not be at peace if you continue to work without taking a break to find some entertainment to relax for the night. But there are places you can go to without needing to feel stressed in your room. 

Koreatown has not only good food but fun places to explore and visit. You can have a fun Friday night with friends, club members, classmates, and more. Going to these entertainment places feels much more different when you’re a college student. You get to socially interact with new people and experience new cultures without even leaving California. Koreatown is a great region to experiment with different entertainment places when you’re looking for a great relaxing weekend.

1. K-Town PC Cafe

A PC bang is a room filled with PCs that you can use to game with friends or alone. You pay for the hours you plan to play, and most PC bangs have popular PC games downloaded to their system. You can go with your friends and have a great time while snacking on Korean street food items like ramen and Korean corn dogs. 

2748 W 8th #201,
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 798-2121

2. CGV Cinemas

If you want to watch Asian movies on the big screen and not on your laptop screen, you have to head over to CGV Cinemas. There is a huge variety of movies that are screened at CGV, and you can even catch the latest American movie as well. CGV also has a diverse amount of snacks and popcorn flavors that you won’t want to miss out on.

621 S Western Ave, 
Los Angeles, CA 90005

3. Q Karaoke LA

If you think singing in the shower is stress-relieving, then you have to go sing in a karaoke room. The experience is even better when your friends are all there to sing along with you as there are tambourines and shining lights in the karaoke room. Nothing feels much more exciting when your friends are screaming in the microphone like no one is listening. 

2500 W 8th St Unit 104,
Los Angeles, CA 90057
(213) 318-5154

4. Koreatown Plaza/Madang Courtyard

Many strip malls are spread around Koreatown that you can visit! Koreatown Plaza and Madang Courtyard are filled with restaurants, stationery stores, Kpop album shops, and clothing shops. It’s a great place to visit with your friend as you can also get your grocery shopping done at H-Mart in many of the main strip malls. You can visit these stores while also grabbing lunch at the food court or restaurants that the strip malls often have hidden inside. 

5. 60out Escape Room

Escape rooms are a great place to visit with your friends and roommates for a fun bonding experience. Escape rooms are filled with different themes and challenges that enable you to work and bond with everyone. You can challenge and compete with your friends at 60out Escape Rooms.

135 S Western Ave, 
Los Angeles, CA 90004
(213) 378-0011

Cafes

And last and most importantly, cafes are an essential place to visit for college students. Cafes in Koreatown have free internet, delicious coffee and tea drinks, and savory pastries that are hard to resist. It is better than going into a crammed library during midterms and final season. Many of the cafes and coffee shops have their themes and it’s a fun experience to try and visit all of them. But you have been warned, there are a lot of cafes with great reviews. Even if you don’t plan on studying, your friends will have a lovely time chatting and just relaxing to the music in the cafe. 

1. The History Coffee

Although it is not located right in Koreatown and is a few minutes away, the History Coffee is a great place to study at. With delicious coffee drinks like Dalgona Latte and Dalgona Matcha Latte, the cafe is the perfect place to work or hang out with your friends. The cafe also has delicious pastries and sandwiches that you can order to share with your friends. 

3501 W Pico Blvd, 
Los Angeles, CA 90019
(323) 641-7123

2. Alchemist Coffee Project

Alchemist Coffee Project is a great place to get your work done as it closes at 6 pm. Many coffee shops are only open until 4 pm, so it would be a convenience to study at Alchemist since it closes later. With their delicious lattes and coffee drinks, you can have a pleasant experience working as there is plenty of space and outlets you can sit at. 

698 S Vermont Ave Ste 103,
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 388-8767

3. Sharp Specialty Coffee

Located in the heart of Koreatown, Sharp is a small coffee shop that is open until 6 pm as well. With lots of space to study, it’s a great place to also visit with your friends after eating at the restaurants nearby. They have special lattes like Lavender Latte, Iced Mint Matcha Latte, and more. You can even try their strawberry milk which many customers love to order. 

3421 W 6th St,
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 674-7644

4. Awesome Coffee

If you’re looking for a place to stay past 6 pm, you should check out Awesome Coffee as they are open until midnight! There is a reading nook area if you are wanting to chill with a friend. There are also standing tables near windows if you are working alone. Or you can work together with friends at the tables in the middle of the cafe. With lots of outlets, delicious bagel sandwiches, and coffee drinks, you will enjoy your time at Awesome Coffee. 

3959 Wilshire Blvd a21,
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 674-7558

5. Balcony Coffee and Tea

Balcony Coffee and Tea is a great place to sit and talk with your friends as there is an inside sitting area and a patio outside. The patio is decorated with beautiful plants and lights that liven up the mood of the cafe. This cafe has very interesting coffee selections that you can try like the Brad Pitt Latte, the Angelina Jolie Latte, the Tiramisu Latte, Pistachio Latte, and more. 

312 N Western Ave,
Los Angeles, CA 90004
(213) 706-7679

Whether it be searching for delicious eateries or finding a relaxing place to chill with your friends, Koreatown is a great place to visit for college students especially. I especially enjoyed every single place that I’ve selected for this article as a college student myself. Koreatown was not only just a region to just visit, but it creates memorable bonds with your friends. 

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