The riviera of North America and the birthplace of the country’s historic and hip California state is San Diego, the land of stunning sandy beaches and a warm vibe. The town boasts glamorous villages, an array of spectacular views, and all things ritzy, making it a hotspot for travellers across USA as well as the world. Truly a big city, sans the bustle, San Diego is a fine combination of relaxing and groovy. Although, one thing that stays consistent is San Diego’s food scene, and while there’s a cornucopia of options for you to choose from, here are the best Korean restaurants in San Diego, California that you can start from.
1. Taegukgi Korean BBQ House
Offering two all-you-can-eat menus priced at 22 and 26 USD each is Taegukgi Korean BBQ House. Both these menus are inclusive of a variety of meats and some seafood options as well. Plus, a few dishes are available in their a la carte selections. The fare begins with a complimentary banchan, rice paper roll, soybean stew, and a steamed egg, which then continues into the main course. The portions are huge, service is quick, and the ambience is pretty much like an authentic Korean barbecue eatery but a lot more spacious, and in the evenings, amped with laser lights reflecting off the ceiling.
Taegukgi Korean BBQ House
Address: 7655 Clairemont Mesa Blvd #501, San Diego, CA 92111, USA
Website: Taegukgi Korean BBQ House
Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 11am - 12am; Fri - Sat: 11am - 1:30am
2. Manna Korean BBQ
Much like Taegukgi Korean BBQ House is Manna Korean BBQ’s ‘Gold’ and 'Black’ all-you-can-eat menus. Consisting of a variety of high-quality meats, dishes on both the menus are equally flavour-packed. Plus, they serve hearty portions. The main highlight of Manna Korean BBQ’s dishes are their rich marination and zingy flavours that attract many hungry diners. So much so that the wait can get quite a bit sometimes. If heading here, be prepared to queue up while working up that appetite.
Manna Korean BBQ
Address: 4428 Convoy St #210, San Diego, CA 92111, USA
Website: Manna Korean BBQ
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 12pm - 11pm; Fri - Sat: 12pm - 11:30pm; Sun: 12pm - 10pm
3. Gen Korean BBQ
Tag that friend who never lets you down. #meatupPosted by Gen Korean BBQ House on Monday, 24 September 2018
Boasting something like 35 items in their all-you-can-eat menu is Gen Korean BBQ, whose ambience, with loud music and neon lighting, makes you feel like you’re sitting at a nightclub! But, start ordering and you’ll have a generous amount of delicious food hitting your table. Each table is equipped with a grill, making it a cook-it-yourself affair and each diner is provided a dipping platter, which is refilled periodically. Their Gen Signature Galbi, Beef Tongue, and Spicy Baby Octopus are among the most hot-selling items. Do note that each table can only be occupied for a maximum of two hours at a stretch and if you’re making prior reservations, all diners need to be present for the table to be made available.
Gen Korean BBQ
Address: 10765 Westview Pkwy, San Diego, CA 92126, USA
Website: Gen Korean BBQ
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11:30am - 11pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 12am; Sun: 11am - 11pm
4. Jeong Won BBQ Buffet
Also an all-you-can-eat restaurant, Jeong Won BBQ Buffet offers an array of poultry, meats, seafood, and veggies stocked up in their refrigerated buffet lay, which you can load up on your plates and take back to grill at your table. Let the glorious hissing of the food hitting the grill build up your appetite while you sip on one of their drinks. Plus, gorge on some hot Korean pancake, rice, and miso soup. While the buffet lay might look limited at first, it’ll more than fill you up once you get started. After you’re done with the main course, cleanse your palate with their creamy soft serve ice cream.
Jeong Won BBQ Buffet
Address: 4690 Convoy St #104, San Diego, CA 92111, USA
Website: Jeong Won BBQ Buffet
Opening hours: 11am - 10:30pm (daily)
5. Prime Grill Korean Restaurant
Among the larger Korean restaurants in the neighbourhood is Prime Grill Korean Restaurant, run by a Korean native. The place’s barbecue flavours are about the closest they can get to their original inspirations and finger-licking good. Kick off your meal with the japchae and move on to the daeji bulgogi (spicy pork). Alternatively, try the spicy soft tofu stews, if you’re a vegetarian. They offer prime cuts of beef so it can tend to get slightly pricier. Although, you can customize the barbecue combos based on the number of diners you are. Do note that their combos come with a side of the traditional banchan, steamed egg, and soybean paste stew (side dishes) so order accordingly.
Prime Grill Korean Restaurant
Address: 4620 Convoy St A, San Diego, CA 92111, USA
Website: Prime Grill Korean Restaurant
Opening hours: 11am - 9:30pm (daily)
6. Buga Korean Barbecue Restaurant
Our New Special Item... 돌판육수불고기 - "Bulgogi Hotpot" is Grilled marinated beef with vegetables served in a sizzling hot stone pot ~Posted by Buga BBQ Korean Restaurant on Thursday, 12 November 2015
Enjoy your fill for Korean fare at Buga Korean Barbecue Restaurant, mastering their flavours of bulgogi, seafood stew, jap chae, bbossam, and other dishes. While it is slightly more expensive than other Korean eateries in San Diego, the flavours and portions more than make up for it. The service and ambience too are a real delight. All in all, slightly heavy on the pocket, but well worth every dime!
Buga Korean Barbecue Restaurant
Address: 5580 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92117, USA
Website: Buga Korean Barbecue Restaurant
Opening hours: 11am - 10pm (daily)
7. Convoy Tofu House
It is almost impossible to miss Convoy Tofu House’s bright green board hung outside. Step indoors and you’ll find yourself in one of San Diego’s most-loved Korean restaurants. Order their barbecue, which will be done at the table itself, or go in for the other options, such as the spicy pork bulgogi, tofu teriyaki, Korean sausage, and cod with hot sauce among others and you’ll know just why it enjoys the popularity that it does. Their dishes’ authenticity comes from their extra hot flavours so carry along a handkerchief to wipe the sweat off if you’re sensitive to the spicy.
Convoy Tofu House
Address: 4646 Convoy St San Diego, CA 92111
Website: Convoy Tofu House
Opening hours: 11am - 10:30pm (daily)
8. CDD Tofu & Grill
Checking out Zion Market in Clairemont... mmmmmm Korean food.Posted by Laura Zaragoza on Wednesday, 25 July 2018
Housed in Zion Market’s food court is its most famous Korean outlet, CDD Tofu & Grill. They offer generously sized combo meals along with a la carte options as well. For most, the combo meal, which consists of tofu stew and Korean barbecue meat is enough, but if your hunger pangs are getting the better of you, you might even go in for the individual dishes. The tofu stew comes with four banchan dishes – potato salad, kimchi, broccoli and egg mix, and cucumbers – and the trick is to crack open the egg to top off the dish for added flavours. The rice to accompany the dishes will follow once your main dishes are at the table. All in all, a pretty great place for a food court so do try.
CDD Tofu & Grill
Address: 7655 Clairemont Mesa Blvd #401, San Diego, CA 90111, USA
Website: CDD Tofu & Grill
Opening hours: 11am - 8pm (daily)
9. Min Sok Chon
Adoro comida Coreana: pides un platillo y te traen muchos. #vivakimchee #korealove #lasguarnicioneslomáximoPosted by Nadya Gershenson on Monday, 31 July 2017
Enter into Min Sok Chon and you’ll immediately be taken in by the place’s casual yet energetic vibe. Featuring karaoke booths, large televisions for sports viewings, and constant music playing in the background, this restaurant-cum-bar is Korean food with a side of entertainment. You can go in for their Kimchi Pajun, Chu Ki Mi Chim, Broiled Mackerel, or Tofu Salad and get the party in your tummy started. Couple these with one of their yum cocktails and consider your outing sorted. You can also make prior reservations so make that call right away and guarantee yourself a wholly satisfying affair!
Min Sok Chon
Address: 4620 Convoy St D, San Diego, CA 92111, USA
Website: Min Sok Chon
Opening hours: Sun - Wed: 5pm - 2am; Thu - Sat: 5pm - 4am
10. Dae Jang Keum
For a truly authentic grilling experience, head to Dae Jang Keum, where each of their tables are equipped with a charcoal-heated grill rather than an electric one that Korean restaurants usually have. Take care with the extra hot grills and you’re good to start your culinary sojourn here. Start off with their marinated ribs that you can enjoy watching caramelize on the grill, then move on to their thinly sliced meats that are a real treat when cooked to perfection. Be careful if you’re grilling your food with sauce as it is likely to splatter. Although, if the grilling business is getting too much or too messy, you can always request it to be done in the kitchen. All in all, this place is a totally winning gastronomical experience!
Dae Jang Keum
Address: 7905 Engineer Rd, San Diego, CA 92111, USA
Website: Dae Jang Keum
Opening hours: 11am - 10pm (daily)
Much to explore
You might be travelling to San Diego for a weekend or a week, the city will keep you amply engrossed – San Diego Bay, La Jolla, Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo, and Gaslamp Quarter are only a few must-visit places to name. But, take out some time from your itinerary and explore the amazing food scene, too. Use our list to grab some grub at the best Korean restaurants in San Diego, California.
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