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The 9 Best Korean BBQ and Restaurants in Tacoma

The 9 Best Korean BBQ and Restaurants in Tacoma

Post last updated September 4, 2023

After having lived on the Eastside of Seattle for more than 30 years, my parents moved down to the Tacoma area after I was a few years into college. Luckily, this allowed me to explore some delicious food in the South Sound.

In the greater Seattle area, there are a few neighborhoods in cities that are known for being “Koreatown”. Tacoma happens to have one of those neighborhoods. Let’s take a 40-mile drive down I-5 to explore the best Korean BBQ and restaurants that Koreatown Tacoma has to offer!

The 9 Best Korean BBQ and Restaurants in Tacoma:

Korean BBQ on Flame
Tacoma has some of the best Korean food in the Puget Sound region (dapperland/Shutterstock)
  1. Chung Ki Wa
  2. Cho Dang Tofu
  3. Nak Won Bunsik – Korean Cuisine
  4. House of Mandoo
  5. New Gangnam BBQ
  6. Palace Korean BBQ
  7. Ho Soon Yi
  8. Cham Garden Korean BBQ
  9. Tacoma Cheong Guk Jang

1. Chung Ki Wa

Korean BBQ Set UP
Chung Ki Wa is my favorite Korean restaurant in the Puget Sound area. Above you’ll see the kinds of spreads common when eating Korean BBQ (Anchalee Wiangkao/Shutterstock)

Address: 8601 S Tacoma Way, Lakewood, WA 98499

Type: Korean BBQ/Sit Down

Chung Ki Wa is my favorite Korean restaurant in the area hands down. The food tastes amazing. Very authentic and traditional flavors and tastes just like the food I had growing up. A good sign is always that the restaurant is packed with locals and depending on what day/time you go, it’ll be a bit of a wait. But trust me, it’s worth it.

There are tons of traditional fried rice and stir fry noodle dishes to choose from, a large section of soondubu jjigae, tangs, and jeongol, and of course if you want, they have Korean BBQ (KBBQ) with grilling right at the table.

Recommendations: Bossam (pork belly and kimchi) | Seafood Dolsot Bibimbap | Kimchi Fried Rice | Pork Neck Bone and Potato Stew | Beef Short-Ribs

2. Cho Dang Tofu

Address: 9701 S Tacoma Way, Suite 101, Lakewood, WA 98499

Type: Sit Down

Cho Dang Tofu is my favorite spot for soondubu jjigae (soft tofu soup). The best part about Cho Dang is that even though they have other food options, they really focus their attention on making the best soondubu possible. If you’re in the mood for traditional Korean foods like bibimbap and kalbi, you can find them at Cho Dang as well.

Recommendations: Soondubu Jjigae (soft tofu soup) | Beef Short Rib | Dolsot Bibimbap | Cho Dang Guk-Su (Cho Dang noodles)

3. Nak Won Bunsik – Korean Cuisine

Korean Short Rib
Short rib is an excellent order at Nak Won Bunsik (Atsushi Hirao/Shutterstcok)

Address: 9701 S Tacoma Way, Lakewood, WA 98499

Type: Quick Eats/Sit Down

Nak Won Bunsik is another personal favorite of mine. It’s located inside Paldo Market. As soon as you go through the entrance, just keep walking straight and on the right side. If you walk straight and to the left where the turnstiles are, you’ll be entering the grocery store. Walk all the way to the back and you’ll see a food court area. Step up to the counter and order food off of their huge menu board.

Bunsik means Korean street food, snack, or inexpensive dishes. This place is all about good, inexpensive, and quick eats. Just like a food court, there’s a bunch of tables and chairs to sit at. Take your number, and someone will bring your food out to you.

Recommendations: BBQ Short Ribs | Spicy Pork Bulgogi | Spicy Pork Bone Stew (with potato) | Beef Short Rib Soup | Fried Mandu (dumplings) | Naengmyeon (cold noodles)

4. House of Mandoo

Address: 9701 S Tacoma Way, Lakewood, WA 98499

Type: Quick Eats/Sit Down

Don’t go too far if you went to Nak Won Bunsik! House of Mandoo is the last restaurant in the row at the food court! House of Mandoo not only has mandoo, but also steamed buns. Depending on the day and what time you’re there, they will have run out of certain items. If able, get there for an early lunch right as they open (11am). This is a super popular spot for locals.

Recommendations: Pork Mandoo | Kimchi Mandoo | Red Bean Jjinppang (steamed bun) | Porkies/Kimchi Porkies (mini mandoo)

5. New Gangnam BBQ

New Gangnam BBQ in Tacoma Washington
A look at the table from my last trip to New Gangnam, it’s a great stop for all you can eat Korean BBQ!

Address: 9104 S Tacoma Way, Lakewood, WA 98499

Type: Korean BBQ/Sit Down

New Gangnam BBQ is probably my dad’s favorite spot so we’ve been here A LOT! We mainly do the All You Can Eat Korean BBQ. If you come at lunchtime on Mondays through Fridays, it’s a great deal. 

You’ll be asked if you’re doing BBQ or not so let them know as they do have non-KBBQ options on the menu. For dinner, New Gangnam has three different options if you’re looking to do All You Can Eat Korean BBQ (AYCE KQQ). Each level gets more expensive but you get more choices in the foods you can select from.

A couple of things to note: know you only have a 2-hour time limit on KBBQ. Don’t waste any food as you’ll get charged money if you do. Meaning, just order a little at a time. They come around all the time asking if you need more food so that won’t be an issue.

Recommendations: AYCE KBBQ | LA Kalbi Bento Box (only for lunch) | Kam Ja Tang (potato soup) | Beef Ribs and Cabbage Soup

6. Palace Korean BBQ

Naengmyeon Cold Noodles
Palace Korean BBQ is an excellent spot to try cold noodles (TMON/Shutterstock)

Address: 8718 S Tacoma Way, Lakewood, WA 98499

Type: Korean BBQ/Sit Down

Another spot with All You Can Eat Korean BBQ with lunch and dinner pricing options. Palace Korean BBQ has other Korean foods on the menu, but hands down the AYCE KBBQ is what you want. Drinks can be a bit on the pricey side at this location so if you’re looking to celebrate an occasion, just be aware of that.

Recommendations: AYCE Korean BBQ | Naengmyeon (cold noodles) | Jjin Mandu (steamed dumplings) | Jjamppongtang (spicy seafood soup)

7. Ho Soon Yi

Address: 8501 S Tacoma Way, Lakewood, WA 98499

Type: Sit Down

Ho Soon Yi Korean Restaurant has been around for a while. This spot used to be my family’s go-to place for Korean food when we were visiting the Tacoma area back when there weren’t many Korean restaurants at all. Ho Soon Yi is a traditional and authentic Korean food experience. You won’t find cheese-infused things on the menu. If you look around, there are always handwritten specials posted on the walls. It’s worth asking your server about it as it’ll likely be written in Korean.

Ho Soon Yi focuses on their traditional Korean soups and stews and their Korean-style meats and seafood. With plenty of banchan flowing to your table, you’ll definitely feel like you’re having a meal in a Korean home.

Recommendations: Kalbi | Spicy Pork Bulgogi | Soondubu Jjigae | Eundaegu Jorim (black cod braised in special sauce) | Pan-Fried Flounder

8. Cham Garden Korean BBQ

Stir Fried Japchae
(Wesley Kiou/Shutterstock)

Address: 10518 S Tacoma Way, Lakewood, WA 98499

Type: Korean BBQ

Cham Garden Korean BBQ is another All You Can Eat Korean BBQ spot on our list. The unique part about this establishment is that once you order the AYCE meal, you actually go and grab the meats you want to cook straight from the bar setup area. You can also grab your banchan (Korean side dishes) from there as well. Bring it all back to your table and start grilling up and enjoy.

There are a few items on their “signature menu” but 99% of people who come to Cham Garden are here for the AYCE KBBQ. 

Recommendations: AYCE KBBQ | Kimchi Fried Rice | Spicy Shrimp Noodles | Stir Fried Japchae (glass noodles)

9. Tacoma Cheong Guk Jang

Address: 8797 S Tacoma Way, Lakewood, WA 98499

Type: Sit Down

Cheong Guk Jang is a traditional dish made from fermented soybeans. The focus at this restaurant is on their soups and stews. Sure, they have other items on the menu but you want to go with what they specialize in.

Recommendations: Soybean Paste Stew with Beef Brisket | Cheong Guk Jang (fermented soybean paste soup) | Seafood Jeongol (hot pot or casserole) | Pork Rib and Potatoes Jeongol (hot pot or casserole) | Seolleongtang (Korean ox bone soup)

Ashleigh on ferry Island hopping.

Hi, I'm Ashleigh! Welcome to Seattle Travel, my little piece of beautiful PNW. This is home and I'm here to share all my experiences so visitors and locals alike can find the best experiences this part of the country has to offer. I started Seattle Travel in 2012 as a way to journal my experiences and over the years have been encouraged by family and friends to open up my adventures to everyone. I actively seek out the best food, activities, and day trips and give you a local perspective.  The Pacific Northwest is one of the most beautiful areas in the world and my goal is to let you explore it to the fullest. 


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