Certainly in terms of variety and the spectrum of different food cultures that exist in the city, Dubai is right up there among the most diverse and exciting food cities in the world. Whatever you want to eat, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be able to find it in Dubai, whether you’re hankering for a plate of crispy fish and chips with mushy peas and curry sauce, Argentinian steaks, a steaming hot bowl of pho or a creamy pasta carbonara.
No surprise then, that there are some cracking Korean restaurants in Dubai as well. Korean food is a unique, intriguing cuisine that often captures people when they try it for the first time. There are some similarities to be drawn from nearby Japan and coastal China, but Korean food is very much its own thing. There’s an emphasis on pungent, in-your-face flavours that come from fermentation - kimchi, gochujang and doenjang, for example - that have become popular around the world. Kimchi alone is a pantry staple in houses around the globe.
That’s true in Dubai too, as locals and expats have taken Korean food to their hearts, and the best Korean restaurants in Dubai remain busy most of the week. There’s a solid mixture of vibes to choose from too - if you just want good authentic Korean food at reasonable prices, head over to HYU in Jumeirah Lake Towers, or Koryo Korean BBQ in Mall of the Emirates. There are plenty of Korean barbecue options available to you, as well as Korean fried chicken spots like Kimpo at the Conrad Hotel. If fine dining is your thing, Sonamu’s glamorous interiors and contemporary Korean cooking might be just up your street - just remember to book ahead!
Want to read more about the best Korean food in Dubai? Scroll down for our favourite spots.
Best Korean restaurants in Dubai
What: If Korean barbecue is your vibe, Sumibiya should be high on your list - this was one of the first Korean yakiniku restaurants in Dubai, and it remains one of the best. Grab a seat in one of the secluded booths and get stuck into plates of thinly sliced meats, vegetables and more.
Where: Radisson Blu Hotel Deira Creek, Baniyas Road, Deira
Book now: Sumibiya
Kung Korean Restaurant
What: Kung Korean Lounge and Restaurant serves up solid, authentic Korean dishes, with a side of raucous fun via the attached karaoke lounges. Enjoy your favourite dishes, but not so much that you won’t be able to belt out your favourite K-Pop hits afterwards.
Where: Byblos Hotel, Barsha Heights
Book now: Kung Korean Restaurant
What: A little family run Korean joint in Jumeirah Lake Towers, HYU has become super popular in recent years for its combination of fantastic, authentic Korean cooking and very reasonable pricing. The restaurant itself is far from glamorous, but when the food is this good it doesn’t really matter.
Where: Cluster O, Jumeirah Lake Towers
Book now: HYU
What: Korea does fried chicken as well as any nation on Earth, and Kimpo’s simple combo of fried chicken, beer and cocktails has been an instant hit at the Conrad Hotel. DJs turn up the beats on some nights too, making this a fun place to grab some Korean junk food with your mates.
Where: Conrad Hotel Dubai, Trade Centre 1
Book now: Kimpo
Koryo Korean BBQ
What: Koryo Korean BBQ is one of the more popular spots among the legion of food options at Mall of the Emirates. Koryo specialises in barbecue - you might have guessed that from the name - but all your favourite Korean dishes are here too.
Where: Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha
Book now: Koryo Korean BBQ
What: Manna Land is incredibly popular, perhaps because of the quality of classics like beef galbi, bibimbap and yachae bulgogi, but also because you can order sushi at the same time and dine like a king. Everything is really good value too, particularly the set meals. There’s one in Abu Dhabi too, if you find yourself craving a bibimbap in the capital.
Where: Al Ketbi Building, Al Mina Road, Al Hudaiba
Book now: Manna Land
What: Sonamu is the smartest of the restaurants on this list, and that’s evident as soon as you step foot in the glamorous dining room, which features plenty of glittering gold as well as some looming giant bonsai trees. If the menu looks a bit overwhelming, just plump for the traditional set menu or the ‘Taste of Sonamu’ menu and wait for the food to arrive.
Where: Asiana Hotel, Salahuddin Street, Deira
Book now: Sonamu
What: Sobahn has a pretty wide spectrum offering with good Korean and Japanese food on the menu. The Korean barbecue nights are stocked with everything you could possibly want, but the main attraction is an all-you-can-eat buffet on Fridays from a buffet that boasts a whopping collection of 99 different Korean, Thai and Japanese dishes.
Where: 1st Floor, Matloob Building, Al Safa
Book now: Sobahn
Looking for the best of the best when it comes to Dubai restaurants? Check out all of Dubai’s Michelin star-awarded restaurants, including two that have received a prestigious two star rating from the French guide.