San Francisco Top 6 Korean Restaurants by Mandoo Club

Hi! This is Judy, the woman behind Mandoo Club. I am often asked by friends and clients "what are your favorite Korean restaurants in San Francisco?" It's a bit of a challenge to answer at times because, truthfully, I like to cook when I crave Korean food. I was born in Korea so have a very strong food memory of authentic Korean flavors and growing up in NYC kept me constantly connected to Korean culture and food.

In San Francisco, the Korean restaurants and markets are more scattered and not quite as diverse as NYC or LA. Luckily in the past few years, there has been an emerging Korean food scene from causal to Michelin Starred! 

This list features my Top 6 San Francisco Korean restaurants that I believe showcase the most authentic flavors and overall experiences. I hope you get to try and enjoy all these places and continue to explore Korean cuisine as it further develops in the City. It is an exciting time to be eating in SF now!

Korean BBQ

Han Il Kwan, Outer Richmond

Best table-side Korean BBQ experience that I have found in San Francisco. Amazing assortment of banchan. It’s one of my favorites in SF that is as close to what you would get in NYC or LA K-towns. Great for groups. They do not take reservations so go early and get your name on the list.

Korean Comfort Food

Manna, Inner Sunset

Comfy home style Korean food that has the most popular standard dishes like Kimchi Friend Rice, Bibimbap, Tteokbokki, Kimchi Jigae. The Chicken Wings are pretty good too! Best for single or couples as the restaurant is very intimate and small. 

My Tofu House, Inner Richmond

Authentic Soon Doo Boo Jigae is their specialty. Piping hot soft tofu stew comes with an array of banchan. They have other standard Korean dishes like Bibimbap and Kalbi, but the stew is the best.

Group Hang Out 

Il Cha, Marina

Eating and drinking happy hour vibe with a group to taste best of Korean Pocha (pub food) styles like korean fried chicken (my favorite kind of "KFC") and Budae Jigae (army stew). Communal tables make this a really fun vibe to explore with friends. Ask me what "il cha" means and I'll introduce you to a fun food adventure opportunity!

Meat and Show

Daeho Kalbijim, Japantown (and other locations)

A Korean braised rib specialty restaurant. You get a show 🔥 and a delicious meal with this unique take on a Korean classic. Good for groups who love BEEF! They do not take reservations so go there early and get on the list.

High End

San Ho Won. Mission.

Michelin star ⭐️ restaurant by famous chef Corey Lee is definitely an elevated experience if you have a higher $$$$ budget and are curious how Korean classics are interpreted by a multi-starred chef.