5 best korean restaurants in honolulu

5 Best Korean Restaurants in Honolulu

Honolulu is home to the Hawaii Korean Culture center, and it has a vibrant Korean cultural scene – which means that it also has some incredible Korean restaurants to offer. Whether you’re looking for authentic Korean BBQ, soju, bulgogi, or Korean fusion, Honolulu has the perfect spot for you!

The best Korean restaurants in Honolulu are O’Kims, Kyung’s Seafood, Seoul Kimbap, Masil Pocha, and Gen Korean BBQ House. O’Kims offers Korean fusion, Kyung’s has fantastic fish, and Seoul Kimbap is the best lunch spot. Masil Pocha is a Korean Karaoke pub, and Gen is an AYCE KBBQ with a vast menu. 

So, let’s explore the most stand-out Korean restaurants in Honolulu. I’ve only chosen the best of the best and narrowed down my search by only selecting restaurants with at least 4.5-star reviews, excellent customer service, and a unique menu. No matter your choice, I’m sure you’ll get a meal worth remembering. 

5 best korean restaurants in honolulu

1. O’Kims

Opening HoursMonday – Thursday, 11 AM to 8 PMFriday – Saturday, 11 AM to 9 PM
Price Rating3/5
Reservation Recommended
Service OptionsDine-in | Kerbside Pickup | No-Contact Delivery
Address1028 Nuuanu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96817
Phone Number(808) 537-3787
MenuO’Kims Menu
SocialCheck out their Facebook and Instagram.

O’Kims is a casual, chic Korean fusion restaurant in Honolulu’s Chinatown. It’s right across the street from the Downtown Art Center and the Honolulu Arts District, so it’s the perfect place to stop for lunch or dinner while you’re checking out the downtown area. 

Although this restaurant is Asian-owned and run, the chefs put a modern twist on traditional Korean recipes, offering unique items such as kimchi pizza and Korean-style ceviche. You can expect something original and new here while still getting your fill of Korean fare.  

Their best dish is their seaweed salmon, and almost everyone who’s left reviews from O’Kims agrees. 

I recommend sitting on their stunning outdoor patio if the weather is nice. It’s a beautiful place to eat, and you might even see some of the local chickens wandering around in search of food scraps. 

This restaurant is BYOB, and they don’t sell alcoholic beverages. However, they have an incredible iced coffee, many options for iced tea, and signature beverages that change every month.

I highly recommend their Korean Old Lady Iced Coffee, an Asian-style coffee with the perfect amount of sweetness. It’s a fan favorite. 

2. Kyung’s Seafood

Opening HoursWednesday – Monday, 10 AM to 11 PM
Price Rating3/5
Reservation Recommended
Service OptionsDine-in | Takeaway | No Delivery
Address1269 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96814
Phone Number(808) 589-1144
MenuKyung’s Seafood Menu on ZMenu
SocialCheck out their Facebook and Instagram.

As featured in Eater’s 38 Essential Honolulu Restaurants, Kyung’s Seafood is a small mom-and-pop Korean seafood joint in Ala Moana, just 0.6 miles (1 km) from the Honolulu Museum of Art and 1.6 miles (2.6 km) from Ala Moana Beach. 

Although it’s a small, casual spot, it’s always bustling since locals and tourists flock in for their famous sashimi, fried mandu, and Korean-inspired poke. 

Kyung’s Seafood is many people’s favorite place to get soju, with their slushy-style strawberry and yogurt soju shining out in many of their reviews. However, they always have many options, including beer, rice wine, and plum soju. 

I recommend bringing someone to share with when you come here since their menu offers many enticing dishes. A visit wouldn’t be complete without their sashimi combination plate, famous kimchi, and kalbi beef. 

While the prices are a bit high for a small restaurant, they are reasonable considering the quantity and quality of food you get. That’s another reason why it’s great to bring friends here for a casual, delicious, and fun dining experience.  

The service here is also always fantastic, so expect to have a wonderful meal with a great, comfy atmosphere when you choose Kyung’s. 

kyungs seafood

3. Seoul Kimbap

Opening HoursMonday – Friday, 10:30 AM to 2 PM
Price Rating2/5
ReservationWalk-in Only
Service OptionsDine-in | Takeaway | No Delivery
Address1111 Bishop St Ste. 04, Honolulu, HI 96813
MenuSeoul Kimbap’s Menu on Grubhub

Seoul Kimbap is a small cafe-style restaurant staffed and owned by the sweetest couple you’ll ever meet. They are very passionate about their business and food, and it shows in the flavors of their famous, authentic Soondubu, bibimbap, and kimbap.

Seoul Kimbap is only open for the lunch rush, so it’s the perfect place to grab a quick lunch while wandering downtown. It’s less than a mile (1.6 km) from some of the best attractions, including the Hawaii State Art Museum, Washington Place Museum, the Foster Botanical Garden, and Iolani Place. 

This restaurant isn’t usually on tourists’ radar because of its unassuming appearance and lack of an internet presence, but the food repeatedly brings locals back. This hidden gem doesn’t have a dining room, but there are picnic benches outside where you can eat.

They offer rotating specials, with soondubu and bibimbap with fish cake soup on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On Tuesday and Thursday, they have kimbap. They also regularly offer fried tofu and meatjun. 

I recommend getting there on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday for their incredible kimbap, which comes with fish cake soup. The servings are very generous, and It’s the best kimbap I’ve ever had! Plus, it’s reasonably priced, especially considering how delicious and memorable the food is here.

4. Masil Pocha

Opening Hours7 days a week, 5:20 PM to 2 AM
Price Rating4/5
Reservation Recommended
Service OptionsDine-in | Takeaway | Delivery Available
Address1718 Kapiolani Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814
Phone Number(808) 762-3100
MenuMasil Pocha’s Menu
SocialCheck out their Facebook and Instagram.

Masil Pocha is a small Korean comfort-food spot with karaoke rooms and a pleasant nightclub-like vibe. It’s right in the heart of Urban Honolulu, just 1 mile (1.6 km) from Ala Moana beach. 

It’s still casual, but the environment and customer service elevate the experience. It’s the best place for a late-night meal or date night. They also offer cocktails, including soju, which makes it a great place to relax after a long day of hiking or sightseeing. 

This Korean karaoke bar & eatery is best enjoyed in groups because of its enormous servings.

Their soups, such as their tteokbokki, are some of their best menu items since they come out to the table still simmering. You have a BBQ-style burner in the center of your table to keep the soup hot and feed an army!

However, everyone loves their spicy fried chicken wings and kimchi fried rice, so it’s hard to go wrong here. 

Since many of their dishes are spicy, you’ll need soju to wash down that capsaicin. Their cocktails are all incredible, but my favorite is their signature Soju Range, which is soju with grapefruit and orange juice. 

The customer service here is also excellent, so head to Masil Pocha for a fun night out. 

5. Gen Korean BBQ House

Opening Hours7 days a week, 10 AM to 10 PM
Price Rating3/5
Reservation Accepted (But only for parties consisting of over 10+ people)
Service OptionsDine-in | Takeaway | No-contact delivery (via DoorDash)
Address1450 Ala Moana Blvd Ste 4250 Honolulu, HI 96814
Phone Number(808) 944-5227
MenuGen’s Korean BBQ House’s Menu
SocialCheck out their Facebook.

Gen Korean BBQ House is an all-you-can-eat KBBQ joint located on the 4th floor of Ala Moana Center. The price is reasonable at $30 per person for dinner and $20 per person for Lunch. You can order up to 4 items per serving, but once you are done with that, you can order another batch with different (or the same) dishes. [XX Best Korean BBQ Restaurants in Honolulu

Their Spicy Pork Bulgogi and Smoked Samgyeopsal comes highly recommended and if you visit, make sure to give them a try. And need I say, the quality of the food is top-notch.

In fact, Gen Korean BBQ House is the winner of the Hale’ Alna Award 2022.

chois garden

Now, being an award-winning Korean AYCE restaurant, Gen enjoys a large patronage. There’s almost always a line of people queued outside the restaurant, waiting their turn. And it’s not like the restaurant is small. On the contrary, the inside is huge but always full.

I believe Gen wasn’t fully prepared for all the attention winning the award would bring to their establishment. Apart from the long queue, another issue is that the place is a bit understaffed to handle the huge customer base. This means the wait continues even when you are seated at your table.

Thankfully, the long wait gives you plenty of time to work up the appetite you’ll need to gorge on all the savory dishes.

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