The rise of the Korean restaurant across Australia is hard to ignore. Once only found in areas with a large Korean population, nowadays eateries specialising in Korean cuisine can be found all over the country.
In particular, Korean BBQ has become increasingly popular in Sydney over the last decade and for a very good reason. It is a very social method of cooking food that invokes a sense of theatre, inspires conversation and infuses fine flavours to fresh produce.
And the novelty of being able to personally grill ones meat to perfection must appeal to inner city residents – especially those eager to show off their skills to potential partners or curious friends.
Korean BBQ has exploded in availability in both Sydney and Melbourne, and has become a very popular date-night treat or post-movie catch up.
Korean BBQ restaurants also place a lot of focus on crafting delicious vegetable side dishes (Banchan), intended to both enhance and complement the meat.
Banchan is an essential part of Korean cuisine. Keep your eyes open for Hobak Bokkeum (stir-fired zucchini) and the Oi Muchim (spicey cucumber salad), both personal favourites.
And then there’s the quality of the meat. No self-respecting Korean BBQ restaurant would admit to serving anything but premium cuts.
Many of our recommended eateries have long been pioneers of Korean cuisine in Sydney, maintaining the customs and traditions of a venerable food culture, whilst introducing fabulous new restaurants to the city.
Whether you are a fan of Bulgogi, Kimchi, Korean Fried Chicken (KFC) or Bibimbap, you now have numerous options to indulge in your favourite Korean food obsession in the CBD and surrounds. Even the fussiest of diners will find something to rave about, and every budget is catered for.
Korean BBQ venues are the perfect place for social gatherings and shared experiences. There’s a sense of drama, fun and engagement generated by the BBQ dining experience that has few equals.
Sydney is a foodie’s paradise, and its culinary wealth is reflective of how its population has embraced a cosmopolitan and diverse food culture.
Read on to find the best Korean BBQ spots in Sydney:
Location: Ground Level, 380 Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW 2067 Ph: (02) 9410 3900
Hungry for BBQ on the north side of the harbour? Then The Bulgogi in Chatswood, is well worth a visit.
Named after one of the most famous of all Korean dishes (Bulgogi or “fire meat” ), The Bulgogi is a smart choice for Korean BBQ.
The restaurant is unpretentious, reasonably priced and conveniently located (near the Chatswood train station). The atmosphere is generally buzzing and the staff friendly and welcoming.
The decor is unfussy, modern and classy, and the prices are very reasonable. If you don’t want the full BBQ experience, there’s always a value daily lunch special (think Bibimbap, spicy pork or tofu soup) and a rich, sticky Korean Fried Chicken for under $20.
Editor’s Note: We have been informed that The Bulgogi has recently closed. We will let you know when we know more.
Location: Level 3 Market City, 9-12 Hay St, Haymarket, Sydney, NSW 2000 Ph: (02) 9042 1637
This Korean restaurant serves up wholesome generous portions of meat and is undoubtedly one of the best Korean venues in the whole of the city. The Marinated Pork and Beef Ribs served with Steamed Egg is definitely a highlight.
The Banchan side dishes are changed, swapped and alternated to on a regular basis, and are happily replenished by the friendly staff if they run out.
The staff at this Korean BBQ joint will definitely go to great lengths to make you happy. Their quality cuts of meat are perfect for grilling and you can also fully indulge in a wide range of scrumptious Korean sides and desserts.
Do you like something sweet after a Korean BBQ meal? See our guide to the Best Dessert Shops in Sydney
Location: 16 Lyons St, Strathfield, NSW 2135
When Restaurant Guru Awards names you the Best BBQ in Strathfield 2022, you must be doing something right.
Well over a Jang Ta Bal, the hard-working team really know their KBBQ and their charcoal grills deliver a phenomenal flavour.
Better still, this Korean eatery also open late, so you can enjoy a post-dinner drink at your leisure.
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Location: Shop 21/1 Dixon St, Sydney NSW 2000
This is an incredibly fun, modern venue where the waiters dress up like K-Pop band members. They’ll also help you every step of the way, flipping your steaks at exactly the right moment and ensuring that your pork is perfected.
This is a really popular spot, so be sure to get here early to grab a table.
Location: Shop R2/236 Pacific Hwy, Hornsby, NSW 2077 Ph: (02) 9482 8818
Kangnam serves food with style. Specialising in Bulgogi, one of the most famous Korean dishes – thin slices of prime beef, marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and sugar (for sweetness).
Bulgogi literally describes the Korean BBQ experience of ‘cooking meat on fire’ as “Bul” means ‘fire’ and “Gogi” means ‘meat’.
You’ll find complimentary Banchan dishes including the standard side salad, mashed potatoes and the ubiquitous kimchi.
Location: Little Saigon Plaza, Level 5/462 Chapel Rd, Bankstown, NSW 2200 Ph: (02) 8739 1697
We’re off to Bankstown for the next of the best Korean BBQ spots in Sydney.
This restaurant mixes it up with an mash up of traditionally Korean combined with modern design. What’s more, it is a family friendly restaurant that can seat up to 300 diners. Conveniently, the buffet-style dining makes it easy to sample each and every dish at the pace that suits you.
If you find yourself in the south-west of Sydney, this is an excellent venue for those seeking authentic Korean food without the hustle and bustle of the inner city.
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Location: Level 1/78 Harbour St, Haymarket, NSW 2000 Ph: (02) 9304 0390
Bornga is one of Sydney’s busiest Korean BBQ restaurants. Located on Harbour Street in Haymarket, right in the center of Chinatown, this is a buzzing restaurant with plenty of atmosphere, noise and energy.
The comfortable and functional interior is made up of plush booths, well-spaced around the BBQ cooktops.
Their signature dish is the Woo Samgyup (thinly sliced beef brisket and touch of Sssamjang chili paste within a lettuce wrap), and the dish is rather lovely. The beautifully slender beef cuts are usually grilled to a medium and have the texture of sliced bacon.
This place is seriously not one to miss!
Bornga Korean BBQ Restaurant has a sister venue in Melbourne. For more Korean BBQ recommendations in Melbourne, see here.
Location: 1031 Victoria Rd, West Ryde, NSW 2114 Ph: 04156 989 888
If you’re looking for generous portions, then this is the one of the best Korean BBQ spots in Sydney for you. There is a wide range of side dishes (or Banchan) to select from, including cucumber and potato based dishes.
Their banquet lunch is popular for a reason. This feast starts out with a wonderfully sizzling plate of meat and culminates in a rice soup that will fill your stomach – if you’re not full already.
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Location: 407/409 Swanston St, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Ph: (03) 9663 7123
This restaurant serves some of the finest food in the entire city. Their recipes are historic and traditional. Excitingly, they incorporate a range of regional influences. This results in a diversified menu that provides only the utmost authenticity.
Their meat is also cooked in a unique way but you’ll need to pay them a visit to see for yourself!
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Location: Level 1/396 Pitt St, Haymarket, NSW 2000
Also at Eastwood
As we’ve already said, when is comes to Korean BBQ, Sydney has some superb venues. And this is definitely the case with 678 Sydney.
Don’t be put off by the location – this gem take a bit of finding. However, once you get in you’ll be glad you took the stairs (or lift) to the first floor. What’s more, you definitely won’t be alone. The reputation of 678 Korean BBQ is such that the place is generally bustling – even on weeknights.
The chefs here work with the utmost culinary expertise to produce all of the multifaceted Korean flavours that you could wish for. Their menu boasts only the most premium cuts of meat and an array of fresh vegetables, soup and alcoholic beverages.
The atmosphere is equally as wonderful and as such, we reckon this is the kind of place that you’ll keep coming back to. It’s considered one of the finest Korean BBQ spots in Sydney for good reason.
Click here for our rundown of the Best Steaks in Sydney
Location: 371A Pitt St, Sydney, NSW 2000
This Korean BBQ spot boasts friendly service and the highest quality food. If you’re looking for a vibrant and busy atmosphere to chow down in, then this is definitely the right spot for you.
They’re open for lunch, dinner and also serve takeaway options and serve unique dishes that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else in the city. Their Bimbim Bap is to die for and their Jungsik is also a much-loved option.
This place is guaranteed to tantalise your tastebuds.
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Editor’s Note: We have heard that Sydney Madang Korean BBQ Restaurant has sadly closed. We will update you when we know more. As this is the case, please just out this spot instead:
Location: Ed.Square Shopping Centre, Level 1, EdSquare,52 Soldiers Parade, Edmondson Park, NSW 2174 Ph: 1800 898 899
The evocatively named BaaOinkMoo, or BOM Korean BBQ Restaurant is the new, flashy KBBQ kid on the block.
Futuristic and moody with a neon pink/dark blue colour palette, eating here is rather like being on the set of a video game. Proudly championing Korean pop culture, more than one diner has commented that it’s got the atmosphere of a night club rather than a regular Korean BBQ Restaurant.
Wow your friends and impress your family by cooking Korean BBQ at home with this TeChef – Stovetop Korean BBQ Non-Stick Grill Pan. It’s so easy to use.
However, a great vibe can only get you so far. How’s the food?
Well, BOM KBBQ doesn’t have a biggest selection of dishes in town, but the reviews are largely positive. But it’s clear that what’s really blowing visitor’s away is the decor, ambience and great service.
And if you like a soju-based cocktails, this is definitely the place to you. The Bomarita – a highly original blend of soju, tequila, cointreau , lime juice and kimchi – has my name all over it!
Location: 821 Pennant Hills Rd, Carlingford, NSW 2118 Ph: (02) 9872 8868
This restaurant is the perfect spot for gatherings of friends and family alike. Their uniquely styled BBQ buffet serves the finest Korean food at inexpensive prices.
You are likely to find yourself queueing to get yourself a table so be sure to book well in advance to avoid any disappointment. There’s also an extensive range of barbecue dishes to select from, ensuring that everyone on the table is guaranteed to be satisfied.
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Location: 87 Rowe St, Eastwood, NSW 2122 Ph: (02) 9858 5160
There are so many wonderful dishes on offer here that you’ll be utterly spoiled for choice. Their dishes are both traditional and experimental and if you’re uncertain, the staff here are more than happy to make recommendations.
The dumplings are phenomenal and their kimchi is renowned for being one of the best in the city. Their side dishes are also unlimited and continually replenished by your waiter, so you are guaranteed to leave here feeling more than satisfied.
And whilst we’re talking of dumplings, these places serve the Best Yum Cha in Sydney
Location: Shop 35/1 Dixon St, Haymarket, NSW 2000 Ph: (02) 9264 1588
This place is a favourite amongst locals for a very good reason, the food is incredible! Their positive reviews speak for themselves and this popular Korean BBQ spot is also equipped with traditional decor and wonderful music.
They also incorporate Chinese and Japanese influences into their dishes creating an amalgamation of flavours that you are unlikely to experience elsewhere.
The Korean Fried Chicken (KFC) on offer here is famous and their grilled meats are smoked to perfection. Whilst the menu may alternate, these dishes are staying put and you’d be foolish to miss out.
Mapo Charcoal BBQ
Location: 999A Victoria Rd, West Ryde NSW 2144 Ph: (02) 9807 2278
It’s back to West Ryde as we continue our look at the best Korean BBQ spots in Sydney.
Whilst it’s exterior may seem a little unimpressive, the food inside Mapo Charcoal BBQ is sure to excite you. This is one of the top eateries for those who are budgeting and you can easily eat your fill for under $30.
The ribs on offer here are undoubtedly the best in the entire city and you can enjoy the finest cuts of red meat served with a side of leek pancakes. You will definitely regret it if you walk past.
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If you’re hungry for authentic Korean BBQ, you cannot miss this restaurant. This spot boasts a fine dining experience and the presentation of their food reflects this. The meat cuts are also elite and prepared to perfection.
They are committed to cooking traditional dishes and offer a wide range of side dishes to ensure that everyone is more than satisfied.
Cook Korean BBQ like a pro with the Iwatani Fired Burning (ABURIYA). It’s self-contained, easy to use and it gives a great char.
The menu is full of decadent and delectable options including delicious soups, stews, noodles and meat dishes ensuring that you will be returning time and time again.
This last entry in our list of the best Korean BBQ spots in Sydney serves KBBQ at its finest.
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Location: 1/636-638 George St, Sydney, NSW 2000 Ph: (02) 9261 0023
If ever a place were proof that you don’t have to have a huge, modern restaurant to turn out great food, it’s Don Don City.
Tucked away on busy George St, this is a casual Korean eatery is welcoming and comfy. It’s also great value for money compared to some of the flasher joints in town.
All the usual favourites are on the menu – Bibimbap, Korean Fried Chicken and Bulgogi – and the food is plentiful and fresh. We particularly like the self-serve Banchan Bar – why don’t more places do this?
Busy and popular, make sure you book if there’s a big group of you.