Vienna’s got some quality Korean kitchens living up to the five flavour balance philosophy it’s based on – salty, sweet, sour, hot and bitter. From fancy inventive restaurants, to relaxed and no-fuss insider places – it’s all there.
So if you’re looking for some Bibimbap booming with flavour & colour, some crazy spicy and sour Kimchi, or perhaps some Bulgogi Korean BBQ, head to these Korean eateries:
Seoul Restaurant – Best Korean in Vienna
Where: Praterstraße 26, 1020
MON–SAT: 11:30am–2:30pm & 6pm–10pm
This modest, yet popular small Korean restaurant in Vienna’s 2nd district will have you chowing down on Kimchi and grilling up your own meal on a table-top grill, while loving every minute of it. Seekers of Korean kitchen know this little family-run restaurant as one of the go-to places in the city for the all-round dining experience of the Korean-style BBQ.
Almost elbowing fellow eaters, we find ourselves staring hungrily at the plain, gray table and desperately waiting for someone to take our order as we watch the delicious and exotic looking array of barbecued dishes, stews and stir-fries served by the smiling, warm staff. The unfamiliar menu may seem rather strange to those uneducated on the Korean kitchen, but the staff here are happy to walk you through it. For us, the choice is simple – the gogigui (Korean BBQ) for two. You’ll most probably start here with a bowl of kimchi (sour and spicy pickled cabbage drowned in chili sauce) and a pickled turnip, just as spicy. These are the garnishes that belong to every Korean meal. Then after a Miso and a few golden gyozas, a gas cooker and grill is placed in front of us. In between, our waitress is adjusting the gas to the grill, someone from the kitchen keeps handing her more plates, starting with salad leaves, garlic, chilies, mushrooms, onion rings, and finally, the thin slices of marinated beef. All raw…until we start grilling it all, that is. Korean BBQ is also a great social dining option for a meal with a group of friends. The leftover zing from the spice on our tastebuds that are sizzling remains long after the grill is turned off. Read our full review of Seoul restaurant, here.
We recommend… that you explore when it comes to what to drink here. Besides Korean beer, they also serve specific drinks like the Makgeolli (a slightly sweet, milky alcoholic beverage made of rice) and Ginseng Schnapps. The non-alcoholic list surprises with ginseng and genmaicha tea (a Japanese sort of green tea prepared with roasted brown rice)!
Mains: from €10
Gogigui (Korean BBQ) for 2: €36
Modern Korean – Best Korean in Vienna
Where: Lustkandlgasse 4, 1090
MON–SAT: 12pm–3pm & 6pm–12pm
From student to master is the path taken by the owner at Modern Korean. Danny Kim, the owner of the Korean restaurant, is a former employee of the famous Austrian-Korean chef, Sohji Kim. He has been transforming Korean dishes according to his own interpretation since 2015. The focus is on using regional products to give a subtle European influence to the Korean dishes served up at Modern Korean. That’s where the ‘modern’ enters into the name, Modern Korean, we guess. Ok, it was a obvious observation.
Meat and fish dishes dominate the menu, and it’s all served up by a friendly staff in a rather casual and elegant atmosphere. Still, you can also opt to go for the Kim a carte blanche option, and have the kitchen create something according to your preferences.
The menu changes with the seasons, with stuff like Korean hot pots, soups and stews turning up in winter, and more salads in summer. Meanwhile, the Korean favourites you’ll always find in the menu.
You can watch the chef prepare your dish, with the kitchen neighbouring the dining room and only separated from it by glass.
You should definitely try the Gun Mandu, buns filled with vegetables and peanut sauce, as a starter. The secret sauce recipe is made with lots and lots of time and consideration, and some coriander root and peanut butter, the chef tells us. You can order anything you like on the menu (obvs.), but make sure you tried that sauce.
Good to know… making a reservation is recommended
Also good to know… Modern Korean is super vegetarian- and vegan-friendly.
Starters to share: from €8 to €12
Mains: from €14 to €28
Das Kimchi – Best Korean in Vienna
Where: Marxergasse 15, 1030
MON–SUN: 11am–3pm & 6pm–11pm
Everything is pretty at Das Kimchi, from the golden chopsticks and bowls to the tasteful interior design for the place. This makes for a pleasant setting for the flavourful Korean dishes they’re serving up here. The Korean classics (kimchi, glass noodles, bibimbap) are all here in the menu, with sushi thrown into the mix. Lining the front windows are big tables sitting around 5 people, with stoves in the middle, set up for some seriously good Korean BBQ ( the Bulgogi gets our thumbs up). Their Jjigae (a Korean kind of stew) game is also on point, made with veggies, beef or pork. The noodles and broth of their Ramyon noodle soups will have you making a big slurpy mess.
Starters: from €4 to €10
Mains: from €13 to €17
Dessert: from €4
Kim kocht – Best Korean in Vienna
Where: Währingerstraße 46, 1090
For Korean fans, we’re not telling you anything new when mentioning Kim kocht as one of the best Korean restaurants in the city. Sohyi Kim has held status as a local celebrity chef in Vienna for a while now, and Kim Kocht (which has since its beginnings moved location) was her original location. And while the prestige (she’s won awards, written cookbooks and has a cult following of such) of her and her restaurants has risen, the same humble and authentic methods in the kitchen is applied. Kim’s kitchen secret is actually no secret – stay true to the five colours, elements, and phases of Korean (and Chinese) cooking, but be inventive with traditional dishes. This leads to a magnificent balance in flavours turning up in every dish served up at Kim Kocht. If we had to pick the best dish on the menu, both in appearance and aroma, it would be her interpretation of a green curry. There aren’t many seats in the place, making it an intimate experience, but one glorious one for your tastebuds. And 9 times out of 10 you’ll have Kim cooking for you.
Good to know… reservation is strongly recommended (there are sometimes week waiting lists for a table.
We recommend… reading up more about Kim’s success story – it involves a lot of hard work paying off.
Daily menu: from €9
Tasting Menu: €40
© photos courtesy of Thomas Schauer, Wolf-Dieter Grabner for Sohyi Kim
Mandu & Co – Best Korean in Vienna
Where: Landstraßer Hauptstraße 51, 1030
MON–FRI: 11am–3pm & 4pm–6pm
Mandu & Co is small and modest. There’s no frills – really, we mean none. The small room has 3 small standard metal tables and a bench. Apart from some magazines in the corner, a coat rack and a small laminated picture of what looks like a Korean rice field, there’s no fancy stuff adorning the place. Don’t bring your next date, or organise a client meeting here! But if you’re looking for an affordable lunch spot where the focus is on well-made, traditional Korean food then Mandu is your BFF! We ordered the vegetarian Mandu & Co-Menu – a plate of traditional Korean dumplings (mandu) and some Kimbab (Korea’s answer to Japan’s sushi). The fresh vegetables in the kimbab were fresh and the pan-fried mandu were deliciously crunchy. We dipped everything in their fiery home-made hot sauce, much to our tastebuds’ delight. Go for the noodles, or the rice dishes if you want something more filling, but be confident most on the menu is reasonably priced and delicious.
Starters: €2 to €5
Mains: from €4
No Cards accepted
Kim Chingu – Best Korean in Vienna
Where: Althanstraße 21–25, 1090
Chingu means “friend” in Korean. Friends and family, and sharing good food, in a pleasant atmosphere is what Kim Chingu is all about. Meat and fish dishes are a main focus at the local celebrity chef, Sohyi Kim’s, newly opened restaurant in the 9th district. The renowned Austrian-Korean chef (who also has another restaurant “Kim” and a Kim Shop on Währinger Straße) added this addition to Vienna’s gastronomy scene in 2018 and its concept is similar to the others – friendly service in an uncomplicated atmosphere. You can put together your own menu, by choosing bits and pieces from the fish and meat heavy menu, and add whatever “small tasties” as starters, or side dishes tickle your fancy. Oh, and the big smiles from the staff come for free. Check out the full Kim Chingu review.
Good to know… reservation is required and they will likely ask for a credit card to hold a table for a group of 4 people, or more. Like all of Kim’s restaurants, It’s not easy to get a table so be sure to reserve well ahead.
Also good to know… there is a large and well curated wine menu available
Starters: from €4 to €14
Mains: from €14 to €20