Any vacationer to North Carolina has to visit its capital city, Raleigh. You can find all manner of attractions both in and around the city.
Between your time at the amphitheater and the North Carolina Museum of Art, you eventually need to sit down to eat something.
Korean BBQ is one of my favorite kinds of food, and I had a real hankering for it when I visited Raleigh.
I wanted to find a spot to have brunch with my friends, and found several good ones! Here is my guide to the best Korean BBQ restaurants in and near Raleigh.
Here are my favorite Korean BBQ restaurants in Raleigh, NC.
Aroma Korea Sushi & Grill
160 NE Maynard Rd, Cary, NC 27513
Sandwiched between NE Maynard Rd and St Charles Pl, Aroma Korea Sushi & Grill is a quaint and homey restaurant.
I nearly missed this little spot since its location lends itself to keeping Aroma hidden from traffic. Once I found it, I was very impressed by the clean and well-loved setup.
While I am a big fan of sushi, I had to try Aroma’s pork belly after I saw another customer’s order come out of the kitchen.
I also recommend their bibimbap with bulgogi. If you want a good appetizer, their cheese corn was another delicious dish, although my friends were the ones who ordered it.
The menu was a little pricey, but the food was well worth it.
2101 S Main St #100, Wake Forest, NC 27587
Located on the corner of S Main St and Carter St, Korean Kitchen was a breath of fresh air. The dining room was inviting, and while the restaurant was large and spacious, I felt like I was sitting in a warm and inviting environment.
This restaurant just so happened to be another spot I would have missed if one of my friends hadn’t searched for it.
I ended up trying the spicy pork bulgogi and enjoyed it. I also thought the fries were delicious, with a variety of toppings you can add for $1 each.
I noticed that their menu offered daily lunch specials, but didn’t think to try one for myself. The waitress we had took our experience to the next level and took great care to accommodate my friend’s dietary restrictions.
While I might be a big fan of spicy food, I understand it’s not everyone’s cup of tea! I suggest asking your waiter or waitress about a dish’s spiciness before committing to it.
I just so happened to be a fan of it and recommend trying these spicy dishes.
4701 Atlantic Ave, Raleigh, NC 27604
I found this spot after exploring Raleigh on my own for a change. Seoul Garden is located in the lot near Atlantic Ave and E Millbrook Rd, in a spacious and comfortable setup. It’s an amazing place to eat!
I learned quickly that Seoul Garden is a restaurant perfect for visiting with a group. That certainly didn’t stop me from trying several of their delicious dishes!
I enjoyed their lunch box, which came with a little bit of everything for me to taste. Their bulgogi and pork was another favorite that I was eager to try.
The best thing I tried was their cham pong, a spicy noodle soup I couldn’t get enough of. Seoul Garden’s prices and portion sizes are best enjoyed with a group of friends.
Even for a solo outing, I thought the food was worth the price. Not to mention, I had plenty of leftovers to enjoy for dinner the same night!
Oiso Sushi and Korean
1305 NW Maynard Rd, Cary, NC 27513
Just across Maynard Crossing from the FedEx, next door to Spectrum, Oiso was another surprise I found while shopping with my friends.
Since it is just inside the Maynard Crossing Shopping Mall, I thought it was a perfect stop to make between the other places I had to visit here in Raleigh.
It felt like a cozy little mall restaurant, with plenty of delicious-looking food to choose from on the menu. I was a big fan of the dolsot vegetable bibimbap and miso soup.
I also took a shine to Oiso’s sushi bento, which showcased several of the chef’s choice sushi. When I received my bento, I thought that the mango fantasy roll stood out from the bunch.
The only things more impressive than the food were the fast service and kind staff.
Kim’s Restaurant at Kim’s Asian Market
6014 Duraleigh Rd, Raleigh, NC 27612
One of my local friends showed me this spot, and I was happy that they did! Ktown market is located off Duraleigh Rd, near the Triangle Rock Club.
I was expecting to spend the afternoon shopping for groceries, and instead found a wonderful place to try Korean BBQ.
The place was much bigger than I anticipated, with affordable food both in the restaurant and in the market.
There were so many dishes on the menu that I wanted to try, but I ended up trying their steamed buns and spicy pork.
Both choices were superb, and I recommend them to anyone wanting to try traditional favorites. Their rice cake soup was another choice that I recommend you try.
All of their dishes come in large portions, so come hungry and don’t be afraid to share with friends!
2815 Brentwood Rd, Raleigh, NC 27604
Located in the strip mall off of Brentwood Rd, Soo Cafe is an eclectic hole-in-the-wall restaurant that is a fun place to visit. The spot was low-key and perfect for my last night in Raleigh.
And although I had been going to visit these restaurants for Korean BBQ, I couldn’t resist their chicken wings after a strong recommendation from my friends.
The soga fried chicken did not disappoint, and I wish I had ordered more for takeout. Their fried shrimp in soga sauce was another favorite at our table.
Their soga sauce in general is a must-try and goes well with practically every dish they serve. On top of this, the service was very friendly and the pricing made for an easy split between myself and the rest of my group.
There were several other restaurants I could have added to the list. Finding Korean BBQ, let alone good Korean BBQ, is difficult in North Carolina, and these were the highlights of my trip.
While I may think that these are some of the best Korean BBQ restaurants in Raleigh, try them yourself and see whether you agree!
Looking for seafood while you’re here? Check out some of Raleigh’s greatest seafood spots for fresh fish!
Did I leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure to leave a comment so we can check it out!
Best Korean BBQ Restaurants in Raleigh
- Aroma Korea Sushi & Grill
- Korean Kitchen
- Seoul Garden
- Oiso Sushi and Korean
- Kim’s Restaurant at Kim’s Asian Market
- Soo Cafe