Denver’s culinary scene is enriched with the vibrant and savory flavors of Korean barbecue, inviting residents and visitors to embark on a mouthwatering journey through the heart of Seoul right in the Mile-High City. Korean barbecue, known for its interactive and communal dining experience, is a celebration of grilled meats, savory marinades, and an array of side dishes that create an explosion of taste and texture. From traditional bulgogi and galbi to contemporary fusion dishes, Denver’s Korean barbecue restaurants offer a tantalizing blend of flavors and culture. Whether you’re a devoted fan of Korean cuisine or a newcomer eager to explore the joys of tabletop grilling, our guide ensures you savor the finest barbecue that Denver has to offer. Join us as we delve into the sizzle, aroma, and dynamic flavors that define the Korean barbecue experience in the heart of Denver.
Denver magazines have named Dae Gee Korean BBQ as the best Korean BBQ in the city for a few years now. You might even have seen the restaurant on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on the Food Network. Dae Gee Korean BBQ combines authentic Korean cuisine with a more interactive dining experience. Diners can choose between grilling chicken, pork, or beef on tabletop grills themselves, creating a meal heavy with protein, grains, and vegetables. I like to go for unlimited BBQ on days when I have a serious Korean food craving. Remember that you will need at least two meat orders to use a tabletop grill.
Bonchon likes to recreate popular Korean comfort foods, especially Korean fried chicken. Each wing is hand-battered, double-fried, and hand-brushed with a special chicken sauce perfected in South Korea. They have other dishes and sides available, but I like popping in for some fried chicken and rice. You can get a small, medium, or large order of fried chicken, but the medium order is more than enough to feed two people. You might consider getting pork buns and pickled radishes as side dishes since they have tons of flavor and complement the chicken nicely. Flavor-wise, you can choose soy garlic or spicy, both of which are delicious.
2779 S Parker Rd, Aurora, CO 80014
The green onion chicken and Korean fried chicken comes highly recommended at Funny Plus. It’s the sort of place you go when you are out late with friends and need a quick comfort bite, and the vibe might be a little trendier than other Korean BBQs. They have other delicious dishes, like hand-cut noodles with clams for those who prefer a mild taste. I recommend spicy rice cake if you like something a little spicier. I also like to get the Funny Combo on those hungry days, which includes the katsu pork and bulgogi. The Army Stew boasts that it can feed two to three hungry people, so see if you and your friends can finish it together.
A Korean restaurant with an all-you-can-eat BBQ menu is worth checking out. Mr. Kim’s all-you-can-eat menu includes a lot of seafood, so fish lovers can rejoice. If you like your pork belly thick, Mr. Kim serves pretty heavy portions of it. The side dishes are small, but the fantastic food on the all-you-can-eat menu makes up for that. I usually tap out after two rounds of meats, but see how far you can go. They serve meats of all spice levels, but the spicy chicken bulgogi is one of my favorites. They also throw in a ginger pumpkin pallet cleanser for a tasty ending to the meal.
Soko specializes in Korean comfort food, so there aren’t too many bells and whistles on the menu. You can order something as simple as sushi, chicken teriyaki, or a lunch bento and be perfectly satisfied. The sushi is always on rotation, depending on the day. They have an all-you-can-eat option as well. Besides the rounds of meat, you will also get spicy veggies, potato salad, sweet potato squares, and kimchi. Of all the places on this list, Soko probably has the best bibimbap. Once again, make sure you have at least two all-you-can-eat orders for a tabletop grill.
2648 S Parker Rd UNIT 9, Aurora, CO 80014
Woo Ri is a great place to get some Korean pork chunks since they are a generous size and very juicy and flavorful. The banchan is also delicious, and the portions are big enough that I sometimes get two meals out of one. They have great soups, such as tofu seafood and beef broth soup. If you ask, they can make most of the dishes vegan. The restaurant itself is a little small, so you might consider picking up your order if you come at peak hours. Either way you eat it, you can get a spread of fantastic pickled items.
Cupbop is the Korean BBQ edition of a frozen yogurt shop. You pick your protein and spice level, mix it in a large paper cup, and enjoy. My favorites are the spicy chicken bowl and the not spicy beef bowl. We can’t forget the delicious sides, either. When you order for the first time, they give you a free helping of dumplings. Given the large adult-size cups, you could probably make two meals out of the cup and dumplings. They even have a food truck, so if you would like Cupbop to cater your next event, you can book the truck for a few hours.
If dumplings are your favorite, Seoul ManDoo is a great place to go. They make mandu, dumplings you can cook through steaming, boiling, or frying, all of which taste amazing. The restaurant is small, so you might want to avoid peak hours. When you visit, I suggest trying the Korean BBQ beef or the veggie dumplings, though you can get a combo order and try a bunch of flavors at once. The dumplings are enormous, so once again, you might make two meals out of one order, especially if you get pickled radishes for a side. Don’t forget to dip your dumplings in the restaurant’s housemade sauce, and it makes a huge difference
Mono Mono has won a few accolades in its time for its Korean comfort food, especially Korean fried chicken. You can get that fried chicken as a set of pieces or on a sandwich, alongside some classic Korean side dishes. The fried chicken bun is a great comfort meal, as are the deep-fried dumplings, which are crunchy and spicy. The teriyaki garlic wings have a nice kick without being too sweet or too hot. I haven’t mentioned soju, a classic Korean drink, just yet, but Mono Mono’s is pretty delicious. It’s a sweet drink, almost like white wine or peach soda, and is refreshing alongside the flavorful chicken.
You can design your own bowl at Chilgogi, but the beef bulgogi bowl with spicy sauce and brown rice is a favorite of mine. They have plenty of vegetarian options too. Ordering here is easy since you just have to pick a protein, a bowl of rice or salad, and whatever extras you like. So if you’re in a hurry and need a quick bite, this is the place to go. Once again, portions are excellent and might make for good leftovers. The potato croquettes make amazing sides and great snacks for a cooler day, especially when served warm.
Seoul K-B.B.Q. & HotPot
Like a few other entries on this list, Seoul K-B..B.Q & HotPot has won several awards. Need I mention again that the portions are enormous? I like to take friends to this place after a long work day. The pork with white fish, the chicken bulgogi, and the beef bulgogi make great meals, as does the Togo Bento box if you’re particularly hungry. You can enjoy some soup or mandu for quick bites, especially the fried variety. You can self-serve a few meals, including dumplings, seafood, and noodles, alongside a dipping sauce station.
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