The capital of Tenessee draws visitors for dozens of reasons. Some flock to the Athens of the South to tour the establishments of higher education and museums in the city.
Others come to watch one of five of Nashville’s five professional sports teams. Whatever reason brings you to Nashville, you’ll find many varied cuisines from around the globe, including enduringly popular Korean BBQ options.
While Nashville has fewer Korean restaurants than other large U.S. cities, the quality of the food keeps locals and visitors coming back for more.
On my most recent trip to Tenessee, I tried as many places as possible. Check out my list of the best Korean BBQ in Nashville.
2051 Antioch Pike, Antioch, TN 37013
On the outskirts of southeast Nashville, diners can check out Hai Woon Dai on the way to nearby Antioch Park. There might be fewer reasons to come to this part of town, but this restaurant is worth the visit.
The sparsely decorated restaurant provides a clean and simple place to enjoy Korean BBQ. Hai Woon Dai serves classic Korean BBQ options.
My favorite was the beef bulgogi. The marinated meat had the perfect combination of sweet and spicy flavors. Another perk of eating at Hai Woon Dai is versatility.
You can grill your BBQ at the table or leave it to professionals in the kitchen.
6410 Charlotte Pike #108, Nashville, TN 37209
Find Korea House in the Charlotte Park area of western Nashville near the Cumberland River. This unpretentious spot features a simple dining area with sparse but exciting decor.
The overall vibe is that of a welcoming local place to grab great Korean BBQ. Sides are as crucial to Korean BBQ as the meat itself.
Expect to get half a dozen small sides packed with flavor at Korean House. My favorite of these was a spicy cabbage dish, which was distinct from the pickled kimchi but just as delicious.
Joki Gooyee was my favorite BBQ dish featuring crispy fried fish.
4928 Edmondson Pike #101, Nashville, TN 37211
Seoul Garden Restaurant in southern Nashville provides a lowkey venue to try delicious Korean BBQ. Going to this part of the city to check out the Nashville Zoo will give you a great reason to try out this eatery for lunch or dinner.
Combined earth tones with bright white in the decor create a homey and welcoming atmosphere at Seoul Garden.
This restaurant offers six types of Korean BBQ. My favorite was the grilled sirloin, a thick steak different from other thinly sliced varieties.
Though the cut of meat was thicker, the marinade was similar to others I had in Nashville, with sweet undertones and a spicy kick.
1310 Antioch Pike, Nashville, TN 37211
A few miles south of the Nashville International Airport, So Gong Dong Restaurant is close to Exell Park Soccer Field. Light and dark woods are the focal points in this restaurant, creating an eclectic but simplistic vibe.
Asian-themed decor ties together the whole motif, utilizing wooden partition walls to make the seating area feel more private.
Many of the Korean BBQ places on this list serve a seafood pancake, but So Gong Dong had by far my favorite rendition.
Not only was the pancake deliciously tender, but it was also packed full of seafood! The barbecue here also had generous portions and a robust, tangy flavor.
5628 Nolensville Pk, Nashville, TN 37211
In a residential section of southern Nashville, Midori offers a super casual place to grab a variety of delicious Korean and Japanese food.
The restaurant has a minimalist vibe with Asian accents and a cute little fish tank near the front entrance.
Midori creates a cozy vibe perfect for enjoying Korean BBQ. Midori serves the most varied menu of all the restaurants on this list.
In addition to Korean BBQ, this spot specializes in Japanese food. You’ll also find sake options on the menu, including my favorite, Soju.
At Midori, I tried the galbi, a type of Korean BBQ with beef short ribs marinated in garlic and sugar. Everything I had here was delicious.