***Best Korean Restaurants Barcelona by Mi Mi Chloe Park***
Mi Mi grew up in New York where she worked in PR for the Lifestyle, Travel + Hospitality sectors working with brands such as Chateau Marmont and The Standard Hotels. She moved to Barcelona during the first summer of the pandemic and shortly after we met for lunch and became food friends.
Mi Mi had some stints in local PR firms, but decided to establish her own consultancy, LLUM Factory, serving local and international markets to the standards she learned during her many years working at top agencies in New York.
Mi Mi is kicking off a new series on Foodie in Barcelona where we interview experts to share their best spots by theme – in this case, Korean food! Barcelona has a modest Korean population and 25 restaurants to cater to it and us. Mi Mi’s parents are Korean and she grew up eating homecooked Korean food and having packed lunches that were the envy of all her classmates. Later on, she frequented Midtown Manhattan’s Koreatown. I recently sat down with Mi Mi and asked her to share some tips on the local Korean food scene.
POCHA / For your KPOP fix
C/ Provença 224, Eixample
● Pocha in Korean simply translates from pojangmacha (포장마차) or covered street vendor. These comfortable locales are street-covered food vendors serving patrons in the wee hours of the morning. Pocha in Eixample Left is a watered-down version of one, but this young team does its best to bring a bit of that KPOP “soul” to Barcelona. The interiors are flashy, their fried chicken is crispy, and there’s enough Soju to make you feel like you’re in Itaewon for an hour or two. Great for meeting up with friends for a Somaek * the classic Korean cocktail of soju + beer.
Pocha review on Foodie in Barcelona (2021) Click *here*
♦ ♦ ♦
Kamasot / When you miss your Grandmother’s cooking
C/ del Consell de Cent 465,
www.kamasot.es / Instagram Kamasot
● When I walk into this establishment, I have deja vu, I’ve seen this decor before. The familiarity of the wood panels, fluorescent lighting, and tables covered with metal bbq plates makes me feel nostalgic. The owners are part of the Korean Association in Barcelona, so you can ensure that their food is authentic and homemade. An array of ‘banchan’ is served with a plethora of veggies, fermented goodies, and with fast service. Banchan is an assortment of various side dishes that accompany every meal, kimchi, bean sprouts, pickled tofu, and the gangs all here. Think Korean tapas.
♦ ♦ ♦
Hanki / When you’re craving a healthy lunch
C/ de Guillem Tell 23, Gracia
hankibcn.wixsite.com / Instagram Hanki
● The star of this casual lunch spot is its outdoor seating on the quiet terrace out back. Perfectly served bibimbap makes this ‘Instagram’ worthy. Located in Gracia, this small establishment makes you feel like you’re in the backstreets of Seoul. Reasonably priced.
♦ ♦ ♦
Restaurant Seoul Coreano, Sant Pau / When you’re craving Mongolian/Korean Food
Avda Gaudi 70.
● Mongolian + Korean food you ask? Well, there are parallels, the primary being the love of meat. Located near Hospital Sant Pau, this is one of the oldest establishments in the city, the chef is Mongolian/Korean, expect clean, simple ingredients. This place is no frills and it feels like you’ve travelled to the 80s in Korea. A solid option after trekking by the Sagrada Familia.
♦ ♦ ♦
Kimchimama / Where the Korean President gets his Kimchi from
www.restaurantekimchimama.com / Instagram Kimchimama
● A bit of a trek from the centre, but this beloved establishment is known for its homemade kimchi. They have traditionally been the main kimchi and food supplier for foreign Korean dignitaries when they are in town, and service Korean Air flights for special delegations. So if you feel like sitting in the seat of the Korean President, try to make a trip to this restaurant. For the really dedicated, Kimchimama runs Kimchi-making workshops.
♦ ♦ ♦
Matna / When you’re craving some KFC *Korean Fried Chicken or have the munchies
Av. de Sarrià, 37, 08029
matna.negocio.site / Instagram Matna
● If you’re willing to trek it up to Sarria, Matna is a must-try for the crispiest fried chicken wings in Barcelona. The decor is humble, but the portions are hearty. The trick to Korean Fried Chicken? It’s the double fry of course. A few tables line this establishment, making it more of a to-go place. Tip: they sell out fast of their fried goodies, call in and order in advance and order a side of Kkadugi (pickled radish cubes) that cut through the grease of the oil.
♦ ♦ ♦
Korean Grocery Stores
Modu / For the uninitiated – basic Korean staples
C/ Goya 13, Gràcia
www.modumarket.com / Instagram Modu
● If you’re interested in dipping your toes into the world of Korean gastronomy, Modu is a good place to start – the selection is smaller and offers a range of basic items that make the beginning of any Korean’s kitchen. Gochujang, Doenjang a variety of Ramyun, and pre-packaged kimchi are for sale.
Alimentacio Coreana Hankuk / The OG
C/ del Marquès de Sentmenat 91, 08029
● The owner of this establishment, a friendly elderly gentleman, has been running this grocery store for several decades now. This is the mecca of Korean food in Barcelona, with more of a mom + pop feel, you can find a plethora of sauces, peppers, and banchan freshly made, not to mention an assortment of frozen marinated meat. If you’re planning on doing a Korean BBQ feast at home, head here and pick up some ready-made Bulgogi, stews, and much more. They stock a good range of fresh produce and you can often find unique vegetables such as Sasparilla leaves, goji berries and more.
Tagging @antisocialpublicist , @llumfactory
Lorena Russell says
Thank you for this new “Best of…” feature! What a great idea. We are gearing up for a winter stay in Barcelona and as always following your site with great pleasure and appreciation.
Barcelona in the winter is the best time to be here
Waiting to read more of these reviews and suggestions!
I lived in Seoul for a while and I have only visited Kamasot so far in Barcelona. I totally loved it and recalled all the tradiciontal falvours I found while living in Korea.
Now I can’t wait to try the rest of the list!
Thanks! We have quite a few more in the pipes.
Danasia Fantastic says
Adding these to my list of places to eat when I finally visit Barcelona! This is awesome Mimi!
Yes – Mimi
Dan Shapiro says
Great information, thank you.
What about Koryo and Sinla in Bonanova? I’ve read those are good but haven’t been yet.
We’ve been to Koryo a while back and liked it at the time- it’s a nice space as well https://foodieinbarcelona.com/koryo-korean-sant-gervasi/
Sinla will look into but give us a shout if you go and like it!