ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What to Order in a Korean Restaurant

Updated on January 28, 2011

What to Order at a Korean Restaurant!

When you walk into a Korean restaurant, its scary! (If you're not Korean) We eat fermented cabbage and jelled acorn for goodness sakes. What's super cool is that we make this stuff taste good! For those who are pretty well-versed in Korean cuisine know that the spicy fermented cabbage is called 'KimChi' and is a staple to every Korean person's diet. I'm not joking kids, we have it with every single meal! It's probably the equivalent of what curry is to Indian food. Trying the various types of KimChi at every Korean restaurant is a must!

The other biggest draw people have to Korean restaurants is the heaping servings of banchan. It's a series of tiny appetizer dishes that can range anywhere from 4-30 individual dishes, and its completely free with your food! You can even ask for refills on any dish. There could be hundreds of different banchan options at any given Korean joint, the most popular ones are: Jap-Chae (glass noodle dish), KimChi Jun (Korean pancake), Pickled Cucumber, Korean Potato Salad, Egg Mari, Mook (acorn jelly), Jang Jorim (soy braised beef with peppers), black beans and hundreds more! My boyfriend (Hispanic, not Korean) ends up eating all the countless dishes and likes the shock the Korean waitresses! It's surprising but Korean people who go to these places don't really eat much of the banchan!

There folks, now you have a banchan/kimchi guide to print out with you for this great Korean Restaurant Food Crawl!

KimChi-Spicy Fermented Cabbage
KimChi-Spicy Fermented Cabbage

1. Maru

This place is NOT fancy. It's a small, cozy semi-hole-in-the-wall, except it's located on a corner. The food is fantastic for the price, and makes me feel like I'm somewhere else. Every time I go here, I always end up ordering something different (probably because I get weird food cravings like everyday!).

What to Order:

Novice: Dol-Sot Bibimbap-Hot Pot: Cooked with rice, meat and veggies. Absolutely delicious here with a great crunch. Must have it in the Stone Bowl, its what makes this dish!

Adventurous: Buddae-Jigae (Military Stew): A crazy dish invented in the 1950s in Korea during the Korean War when food was scarce and there were American soldiers everywhere. A "must-try" super spicy dish!

Location: 414 E William St. Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Phone: (734) 761-1977

Cuisine: Korean

Price: $

Attire: Casual

2. Arirang

I love this Korean restaurant and not just because it is 1/2 mile from my house! The food is authentic, delicious and super hearty and warming for Michigan winters! Another bonus for Arirang is that their waiters/waitresses speak English (rare) and the service is great! (rare in authentic Korean places).

As a side note: The reason service isn't superb at Korean restaurants (the real ones at least) is because they believe good service is bringing out excellent food, not being super smiley and perky. It's unfortunate, but its just how it is!

And remember, if you like it spicy, request to make it spicier. They'll ALWAYS dumb down the spice if you're not Korean, so tell them you can handle it!

What to Order:

Novice: Soon-Doboo Jigae: Tofu Stew that is absolutely delicious and warming.

Adventurous: YookGae Jang: Hearty, rich, super duper spicy beef stew (my personal favorite here) OR

HaeMul Tang: Spicy Seafood Stew with lots of wonderful sea creatures!

Location: 3135 Oak Valley Dr. Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Phone: (734) 222-5959

Cuisine: Korean

Price: $

Attire: Casual

Spicy HaeMul Tang
Spicy HaeMul Tang

3. Rich JC

This place is teeny-tiny, cozy and well... religious? The Rich JC stand for Jesus Christ, but don't let that deter you! The owners are the sweetest people in the entire world. This place makes me nostalgic for when I came every week after my political science 395 class. The food was perfect for my clogged sinuses and the -20 degree windchill. It's real home-cooking folks!

The one con: The seating consists of ~13 stools around a counter, so not much room!

What to Order:

Novice: Kim-bap OR Soon-Doobu

Adventurous: Seafood Ramen

Location: 1313 S University Ave Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Phone: (734) 769-2288

Cuisine: Korean

Price: $

Attire: Casual

Credit: Rex Roof
Credit: Rex Roof
Credit: Rex Roof
Credit: Rex Roof

4. Bubble Island

You can't forget the dessert! I truly do believe that a lunch course deserves a dessert too! This is THE local place to get your fix on Korean "boba-drinks"  and Korean icecream! "Boba/Bubble Tea" is a sweetened tea with tapioca balls in it that look like bubbles. Not only do they have a great selection of boardgames and are open until 3 am on weekends, but they have fabulous drinks!

What to Order:

Almond Milk Tea OR Green Tea with Mango Stars OR Red Bean Milk Tea with Black Bubbles

Korean Frozen Yogurt with Fruit

Location: 1220 S University Ave Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Phone: (734) 222-9013

Cuisine: Tea

Price: $

Attire: Casual

Taro Milk Tea with Black Bubbles
Taro Milk Tea with Black Bubbles

Korean Food Locations

414 E William St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, USA

get directions

3135 Oak Valley Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48108, USA

get directions

Rich JC:
1313 S University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, USA

get directions

Bubble Island:
1220 S University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, USA

get directions


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)