The Best Korean BBQ in Washington DC [2019]

Last updated: Aug 10, 2019 @ 3:59 pm

With the power of our RDI we have determined that the best Korean BBQ in DC (including the surrounding metro area) is Kogiya Korean BBQ. With a score of 71 on our restaurant delight index (with Yechon coming in second with a score of 56) it wasn't even close. Come take a look for yourself!

The Korean BBQ scene in DC:

Washington, DC sits in the middle of a region with a relatively large Korean American population (and with high expectations to match, looking at you Virginia). But DC manages to distinguish itself by... not having very many options for Korean BBQ. The most telling fact is that the best Korean BBQ in DC... isn't even in DC, it's out in Annandale. I assumed there would be a decent selection in the least, but in order to get a taste of real, good Korean food, you'll probably need to head for the metro area! In this post, I've gathered the best spots in and out of the DC area to help you satisfy your Korean BBQ cravings. These probably wouldn't rank super high nationwide but if you're in the nation's capitol and you just HAVE to get some Korean BBQ into your life, you've come to the right place.

The Best Korean BBQ in Washington DC:

#1 Kogiya Korean BBQ 🏆

4220-A Annandale Rd Annandale, VA 22003

Restaurant Delight Index: 71

4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5) 1221 reviews

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If you're looking for some authentic Korean BBQ then Kogiya is your best bet. I'm pretty sure they got such a high RDI score because of how much they offer! They have an a la carte menu, but Kogiya really shines when you get the AYCE! The quality of their beef is on point and unlike other places where you need to pay extra for rice and a steamed egg souffle, Kogiya's got you covered. If you don't want the AYCE option, there is a $13 lunch combo which offers a meat of your choice, unlimited side dishes, and either a soup or noodle.

With quick service and plentiful banchan (side dishes), Kogiya is a favorite among locals. The atmosphere is fun with loud music, perfect for big groups with close friends or family! They're also open late which is great for those looking to feast until 2 a.m. Kogiya is pretty popular and can get pretty crowded, especially on the weekends, so I recommend visiting during the weekdays if possible. If not, make sure to call before heading over! I also recommend carpooling because they have limited parking.

Instant coffee is also served at the end of the meal as part of the service.

What to Order: Samgykpsal, Beef brisket

Runner Up:

#2 Yechon:

4121 Hummer Rd Annandale, VA 22003

Restaurant Delight Index: 56

3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5) 1397 reviews

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Located in the informally known Korea Town of Washington D.C., Yechon is one of the older Korean restaurants in Annandale. Yechon is open 24/7, making it the perfect place to go after a late night with friends, or whenever you are hungry! Yechon offers a variety of traditional Korean dishes with multiple side dishes and even sushi.

However, Yechon is a little pricier than other spots and the service can be scattered. They also don't offer an AYCE option, but their waitresses dress in traditional hanboks, which only helps the authentic vibe.

What to Order: Soondoobu, Galbi dolsot bibimbap, Galbi, sushi

#3 Honey Pig Gooldaegee Korean Grill

7220 Columbia Pike Ste C Annandale, VA 22003

Restaurant Delight Index: 33

3.4 out of 5 stars (3.4 / 5) 1489 reviews

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With fair prices and generous portion sizes, Honey Pig is a great place for some trusty, good Korean BBQ. Because of its popularity, the wait for seating may take a while, but once you sit down the service is quick. Not only that but the serving staff moves quickly to ensure that the guests have to wait as little as possible for their meat. With Korean music playing in the background, creating a fun, Seoul-like atmosphere, Honey Pig is great to visit with friends and large groups! A karaoke spot is located next door, which is a natural next step on your night out.

Though their banchan isn't the greatest, as long as you are a meat lover, there will be plenty. Honey Pig doesn't take reservations, which can be inconvenient, but the wait usually runs shorter than what the hostess may tell you (which means she's smart). Honey Pig is a great place for Korean BBQ in the DC area: they cater well to non-Koreans looking to have a good time in a fun atmosphere... of course the sizzling plates of meat helps.

What to Order: LA galbi, bulgogi, Pork belly,

#4 Zannchi:

1529 Wisconsin Ave NW Washington, DC 20007

Restaurant Delight Index: 54

3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5) 210 reviews

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If you're in the Georgetown area craving Korean food then Zannchi is the place to be. Started by a Georgetown alum, Zannchi offers Korean food with vegetarian options, something most Korean places do not. The restaurant is great for those first venturing into trying Korean food and, considering their location, their prices are decent.

However, Zannchi has a limited menu and variable service quality. Sometimes, even outside peak hours, there will be only one server running around, meaning you'll have to be a little patient for your food.

What to Order: Pork dumplings and Classic bibimbap

Competition

More than ten restaurants in and around Washington, DC were reviewed, and of those, four met our criteria of having more than 100 reviews and passed the Fakespot fake reviews test.

Based on this distribution, you can see how far ahead of the pack Kogiya Korean BBQ is. As I've iterated in other posts, it takes a lot to influence these scores, as negative reviews will cancel out the positive ones. You truly have to create a positive, memorable experience. Because of how far Kogiya Korean BBQ is above the rest of the Korean BBQ restaurants in and around Washington DC, we can be confident it will be your best bet for 2018.

Korean BBQ in Washington DCRDI
Kogiya Korean BBQ71
Yechon56
Zannchi54
Honey Pig33
Kangnam BBQ Sports Bar & Grill23 
Woo Lae Ok-1

What's Next?

We'll be updating this post regularly over the year give these Korean BBQ restaurants some time to accumulate more reviews. That will only increase our confidence in these scores. Until then try out these Korean BBQ spots and pro tip: it's always better with friends. 🙂

Korean Banchan Essentials: Best Kimchi Containers [2019]

Last updated: Aug 10, 2019 @ 4:05 pm

After 10 hours of research and through 5 top rated kimchi containers, we are happy to say that Crazy Korean Cooking's Premium Kimchi Container is the best vessel available for your precious kimchi! With its simple design and adjustable inner vacuum lid to create an anaerobic environment, this container is the number 1 choice for developing the perfect batch of kimchi. 

Editor’s Pick:

Crazy Korean Cooking's Premium Kimchi Container:

Crazy Korean Cooking Kimchi Container

If you are looking for a simple kimchi container that gets the job done, then this one is for you. This kimchi container keeps kimchi vibrant and crisp with little to no odor in the kitchen. The brown container prevents light from entering, which is critical when fermenting! The best aspect is the adjustable inner vacuum lid that minimizes incoming air and consequently protects the surface of the food. With the container's super fine pores, air flow is reduced to a minimum to keep the food fresh while preventing aerobic bacteria from thriving. Ultimately, the simple design of this kimchi container won't create fuss in the kitchen.

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Runner Up:

E-Jen Premium Kimchi, Sauerkraut Container Probiotic Fermentation with Inner Vacuum Lid:

E-Jen Kimchi Container

Similar to the first kimchi container, this one hits all the important points. It is easy to use and creates that anaerobic environment which is important to make a good kimchi batch. There is also an adjustable inner vacuum lid that minimizes the air inside. With 9 different sizes, this kimchi container is great for yourself and for a huge group!

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Honorable Mention:

Easy Fermenter Wide Mouth Lid Kit:

Fermenting jars

Unique looking but extremely effective! Our honorable mention goes to the Easy Fermenter Wide Mouth Lid Kit. The lids are not only easy to use and clean, but there is also a calendar dial that helps you keep track of when you started your ferment, meaning you do not need to babysit your ferments anymore. The kit also comes with an air pump which should be used toward the end of your ferment when bacteria have slowed their growth. All the pieces can be separated from one another so that you can precent any mold to form in the seal or under the date dial. Totally different from the original kimchi containers you see, this one, with its multiple parts and air pump, is sure to create that perfect batch of kimchi. In all, this wasn't the best kimchi container which is why I couldn't label it as the best, but it is interesting looking and unique so I couldn't NOT mention it.

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Other Kimchi Containers We Reviewed:

Kenley Fermentation Crock Jar 5 Liter & Pounder:

Kenley Fermentation Crock

This ceramic crock has parallels to a traditional Korean container. It includes a lid that lets fermented gases escape while keeping air out and weighting stones that make it easy to keep whatever inside under the brine.

Premium Easy Wide-Mouth Fermenting Kit:

Fermenting Jars

This fermenting kit is easy to use and comes in a storage box with instructions. The glass inserts keep the ferment under the liquid and the provided pump quickly removes oxygen in the container. Additionally, with month and day markers, this container makes it easy to keep track of how long your vegetables have been fermenting.

Why a Kimchi Container?:

When making kimchi it's important to factor the environment in which you'll be fermenting it! The old fashioned way is to bury kimchi in the ground, generally in a clay or earthenware jar. This preserved the cabbage and allowed for it to ferment throughout the winter. This was key since refrigeration was not yet a part of the Korean technological vernacular. But you couldn't stick your kimchi into any random container, we're not talking Siberia levels of chill here, but the ground would still freeze over in the winter. Consequently, the make up of the jar (and with the help of all salt used in the kimchi making process) was critical in ensuring that the kimchi would not completely freeze. If your kimchi froze over completely the fermentation process would be completely neutralized... meaning when you dug up and opened up your jars months later you would find... not kimchi. Nowadays, most of us want a more modern look, and you probably don't have space in your home for an enormous, heavy ass jar that your kid could get lost in. So we're in search of containers that are hi tech and functional enough to take care of your kimchi throughout its lifetime, won't break your fridge at the smallest slip, and won't make your friends think your kitchen smells like a 19th century Korean village.

What is a Good Kimchi Container?

Like any kitchen storage product a good kimchi container needs to be convenient, durable, and (for some at least) stylish. But, there are a few key elements required that differentiate a kimchi container from your standard tupperware. Kimchi is a live food product, like beer, sourdough bread, anything where fermentation comes into play, it needs to be nurtured. You can't whip together a batch of kimchi, throw it into the fridge and call it a day. While it might serve you well as a quick pickled, spicy cabbage, you won't reach the same depth and complexity of flavor that weeks, or even months, of fermentation will develop. Key to this process is minimizing the amount of air inside the container in order to induce an anaerobic environment where the probiotics can thrive. That's why it's important to not only draw the distinctions between a kimchi container and your run of the mill tupperware but also make sure that your kimchi container can actually serve out its function with ease. We'll be looking at a variety of factors, but have grouped everything under a few more palatable umbrellas.

Efficacy: Does it get the job done

By far the most important characteristic, it doesn't matter how cool the container looks if it can't even function as... a container. This consists of the effectiveness of the container as a storage unit and whether it can actually assist with the fermentation process, or is just a plastic container with a fancy name.

Convenience: Am I ever going to get this out of the cabinet again?

This might not be immediately obvious to the casual kitchen shopper, but containers can be inconvenient. My kitchen cabinets are full of containers that I threw in there never to use again, either because the lids are never to be found, they're super annoying to store in the fridge with all of the other randomness, or a pain in the butt to clean. Similar to with your clothes, you can see what you actually prefer to wear just by looking at where everything is put in your closet/dresser.

Durability: How many times am I going to buy one of these things?

I'm not sure what the average expected shelf life is for a plastic container, or a glass one for that matter. I'm not looking for the Hoover Dam, something that can take a massive beating and stay standing for centuries to come. At the same time though, we can all have reasonable expectations for how durable we can expect a container to be (especially when you're putting money down for it), so it's only smart to have some expectations here.

Airflow: The key to the game.

This is critical to a kimchi container, and one of the most important, discernible factors separating one from the other. If a company has the audacity to specify that their container is specially made for storing kimchi, then they better have created a product that provides the appropriate amount of airflow.

Why You Should Trust Us:

As we don't have the capacity to go out and test all of these kimchi containers ourselves we opted to do the next best thing. We applied similar methods as we have for our Best Restaurants posts: relying on the power of the customer base, researching with integrity (we do not have any ties to the companies making these kimchi containers), and being self aware enough to know that we are not smart enough to put forward our own opinion. We are simply relaying all of our research in as consumable of a format as we can.

 How We Chose What to Research:

We decided to make this as easy as possible. We wanted to look at kimchi containers that everyone in the US would have access to buy and that had a good amount of data that we could peruse through. We chose Amazon for its near ubiquitous use for online shopping, went straight for "kimchi containers", sorted by customer ratings, and went down the list looking for any that claimed to create a tasty batch of crisp kimchi.

 On Its Way:

First thing, of course, is to build out the stable of reviewed kimchi containers. We'll be going down our list as quickly as we can but if you have any kimchi containers you are curious about hit us up and let us know. We are continuing our great journey into the hardware side of the culinary world, come along and help us see it through! 

 Wrapping It Up:

It was great seeing how many kimchi containers there are out on the market that do a great job of creating a nice fermentation environment for kimchi; but with kimchi's famously pungent smell, there's nothing out there that will eliminate all traces of what you've got stored in your fridge. However, given how well the containers out on the market today keep your fridge (and your life) smelling fresh the future is bright. Let's just hope Elon Musk decides to indulge his kimchi loving heart and decides to dedicate a research team to solving all the kimchi problems in our lives. (I have no idea what Elon's feelings of kimchi actually are, no tech genius/billionaire was harmed in the making of this post).