Sticking true to our Restaurant Delight Index (RDI), the 3 best Korean BBQ in Houston has to offer in ranking order are: Lucky Palace Korean Restaurant, Korea Garden Restaurant, and Kot Dae Ji – Flower Piggy Korean BBQ.
Houston, we have a problem. I’m hungry, we’ve uncovered the best Korean BBQ in Houston, and I’m currently freezing my ass off in Minneapolis. The Korean population is nowhere near as strong as in Atlanta, Chicago, or LA, but they do have a strong enough community to warrant an H-Mart. Where there’s an H-Mart, there’s Korean BBQ. If your hunger can only be sated with meat and veggies grilled over a fire head over to Spring Branch or Chinatown. For a national comparison, Houston’s Korean BBQ game is a step above Chicago‘s but below front runner Los Angeles. Now, let’s get started!
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The Best Korean BBQ in Houston:
8508 Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX 77036
Restaurant Delight Index: 64/100
(4 / 5) 229 reviews
Lucky Palace Korean Restaurant earned the crown of best Korean BBQ in Houston. They were able to delight their customers with high quality meat, generous portions, and excellent customer service. What holds them back from hanging with the big dogs in LA is the quality of their banchan (side dishes). They definitely make up for it with quantity with generous refills. Some Korean BBQ restaurants really skimp out on those side dishes and it’s like pulling teeth when asking for more. No worries here.
You won’t find higher quality Korean BBQ meat in Houston that’s also light on the wallet (relatively). Customers raved about their marinated short ribs and Kobe style beef, fortunately included in each of their Korean BBQ combos. What isn’t included is rice, which is a big miss for me so you’ll have to order that separately. You can still make all the lettuce wraps you want, but it personally leaves the experience a little incomplete. A nice little customer service feature they employ is the server call button; a trend we’re still waiting to catch on nationwide. Cold cinnamon tea is a great way to cap off a huge, meat heavy meal, but if that’s not your thing you can request a hot tea instead.
What to order: Combo A for first-timers, Combo C for large groups
9501 Long Point Rd
Houston, TX 77055
Restaurant Delight Index: 59/100
(3.9 / 5) 243 reviews
Sitting at #2 for best Korean BBQ in Houston, Korea Garden Restaurant holds its own with their beautiful ambiance, warm customer service, deliciously tender meat, and great variety of side dishes. This is the epitome of “don’t judge a book by its cover”. You would never expect the elegant and beautiful decor that lives inside based on their storefront. Their full bar definitely doesn’t hurt either. Similar to Lucky Palace, Korea Garden puts in the effort to provide friendly customer service, unlike a lot of Korean restaurants around the United States I can think of (looking at you Cho Sun Ok). Whether you’re Korean or not, they try to provide the same great experience and are super open and generous in sharing their Korean food knowledge. What sets Korea Garden apart is the quality of their pork options, especially their pork belly, but you can’t go wrong with their tender marinated short ribs either. Their side dish game is also a little better than Lucky Palace’s, and they provide rice with their meats.
The reason they’re not #1 is the price. This is not where you would bring your trencher friends hoping to spend all night eating embarrassing amounts of sizzling meat. If you’re looking for a more elegant Korean BBQ experience, Korea Garden is the place for you in Houston.
What to order: Pork Bulgogi, Pork Belly
1411 Gessner Rd
Houston, TX 77080
Restaurant Delight Index: 52/100
(3.8 / 5) 216 reviews
Kot Dae Ji finishes with the bronze, falling behind Korea Garden by 7 points in our Restaurant Delight Index. The sides and meat quality are all top notch for Houston. Their pork belly is thick and fresh without being too fatty. The marinade on the short ribs and bulgogi isn’t overpowering. If you order the combo, you’ll get a steamed egg and choice between their kimchi jjigae or doenjang jjigae. Surprisingly, they include a corn cheese side that people rave about. Not the most typical Korean banchan but we definitely wouldn’t shy away from it.
Just like Korea Garden, you might leave thinking there wasn’t enough meat for the price. It’s on the pricier side and service can be slow at times, the call button helps so don’t hesitate to use it. When you do get their attention, the servers are extremely nice and offer great recommendations. One thing I really don’t support is the 20% tip included automatically included on the bill. As a standard practice, I highly disagree with assumed gratuity.
Kot Dae Ji is located in a shopping center and area where it can be pretty sketchy at night. Anytime an establishment has a picture of a surveillance camera, you should make sure your doors are locked. Once you walk in though you’ll feel at home. The decor is more traditional and dated, but welcoming.
What to order: Hyeo gui (beef tongue), Pork Belly, Pork Jowl
A total of twelve Korean BBQ restaurants in Houston were reviewed and of those, six met our criteria of having more than 200 reviews while passing the Fakespot fake reviews test.
Based on this distribution, the top three have confidently secured their position and unless something drastic happens they won’t be losing it. Looking at the larger picture, Lucky Palace would be 17th best in Los Angeles for Korean BBQ, 4th best in New York City and 2nd best in Chicago. That’s pretty impressive for how relatively small the Korean food scene is in Houston.
There are about twelve Korean BBQ restaurants in Houston, which is just as big as Chicago’s Korean BBQ scene and a quarter of the LA Korean BBQ scene.