Korean Food in Tampa

Sabah Drabu

6 mins read

Feb 06, 2024

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The Korean Restaurants Tampa Locals Are Talking About

Have you ever wondered where the tantalizing smell of grilled bulgogi and the sizzle of kimchi pancakes come from as you wander through the streets of Tampa? The answer lies in the heart of the city’s vibrant Korean culinary scene. In recent years, Tampa has become a melting pot of diverse cuisines, with Korean flavors leading the charge.

From cozy family-owned eateries to innovative fusion hotspots, the Korean dining experience in Tampa is as diverse as it is delicious. Whether you’re a Korean food enthusiast or a curious newbie, the city’s array of options offers something for every palate.

Join us on a flavorful journey as we unveil the Korean restaurants in Tampa that have locals buzzing with excitement and food critics raving.

The Rise of Korean Cuisine in Tampa

Once a hidden gem, Korean food in Tampa has now taken center stage. It started small, with family-run spots. These places, often hidden away, brought a piece of Korea to Tampa. They served dishes like bibimbap, bulgogi, and kimchi. These flavors were new and exciting for Tampa’s locals.

The significant change came with the Korean Wave, or ‘Hallyu.’ This global phenomenon brought Korean culture to the world. And with it, Korean food gained fans in Tampa. More restaurants opened, offering both traditional and fusion Korean dishes.

So, why do locals love Korean food? We asked them. Some say, “It’s about the mix of tastes. Like how a hot bowl of sundubu-jjigae warms you up.” Some mentioned, “Korean BBQ is more than food. It’s about being together and sharing a meal.”

It’s clear that Korean food in Tampa is more than just eating. It’s about the experience. It’s the spice of gochujang and the comfort of Samgyetang.

As Tampa’s food scene grows, so does its love for Korean cuisine. What started as a niche interest is now a key part of the city’s vibrant food culture.

Top Korean Restaurants in Tampa

Whether you’re a seasoned Korean food lover or new to this culinary world, Tampa’s array of Korean restaurants is set to impress. From traditional dishes passed down through generations to modern fusions that tantalize the taste buds, each restaurant we’ve handpicked offers a unique journey through Korea’s culinary delights.

Join us as we explore the top Korean restaurants in Tampa, where authentic flavors meet exceptional dining experiences.

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1 – One Family Korean Restaurant

With over 20 years in the community, One Family Korean Restaurant is renowned for its authentic Korean flavors, crafted by a chef with 40+ years of experience in Seoul and Tampa. The restaurant offers a warm, family-friendly environment, ideal for both seasoned Korean cuisine enthusiasts and newcomers. Catering to various tastes with vegetarian options and a kid-friendly menu, ensuring a delightful dining experience for all.

Service Options:

  • Serves vegetarian dishes
  • Has a kids’ menu

Address:

  • 7030 W Hillsborough Ave Suite B, Tampa, FL 33634, United States

Phone:

  • +1 813-901-0153

Menu:

  • Available online at onefamilytampa.com

Business Hours:

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 4 pm – 10 pm
  • Wednesday: 4 pm – 10 pm
  • Thursday: 4 pm – 10 pm
  • Friday: 12 am – 10 pm
  • Saturday: 12 pm – 10 pm
  • Sunday: 12 pm – 10 pm

2 – Soul of Korea

Soul of Korea is dedicated to offering a truly authentic Korean dining experience. With their skills honed in Korea, the chefs bring the essence of Korean flavors to Tampa.

Nestled in Tampa’s vibrant neighborhood, the restaurant offers a cozy and stylish space, perfect for any occasion – from a quick lunch to a celebratory dinner.

Emphasizing the communal nature of Korean dining, Soul of Korea is an ideal place for both connoisseurs and newcomers to explore the richness of Korean cuisine.

Service Options:

  • Serves vegetarian dishes
  • High chairs are available

Location:

  • Located in South Terrace Plaza
  • Address: 7612 N 56th St, Tampa, FL 33617, United States

Hours:

  • Opens at 11 am every day

Contact and Reservations:

  • Phone: +1 813-989-9030
  • Menu and reservations available at soulofkorearestaurant.com

3 – SaRiOne Grill

SaRiOne Grill is known for its hearty combos that leave customers stuffed and satisfied. The option to take home uncooked leftovers adds a unique and practical touch to the dining experience.

While they use electric tabletop grills for a safer cooking experience, the quality and flavor of the food are not compromised. The buchan (side dishes) are fresh, and the meats are flavorful, making each meal a delightful experience.

SaRiOne Grill offers a unique take on the Korean BBQ experience, focusing on generous portions, high-quality ingredients, and a safe, enjoyable dining atmosphere.

Service Options:

  • Serves vegetarian dishes
  • High chairs are available

Location:

  • Part of Town N Country Plaza
  • Address: 7525 W Hillsborough Ave, Tampa, FL 33615, United States

Operating Hours:

  • Wednesday to Monday: 11 am – 9:30 pm
  • Friday and Saturday: 11 am – 10:30 pm
  • Sunday: 12 pm – 9:30 pm

Contact:

  • Phone: +1 813-280-9558

4 – Sushi Ninja Tampa

Sushi Ninja Tampa boasts a fusion menu with over 70 specialty sushi rolls, traditional Japanese dishes, and a variety of authentic Korean cuisine. This is one of the best restaurants to enjoy marinated Korean BBQ short ribs, crispy dumplings, spicy soups, sweet potato glass noodles, and homemade kimchi.

Led by Mimi, with 27 years of experience in Asian cuisine, the restaurant prides itself on quality and quantity. The staff is trained to provide an exceptional dining experience.

The restaurant offers the flexibility to customize sushi rolls and entrees according to guests’ preferences, ensuring a personalized dining experience.

Sushi Ninja Tampa offers a unique blend of Japanese and Korean cuisines crafted with expertise and passion, promising an unforgettable dining experience.

Service Options:

  • Serves happy-hour food
  • Serves vegan dishes
  • Has a kids’ menu

Location:

  • Address: 3018 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33609, United States

Operating Hours:

  • Monday to Wednesday: 11 am – 9:30 pm
  • Thursday: 11 am – 9:30 pm
  • Friday: 11 am – 10:30 pm
  • Saturday: 12 pm – 10:30 pm
  • Sunday: 12 pm – 9:30 pm

Contact and Menu:

  • Phone: +1 813-898-2874
  • Explore the menu at sushininjafl.com

5 – Hong BBQ & Hot Pot Fowler

Hong BBQ & Hot Pot Fowler specializes in offering two distinct culinary experiences: the traditional Chinese Hot Pot and authentic Korean Style BBQ.

Their hot pot features a variety of proteins like meatballs and thinly sliced beef, along with noodles, vegetables, tofu, and more. The broth, available in different styles, is nutritious and flavorful, absorbing the essence of the ingredients.

The Korean BBQ at Hong BBQ & Hot Pot Fowler is an interactive experience. You can grill an array of marinated meats and vegetables right at your table, savoring the rich flavors of Korean culinary traditions.

The restaurant promises a dining experience akin to royalty, blending entertainment with culinary excellence.

Hong BBQ & Hot Pot Fowler is a perfect destination for those seeking an immersive dining experience, combining the best of Chinese and Korean cuisines under one roof.

Service Options:

  • Offers all-you-can-eat
  • Serves vegan dishes
  • High chairs available

Location:

  • Address: 5840 E Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33617, United States

Hours:

  • Opens at 1 pm every day

Contact and Menu:

  • Phone: +1 813-515-6098.
  • Check out the menu at honghotpot.com

Korean Dishes You Must Try

Exploring Tampa’s Korean restaurants is a journey of flavors. Here are seven must-try dishes that stand out:

1. Bibimbap

  • What is it? A colorful bowl of warm rice topped with sautéed vegetables, a fried egg, and sliced beef, often served with spicy gochujang sauce.
  • Why try it? Bibimbap is a perfect mix of flavors and textures. It’s both healthy and delicious, a must-try for first-timers.

2. Bulgogi

  • What is it? Thin, tender slices of marinated beef, grilled to perfection.
  • Why try it? Bulgogi is famous for its sweet and savory flavor. It’s a favorite for meat lovers.

3. Kimchi Jjigae

  • What is it? A spicy stew made with kimchi, tofu, pork, and scallions.
  • Why try it? It’s a staple in Korean households. The stew’s rich flavor is both comforting and refreshing.

4. Japchae

  • What is it? Stir-fried sweet potato noodles mixed with vegetables and sometimes beef.
  • Why try it? Japchae is beloved for its chewy noodles and flavorful mix of ingredients. It’s a great vegetarian-friendly option.

5. Tteokbokki

  • What is it? Chewy rice cakes in a sweet and spicy sauce.
  • Why try it? Tteokbokki is a popular street food in Korea. Its unique texture and bold flavors are unforgettable.

6. Samgyeopsal

  • What is it? Thick, fatty slices of pork belly, grilled at the table.
  • Why try it? It’s a social dish, perfect for sharing. The crispy, juicy pork is irresistible when wrapped in lettuce with garlic and ssamjang (a thick, spicy paste).

7. Patbingsu

  • What is it? A sweet dessert of shaved ice topped with red beans, fruit, and condensed milk.
  • Why try it? It’s a refreshing end to a Korean meal. The mix of sweet and savory is a delightful surprise.

Each dish tells a story of Korean culinary tradition and innovation. As you explore the Korean dining scene in Tampa, let these dishes guide you to a world of flavor and tradition.

Conclusion

As we end our culinary tour of the best Korean restaurants Tampa has, we’ve seen how each spot offers its unique charm and authentic flavors. From classic dishes to innovative fusions, the Korean food in Tampa is a testament to the city’s diverse palate.

But for those who prefer the comfort of their own home without missing out on these exquisite Korean flavors, there’s an exciting option.

With CookinGenie, an innovative online platform in Tampa, you can bring the restaurant experience right into your kitchen. CookinGenie offers the convenience of hiring personal chefs in Tampa specializing in various cuisines, including Korean.

Imagine enjoying your favorite Korean dishes, prepared with personal care and professional skill, in the warmth of your home. It’s a perfect blend of comfort, convenience, and culinary delight.

Sabah Drabu

Co-Founder & CEO

Sabah Drabu is a foodie, engineer, and the Co-founder & CEO of CookinGenie. She created the platform in 2019 to connect local chefs with at-home diners, making hiring personal chefs more accessible. Sabah's idea has evolved into a service people use for parties, vacation rentals, and family gatherings.

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