Korean Food Guide to Chiang Mai

28 Feb 2024
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Prepare yourself for a tantalizing expedition into the vibrant world of Korean cuisine flourishing within the heart of Chiang Mai. Enveloped in the cultural embrace of northern Thailand's culinary tapestry, Chiang Mai beckons with an array of authentic Korean delicacies that promise to enrapture your senses. From the sizzle of barbecue to the comforting aroma of spicy stews, embark on a gustatory escapade through the kaleidoscope of flavors that define Korea's gastronomic landscape amidst the charming ambiance of this Thai city.

Chiang Mai Day Tour Guide

An illustration of a pot of Korean food

A Brief History of Korean Dining in Thailand

The influence of Korean cuisine in Thailand can be traced back to the late 20th century, with the influx of Korean tourists and expatriates to the region. Initially limited to urban centers like Bangkok, Korean restaurants gradually began to emerge in tourist destinations such as Chiang Mai, catering to both expatriates and adventurous travelers eager to explore Korea's rich culinary heritage.

Over the years, Korean cuisine in Thailand has evolved from barbecue joints and noodle shops to encompass a diverse range of regional specialties and contemporary interpretations. Thai chefs and restaurateurs have embraced Korean ingredients and cooking techniques, infusing them into their menus alongside local flavors and influences. Today, Chiang Mai boasts a thriving Korean food scene, with an array of eateries offering everything from traditional bibimbap to innovative Korean fusion creations.

Bangkok Korean Food Guide

Exploring Korean Food in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai's culinary landscape is dotted with Korean restaurants, barbecue joints, and street food stalls, each offering its own unique take on traditional Korean fare. Whether you're wandering through the bustling Night Bazaar or exploring the trendy Nimmanhaemin neighborhood, you'll find an abundance of dining options to satisfy your cravings for Korean cuisine. Here are some quintessential dishes you won't want to miss:

Korean BBQ

Indulge in the interactive dining experience of Korean barbecue, where diners grill their own meats at the table over a charcoal or gas grill. From succulent beef bulgogi and spicy pork belly to tender marinated chicken and flavorful kalbi ribs, Korean barbecue offers a feast for the senses. Served with an array of banchan (side dishes) and wrapped in crisp lettuce leaves, Korean BBQ is a social and satisfying meal enjoyed by groups of friends and family.

Bibimbap

Savor the colorful and nutritious flavors of bibimbap, a beloved Korean rice dish that's as beautiful as it is delicious. Featuring a medley of vegetables, meats, and eggs arranged atop a bed of steamed rice, bibimbap is traditionally served in a hot stone bowl (dolsot) to create a crispy layer of rice on the bottom. Topped with spicy gochujang sauce and mixed together before eating, bibimbap is a wholesome and satisfying meal that's perfect for lunch or dinner.

Tteokbokki

Indulge in the addictive flavors of tteokbokki, a popular Korean street food made from chewy rice cakes simmered in a spicy-sweet sauce. Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with fish cakes, boiled eggs, and vegetables, tteokbokki is a comforting and satisfying snack that's perfect for sharing. Whether you're craving a quick bite on the go or a late-night snack after a night out, Chiang Mai's Korean eateries serve up delicious versions of this beloved dish.

An illustration of a Korean feast served in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Recommended Restaurants

Seoul Barbecue Buffet

Nestled in the heart of Chiang Mai's Old City, Seoul Barbecue Buffet is a popular destination for Korean barbecue enthusiasts seeking a feast for the senses. Featuring a wide selection of meats, seafood, and vegetables, this bustling eatery offers an all-you-can-eat dining experience that's perfect for groups of friends and family.

Bibim Chibbap

Located in the trendy Nimmanhaemin neighborhood, Bibim Chibbap is a cozy and intimate restaurant specializing in bibimbap and other Korean comfort food classics. From traditional dolsot bibimbap to spicy kimchi jjigae, each dish is crafted with care using authentic ingredients and time-honored recipes, ensuring a memorable dining experience for Korean food enthusiasts.

Tofu House

Situated near Tha Phae Gate, Tofu House is a charming eatery known for its hearty and satisfying Korean tofu stews (soondubu jjigae). Made with soft tofu, vegetables, and a choice of meats or seafood, soondubu jjigae is a comforting and flavorful dish that's perfect for warming up on a chilly day. Whether you prefer it mild or spicy, Tofu House offers a variety of options to suit every taste.

An illustration of a Korean barbecue

Experience Korean Cuisine in Chiang Mai

In conclusion, Chiang Mai's Korean dining scene offers a vibrant and flavorful celebration of Korea's rich culinary heritage, from sizzling barbecue and savory pancakes to spicy stews and refreshing banchan. Whether you're grilling kalbi ribs in the Old City or slurping tteokbokki in Nimmanhaemin, Chiang Mai invites you to embark on a flavorful adventure through the diverse and delicious flavors of Korean cuisine, right here in northern Thailand. For more ideas on what to eat and where to go in Chiang Mai and around the world, follow us on Facebook and Instagram!


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