On my most recent trip to NYC, I ventured into a part of the city I have heard of, but never seen. It’s a small stretch along 32nd street with Korean owned restaurants, stores, and hotels.
Being a lover of Korean pop culture, particularly music and TV, it was a definite must-see on this particular trip. Though small, it packs a lot of fun things to do in such a tiny space.
Here are a couple places I explored.
This Korean eatery is part buffet, part Deli, there are two ways to eat here. Situated around the restaurant on shelves are packages of pre-made dishes, which you can grab n’ go, or eat there.
There’s also a hot food buffet line that is priced per pound, so you can fill up on all your favorite Korean staples for a moderately cheap price.
The seating situation can be chaotic, especially on a busy weekend night, but the turn around is quick and you can always make friends and squeeze next to a kind stranger at a table.
Did I mention there’s booze? Well there is. Bottles of soju, cases of beer, and a couple other little treats. It would be a great place to pre-game on a Saturday night before you hit up one of the many Karaoke bars in the neighborhood.
Tous les Jours
This delicious bakery enticed me with the dessert photos on the window, and I was glad I stayed. European-style Cafes are gaining a lot of popularity in South Korea, and you can see it in the chain businesses popping up like Paris Baguette, or this place.
The front is scattered with some baked good all wrapped up elegantly in paper and plastic. There’s a giant glass case full of decadent desserts and a full menu of coffees and other sweet treats.
I, of course, had to have a little bit of everything. A chocolate ganache bread from the bakery, a chocolate mouse slice from the counter, and a mango shaved ice. Don’t worry, I had my boyfriend help me eat it all.
It also doesn’t hurt that they play Korean pop videos on a huge projector. That was a nice touch for me.
This was the bread and butter of the visit for me. As an embarrassingly huge K-pop fan, walking into a store full of CDs and merchandise from my favorite groups was like heaven. It’s not often you come across physical manifestations of your foreign obsession, so this was kind of a big deal for me.
Granted, prices are a little steep in comparison to what these items would cost online, but I suppose if you factor in shipping costs and wait time, buying some things in the store might be worth it.
Besides Kpop, they also have a large selection of books, many of them from Korea and translated.
This store is conjoined with Koryo, and houses the popular South Korean cosmetics brand. This was another meccha-like experience for me, and I did spend quite a bit of money. But anyone who has seen it, knows TonyMoly items are just SO DANG CUTE. Not only are they effective and good quality cosmetics, their packaging is to die for.
this is haul from the store, that I will definitely do a review on.
The people who work there are very nice and helpful, I was given a free little gift pack and some setting spray because I bought so much 🙂
That’s it as far as I was able to explore in Ktown myself, but I highly suggest visiting on your own and taking in as much fun as possible, especially if you love K-pop, make-up, and good food.