Authentic Korean Food in Atlanta
Gwinnett County, Georgia is located a little less than 30 miles northeast of Atlanta and has a large population of Korean-Americans, in fact, the third-largest in the United States. Gwinnett County takes pride in the fact that it is the most diverse county in the country. It is here that you’ll find many authentic Korean restaurants and Korean BBQ. Duluth, GA is a city where you can experience traditional Korean cuisine, sample Korean street food, purchase renowned Korean beauty products, have fun with friends singing Korean Karaoke, shop at a Korean supermarket, and of course try Korean BBQ.
This area is known as the “Seoul of the South” and has a lot of character and heart. Recently we teamed up with the Explore Gwinnett travel and tourism board and got to see a lot of the fun places this county has to offer and yes, taste a lot of the delicious food.
On this particular trip, we were given the opportunity to tour Gwinnett County with Sarah Park who immigrated with her family from Korea when she was young. I absolutely loved having Sarah’s perspective about what it was like coming here and all of her experiences and I’m grateful she was willing to share something so personal with us.
Having heard so much about Korean BBQ as it becomes more and more popular in today’s culture I was so intrigued to try it but felt overwhelmed not knowing what and how to order. Having a guide there to show us how and where to eat was amazing! We also got to hear about the customs of Korean culture, recipes, table etiquette, and a lot of backstory on the food itself.
If you are interested in doing a Korean BBQ in Gwinnett County, George you can visit their website as they do host several tours throughout the year that were very similar to the one we went on. If you are traveling through the area and can’t make one of their tours due to timing please read our tips below so you too can experience some of the beautiful food and culture that this neighborhood has to offer!
Please note that in this guide we have included some other stops besides food. Not only do you need a break in eating but there are some other great culturally immersive things to experience in Duluth as well!
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How to Order Korean BBQ Korean BBQ includes a lot of meat! Traditionally Korean BBQ is eaten with chopsticks. If that isn’t your thing please don’t worry about asking for a fork. It does not offend. When you order food at a Korean restaurant you are typically ordering a main dish but sides are included for the whole table. Most food is served family-style and not on individual plates. This makes it easy to try a bunch of different types of food. The sides will be brought out on a bunch of small plates and may include rice, vegetables, kimchi, cheese corn, tofu, and other delicious and savory things. Most often a small dessert is also included with the meal. This could be a small smoothie drink, rice drink, or fruit ice cream bar. It’s great for aiding with digestion and cleansing the palate. Korean restaurants are very much a social gathering. You will often see groups of friends and families enjoying their time together. It is custom to not pour your own drink but for the person on across from you. It’s also Korean custom for the oldest in your group to pay for the meal so make sure to invite someone older to come along (mostly joking on the last one)! Best Places for Korean Food in Duluth GA 9292 Korean BBQ A table view of Korean BBQ, Duluth, GA
3360 Satellite Blvd #8, Duluth, GA 30096
I promise this is the show-stopper. This is the Korean BBQ of your dreams. When you picture eating meat that is cooked over coals right in front of you this is what you are thinking of. This is a must-stop for everyone. Take your group and order an all you can eat meat choice. Your table will be filled with Korean side dishes, and delicious meat they’ll grill right in front of you. If you don’t know what or how to eat feel free to ask.
Eggs and Corn Cook Around the GrillAt 9292 Korean BBQ Your Food is Cooked Over Live Coals
Around the grill, they’ll also cook eggs and cheese corn. They sound like simple sides yet they are delicious. You can eat your meat with rice, kimchi, wrapped in lettuce leaves, or just straight from the grill. You won’t leave until you are full and satisfied.
Harue Snacks and Cafe A spread from Harue Snacks and Cafe
3585 Peachtree Industrial Blvd #122, Duluth 30096
Ready to experience some Korean Comfort Food? Make a stop for some glorious fried Korean street food. The perfect place for a snack before shopping. You will definitely want to try their Korean fried pork. It differs from the American version because it’s ultra-thin and crispy. Don’t be afraid to try out a bunch of different types of sides like fried glass noodles, sweet potatoes, cutlets, and noodles. You will receive a unique flavor experience that you will crave when you leave!
Tree Story Bakery and Cafe Tree Story Shave Ice Dessert
2550 Pleasant Hill Rd #415, Duluth, GA 30096
This beautifully designed and welcoming cafe is known for specializing in Korean pastries and drinks. Beautiful cakes, tasty cookies, bread, and unique drinks are some of the local favorites. You may be interested in trying the unique shaved ice blends that include shaved ice, ice cream, and toppings. We had the shaved ice that was flavored with bits of tiramisu and it was fantastic. The cake we tried was so moist and flavorful. We had extra and shared it with the most adorable group of Korean ladies who were celebrating a birthday. They were gracious for our invitation thanked us for respecting our elders. We wanted to invite them to come Karaoke with us!
Agit Lounge and Karaoke Even the Karaoke Lounge had Great Food!
3492 Satellite Blvd Ste140, Duluth, GA 30096
Grab your friends and bring them to a unique Karaoke experience. This is not your typical Karaoke bar. You will get a private room with your friends and you can order food and drinks and have fun singing your heart out with thousands of songs. It is definitely worth the experience! Try the spicy noodles. I’d go back just for those. Yes, the singing was a blast too!
Jang Su Jang Jang Su Jang was Delicious Home-cooked Korean Food
3645 Satellite Blvd, Duluth, GA 30096
If you are looking for more of a traditional sit-down atmosphere you will love this family-owned and operated restaurant. Don’t be shy to ask questions they will treat you like family. Tofu soup, marinated pork were among our favorites.
One of the Many Sides at Jang Su Jang
Our word of caution is don’t order too much. Every main dish comes with a wide variety of delicious sides family-style such as kimchi, rice, and lots of yummy assortments of vegetables.
JS Kitchen Traditional Kimchi From JS Kitchen
3492 Satellite Blvd #130, Duluth, GA 30096
Here you’ll find a shop that sells a variety of Korean foods in a variety of ways. It is owned and run by the same family that owns Jung Su Jang, so you know the quality is excellent. At JS Kitchen you can get a single serving size meal to enjoy in-store or buy a full dinner that will feed your entire family.
JS Kitchen Classroom
They also have a kitchen classroom there where they hold Korean cooking classes. Here we learned how to cook some Korean basics such as kimchi and glass noodles with marinated beef. It was so fun to see the process and yes, taste everything that was cooked.
Paris Baguette Bakery Some of the Snacks at Paris Baguette in Duluth
3492 Satellite Blvd, Duluth 30096
You may not expect to see a Paris bakery in the heart of Seoul of the South but don’t let the name fool you it is Korean at heart. You will definitely want to stop in for some delicate baked goods, tasty pastries and drinks. They have a nice blend of Korean flavor with Parisian classics. We ate so many croissants, macaroons, and other pastries but it was worth it.
Doshi Sushi Doshi Sushi has a Huge Selection
3473 Old Norcross Rd #308, Duluth, GA 30096
Doshi Sushi is a sushi restaurant that mixes Korean and Japanese cultures and food. Much of the food is Japanese, but it is served Korean family-style. The fish is fresh and they have a variety of menu items both cooked and raw. We had a huge tray of sushi that was so big that it was a challenge for our group to finish it all. We were stuffed!
Other Korean Culture Stops in Duluth, GA Aritaum – A Korean Beauty (k-beauty) Shop Aritaum a True K-Beauty Shop
1295 Old Peachtree Rd NW #140, Suwanee 30024
Stop to pick up some hydrating face masks and talk to the knowledgeable staff about Korean beauty products and why they are different and unique. You likely will come out with a more clean and less toxic skin care routine!
Living Art Hanbok Store – Korean Dress Shop Trying on Traditional Korean Dress at Living Art Hanbok Store
2550 Pleasant Hill Rd. #104 Duluth GA 30096
We were given the unique opportunity to be able to try on dresses and clothes that are traditional to the Korean culture. Above you can see me dressed in a traditional Korean wedding dress. You likely won’t be able to try on the clothes but it is still fun for families and friends to go in and take a first-hand look at the beautiful hand made dresses. So many beautiful styles and colors!
H Mart International Market Varieties of Soy Sauce in H Mart
2550 Pleasant Hill Rd, Bldg. 300, Duluth, GA 30096
My all-time favorite thing to do in another country is to visit their grocery stores. I love to see the difference in food, produce, drinks and snacks and even pick up a few things for my pantry. H Mart is a must stop in between devouring delicious Korean BBQ. You will really feel like you have stepped into an immersive experience. We loved looking at the fresh and unique seafood options, vegetables and fruits we had never heard of and of course rows and rows of kimchi.
More Places to Eat in Duluth, GA Mac Lab Bakery and Cafe
2131 Pleasant Hill Rd #135, Duluth, GA 30096
Another must-stop place for treats. Here you will find all the flavors of macaroons your heart will desire. A fun place for families to go to experience new colors and flavors.
Maple Street Biscuits Maple Street Biscuits were Sweet and Savory
3550 W Lawrenceville St Unit 210, Duluth 30096
Ok, definitely not Korean but if you are looking for a break from all the delicious Korean cuisine and want a fun atmosphere for breakfast or lunch, I highly suggest making a stop here. It was one of my favorite things I ate on this trip. I got the Squawking Goat Biscuit which has fried chicken, fried goat cheese, and made in house pepper jam while Reid got fried green tomatoes and a biscuit with jelly. Both were equally savory and delicious. We will definitely be back.
We also happened to meet the mayor here! She told us that this restaurant used to be her church growing up. It’s always fascinating when old historic buildings are restored and used for other purposes. You will love the downtown Duluth area. It’s a fun place to take a morning walk.
A Stranger Things Landmark in Gwinnett County Gwinnett Place Mall
2100 Pleasant Hill Rd, Duluth, GA 30096
Ok, Ok another nothing to do with Korean culture but a bonus if you are a Stranger Things fan. The Star Court Mall from Stranger Things Season 2 is located in Gwinnett County. Gwinnett Place Mall is eerily vacant except for a handful of stores and was the perfect place to film. The mall was built into a movie set for filming and vacant stores were turned into 80’s throwbacks. Since filming, they’ve torn down most of the set but a few things still remain and of course, the overall decor is spot on.
Stranger Things Fans Take Notice!
When we visited the mall there was a security guard with the entire filming area roped off but you could still see some of the signs and imagine your favorite scenes. Worth a stop in if you are in the area. Can I also please note the irony that a Russian corporation owns this mall in real life?
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