The best Korean restaurants in Milan (according to me)
As you well know, Korean cuisine is one of my absolute favorites: nutritious, tasty, varied and spicy, it is simply irresistible.
Thanks to the success of South Korean music and the increasingly popular dramas not only among the very young, Korean gastronomic culture in recent years has intrigued more and more people and, consequently, many restaurants have opened in the city.
Contrary to Chinese and Japanese cuisine, which for years have "had to meet" the taste of Westerners (as the Chinese-Italian cuisine and the development of Japanese fusion demonstrate - I'm talking about it here), Korean cuisine has not bent to local logic and, with the exception of the spicy more or less muted here and there, in Italy it has arrived true, naked and raw. Koreans, as we know, are strongly nationalists and perhaps for this reason they did not want to change the original recipes.
Traditional Korean restaurants in Milan, as well as in South Korea, are very simple, rustic and no frills, comparable to our taverns. The culture of street food is enormously rooted in the Korean peninsula, while luxury restaurants are gradually gaining ground, albeit with a certain slowness. Furthermore, it is a type of cuisine that invites sharing.
The places that I have collected in this list are a synthesis of what is the real Korean cuisine, traditional but also modern, because in fact even today it is constantly evolving hand in hand with modernity.
Classic Korean family-run tavern: home flavors, direct and genuine tastes. It is the perfect place if you are a beginner and want to get closer to this gastronomic culture.
Here I ate one of the best fried chickens in Milan, as well as an excellent oojingeo deopbab (spicy squid accompanied by steamed rice), all obviously accompanied by frozen soju or Korean beer (alternatively both together).
For lunch they offer excellent sets, but if you come for dinner, don't skimp on portions and share as much as possible.
Ginmi more than a simple family-run tavern is a milestone in Milan and Italy: opened since 1985, it is the first South Korean restaurant in Milan. Parents still work in the kitchen, while the kids take care of the clients.
Here everything is homemade and, believe me, you can taste it. The menu features many classic dishes but you will hardly taste such good ones elsewhere. I recommend that you keep coming back to Ginmi to try all the specialties on offer, but if it's your first time then you can't help but order the house gargantuan bulgogi to be served with steamed brown rice or delicious bibim neng mion (cold noodles spicy). Do not miss jeon (savory pancakes), mandu (dumplings), obviously fresh, and the hotteok, the typical Korean dessert filled with honey and dried fruit.
Hana opened its doors in 1993, bringing a cuisine still almost totally unknown to the Milanese to the Porta Venezia area. From 2010 it then moved to Duomo area, offering a more refined cuisine in a decidedly combed environment compared to the standard canons. It is a restaurant where you can have a romantic dinner or even a business meal.
Among the dishes they prefer, the classic bibimbap, gung-jong tokbokki (rice dumplings sautéed with seafood and mushrooms), yukhoe (the typical super cold meat tartare) and soups stand out, one better than the other. I also point out Korean teas, both hot and cold.
If your desire is to taste the famous Korean bbq then it is to Juga that you have to go, without thinking twice.
It is a very simple restaurant, frequented almost exclusively by Koreans (over the years I have been there many times and I have hardly ever found Westerners!).
When booking, I strongly advise you to order the marinated beef in advance: try it, then you'll thank me. Accompany it all with soups, spicy ramyun, jeon (salty pancake) and of course rivers of soju and beer.
To attend with your group of friends.
Korean cuisine often rhymes with street-food: in Milan the most successful experiment in this sense is undoubtedly Li-sei deli, a delightful little place where you will be pampered as well as fed with fresh, genuine dishes prepared with seasonal ingredients.
You absolutely must try their fried chicken (in all variations, you will dream it even at night), bibimbap (whose vegetables change daily), the imaginative rainbow sandwich and of course the homemade kimchi, my absolute favorite. Soft drinks and homemade desserts are also excellent.
There is only one place in Milan where you can eat the best Korean noodles: Noodle House, a rustic, no-frills Korean tavern frequented practically by Koreans alone.
Choosing is very difficult because all the preparations are simply delicious, as well as being numerous and abundant. It is better to go in a group and exchange dishes to try a little bit of everything!