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Where to Find Korean Comfort Food Around D.C.

Dig into army stew, spicy garlic fried chicken, and chilled noodles

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Korean barbecue joints are popular in the D.C. suburbs, especially Annandale, but piles of grilled meat barely scratch the surface of what the cuisine has to offer. Household staples like budae jjigae, kimbap, and chap chae deserve equal standing.

This list details where to find the comfort food people return to again and again. For KBQ joints, go here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Hwa Gae Jang Tuh

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It doesn’t get much more homey than budae jjigae, also called army stew. It’s a “throw-everything-in-the-pot” kind of meal, featuring anything from hot dogs to noodles to baked beans. The version at Hwa Gae Jang Tuh is classic, filled with ham, tripe, noodles and veggies.

Hwa Gae Jang Tuh [Official]

Tofu Lighthouse & Barbecue

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For a really memorable dining experience, Tofu Lighthouse stuns with its signature tofu soups. From veggie, to kimchi, to oyster, you can fully customize the flavor of your tofu soup. Each bowl comes served with rice, banchan, and a raw egg.

Tofu Lighthouse & Barbecue [Official]

Da Rae Won

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Da Rae Won has a full menu of Korean staples made in the traditional way. In the background of any meal, you’ll hear a thump-thump-thump: that’s noodles being made, slapping against the counter. A favorite here is the kkampoongi, a spicy garlic fried chicken with stir fried veggies.

Myong Dong

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Myong Dong’s cold noodle soups will have you dreaming about dinner all through the work day. The bibim naeng myun is a top choice, with cool slices of brisket atop buckwheat sheet noodles, house red bean paste, and assorted veggies.

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House of Milae

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Kimbap, a Korean-style roll that has amassed a cult following, shines at House of Milae. Meat, fresh vegetables, and pickles are wrapped in rice and seaweed. Order the seafood scallion pancake here, too.

House of Milae [Official]

Mark’s Kitchen

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This place in Takoma Park has something for everyone. It has the feel of a classic American diner, but the menu tells a different story by including a variety of bibimbaps, Korean noodle dishes, and marinated meats. Try the ssam experience for a the neighborhood spot’s take on meat and tofu lettuce wraps.

Mark’s Kitchen [Official]

Mandu is a little more chic than most of the restaurants on this list, but don’t let the D.C. address or the upscale interior fool you. The menu is chock-full of classic Korean dishes. A favorite here is the chap chae, stir-fried glass noodles with beef and veggies, and the plentiful banchan (side dishes). They also serve Ho Dduk, a sweet rice pancake with honey, sugar and cinnamon.

Annangol

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This Korean BBQ joint makes some of the best Mak Naeng Myun in the area. The cold buckwheat noodle soup is served with chilled beef broth and spicy sauce. It’s a favorite during the summer months.

Choong Hwa Won

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Go here for jajangmyeon, a quintessential Korean comfort food that can be found at just about any Korean restaurant. The noodle dish is topped with a sauce of black bean paste, meat and vegetables. Slurping these noodles is worth every bit of splatter.

Choong Hwa Won [Official]

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Hwa Gae Jang Tuh

Hwa Gae Jang Tuh [Official]

It doesn’t get much more homey than budae jjigae, also called army stew. It’s a “throw-everything-in-the-pot” kind of meal, featuring anything from hot dogs to noodles to baked beans. The version at Hwa Gae Jang Tuh is classic, filled with ham, tripe, noodles and veggies.

Hwa Gae Jang Tuh [Official]

Tofu Lighthouse & Barbecue

Tofu Lighthouse & Barbecue [Official]

For a really memorable dining experience, Tofu Lighthouse stuns with its signature tofu soups. From veggie, to kimchi, to oyster, you can fully customize the flavor of your tofu soup. Each bowl comes served with rice, banchan, and a raw egg.

Tofu Lighthouse & Barbecue [Official]

Da Rae Won

Da Rae Won has a full menu of Korean staples made in the traditional way. In the background of any meal, you’ll hear a thump-thump-thump: that’s noodles being made, slapping against the counter. A favorite here is the kkampoongi, a spicy garlic fried chicken with stir fried veggies.

Myong Dong

Myong Dong’s cold noodle soups will have you dreaming about dinner all through the work day. The bibim naeng myun is a top choice, with cool slices of brisket atop buckwheat sheet noodles, house red bean paste, and assorted veggies.

View this post on Instagram

#happiness

A post shared by Claudia (@niceandbella_claudia) on

House of Milae

House of Milae [Official]

Kimbap, a Korean-style roll that has amassed a cult following, shines at House of Milae. Meat, fresh vegetables, and pickles are wrapped in rice and seaweed. Order the seafood scallion pancake here, too.

House of Milae [Official]

Mark’s Kitchen

Mark’s Kitchen [Official]

This place in Takoma Park has something for everyone. It has the feel of a classic American diner, but the menu tells a different story by including a variety of bibimbaps, Korean noodle dishes, and marinated meats. Try the ssam experience for a the neighborhood spot’s take on meat and tofu lettuce wraps.

Mark’s Kitchen [Official]

Mandu

Mandu is a little more chic than most of the restaurants on this list, but don’t let the D.C. address or the upscale interior fool you. The menu is chock-full of classic Korean dishes. A favorite here is the chap chae, stir-fried glass noodles with beef and veggies, and the plentiful banchan (side dishes). They also serve Ho Dduk, a sweet rice pancake with honey, sugar and cinnamon.

Annangol

This Korean BBQ joint makes some of the best Mak Naeng Myun in the area. The cold buckwheat noodle soup is served with chilled beef broth and spicy sauce. It’s a favorite during the summer months.

Choong Hwa Won

Choong Hwa Won [Official]

Go here for jajangmyeon, a quintessential Korean comfort food that can be found at just about any Korean restaurant. The noodle dish is topped with a sauce of black bean paste, meat and vegetables. Slurping these noodles is worth every bit of splatter.

Choong Hwa Won [Official]

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