The Best Korean Restaurants In Auckland

By Ha-Young Kim

A table laden with various Korean dishes

When you think of Asian cuisine, Korean food may not be at the forefront of your cravings but it absolutely should be. It’s unique, tasty and yes, there’s more to Korean food than just barbecued meat. If you love big, bold flavours, an abundance of free side-dishes and are all about spice, then you’re going to fall in love with Korean cuisine. 

Whether you have a hankering for fried chicken or want to get your micronutrients in a flavourful way, the versatility of Korean dishes is perfect for you. Here are the best places to get Korean food in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.


47 High Street, Auckland CBD

Let’s start with a true Korean eatery. BannSang don’t just serve up delicious, authentic Korean food but they also honour the true Korean dining experience. As a country that’s go go go, South Korean restaurants reflect this speedy culture as well. 

BannSang replicates this with their fast-paced tables stacked with sizzling hot plates of grilled meats, side dishes and massive soul-warming sharing pots. Head to BannSang stat if you want to experience this authentic, casual Korean dining experience for yourself.

KS Chicken

33F Triton Drive, Rosedale, Auckland

Yep, we're talking KFC—that's Korean Fried Chicken—of course. Think crispy chicken with a tender interior, coated in a sticky, sweet and slightly spicy sauce. If you’re a little anxious about a full-blown Korean dining experience, consider this your gateway to authentic Korean cuisine.

KS Chicken in Albany is the fried chicken hub amongst Koreans in Auckland—these guys don’t fool around and stay true to the time-honoured Korean fried chicken formula.


87 Kitchener Road, Milford, Auckland

A delicious looking clam creation at Tokki, one of the best Korean restaurants in Auckland.Image credit: Tokki | Facebook

Named after the restaurateur’s Chinese zodiac, tokki is the Korean word for rabbit. While you won’t find rabbit on the menu at Tokki, you can expect to find multiple nods to the namesake, such as artwork of wine-guzzling rabbits.

Run by Jason Kim (the brains behind Commercial Bay’s hugely popular Gochu), this menu touts authentic Korean cuisine with a modern twist—think fresh local produce, seasonal ingredients and menus to match.

Be sure to check out the flat noodles; metre-long and drowning in rich, XO-style sauce with chilli soy pork and mushrooms, you’ll be savouring every slurpy mouthful.


50 Kitchener Street, Auckland CBD

As you’ll come to gather from this article, we love a good fried chicken, and Pocha may take the cake. They have 12(!!) different types of chicken on their menu, so whether you’re craving sweet, salty, spicy, extra crunchy or all of the above; you’ll find something that fits the bill. 

Pocha’s best-seller is the Almond Krunch. With a name like that, you best believe this beauty delivers—the cornflake and almond batter create a symphony with every bite.

But it’s not a meal without some sides, so make sure to order the kimchi pancakes while you’re at it. Crispy, chewy, salty and spicy; these savoury pancakes are full of flavour.

Cyber Toast 2086

8 Commerce Street, Auckland CBD

Tāmaki Makaurau, meet your new food obsession. While street toast has been popular in Korea for a while, these delectable sandwiches have only been gracing our shores in the past year. Cyber Toast 2086’s retro-futuristic takeaway store offers toasties in six different flavours with a Korean twist. 

The star of the show shares the store’s name; Cyber Toast is a classic Korean toastie featuring ham, Korean vegetable omelette, cheese and cabbage. Don’t be surprised by the colour of the cyber sauce—this vibrant pink lends a fruity, tart punch and also makes it totally worthy of being featured on your ‘Gram.

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171 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland

A plate of fried potato pancakes with a small dish of pickled onions on topImage credit: OKHEE | Instagram

This Ponsonby Road restaurant serves unique yet authentic Korean fare and is guaranteed to feed both your stomach and your Seoul. Chopstick-stab your way through OCKHEE’s bubbling jeon gol hot pot laden with beef, kumara noodles and enoki mushrooms.

If DIY is up your alley, try the bul bo ssam; this dish is served with pickled sesame leaves for you to wrap the juicy, flame-grilled pork in. Ockhee’s owners have also opened up the Korean street food eatery Swings in the CBD, so check them out for more tasty treats like toasties, fried chicken skewers and potato cheese balls.

No. 1 Pancake

Unit 6/18 Airborne Road, Rosedale, Auckland & 33/45 Hurstmere Road, Takapuna, Auckland

Street food is a huge thing in Korea and Auckland has been blessed with a Korean pancake house that has landed itself on food network shows in South Korea itself. After a long and fabulous run in the CBD, No. 1 Pancake has upped sticks to the North Shore. 

Don’t expect basic pancakes with maple syrup—these pancakes are made to order with surprise fillings. What makes Korean pancakes different is the texture, crispy on the outside and super chewy on the inside. The cinnamon sugar pancake is the OG, but don’t be afraid to branch out to savoury options like beef and cheese.

Meet Balls

41 Victoria Street West, Auckland CBD

A fine spread of meat balls and more at Meet Balls, one of the best Korean restaurants in town.Image credit: Meet Balls | @diningwithash 

Don’t be fooled into thinking that Meet Balls are serving your average meat patty. No siree, tteok-galbi is a juicy and flavourful beef dish fit for royalty. Seriously—the dish was originally served to the Korean royal court during the Joseon dynasty.

Although the Joseon dynasty has ended, these royal rissoles live on. Try the classic tteok-galbi ball, half beef and half pork, dipped in one of five signature sauces. We rate the ssam jang mayo—the savoury, spicy combo of chilli and fermented soybeans with creamy mayo is a total flavour explosion.

For those wanting to seriously dine like kings, look no further than Meet Ball’s Surasang king’s dinner table experience. This includes two protein balls of your choice, two drinks and a bunch of carb balls and side dishes like rice cakes, white kimchi and sweet ‘n sour radish. All of it is served in the bronze tableware traditionally used for royal families in Korea. Talk about getting the royal treatment!


476 Queen Street, Auckland CBD

So, you’ve tried fried chicken, toasties and pancakes and you’re feeling ready to take your Korean culinary experiences to the next level. Look no further than K.Soup! The menu mostly comprises of well, soup, but these guys know how to make a flavourful broth that’ll leave your tum feeling warm and hearty. 

The most popular menu item is the pork bone soup. The rich and savoury broth contains soybean paste, sesame leaves and slow-cooked pork that melts off the bone. As for drinks, K.Soup has a delightful selection of Korean sodas and soju. Cheers to that!

Tiger Burger

590 Dominion Road, Mount Eden, Auckland

We all have those days when we don’t know what the heck we crave. When you’re torn between trying something new, but just can’t shake the need to chomp down on a good old burger, why not do both?

Tiger Burger puts a modern Korean twist on Western burgers including the famous (and all-rights-reserved) Kimcheese®. This bad boy combines grass-fed New Zealand beef with sauteed kimchi, aged cheddar and gochujang mayo. 

Based on a Korean street food delicacy, Tiger Burger also has a dessert called the chapsal doughnut. This doughnut is made out of rice flour, making it super crispy on the outside and extremely chewy on the inside.

It’s the perfect balance of subtly flavoured and not too sweet and it’s absolutely deeelish. Oh, and did we mention it's served with a side of condensed coconut milk?

Seoul Night

Shop 1/16-20 Fort Street, Auckland CBD

Hands raising colourful cocktails in cheersImage credit: Seoul Night | Instagram

We wouldn’t blame you if you walked past Seoul Night on Fort Lane without giving it a second glance. Behind the sneakily disguised entrance is an experience that was formerly exclusive to Korean nightlife. Step through the vending machine doors to a dark bar with funky neon lights of the Korean alphabet. 

The cosy booths and intimate vibe are made for a night of food with friends and endless rounds of drinks. Speaking of food with friends, the menu is designed to be shared and draws inspiration from both Korean and Western cuisines. 

Graze on Yum Yum Cauliflower, crispy deep-fried cauliflower with yum yum sauce; or dunk into Chicken and Cheese, an epic cheese fondue with spicy chicken, rice cake and kumara.

For tipples, Seoul Night has a selection of wine, beer and of course, soju. Those new to this alcohol made from fermented white rice should try the Soju Mojito; the freshness of the mint with the smooth spirit will have you quickly converted. Geonbae!

Gganbu Korean Restaurant

38 Jervois Road, Ponsonby, Auckland

Gganbu was a term popularised by the heart-wrenching marble episode of Squid Game and translates to ‘close friend’. And it is absolutely a requirement to take a few of yours here for a mean feed—the portions are huge and you’ll be struggling to take your pick from the massive array of authentic Korean dishes on the menu. 

A must-try is the Budae Soup, also known as army stew. This dish originated after the Korean War and contains surplus American-style processed food like spam, sausages and sliced cheese. Okay, we might have lost you there, but seriously, the spicy stew with the salty spam and chewy ramen noodles is unlike anything you’ve ever tried.

Simon & Lee

115 Saint Georges Bay Road, Parnell, Auckland

Simon & Lee is a Korean outpost hidden away in the back streets of Parnell. Their bibimbap is not to be missed, the bulgogi is tender with slight sweetness and the hot stone bowl makes the bottom layer of rice have a crispy texture and smoky, charcoal flavour. This dish is also jam-packed with micronutrients without compromising on taste—eating your daily greens has never been so easy. 

Staying true to Korean culture, Simon & Lee also serves amazing Korean fried chicken with a variety of marinades to choose from, such as garlic and soy or gochujang, to elevate your Korean fried chicken experience.


21 Pearn Place, Northcote, Auckland

There are a lot of Western-Asian fusion joints out there but have you ever heard of Korean-Chinese fusion? Believe it or not, it’s actually a common thing for Korean people and is a staple fast food. HaRimGak is a restaurant with Korean owners putting their own twist on Chinese Sichuan and stir-fried dishes. 

This place is perfect for those people who are craving Chinese takeaways but want something a little lighter on the oil, spice and sodium. The classic Korean-Chinese dish is the jjajangmyeon, which is a noodle dish coated in a black bean paste and caramelised onions. Sounds weird, we know but you need to try it.

My Fried Chicken

Ponsonby Central, 4 Brown Street, Ponsonby, 1 York Street, Newmarket, 40 Hurstmere Road, Takapuna & 215 Kepa Road, Mission Bay, Auckland

Two people eating different dishes with chopsticks, including fried chicken and gimbapImage credit: My Fried Chicken | Instagram

With four eateries across Tāmaki Makaurau, My Fried Chicken do their namesake really cluckin’ well. Pull up a perch in the funky, neon surrounds and watch as their crew fire up the fryer and cook your chicken to poultry perfection in one of eight flavour blends including The OG, Cluck Soy, Sweet N Sour and Thunderbird. 

Make it a feast by adding a few $11 Korean-inspired tapas; or perhaps some fries and K-slaw. For the vegetarian folk out there, My Fried Chicken even offer vegan chicken made from bean protein.

And if you fancy some drank with your fried goodness, there are cocktails, mocktails and beer on offer, all for a sweet price of $11.

The Candy Shop

2/8 Osborne Street, Newmarket, Auckland

You won't find candy at The Candy Shop, but what you will find is some seriously sweet Korean fare. Their fried chicken is some of the best in Auckland and is fittingly served with sweet and smoky gochujang sauce, rice cakes and nuts. 

These guys have also gained a bit of a rep for their bibimbap, to which you can add wagyu bulgogi beef or a fried egg (or both, we won't judge). For those seeking something a bit different, we recommend the mahn-doo—Korean pork dumplings served in a beef bone broth with bulgogi mince, and vermicelli and topped with nori and sesame. Mmmm, talk about meaty, soupy deliciousness.


168 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland

A venture by Auckland hospitality star David Lee (of Gochu, The Candy Shop and Pōni fame), Aigo takes your average noodle bar to the next level. Serving Korean flavours with Italian flair, you’ll be hard-pressed to find food this flavourful yet indulgent anywhere else in the city. 

The crispy eggplant will leave you delighted; the eggplant is crunchy on the outside with a silken centre and the cashew nut butter balances out the heat of the Sichuan chilli. For a more authentic Korean dish, try the Bibim Naengmyeon; cold noodles intended to be mixed in with charred pork galbi skewer, gochu sauce and sesame seed snow. 

But the crispy rice with spicy tuna tartare takes the (rice) cake—light and fried rice bases with roe-spiked tuna tartare that just melts in your mouth. Aigo means ‘oh my’ in Korean, and that’ll definitely be leaving your lips after getting a bite of their food.

The Kimchi Project

20 Lorne Street, Auckland CBD

An outdoor courtyard decorated with parasols and lanterns with a shelf of wine in the foregroundImage credit: The Kimchi Project | Facebook

The home of kimchi waffle fries. These guys were the first to mix spicy, traditional kimchi with creamy mayo and top them on a crispy bed of fries. Therefore, The Kimchi Project is iconic when it comes to Korean-Western fusion. 

With one of the best outdoor courtyard spaces in Auckland, this Korean-owned eatery with Korean chefs has earned the reputation of being one of the hottest in Auckland and they’re also super busy in the evenings as well.

Pair the obligatory fries with some squid ink pasta, their drool-worthy rose rice cakes, or if you simply can't get enough of the fermented stuff, a kimchi fried rice.

Little & Kitchen

18 Mayfair Place, Glen Innes, Auckland

Locals of Glen Innes have been absolutely blessed with one of the best Korean takeaways in Auckland. With a selection of burgers, rice bowls and fried chicken creations, Little & Kitchen has something for everyone.

If you’re in the mood for a classic dish that doesn’t play around, dakgangjeong burger is the one for you. Spicy fried chicken, torched Swiss cheese, pickled daikon, housemade cranberry mayo and honey mustard; this bad boy is a flavour explosion.


7 Triton Drive, Rosedale, Auckland

One thing that makes Korean dining so special is the endless amount of side dishes that are complimentary to the main dish you order. Totoya in Rosedale has a menu of traditional Korean main dishes such as the steamed seafood medley with spicy sauce and it comes with almost 10 plates of more food. 

Use these sides to take your bowl of rice to the next level as they add flavour and texture to the spoonfuls of simple carbohydrates which makes your dining experience so much more interesting and exciting. Also, don’t be shy to ask for refills for the side dishes. That’s completely normal in Korean restaurants and no, you will not be charged.

One Soju

22 Durham Street West, Auckland CBD

This is for the connoisseurs of Korean food who think they’ve done it all. Fried chicken, bulgogi and raw meat have been ticked off the list and they want something a little more thrilling. Well, have you tried pig skin and pig feet? It may sound strange but it’s a common and popular delicacy amongst Koreans. 

One Soju don’t let any bit of pork go to waste and prove that all parts of the animal can be tasty depending on how you cook it. They of course also do the classic and traditional Korean meals for newbies but this is a great place for those who want to challenge themselves and experience something completely new.

OBar Snack Bar

7 Bacons Lane, Unit 114B, 15 Chancery Street, Auckland CBD

A hand holding a piece of gimbap in chopsticks with fried chicken and tteokbokki rice cakes in the backgroundImage credit: OBar | Instagram

This is the sister of another popular Korean spot, OBar, which you'll find a literal stone's throw away in Chancery Square (and, we might add, is also worth a visit). Drawing inspo from the bustling lunch bars of Seoul, the focus here is on quick, fuss-free feeds; with patrons placing their order via pen and paper, selecting from three customisable combos. 

Each one comes with gimbap, a kind of Korean sushi, paired with your choice of noodles, tteokbokki (essentially rice cakes with spicy sauce), or fried chicken and dumplings. If you're feeling extra hungry, beef up your order with a couple of Korean sausages, one of their many choices of fries, or even some additional gimbap (because why not). 

Factor in a can of grape soda (a fave refreshment in Korea), and the whole thing will cost you no more than $20—how's that for cheap and cheerful?

Mighty Hotdog

Various Locations

These aren’t your average sausage sizzle hotdogs; Mighty Hotdog is slinging the cheesy, gooey, crispy snacks of your dreams. These bangers are rolled in dough, fried to perfection and rolled in sugar before being coated in your favourite toppings and sauces.

Based on the popular Korean street food, these snags walk the line between sweet and savoury to make each bite utterly moreish. The half cheese half sausage is a total classic, but you can kick it up a notch with tasty additions like potato crust, big chunks of taters coating your sausie, or spicy ramen crust. Hot diggity dawg!

The Buffet

4/2 Tawa Drive, Albany, Auckland

After reading that list and you just want to try a bit of everything, The Buffet is an all-you-can-eat restaurant with a huge variety of Korean dishes and meat you get to grill by yourself. So you get the full Korean barbecue experience and to make it even better, you get to have a taste of all the different sorts of food Korean cuisine has to offer. 

From fresh vegetable side dishes, the infamous Korean fried chicken to traditional Korean desserts like the caramelised toffee kumara, this place is perfect if you have all the curiosity and cravings but little time.

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Main image credit: Seoul Night | Instagram

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