Koreatown is a neighborhood of New York City’s Manhattan borough. The ethnic Korean hub is located by 31st and 33rd Streets, the Avenue of the Americas and Fifth Avenue. The area is primarily a Korean business district. However, in recent years, the area has seen a significant increase in both European and Korean traffic. The population of residents in Koreatown has also grown substantially.
Surprisingly, there has never been a formal agreement for the creation of Koreatown in Manhattan. The spot is popular tourist attraction, as it is close to the Empire State Building, Penn Station, Madison Square Garden, Macy’s Herald Square and the Garment and Flower Districts. This section of New York City became a prime location for Korean immigrants, and Koreatown itself was initiated by the opening of a Korean bookstore and several restaurants that opened in the 1980s. The success of these businesses prompted other Korean business owners to establish their companies in the neighborhood, and these businesses continued to thrive due to the increased immigration of individuals from Korea. Property values in Koreatown have also increased due to the substantial business development there.
The center if Koreatown is part of the 32nd Street, between Broadway and Fifth Avenue. This area is officially nicknamed “Korea Way.” Korea Way is only one city block long, but features multi-story stores and restaurants, which causes the area to closely resemble Seoul. According to the New York City Korean Chamber of Commerce, there are projected to be more than 100 small businesses on Korea Way.
The street of Korea Way features a number of restaurants that serve both regional and traditional Korean fare, as well as Korean fusion cuisine. There are several bakeries, grocery stores, bookstores, supermarkets, outlets, video rental shops, stationery and tchotchke shops, and hair and nail salons. Koreatown also has noraebang bars and nightclubs, which are among the ideal places for you and your friends to party if you’re in New York City. There are around 12 restaurants on Korea Way that are open 24/7.
Restaurants include the BCD Tofu House, part of a chain of Korean restaurants that started in Los Angeles. According to the New York Times, this is one of the best places to go for a late night/early morning meal. The restaurant is located at 17 West 32nd Street. You can call the restaurant for more information at 212.967.1900. Cho Dang Gol is another Korean eatery you should visit the next time you’re in Koreatown. The food is reasonably priced, and the tofu is made on-site. You’ll find the restaurant at 55 West 35th Street and can make reservations or call to inquire about specials by calling 212.695.8222.