Meat being cooked at a Korean BBQ restaurant
Photo: Richard Iwaki / Unsplash

The 10 Most-Mouthwatering Korean BBQ Dishes, Ranked

Warning: You will be very, very hungry by the end of this list

Korean BBQ is growing in the U.S. Maybe you've seen some new spots in your city and don't even know what to order. Or maybe you caught Netflix's new series A Nation of Banchan, about the wide variety of side dishes that typically come with Korean cuisine. Whatever gets you in the door, you'll soon figure out why KBBQ fans are so enthusiastic about it. But wondering what to order? We got you. Here's our rankings of the best. (Don't forget to order a bottle of Soju, Korean grain alcohol.)

10. Rice

Rice is rice, right? Sir, you are sadly mistaken. There's 1,500 varieties in South Korea. To put that in perspective: Wide receiver Jerry Rice had just over 1,500 catches (1,549) his entire career. Ask for some if it doesn't come with your KBBQ. But don't ask for Jerry Rice—he won't be there.

9. Ssam Mu (Pickled Radish Slices)

Paper-thin and delicious, like if pickles were slices of round cheese.

Related: 7 Reasons Avocados Suck, Ranked

8. Bibim-naengmyeon (Buckwheat Noodles)

Served cold and spicy with cucumber and a hard-boiled egg, the noodles are chewy, super filling, and perfect for a hot summer day. Slurp, slurp, slurp.

7. Tteokbokki 

This will remind you of pasta with its ziti-like tubular rice cakes, but much spicier and fewer Sopranos references to invoke.

Related: The 6 Seasons of ‘The Sopranos’, Ranked

6. Bo-ssam

Korean boiled pork and spicy oyster-radish shrimp wrapped in pickled cabbage leaves; you eat it like lettuce wrap, stuffing the leaves with fillings and shoving it all in your mouth at once. Instagram-Story it if you must.

5. KFC (Not From Kentucky)

Korean Fried Chicken is extra crispy because it's double fried and usually served with a spicy-sweet sauce. Good enough to make Colonel Sanders cry.

Related: The 7 Best Fast Food Chicken Sandwiches, Ranked

4. Kimchi

A must-have banchan fermented in cabbage leaves. No respectable KBBQ is without unlimited servings of kimchi.

3. Bibimap

A colorful display of meat and veggies topped with egg, often served on a hot stone bowl. Stir it up aggressively while saying "Bibimap!" over and over.

Related: The 7 Best ’Hood Chinese Takeout Orders, Ranked

2. Budae Jjigae (Army Stew)

Spicy hot pot ramen soup that might include anything from spam to mussels to a slice of Kraft cheese on top. Prepare to be surprised.


Needless to say there was no second date 🙅🏻‍♀️ #kbbq #koreanbarbeque

♬ original sound - Tiffany

1. Beef and Pork

You can find seafood and chicken at Korean BBQ restaurants, but really it's all about the beef or pork. For the pork, there's pork belly, in thick slices cut over the grill, and pork bulgogi, two crowd-pleasing KBBQ mainstays. For beef ordering, look for brisket, short-rib (galbi), bulgogi, flank steak, tongue... if it's beef or pork and it's on the grill, it's all good. Now is not the time to bring up that you've been thinking about going vegan.