KIP Resource Guide
Where can I buy Korean groceries and prepared food?
- Seoul Market/First Korean Market, Richmond District: 4625 Geary Blvd. between 10th and 11th Avenues, 415.221.2565
Seoul Market has all the basics, from regular grocery items, housewares, frozen foods and fresh produce. They also have a wide selection of prepared foods (bulgogi, kalbi, sesame chicken, and lots of homemade kimchi, pickles and side dishes. At the front of the store, they have an assortment of cheon (little pancakes) made fresh, kimbap, japchae, korean fried chicken, and other specialties.
- Woo Ri Market, Fillmore District: 1528 Fillmore Street, at O'Farrell Street, 415.673.9888
- Kukje Market, Daly City: 2350 Junipero Serra Blvd. (near the Daly City civic center), 650.992.0333
Kukje Market is huge, compared to the local markets in the city. You'll find groceries, frozen foods, lots of fresh produce, a very big housewares department, meats and a very big deli with lots of ready to eat items. Even video rentals. Kukje also has a customer loyalty program, so if you are going to shop there regularly, be sure to ask to join their "club". You'll get price discounts and other perks. Kukje also has a larger selection of soju than the other local markets.
Where can we find good Korean Restaurants?
- Arang Restaurant, Fillmore District: 1506 Fillmore Street, at O'Farrell Street, 415.775.9095
This restaurant is small but bustling at night, filled with young Koreans. Our recommender especially likes their BBQ beef (marinated, grilled ribeye). The restaurant has a wide variety of dishes. Take out comes in biodegradable containers.
- Brothers Restaurant, Inner Richmond: 4128 Geary Blvd., between 5th and 6th Avenues, 415.387.7991
Brothers is known for their Korean Barbecue. You cook your own meat at your own table, on a small charcoal grill. It's fun to go with a small group and share the dishes. There's also a "Brothers 2" restaurant nearby. Crowded on weekend nights (and some weekday nights). Also open for lunch.
- Han Il Kwan, Outer Richmond: 1802 Balboa Street, at the corner of Balboa St. and 19th Avenue, 415.752.4447
Han Il Kwan has been around for a long time and has a very loyal following. They're known for very good food and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. They offer many barbecue items, plus lots of other Korean favorites. Go with friends if you can, so that you can order more things to try off the menu.
Every time you dine at the Korean restaurant Han Il Kwon, 20% of your bill will be donated to the KIP program. In order for the donation to take place, please bring this donation voucher with you to Han Il Kwon.
- My Tofu House, Inner Richmond: 4627 Geary Blvd., between 10th and 11th Avenues, 415.750.1818
The specialty at this restaurant is the Korean comfort food known as sundubu jigae, or tofu soup. There are many versions of the soup, with different kinds of meat, or vegetarian, and of course, varying levels of spicyness. They are all really good. After 1 or 2 visits here, you may find yourself become seriously addicted to this wonderful soup (served in superhot stone pots.) The jigae also comes with a pot of rice, barley tea, and a very nice, generous assortment of panchan to nibble on throughout the meal. Open for lunch and dinner. And conveniently located right next to Seoul Market.
- Seoul Garden, Japantown: 22 Peace Plaza, 415.563.7664
Seoul Garden describes its food as in the style of food at a country inn. The food is fresh, the service good and the restaurant is child-friendly. Our source especially recommends the Sae woo Bokum (sauteed prawns and vegetables), Dak Gui (broiled, marinated chicken) and the Chadol baegi (broiled, sliced boneless beef).
- Shin Toe Bul Yi, Outer Sunset: 2001 Taraval Street at 30th Avenue, 415.566.9221
Shin Toe Bul Yi is in that great tradition of a "hole in the wall" that serves outstanding food in a no-frills environment. The menu is small and focused. They are famous for their Korean Fried Chicken, which literally everyone in the restaurant had ordered when we were there recently. While it's good, there are many other fantastic things to try on the menu, including Min-uh Mae-Oon-Tang, a spicy sea bass soup that you won't be able to stop eating. The food is delicious, the prices very reasonable, the portions large, and the space is tiny. Expect to wait for a seat. But once you're seated, you'll get efficient service and they won't rush you out. The casual environment is family friendly.
Where Can I Learn More About Korea?
- The Korea Society (www.koreasociety.org)
The Korea Society is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to further understanding about Korea, it's history and culture. The organization is based in New York City and sponsors many different lectures and events as part of its educational efforts.
If you visit their website (www.koreasociety.org) you will be able to download a number of resources, including podcasts of lectures about Korean Culture, history, politics and the arts, Korean folk tales and information about the history of Korean culture.
- Life in Korea website (www.lifeinkorea.com)
This website is a great source for information about many aspects of life in Korea. It covers topics of culture, food, language, history, tourism -- lots of things you may be curious about. It's a good source when you have a specific question you want answered (e.g what is the Choseon dynasty?), or when you're just interested in browsing to learn a little more.
- The Coldest Winter, by David Halbersytam
- A Corpse in the Koryo, by James Church
- Inside North Korea, by Mark Edward Harris
- North Korea, by Phillipe Chancel
Where Can I Buy Books?
- Seoul Selection website: www.seoulselection.com
Check out this website for lots of different types of content. First, link up to Seoul magazine, an English-language magazine that has lots of articles about things going on in Korea and contemporary Korean culture. This magazine is hip and has lots of interesting photography. Through the website (which is connected to Seoul Selection bookstore in Seoul, you can also buy English or English/Korean kids books, and lots of other English language books on cooking, culture, language, history etc. Check out their very nice selection of books and CDs to help you learn Korean. There's also a gift shop and a chat area.
Where Can I Buy a Hanbok?
- eBay Store - Korea and More: http://stores.shop.ebay.com/Korea-and-More