KOREA-CANADA BLOG 2018

where are the best restaurants in Alberta?

Today, we are going to explores some of the best Korean restaurants out there in Alberta. This is the first chapter of my “food discovery” expedition so look out for other chapters. They are on the way!

So in Alberta, there are many different Korean restaurants that specialize in many different things – from authentic Korean homemade dishes to combination of various cultural dishes with Korean taste to them.

We will first explore Calgary – my hometown!

  1. Anju

Photo of Anju - Calgary, AB, Canada

Photo credit to yelp (https://www.yelp.ca/biz_photos/anju-calgary-3?select=Ix-gFFOgnGdSJgKERCf0CQ)

Google rating: 4.3

Zomato Rating: 4.1

Anju mainly covers most of our familiar ‘drinking food.’ These include Oysters, Ssam (lettuce wraps), steak frites, Bibim Burger, etc. They also serve Korean-style lunch as well as Japanese-lunch.

Some of reviewers highlight Anju’s exceptional customer service. Servers are extremely nice and knowledge about the menu so that if you are not sure what to order or if it is your very first time trying out Korean food, it would not be a bad idea at all to ask them to make some great recommendations!

 

  1. Bonga Korean restaurant

Photo of Gaenali Bon Ga Korean Restaurant - Garden Grove, CA, United States. Octopus dolsot bibimbap $12.95

Photo credit to Y.S. on yelp (https://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/gaenali-bon-ga-korean-restaurant-garden-grove?select=S4epBxznAMPQNnY-iRbKOg)

Google rating: 4.4

Zomato rating: 3.1

Weirdly, there is a significant discrepancy in rating between Google and Zomato. One thing for sure is that this restaurants has more of  “family restaurant” atmosphere – not too upscale either.

Their menu covers some of Korean dishes very popular to Koreans! Scroll down to check out some of dishes they serve!

Photo of Gaenali Bon Ga Korean Restaurant - Garden Grove, CA, United States. Full menu

Photo credit to yelp (https://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/gaenali-bon-ga-korean-restaurant-garden-grove?select=uih9WnfR5XJ-h4hAYf8Hkw)

If you want to try some of authentic Korean dishes with your family and/or friends for a casual meal, Bon ga restaurant would be a good idea! Cozy and homey just like the name suggests (Bon ga means your original home in Korean).

 

  1. Hankang Korean Restaurant

Photo of Hankang Korean Restaurant - Calgary, AB, Canada. LA Galbi

Photo credit to Esiwna N. on Yelp (https://www.yelp.ca/biz_photos/hankang-korean-restaurant-calgary?select=xdHlI31caTtQNrZaC1nV7A)

Google rating: 4.4

Zomato rating: 3.7

According to some reviewers, meals have complimentary rice, spring rolls, garlic potatoes, salad and some sprouts. They also say that this restaurant may be a bit hard to find, but once you find it and try their new food, you will never be able to not find it!

Their menu includes hot bowl stews such as spicy soft tofu stew, soybean paste stew, dried pollack soup and spicy beef soup. If you are a fan of Bibimbob, you can try their regular Bibimbob or special dolsot Bibimbob in a sizzling stone pot.

Not so familiar with Korean food? How about you try for Korean-style fried pork cutlet, glass noodles or fried chicken in sweet and chilli sauce?

 

  1. Stone Bowl Korean Cuisine

Photo of Stone Bowl Korean Cuisine - Calgary, AB, Canada

photo credit: Denise W. (https://www.yelp.ca/biz_photos/stone-bowl-korean-cuisine-calgary?select=nQzzpkhbMEJxcak0F9-m4g)

 

Google Rating: 4.3

Zomato Rating: 3.4

Another stone bowl specialty restaurant! Bibimbob is well-known for its healthiness and more people are looking for stone bowl bibimbob restaurants. Some people suggest that the lunch combo is reasonably priced — you just have to add a couple of bucks to make it a combo with soup. It seems chicken teriyaki is one of their popular and recommended. There are a variety of meat options including vegetarian.

Some say that if you are having a lunch here around noon then you might be able to see a City Councillor or two!

 

Edmonton

I was surprised by the number of Korean restaurants in Edmonton — they seem to have higher rating compared to the ones in Calgary as well.

  1. Seoul Fried Chicken

Photo of Seoul Fried Chicken - Edmonton, AB, Canada. SFC OG (5pc Chicken + Beer, order of fries)

Photo credit: Cindy N (https://www.yelp.ca/biz_photos/seoul-fried-chicken-edmonton?select=29KWe3hwOCe0nd0LND2s-Q)

Google rating: 4.6

Zomato rating: 4.2

This place is where all university students studying for midterms and finals order their food from…

SFC is an extremely busy restaurant located a block off from whyte avenue. If you are chicken-lover, this is a must-try. If you are on diet, it may not be the best option for you, unfortunately (it’s okay, y’all, you can have cheat days!!)

I actually have tried SFC (too many times.. Although I am on diet – let’s be honest, don’t we all say that we are on diet? I am just having 365 cheat days a year.) and they have many flavours including honey garlic, spicy BBQ sauce, cilantro, cheese and more! My favourite is Spicy BBQ, but I recommend not ordering this by delivery as chicken pieces can get soggy if your delivery gets delayed (they are popular around the times that you order so delivery lates are pretty common).

There are also salad and macaroni, but they are quite different than what you expect from other restaurants. Not my favourite, to be honest, but there are quite a bit of people who like them!

Their restaurant is really small – only about 10 people capacity so take out and delivery are the best option!

 

  1. Nongbu

Photo of Nongbu Korean Eatery - Edmonton, AB, Canada. Interior

Photo credit to Jon C. (https://www.yelp.ca/biz_photos/nongbu-korean-eatery-edmonton?select=AGk-d37kY8rK1aXR7_N45g)

Google rating: 4.2

Zomato rating: 3.6

If you are into instagram, vibes, etc., Nongbu restaurant may be one one for you. Restaurant interior is well-decorated in an authentic atmosphere. They have a projector and screen up in the restaurant and play really, really old classic Korean dramas and movies – it may be something that you have never imagined.

Unfortunately, portions can be quite small relative to other restaurants and price is a bit on the expensive side – one of the reasons that their rating is lower than it should be (in my personal opinion, obviously!)

I would go back for classical movies though!

  1. Rae Mi Hyang

Photo of Rae Mi Hyang - Edmonton, AB, Canada. Jjam Bbong

Photo credit to Sally. T (https://www.yelp.ca/biz_photos/rae-mi-hyang-edmonton?select=VMtQ9MRT1vemFtm0JjE7jg)

Google rating: 4.4

Zomato rating: 3.4

One of the most authentic Korean restaurants that I have ever been to in Canada. Well, technically, their menu is more close to something that I classify as “Korean washed Chinese food.” (you know how Panda Express is Chinese food restaurant, but it actually isn’t Chinese food? They are just how Americans cook what they call Chinese food. I think the dishes they serve here are something similar to that – it is one of the most popular dishes in Korea for sure. They even have songs about it!)

I can guarantee that the food here is authentic. This restaurant is where I go once every two months, if not monthly. If you order Spicy Jjambbong, they serve you loads of seafood in soup – my favourite part. Only concern when order spicy jjambbong is that you should never go when you have your white shirt on. If you get on your shirt, well, that may be the last day for your white shirt.

Price is regular to high-regular (for example, this dish in the picture is $14 to $17, as of the last time I went)

 

I will be looking into some of the best Korean restaurants in Canada in other regions for my next posts! If you have any suggestion, let me know!

see you till then :)

 

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