Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a New York local, a fun night in Koreatown is the perfect way to let off some steam.
Located on West 32nd Street, just a block away from Madison Square Garden, Koreatown may look unassuming by the light of day, but don’t be fooled -- at night, Koreatown comes alive. Between world-class karaoke bars, fantastic eateries, and a culturally diverse crowd, you can’t go wrong with a night out in this small, centrally-located neighborhood. Not sure where to start? Here are some suggestions to make the most of your night on the town (K-town, that is):
Start With Happy Hour
Because Koreatown is relatively affordable (and many businesses remain open 24/7), it tends to attract a younger crowd. In other words, despite its small size, there is no shortage of bars in this fun-filled neighborhood. Whether you’re going out with your friends or on a date, you can never go wrong starting the night out with a stiff drink.
With a little planning (and perhaps an online reservation), Ayza Wine And Chocolate Bar is the perfect place to start your night. At the happiest of hours (Monday through Friday from 3-6pm, that is), wine and beer goes for $5, and cocktails go for $8. While all the drinks are delicious, there’s no way you can go wrong with the Classic Chocolate Martini: a combination of vodka, cocoa di vine, and cappuccino truffle that is sure to hit your sweet spot.
Dine In Style
After satisfying your sweet tooth, it’s time for a more substantial meal. If you’re craving Korean cuisine, there’s no shortage of places you can eat. For Korean Barbecue, it’s hard to beat Jongro BBQ, which claims to specialize in meat, sourcing its tasty cuts from farms that use natural feed.
If you’d prefer a high-scale restaurant, however, you might consider Niles NYC Restaurant, located only steps away from Madison Square Garden. While Niles doesn’t serve Korean food, you’re sure to love its mouthwatering (mostly American) menu. According to Foursquare, Niles serves some of the best lamb chops in Chelsea -- so bon appetit!
Sing Your Hearts Out
Of course, it wouldn’t be a night out in Koreatown without a little karaoke. While you really can’t go wrong at any of Koreatown’s numerous karaoke venues, 5 Bar Karaoke And Lounge is hard to beat. While renting a room isn’t exactly cheap (for two people, a room costs $30/hr), 5 Bar’s well-equipped rooms, playful ambiance, and live DJ make it more than worth the price tag. With a large selection of songs to choose from, 5 Bar is the perfect place to sip on soju and belt out karaoke classics like “Don’t Stop Believing” to your heart’s content.
Dance The Night Away
Once you’ve had your fill of karaoke, it’s time to get your groove on. If you’re not feeling the DJ at 5 Bar, cross the street and head into Maru Karaoke Restaurant and Lounge. Featuring an elegant bar, an out-of-this-world restaurant, and (of course) private karaoke rooms, Maru offers something for everyone. While the dance floor at Maru is always popping, the lounge’s real charm lies in its amazing discounts. If you’re planning a girls night out, consider stopping by Maru’s on a Wednesday and enjoying the buy one, get one free deal on cocktails for ladies.