Kid-Friendly Koreatown in NYC: Explore Korean Culture With Your Kids!

Koreatown, located in Midtown Manhattan, celebrates Korean culture through food (Korean BBQ!), music, shopping, and literature. The small neighborhood is packed with shops and restaurants by “building up.” You’ll often have to take an elevator to the eighth or ninth floor to get to a restaurant, because Koreatown is built vertically upwards. But the vertical structure makes Koreatown even more exciting, as many special places are hidden or not as obvious unless you already know about them. That’s the first reason why we want to dive into Koreatown: to provide you with a guide to navigate the popping, yet occasionally secretive NYC spot. Koreatown is also a great place for kids, because it’s an opportunity to experience a different culture, try new things, and explore an exciting environment. This brings me to the second reason why we’re focusing on Koreatown: we want to make sure that you know all about kid-friendly Koreatown. While you may have heard about Koreatown’s nightlife scene, the daytime scene is entirely different, full of families with their little ones. We’ve got the top places for food, shopping, and things to do in Koreatown with your kids, so head over to discover a few of these unique spots this summer!

Interested in Chinese culture as well? We’ve also have kid-friendly Chinatown: our guide to the top places to visit with kids in Chinatown!

Food

Jongro BBQ

22 West 32nd St., Floor 2.
Ktown is known for their famous Korean BBQ. A great experience for families, cook your own meats and dip them in delicious sauces. Your kids will love getting to cook their own food, and if they’re a fan of Korean food, then they’ll definitely get a kick out of this place. As an appetizer, I’d recommend the Korean Pancake, which is great for sharing, and kids often enjoy this Korean take on the pancake. Then choose your meat for the table and get cooking! The atmosphere of this Korean BBQ place is also particularly exciting as you take the elevator up to the second floor and enter into a very authentic space that transports you into a different culture. No worries if your kids don’t know how to use chopsticks — just ask for forks instead! Sunday-Thursday 11:30 am-2 am, Friday-Saturday 11:30 am-4 am.  

Cook your own meat at Korean BBQ! Photo by Jongro BBQ

 


Experiment with different sauces and toppings! Photo by Jongro BBQ.

Mandoo Bar

2 West 32nd St.
Are your kids fans of dumplings? If so, they will obsess over Mandoo Bar. And if they’ve never tried dumplings, then Mandoo Bar is the perfect introduction! By the way, “mandoo” is the Korean word for dumplings. When you walk in, you can actually see the chefs rolling the dough and shaping the dumplings. My favorite dumplings are the Vegetable Mool Mandoo, boiled vegetable dumplings filled with mixed vegetables, and Seafood Mandoo, boiled dumplings filled with shrimps, crabsticks, and vegetables. Mandoo Bar also features several rice and noodle dishes. Kids love the ramen! Sunday-Wednesday 11:30 am-10 pm, Thursday-Saturday 11:30 am-10:30 pm. 


Kids love these multi-colored dumplings. Photo by Mandoo Bar.

 


Pan-fried dumplings are also an option, although my favorite are boiled/steamed. Order different kinds of dumplings for the table! Photo by Mandoo Bar.

Tous Les Jours Bakery

31 West 32nd St.
We all know about the sweet treats at The Sugar Factory, Dylan’s Candy Bar, Baked by Melissa, and DO NYC, but have you heard of this french-asian bakery in K-Town? Tous Les Jours offers over 300 different kinds of bakery goods, such as bread, pastries, cakes, desserts, and beverages. The bakery is committed to providing freshness and quality, creating joyful experiences, and fulfilling their customers’ bakery needs all day, every day. If you’re looking for a full-sized cake, perhaps for your little one’s birthday, I recommend the Strawberry Fantasy Cake with strawberry buttercream and jam, topped with macaroons, or the delicious, creamy Cheesecake, topped with fresh cream and strawberries. If you’re looking for a quick bite, check out their Macaroons, Chocolate Croissant, or Chestnut Pastry. Sunday-Thursday 7 am-12 am, Friday-Saturday 7am-1am. 

How can you resist a slice of this delicious cheesecake? Photo by Tous Les Jours Bakery.

 


Your little girl will go crazy over this all pink, Strawberry Fantasy cake: from the pink frosting to the pink macaroons on top! Photo by Tous Les Jours Bakery.

Grace Street

17 W 32nd St.
Enjoy hot, delicious Korean desserts at Grace Street, including Korean doughnuts and mochi waffles. Grace Street is also famously known for their Shaved Snow, which comes in a variety of flavors. Kids especially love the Cookie Monster Shaved Snow and the new X.O.X.O., decorated with flowers and strawberries. And don’t forget to order Boba Milk Teas on the side, which comes in both hot and iced options. 

If you’re looking to get a nice photo for Instagram during your Koreatown visit, Grace Street is the place. Photo by Grace Street.

 


Check out more of these delicious treats at Grace Street, including Mochi Waffles! Photo by Grace Street.

COFFEED & Sweet Churros

32nd Street between Broadway and 5th Avenue
This iconic duo teamed up for an explosion of sweetness in Koreatown. After Korean BBQ or dumplings, head over to enjoy a fresh, handcrafted churro with coffee. The kids will likely love the churros, and parents can drink the coffee! The churros are also decorative and come in many different flavors. Made on the spot for your family, you don’t want to miss out on COFFEED & Sweet Churros! Monday-Friday 8 am-11 pm, Saturday-Sunday 11 am-11 pm. 


Another Instagram-worthy spot in Koreantown, COFFEED and Sweet Churros serve delectable and pretty sweets. Photo by Sweet Churros.

Shopping

The Face Shop

25 West 32nd St.
We all know how popular face masks are right now — for girls and boys. The coolness of a mask makes your skin feel so smooth, and afterwards, your face feels clean for days. The Face Shop has Korean face masks that are quite literally the best face masks I have ever tried. They come in many different varieties, including blueberry, avocado, honey, cucumber, and more. If your kids aren’t into face masks, they have tons of other products for skincare, nail polish, and makeup. The Face Shop is exciting for kids, because they can sample many of the products. Kids get a kick out of experimenting with the skincare products available, while mom and dad can browse the face masks. Monday-Saturday 10 am-9 pm, Sunday 10 am-8 pm.  


Check out all of these face masks. And these are only a few of the options! Photo by The Face Shop.

Ali’s Market

34 West 33rd St.
A branch of NY Kids Market, Ali’s Market features clothing just for children. Brands include Boboli, City Mouse, Coral & Reef, Elegant Baby, How to Kiss a Frog, No Biggie, and many more. Stop by to browse the latest in children’s fashion and receive one-on-one attention in your fashion endeavors! 


Ali’s Market even has a huge selection of bows for your little girl! Photo by Alis’ Market.

 


Shop everything from clothes for nice events to these cute pajamas. Photo by Ali’s Market.

Cutie Pie Baby

34 West 33rd St.
Cutie Pie Baby is the perfect store to visit in Koreatown if you have an infant or toddler. Cutie Pie Baby designs affordable baby gear for your little ones. Offices are located in NYC and Shanghai, and the franchise supports charities all over the world, such as orphanages, cancer research, lifesaving organizations, and feeding/clothing the poor. Brands include Mini Muffin, Chick pea, Cutie Pie, Kyle & Deena, and more.  

Cutie Pie Baby has a wide selection of blankets for your infants, like this beautiful and soft two-piece! Photo by Cutie Pie Baby.

 


Looking for new bibs to keep your little ones clean? Shop stylish bibs here! Photo by Cutie Pie Baby.

Things to Do

Karaoke Duet 35

53 West 35th St., 2nd Floor
You may have heard stories about K-Town karaoke, and likely those stories were associated with drinks. But Karaoke Duet is one of the few karaoke places in K-Town that allows, and even encourages, children to come out and sing! The only age restriction is that on Sunday to Thursday after 12 am, guests must be 21 or older, and on Friday and Saturday, guests must be 21 and older after 8 pm. I recommend going during the afternoon, where there will surely be other families there! Feel free to get a private room — these work best when you come as a larger group, so maybe team up with another family for some karaoke fun. Private rooms are also not super expensive: before 8 pm, Karaoke Duet charges $5 to $6 per person, per hour. Typically, groups don’t stay for longer than an hour or two. Want to check if Karaoke Duet has your kids’ favorite songs? Browse their song list beforehand.  


Pass your kids a microphone and hear them belt out their favorite songs!

Koryo Bookstore

35 West 32nd St.
While your kids may not be able to read the Korean collection of books, unless they understand Korean, the bookstore is surely a Koreatown gem. Filled with books from floor to ceiling, the bookstore is quite aesthetically pleasing. Yet the store doesn’t only sell books; they have K-Pop posters and music, Korean movies, albums, cute erasers, and lots of other Korean souvenirs. Your kids will enjoy exploring this bookstore, as it is definitely not your typical bookstore or library (in the best way possible). Monday-Friday 9:30 am-9:30 pm, Saturday 10 am-9 pm, Sunday 11 am-8 pm.  


Explore this exciting bookstore in the heart of Koreatown! Photo by Ryan P.

H Mart 

38 West 32nd St.
You may be wondering why a Korean grocery store is put under “things to do” instead of “shopping”. Well, if you’re visiting Koreatown with kids, H Mart will definitely become an adventure, especially if your kids have never seen a Korean grocery store before. The large space offers plenty of traditional Korean snacks, food, and drinks. One of my favorite treats here that kids tend to enjoy is Pocky, the cookies in the shape of sticks. Cookies and Cream is the best flavor (in my opinion), but Chocolate Cream is pretty good too. Ramen is also a childhood favorite, among Paldo Pororo Flavored Juice Drinks. Kids will love going up and down the aisles to explore all of the new and interesting selections on the shelves. 8 am-10:55 pm. 


Pocky is a classic Korean treat that’s delicious for kids! Photo by H Mart.

 

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