It’s unheard of to see a traditional Korean restaurant operating in Manhattan outside of 32nd St, so imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon Tofu Tofu in Chinatown of all places. Not that taking the train up to Herald Square is all that inconvenient, but walking 10 minutes along Bowery to a Korean restaurant downtown has been the best thing ever. Of course, the meat here will not be on par with the bbq at a place like Kang Ho Dong Baekjong, but that’s ok. You come here because Tofu Tofu has a good selection of Korean favorites at very reasonable prices and it’s the only place downtown.
My Korean mother and I came here several times one week and always ordered the same thing–the haemul pajeon seafood pancake appetizer and the soondooboo chigae and meat combo. We’ve mixed it up with the meat options, having tried both the LA kalbi and the spicy pork bulgogi, and preferred the latter. It’s probably because we have tried actual legit LA kalbi many times, and the version at Tofu Tofu is not at that level, although again, when you just want some Korean bbq downtown, you’ll be satisfied with it. The banchan selection is decent, and they are generous with the refills. And I love how they always give you a fresh bowl of steamed egg, which is my favorite Korean side dish that some restaurants can be a little stingy with. The woman who runs this place is a lot friendlier than the staff at some of the places in Midtown, the bathrooms are clean and there’s a proper changing table in one of them. I could go on and on about why I like this place, it’s great having a Korean standby close to me!
Tofu Tofu Korean Tofu & BBQ Restaurant
96 Bowery (between Hester and Grand St)
New York, NY 10013