12. Koreatown in Manhattan
Many are probably familiar with this bustling Korean neighborhood running along West 32nd Street, as it is filled with popular restaurants and bakeries in an area surrounded by famous landmarks. What many do not know is that “K-town” essentially originated with a bookstore called “Koryo Books,” which sold Korean books and merchandise. Its first restaurant was Kom Tang, and along with the bookstore, a few other eateries also helped set the foundation for the neighborhood’s success.
This area experienced a large influx of Korean immigrants in the 1980s; its proximity to the Garment District made it a good location to settle in. The heart of Koreatown – the portion of 32nd street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues – was nicknamed “Korea Way” in 1995 and contains about 100 small businesses. These businesses are karaoke bars, stationery shops, hair salons, and internet cafes. Popular Korean restaurants include Anytime Kitchen, Jongro BBQ, and Woorijip.