“Restaurant” in Korean – Hangeul terms for food places

With plenty of Korean food places to try, learning even a word as simple-seeming as “restaurant” in Korean is surprisingly useful. We say “simple-seeming” because there are different types of restaurants in Korea, and their names may vary accordingly. So, if you’re serious about getting by in Korea with the Korean language, you’ll want to pay attention to this lesson.

Top view of Korean food and various side dishes

Whether you’re in the mood to visit a Korean diner covering tens of different dishes, or one specializing in a specific dish, or want to visit one of the many foreign restaurants in the country, you’ll find this lesson useful to you. After all, you can’t go to Korea and not visit numerous restaurants there.

Trust us; it’ll make it easier for you to find what you’re seeking while walking through the streets of Seoul, Busan, Daegu, and more!

Here’s a free PDF resource on how to say “Restaurant” in Korean that you can take with you on the go:

How to say “restaurant” in Korean

Whether you eat meat or vegetarian dishes only, knowing where to look for the best meal comes first. And you can only do that if you know how to search for it.

As we mentioned in the introduction, there are many Korean words for “restaurant.” We also added some basic phrases that can help you understand each vocabulary.

식당 (sikdang)

The first word you’ll learn today is 식당 (sikdang). This is a word used generally to refer to restaurants. It may be used together with another word to describe more specifically what type of restaurant is in question.

For example, the combined word may express whether it’s Chinese food, Japanese food, seafood, and so on. In this case, a Chinese restaurant would be called 중국 식당 (jungguk sikdang).

Sample sentences:

강남 지역에서 꼭 가봐야 할 식당은 무엇이라고 생각해요? (gangnam jiyeogeseo kkok gabwaya hal sikdangeun mueosirago saenggakaeyo?)

What is a must-visit restaurant in Gangnam area in your opinion?

이 식당은 만원이야. 자리 좀 찾을 수 있을까? (i sikdangeun manwoniya. jari jom chajeul su isseulkka?).

This restaurant is packed. Can we find a seat?

음식점 (eumsikjeom)

The other general word for “restaurant” is 음식점 (eumsikjeom). This can be used rather similarly with 식당 (sikdang).

However, in practice, if you want to indicate the restaurant serves Chinese food, for example, you will drop the 음 (eum) and replace it with 중 (jung), which derives from 중국 (jungguk), which means China. In whole, the word for “Chinese restaurant” in this case would be 중식점 (jungsikjeom). This may feel simpler to use than the above 중국 식당 (jungguk sikdang).

Sample sentences:

가장 가까운 중국식당은 어디 있습니까? (gajang gakkaun jungguksikdangeun eodi itseumnikka?)

Where is the nearest Chinese restaurant?

서울에서 가장 맛있는 멕시코 음식점은 어디예요? (seoureseo gajang masinneun meksiko eumsikjeomeun eodiyeyo ?)

What is the best Mexican restaurant in Seoul?

레스토랑 (reseutorang)

The third more generalized word for “restaurant” in Korean is 레스토랑 (reseutorang). This word is specifically used in reference to restaurants serving Western food, such as Italian, Mexican, French, and so on. Note that you can also use 식당 (sikdang) and 음식점 (eumsikjeom) to refer to Western restaurants.

However, you will not typically see an Italian restaurant in Korea called a 식당 (sikdang). It’s almost always a 레스토랑 (reseutorang). For fancier Korean restaurants as well, 레스토랑 (reseutorang) is often deemed the more appropriate word to use.

Different types of restaurants in Korea

Below you can find a more comprehensive list of restaurants in Korea, as well as how to refer to them. You can find the romanization below to help you with reading if you don’t know any Korean yet. But we

Restaurant식당 (sikdang)
Restaurant음식점 (eumsikjeom)
Restaurant레스토랑 (reseutorang)
Restaurant요릿집 (yoritjib)
Korean restaurant한식점 (hansikjeom)
Chinese restaurant중국 식당 (jungguk sikdang)
Chinese restaurant중국 음식점 (jungguk eumsikjeom)
Chinese restaurant중식점 (jungsikjeom)
Japanese restaurant일식집 (ilsikjip)
Seafood restaurant해산물 식당 (haesanmul sikdang)
Raw fish restaurant생선회집 (saengseonhoejip)
Barbecued meat restaurant불고기집 (bulgogijip)
Barbecue restaurant고기집 (gogijip)
Noodle restaurant분식집 (bunsikjip)
Steamed rice restaurant백반집 (baekbanjip)
Snack bar간이 식당 (gani sikdang)
Western-style restaurant양식집 (yangsikjip)
Italian restaurant이탈리안 레스토랑 (itallian reseutorang)
Fast food restaurant (such as McDonald's)패스트푸드점 (paeseuteupudeujeom)
Family restaurant패밀리 레스토랑 (paemilli reseutorang)
Bistro비스트로 (biseuteuro)
Bar, Pub술집 (suljip)
Bar바 (ba)
Beer bar맥주집 (maekjujip)
Local restaurant현지 음식점 (hyeonji eumsikjeom)
Take-away restaurant포장 전문 음식점 (pojang jeonmun eumsikjeom)

Below is a table with some additional vocabulary you might want to learn on this topic.

Cafeteria카페테리아 (kapeteria)
Coffee shop커피숍 (keopisyop)
Chef주방장 (jubangjang)
Waiter, Waitress종업원 (jongeobwon)
Restaurant manager레스토랑 지배인 (reseutorang jibaein)
Restaurant manager레스토랑 매니저 (reseutorang maenijeo)
Restaurant owner식당 주인 (sikdang juin)
Menu메뉴 (menyu)
Set menu세트 메뉴 (seteu menyu)
Food음식 (eumsik)
Order주문 (jumun)
Dessert후식 (husik)
Bill, check계산서 (gyesanseo)
Take-away포장 (pojang)

Wrap Up

Now you should know the word for “restaurant in Korean,” as well as what specific-type restaurants are called in Korean. Be amazed at how easily you can locate places for lunch or dinner once you know how to read the sign. So grab your chopsticks and get the spicy food, stir-fried pork, kimchi, fried egg, and side dishes that you’re craving!

Next up, you might want to also learn how to order food in a Korean restaurant. From that article, you can also learn how to express your dietary restrictions, such as for vegetarians. In order to read a Korean menu, you’ll also want to learn the vocabulary for food in Korean. But if you’re more interested in learning about the various ingredients Koreans use, here’s the article for you on cook in Korean.

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