Why go: These dining rooms, with servers in brightly colored dresses and Korean writing on the walls, create variations on a few dishes—grilled meats, Korean pancakes, and especially the tofu soup—amazingly well.
What to get: Soondubu soup, a cauldron of pepper-laced broth made richer by custardy house-made tofu, a raw egg, and add-ons such as oysters, mushrooms, and beef; crispy pork-and-kimchee pancake; rich beef bul goki tossed with green onions.
Best for: A fast, healthy meal. Although servers are efficient, they won’t rush you out.
Insider tip: Drop your egg into the soondubu broth as soon as it arrives so it cooks well. There are five spice levels to choose from—we found the medium broth to be true to its name—and vegetarians should specify that they don’t want beef broth used.
>> See all 2010 Cheap Eats restaurants here.