One of North Philly’s Best Korean Restaurants Is Expanding to Center City

After 16 years, Seorabol plans its second location.

Update: Owner Chris Cho confirms that the address of the new space is 1326 Spruce Street, and it should open by the end of 2018.

As Philadelphians, we should consider ourselves lucky to have our own thriving Koreatown — many U.S. cities don’t have the pleasure. We have Olney, a small enclave in North Philly home to some of the city’s — and country’s — finest Korean restaurants, bars, and karaoke. And last year, Philly Mag declared Seorabol, the neighborhood’s powerhouse restaurant specializing in everything from Korean barbecue to sushi, best-in-city.

This summer, Seorabol will open a second location in Center City.

Right now, there’s little to be told. Chris Cho, the 31-year-old chef behind the operation, said he officially signed the lease to a Center City space — where exactly, he can’t say (we’ll pry that detail from him soon enough). But what he did say is that it’ll be Korean — authentic Korean — because, to him, “real Korean food needs to be in Center City.” That’s not to say it doesn’t already exist there (it does), but places like BOP and SouthGate laid the groundwork for bigger, funkier, spicier flavors often found up North — flavors he hopes to bring downtown.

Cho’s plan for Center City is something akin to Seorabol, “but smaller”, which, at the very least, means awesome Korean BBQ, fat seafood pancakes, and expert bibimbap.

Stay tuned for more details.

Elsewhere on our Korean restaurant radar: Peter Serpico (Serpico) and Stephen Starr are teaming up again, turning the old Il Pittore space into a Korean restaurant and bar.

Korean Restaurants and Food in Philadelphia [Foobooz]
Best Korean Restaurant [Best of Philly]