Cheap Eat of the Week: Woorjip

Written by Aurora Hinz, pictures by Sabine Smith

As a college student in NYC, having a cheap food connoisseur is essential. We all want to save money, but why sacrifice a good meal? We’re here to let you know that you’ve got options! From deals to discounts, we’ve got you covered.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – K-town in Manhattan gets a bad rap for being too expensive. While Korean BBQ is typically a meal of $50+ (if you do it right) there are, of course, hidden gems everywhere in this city. Woorijip is described by their employees as a, “no fuss staple”. Half of their food is presented cafeteria-style, the other half is one of the most beautiful hot bars you could imagine.

If you are alive or even somewhat coherent between the hours of 8:00 AM and 3:00 AM, Woorijip offers hot food, soups, kimbap, kimchi, soju, beer, Korean sodas, Korean snacks, and anything else your heart desires. Fast, easy, simple, grab-and-go Korean comfort foods—seven days a week, almost 24 hours. I picked up some of my personal favorites—bulgogi kimbap, spicy pickled cucumbers and tteokbokki (a sweet and spicy rice cake). Sabine went for some fried tofu covered in dashi and bonito flakes, traditional cabbage kimchi and a vegetable and egg pancake.

Each of us spent around $12.50 in total and had tons of leftovers to take home when we finished up our meals. It’s not a place to bring people who want to be waited on, as it truly is a glorified cafeteria (in the best way possible). They have great prices on food and even on alcoholic beverages. If you’re looking for a casual, inexpensive place to hang out with a group of friends, this place is for you! Each Friday when I walk by it’s completely packed with college students who are smart enough to skip the other hour-long wait times, pick up everything they were craving, hang with their friends and a few (relatively) inexpensive drinks. A whole K-Town night out for 1/3 of the price and none of the wait times of a more typical restaurant.

I’m not going to lie. The food is not the best Korean food I’ve ever had. I think the best Korean food is delivered to your table still boiling. That’s not to say the food isn’t fresh, but in this respect I think you get what you pay for. It’s comfort food that does its job but nothing Michelin star worthy. If you’ve never had Korean food before, this would be a great and inexpensive way to test out new things and go a little outside of your comfort zone. They always have different things hot and ready for you to try, which leaves little room for boredom.

Here are the facts:

Address: 12 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001

Vegan/Vegetarian Options – YES – They have vegetarian options. Inquire about vegan choices if needed!

Delivery Options? –  

Easy to Find? – YES! For reference, it is right across the street from the food hall on 32nd St. They have a big awning and lots of signage.

Food Safety Grade – A, this place is 100% guaranteed tip-top food safe and sanitary!