North Korea’s Finest Restaurants: A Guide

By on January 9, 2011

I haven’t been to Pyongyang, North Korea and I don’t think I ever will. It’s a long way from Tulsa .Still, it’s always good to plan ahead in case some of you happen to be in the neighborhood. So I’ve managed to compile a list of top restaurants for anyone making the journey.

Okryu Restaurant

Huge, and apparently as elegant as it gets in North Korea. A big new wing opened last year. Though they are famous for simple cold noodles, there are dishes that feature, among other things, quail, terrapin and sturgeon.

Chongryu Restaurant

Also in its own riverside pavilion, this is Okryu’s only rival for elegance. It was restored in 2008 and features various Korean dishes.


The best burger in North Korea is served at Pyongyang’s only fast food joint, Samtaesong. Don’t call them burgers though, that’s considered Imperialist. Ask for “minced meat with bread”.

Pyulmori Cafe

About the only place for pies and coffee, and they also serve a burger.

Pyongyang Sweet Meat Restaurant

If you don’t like dog meat, go somewhere else because that’s all that’s on the menu. You can get an 8 course banquet starting with soup and going on to dog meat prepared with various sauces.

Pyongyang No. 1 Duck Barbecue Restaurant

You cook your own duck meat on little tableside grills. One traveler said it was the best meal she’d had in North Korea.

Italian Restaurant

Not the most imaginative name, but this restaurant, opened last year, has the best pizza and Italian pasta in Pyongyang.

Brian Schwartz

About Brian Schwartz

Born in NYC, age 0, on my birthday. College in Oxford at age 16. Law School in New Haven, Conn. 6 years travel in Africa and Asia. Haven’t done much lately. Still, I’m the only Tulsa member of the little-known Omega Society. I speak enough Chinese to order food not on any English menu. Spanish French Italian too (not fluently but food-ently) My favorite restaurant is Jean-Georges in New York. But those NYC chefs would sell their soul to get the produce available from the farms around Inola. “A writer writes alone. His words tumble forth from a magical inner void that is mysterious even to himself, and that no one else can enter.” And yet, the most important thing to me the writer is YOU. Without you to hear them, my words are worth less than silence.


  1. Heritage Chef Monty

    January 9, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Great Idea plan ahead, never know what opportunties live is gonna throw at us. North Korea> hope they don’t send nukes while I’m there.

  2. Brian


    January 9, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Awesome! BBQ duck sounds good!

  3. Pingback: Global Table Adventure | About the food of North Korea

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