Chicago >Food & Dining > Cho Sun Ok Restaurant
4200 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061841.957924 -87.681544
Monday To Saturday From 10:30 AM To 10:30 PM Sunday From 10:30 AM To 10:00 PM
Neighborhoods: North Side, North Center
Don't expect friendly service and you have to wait in line (sometimes outside) just for a seat on Friday and Saturday nights but the excellent food and unbeatable price point makes the trip worth it. Bring cups with your wine to drink in line and definitely request to grill you bulgogi and other marinated goodies tableside!
Bring your friends and have a great party – This wonderful Korean specializes in BBQ prepared at your table with an incredible number of side dishes that come with the main course We ordered the chicken fried rice as an extra, but we really didn't need it. We had the bulgoki (spicy marinated beef) cooked at the table and it was great. BYOB restaurant so don't forget to bring some good red wine! This is a very popular restaurant so try to arrive during the early part of the week and then try to arrive late or early that night when they are not so crowded. No one would confuse the service with a five star french restaurant, but we are not Korean and we thought we were treated with great courtesy. Remember, this is a small restaurant with bargain prices and a small staff. These people are busy and work hard. They serve one of the best ethnic meals around.
Authentic Korean – this place has been around for over 20 years and the reason is the food. very authentic, especially the kimchees, with no "americanized" dishes. i went here as a child, moved away for 10 yrs, and returned, but food hasn't changed thank god. favorites are chadolbaegi, yookgaejang, moolnaengmyun, sollungtang. some dishes that are popular with my american friends include japchae, manduguk, ojinguh bokum, and of course galbi. place has no ambience whatsoever, wait svc is always rushed (even if you're korean, which i am) during peak hours 6:00-9:00. tip for the newbies: if you want to cook at the table, order the non-marinated meats, or order at least 3 portions of the marinated meats. otherwise they will cook it for you. they only do the tableside post-meat rice saute if you order a non-marinated meat. also if you like your roasted fish, but prefer not to have it staring at you while you eat, ask them to cut the head off for you before serving.
Maybe next time.... – I thought the service was poor... first our waitress didn't explain the menu to us... we were first-timers... 2nd we wanted to order something we could cook on the table... when we realized we ordered food that the people in back cooked they wouldn't let us change our order... ( we realized our mistake 1 minute into ordering initially, plenty of time to change our order)... Third , our waitress never came back to our table to refill our water... Forth, the parking poor... you have to search on the street.
One waitress was nice enough to fill our water and bag our leftovers... but she wasn't our initial waitress...
I hate to say this but you're better off being Korean to be served better ( I could be wrong, but prove me wrong )
Unless You are Korean -- Fogettaboutit – If you're Korean, maybe the place is ok. If not, then 'fogettaboutit'. Panchans (for non-Koreans), not spicy and not much variety. Had to ask several times, until we got at least SOME of the real Korean stuff. As for the Cook at the Table Dinners, again we were not allowed to cook our own (while the Korean diners were). Also, not provided with the plate of spliced green onions like all other Korean Diners (we like onions too!). Also, not really impressed with 'stone-top' cooking versus real over-the-coals BBQ. Also, really surprised NO ONE was provided with at least grean lettuce leaves for roll-ups of the BBQ meat, like other Korean BBQ's (let alone the even better large radish roll-ups) along with garlic cloves. Enough experimenting with 'other' Korean restaurants, I'll stick with the best -- King Nam (where you get EVERYTHING -- even korean pancake and soup included, for virtually same price; and all the wonderful Korean panchans -- and not treated like a 2nd-class citizen).
Great Authentic Korean Food – Being half korean, I grew up eating great korean food. This restaurant reminds me of my childhood and all the time I spent in the kitchen with my korean mom. The wonderful smell when you step into the door draws you in and the sight of food being cooked on the tables makes it feel like real homemade cooking. The quick delivery of your order is great if you are using the table barbecue. Otherwise, there is a longer wait for your order, but it is definitely worth the wait. The atmosphere makes you feel like you've stepped into a space warp and landed in South Korea. Listening to the native tongues of the employees as they converse with each other is interesting and the english spoken by the waitstaff is fabulous. I would recommend this restaurant to my mom who is picky about where she gets her korean food. This is a great restaurant!
Rodent! – There was a rodent! It took us yelling into the kitchen for about three minutes before anyone came out. Then they seemed totally unconcerned and just let him run around the floor. Nobody tried to catch it or anything! Needless to say we left. For great Korean food go 5-10 minutes north to San Soo Gap San.
Could be the best whole in the wall Korean if the service was better. – I absolutely love Korean food so I was pleased to find another great place in Chicago. I am not Korean and would love to try new dishes but can never find a Korean restaurant where the servers can explain in detail what I am ordering. I did try the infamous order with beef & kimchee rice at the end but the beef was lacking in flavor and I actually prefered the Bulgogi which was at least marinated with seasoning. The "pan chan" or the small dishes are great but they should refill them when you run out without feeling like you're asking for too much.
If you're planning on going out after dinner, you'd better cancel because your clothes are going to stink due to the place lacking in air conditioning & ventilation. They need to hire more servers considering how busy they get. You're constantly looking around to flag down a server to get more napkins, water or your bill. And despite the fact that you've been waiting patiently in line, if another group walks in the restaurant and knows the owner...they will get seated first right before your eyes. But I guess when the food is good, you just ignore the bad, enjoy your company & the food in front of you.
Sizzling B.Y.O.B. restaurant in Lincoln Square serves authentic Korean food in a tiny storefront setting. – In Short
There's often a line out the door at this little corner spot where the aroma of spicy Korean barbecue is a welcoming invitation to passersby. A few booths and tables line the perimeter of the dining room; in the center, round tables with burners seat four to six people. Dishes include a variety of marinated fish and meats like spicy pork and beef short ribs that arrive with condiments like kimchee, green onion salad and glass noodles.
We love this place! – I've been eating at Cho Sun Ok for years and love it. The new ownership and ambience are better than ever. I think slow service is a part of eating at a Korean restaurant and don't mind the wait. That's what the yummy hand made mandoo (dumpling) appetizers are for. A great, casual place to eat.
Overrated – I think there are alot of other GOOD korean restaurants in the city. I was not inspired by their food or decor. Service was mediocre. I felt the side dishes were too salty and covered up the taste. I was expecting more from all the great reviews. I'd say the value is OK but if I'm going to spend my money - I want it to be better! If you're looking for good food go to san soo gab san? or korean restaurant (better service & it's clean) but if you're looking for good food + good atmosphere + good service go to Jinju. trust me you will see the difference.
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