The city that never sleeps is especially nocturnal in Korea Town, as 32nd Street between Sixth and Fifth avenues is known. On the block-long strip you can dig into Korean barbecue, sing karaoke, or soak in a spa around the clock.
In dozens of restaurants, galbi (thinly sliced beef short ribs), jeyook gui (broiled pork), bugogi (sirloin), saeoo gae (jumbo shrimp), and other specialties are prepared at your table – either grilled over coals or sautéed on a hot griddle. Accompaniments are bibimbop (rice and vegetables) and bi bim naeng myun (noodles topped with kimchi, or pickled vegetables). Among the favorite places on the street to enjoy these delicacies are Shilla (37 W. 32nd St, tel: 212-967-1880), with a three-story tall dining room; Mandoo Bar (2 W 32nd St, tel: 212-279-3075), with its dumplings being made in the front window; and BCD Tofu House (17 W. 32nd St, tel: 212-967-1900), where a hearty tofu stew is the house specialty.
Wherever you dine, and whatever you order, you will probably wash down your meal with soju, a clear, potent liquor that looks and tastes quite a bit like vodka. After a few glasses, you will be well primed to partake of K Town’s other great diversion, karaoke. The neighborhood’s two most popular venues are Chorus Karaoke (25 W. 32nd St, tel: 212-967-2244), and Duet 35 (53 W. 35th St, tel: 646-473-0827).
Should these exertions wear you out, the Juvenix Spa (25 W. 32nd St, fifth floor) is open at all hours to provide a sweat in a sauna made of semiprecious stones and a soak in a tub filled with sake, tea, and algae. If the weather is good, and midnight has not yet struck, you might want to make a stop at La Quinta Inn (17 W. 32nd St). Ascend to the Sun Roof, a pleasant aerie where cocktails are served until midnight – when the night is still young in this 24-hour neighborhood.