K-pop, karaoke, street toast and skincare. Korean style is having a major moment in Melbourne. Go beyond fried chicken and beer at these shops, restaurants and cafes that serve pure Seoul.

See the nation's Girl Group live in concert

Calling all Melbourne Once: Twice are back for one night only in November. The award-winning, nine-member group returns after a series of sold out shows earlier in the year. Nab tickets and pop along to solo stages, send a signal to your bias and make it a special night to remember. Even if you're not a fan yet, it's worth going just to witness the dazzling sea of glowing fan sticks flashing in time to every song.

Try Korean soul food

Transport yourself to the cool side of Seoul and pay a visit to the ultra-trendy Ondo for lunch sets, signature drinks, pastries and more. Order traditional dishes like gogigusku which includes a thinly sliced pork in a clear broth with somen noodles. Or try mandu guk zucchini and prawn dumplings. Don’t go past the black sesame or mugwort latte. It’s similar to matcha and topped with lightly whipped cream.

A Korean lunch set with side dishes
Ondo

Tuck into the best Korean street toast in Melbourne

Korean sandwiches have taken the city by storm, with a carb-loaded cafe around every corner. Palette’s gigeori-toast is buttery brioche stuffed with fluffy omelette, hash browns and candied bacon. Tiny spot Sukbong specialises in cheap eats, serving everything from simple egg and cheese to OTT stacks of hash brown and beef bulgogi.

Visit a Korean-inspired bakery

A new Korean and French-inspired bakery has just opened in a hidden Melbourne laneway. Swing by The Butter Room for loaded croissants, signature drinks, soft and fluffy pandoro and loads more. Try traditional flavours too like soboru – a red bean-filled sweet pastry or injeolmi bread with roasted soybean powder.  

A woman is looking at pastries in a bakery
The Butter Room

Load up on K-pop merch

Calling all ONCE, blink, ARMY and Shawol. If those words mean something to you, you’ve come to the right place. Happytown is the OG K-pop shop in Melbourne, selling albums, accessories, photocards, light sticks and so much more. Lesser-known spot 9621 is harder to find, but worth the trip. It's fully loaded with Stray Kids and NCT 127 merch, plus cute Kakao Friends goodies.

Find cult-status Korean streetwear

Streetwear fiends have been all over Acme De La Vie for years. Now you can nab the full range in one stunning city location. Follow the glowing neon sign inside, where a towering metal sculpture is surrounded by the latest cartoon-print lounge sets. Peruse collabs with Sesame Street, Toy Story, Monsters Inc. and Apeach. True heads will know which items have been modelled by stars like HyunA, Mino and TWICE.

Someone browsing in a futuristic clothing store.
Acme De La Vie

Discover hidden coin booth karaoke

Private karaoke rooms and the odd open mic night are pretty well-known in Melbourne. Mini coin-operated singing booths? Not so common. Enter Kono, a hidden gem lined with disco-lit nooks perfect for solo or small group singing. Regulars can be heard singing along to BUZZ ballads in perfect Korean, but there’s a bumper book of English tunes to pick from, too.

Kick on with soju and street food

Deep-fried cheesy corn dogs, fiery tteokbokki, authentic kimbap and kimchi fried rice. Try it all at Sinjeon, one of the many street food spots that line Healey’s Lane (referred to as ‘Kimchi Street’ by regulars). Or head to Sam Sam on the main drag, where robot waiters cook classic KFC with delicious precision. Pair with a soju-rita – that’s a cocktail of zesty ice granita spiked with an upturned bottle of soju.

A table filled with Korean food plates.
Street food at Sinjeon

Shop holy grail Korean skincare

It’s the beauty regime that launched a thousand Reddit threads. If you’re ready to try lava seawater, the seven-layer method, oil cleansing and volcanic clay, head to global sensation Innisfree at Melbourne Central. We recommend starting with the best-selling green tea range. And if you need to restock on pimple patches, score the miracle dots at W Cosmetics or MD Ranking.

Cool off with a bingsu shaved ice

A towering mountain of snowy shaved ice, condensed milk, boba and fresh fruit await at Scoopy. This hidden laneway dessert bar is an insta-fave for their cute dine-in offerings. Or head over to Melbourne’s only Sulbing, fresh from the streets of Busan. Toppings include dark chocolate Oreo monster, tiramisu cheesecake, rockmelon and red velvet.

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Pizza Monster

Pizza Monster

A Korean-style premium pizza and pasta casual dining restaurant.

Bakemono Bakers

Bakemono Bakers

Inspired by bakeries in Japan and Korea.

Where to find the best Korean BBQ in Melbourne

Where to find the best Korean BBQ in Melbourne

Feast on the best flame-grilled pork belly and bulgogi with friends and family.

Oppa Kitchen

Oppa Kitchen

Modern Korean dishes with fried chicken and bibimbaps.

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Mouche

Mouche

Costume jewellery boutique with all products imported from Korea.

B.Olume Hair

B.Olume Hair

Korean hair salon providing a wide range of hair services for both men and women.

Merry Seasons

Merry Seasons

Retailer selling Japanese and Korean cosmetics, drinks, snacks and homewares.

KBox Karaoke Private Room

KBox Karaoke Private Room

A karaoke institution and the scene of many a hilarious performance.

Last updated on Thu 5 Oct 2023

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