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83 Very Good

At HanGawi, the Narnia of Koreatown, carnivores envy vegetarians.

12 E. 32nd St., New York, NY, 10016



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The lowdown

Root-vegetable rice bowls, pumpkin porridge, fermented cabbage, an abundance of mushrooms, and lots of greens. Hangawi’s veggie-centric Korean temple cuisine may not seem as exotic as it did decades ago when New York magazine declared it the best vegetarian food in New York. Nor is it up there with today’s most accomplished vegivore cooking. But just yanking at the imposing, practically castle-moat doors and entering this oddball oasis — a kind of cross between a monastery mess hall and a cozy mountain ski lodge — is still a thrill. Take off your shoes (it’s mandatory), grab a surprisingly comfortable cushioned seat on the floor, and for an hour or two forget all about meat.

Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld

What you need to know

Insider Tips Wear nice socks!

Recommended DishesEmperor’s meal (minimum order of 2); seasonal highlight; Korean wine sampler.

DrinksSake/Soju, Beer & Wine Only

Noise LevelHushed