"Early History of Korean Restaurants in Manhattan, NY" by Kyou-Jin Lee

The main purpose of this paper is to examine the history of Korean restaurants in Manhattan, New York City in the 1960s and 1970s. These Korean restaurants were the pioneers in the globalization of Korean food. "Mi Cin" is presumed to have been the first Korean restaurant in Manhattan and opened on March 1, 1960. We can estimate that there were four Korean restaurants in Manhattan in the 1960s. The number of Korean restaurants increased to more than 18 in the 1970s, and their main menu items were divided into three types: Korean fusion menus, such as "Lunch Special," for American customers, the beef barbecue menu for American and Korean customers, and Korean traditional menus for the increasing numbers of Korean immigrants.

This article was originally published in Journal of the Korean Society of Food Culture (No. 6, Vol. 26, December 2011), a journal based in Korea. We acknowledge the editor of the journal for giving the Center permission to post the article on Korean American Data Bank. The author, Dr. Kyou-Jin Lee, stayed at our Center as a visiting scholar in the 2010-2011 academic year. 

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