Warning: $18 of Food is All The Trays Can Take At the Woorijip Buffet

The Key to Success at Woorjip!
The Tray Can Only Take So Much (To Be Exact, 9 Times As Much As What You See Here.)

If you are a longtime reader of Midtown Lunch (and a lover of Korean food) you are no doubt aware of Woorijip’s by the lb buffet (on 32nd btw. B’way+5th).  My eyes and stomach are both large, so I have always found the “pay what your lunch weighs” a very dangerous game to engage in.  But Woorijip has so many amazing things to choose from and the buffet is only way to get a little bit of everything… or a lot of everything, as this lunch’er seemed to  do recently.  Naturally, his tale is a cautionary one…

“Just wanted to tell you and your readers an extremely important fact. I am sure many of us have put the per pound lunch table trays to the test on a hungry day. Recently I rolled by Woorijip, the Korean deli on 32nd at 11:45 am, the food trays were fresh, warm, and not picked over. I could not have been more excited.

The lineup was epic: The cold side featured heaping treys of: Pork Belly with Soy Ginger sauce, Kimbap, Pickled veggies, rice cakes, baby octopus. Half way through the line my tray was already full…”

“The warm side: Sweet and sour pork, meatballs, breaded steak cutlet (! holy crap this was good), chicken wings (blow away BonTon), bulgogi, egg pancakes each one heaped and fresh …still warm.

I couldn’t stop and it was weighing down heavy on my hand. I was VERY careful to segregate my food. There was no way I could keep everything separate so I settled for Hot on one side cold on the other.

I got in the very short line :) and watched as they took my masterpiece from my hands and put in on the scale: $12 > $15 > $18.73!!!  The tray flexed deftly

All of a sudden… CRACK!!!  The perfectly engineered styrofoam tray had cracked on the meatball / wing side!

Absolutely devastating, my hungry mans masterpiece was now sliding all around the scale as I watched in horror.

Anyway I gathered up another tray and was allowed to re-execute my selections- this time with a smarter pre-informed strategy.

Clearly $18 is the magic $$$/weight number that stressed the great strength of the styro lunch tray. Watch it when you go over, and be sure to always balance correctly, especially diagonally oppposite your stablizing hand!”

THAT IS AMAZING.  You sir are a pillar of our community, and should serve as an example for the rest of us- who should always be striving to push the limits of lunching here in Midtown and beyond!

Fake Shrimp Scam (!?!?) and the ML Guide to Buffet by the lb. Eating
Woorijip Gets a Makeover, Still the Best Cheap Korean on 32nd


  • This is why if i want korean, i go to a Korean restaurant nearby for lunch special. I don’t go to Woorijip. I can get good food for less than $10 with all the side dishes. I especially like Wonjo’s lunch specials.

  • thats a big lunch.

  • sir eats-a-lot weeps for you.

    a lesson is learned.

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    @mkim1206: Agreed.I think Woorijip is only worth it if you want something really quick and cheap and simple (no banchan salad bar). And Woorijip’s food isn’t really good. You see so many people there because they can eat there and save money by not leaving a tip. And if you get non-salad bar stuff, many times you can have a meal for less than $6. But the restaurants in K town in general serve much better food than Woorijip. In addition to Wonjo, Kunjip’s very good.

  • I LOVE Woorijip! Blasphemy soupdumpling! lol but I don’t lunch in Midtown and I don’t eat at Woorijip, I buy the stuff to take home and put in my lunch the next day :)

  • I also love Woorijip. I have 1 and a half loyalty cards filled. I’m gunning for the apron. I love their selection in the left fridge (the only you have to stand on line to look at) It’s always different and always good.

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    Agree with mkim. Although I love Woorijip, if I’m going to spend $18 on Korean lunch on 32nd St, it sure as shit ain’t going to be at Woorijip, and it will still be plenty filling.

  • Great story. I like Woorijip a lot because I can try a whole bunch of different things from the buffet for a relatively low price. If I’m not too hungry, I’ll just pick out a few things, avoiding weighty starches, and it rings up at around $6-$8. But I miss real banchan. I’ll have to head over to Kunjip or Wonjo or Han Bat soon.

  • Too bad after the tray broke and food spilled, Duke from the 80s GI Joe cartoon didn’t come out and point to the shattered tray and say “That’s what happens when you don’t double up the tray with $18 worth of food on a single styrofoam tray. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.”

  • LWL – and then a YouTube dub of it later came out with KIMBAP SANDWICHES, maaaaaan!

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