The Gobuki Korean Cart Serves Up Bargain BBQ

Sometimes I wander around in search of lunch, aimlessly, wondering what to eat. I really need some suggestions that y’all want to see here, so feel free to email me or comment on any of the posts I’ve written with recommendations – please! Your contributions are what make this site invaluable!

To that end, on my wanderings recently, I passed the Korean Gobuki Cart a few times before I decided sure, I can do Korean food – for less than $10… from a cart! Sounds like a win already; Korean food/BBQ is notoriously fairly pricy.

The menu ranges from platters to sandwiches and… burritos? with your choice of protein. Not wanting to break my streak of going 33+ years without ever having had a burrito, and remember one of your comments recently that I need to eat more spicy food, I opted for the “spicy pork box” – stir fried pork marinated in spicy sauce over rice with dumplings and salad, for $10. Unfortunately, as they were out of dumplings, the guy told me I could order the spicy pork rice – the same thing, minus the dumplings, for $8.

And a few minutes later, I was digging eagerly into this: white rice topped with a very tender pork, coated with a slightly spicy sauce of sorts, alongside a bit of bagged iceberg lettuce salad that was dressed in a vinaigrette that smacked of ginger. The pork was almost too tender; it was so soft that I probably could have cut through it using my plastic fork and it lacked any texture that defined it as slices of pork as opposed to… well, anything else. The heat level was moderate – I broke a small sweat, but nothing intolerable; a very flavorful heat that I found enjoyable. I found the portion size to be perfect, as I did not fall into a food coma as soon as I got back to my desk, nor did I feel hungry shortly thereafter.

I want to try more from the cart before I give an official +/-, but I’m fairly certain it won’t change: bargain prices for reasonably tasty Korean food that satisfies. It’s not the best you can find, but for the price and convenience (are there any Korean restaurants in the area that fall under $10 for lunch?), it’s completely satisfactory.

By the way, when I did a search to see if the Gobuki cart had been covered on Midtown Lunch, I came across this post from late 2011, which seems rife with controversy in the comments. However, the photos of the cart in that post vs. the cart I actually visited, despite sharing the exact same location, seem very different. There’s reference to a woman running the cart in that post; the cart I visited was run by two men who didn’t appear Korean (but I’ve been wrong on that count in the past). I’m not entirely sure it is the same cart, but on the side of the cart I visited was a small sign that read “Gobuki Korean Cart” – which is what I’m basing the name off and nothing else.

If anyone has any insight into that, or has suggestions for where I should eat next, please share in comments!

Gobuki Cart, SW corner of 52nd & 6th Ave.


  • That’s the right place. They got a new cart between that 2011 post and this one. Maybe the woman had the day off, but she’s been there every one of the dozens of times I’ve picked up my lunch from there.

    I enjoy the kimchi rice, which is pretty much the only “unusual” thing at the cart, but I’ve yet to find something I didn’t enjoy as I’ve worked my way through virtually the entire menu.

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    FYI, the Yogi cart is back. The lines are long due to one of the guys recovering from surgery.

    • Hi Gate321! Thanks for the info! Where is it ‘back’? I looked but found a couple of different locations for it. That may be my next destination! Thanks!

  • For a while I thought this was the Bapcha cart. They served similar things, but I hadn’t been there in more than a year.

  • Cheese, I believe it did used to be bapcha. I think it changed owners and then became Gobuki, controversy and all. then as Dave mentions above, a couple years back, they upgraded to the fully enclosed cart, as opposed to what you see in the photos from the 2011 post.

    and actually, the lady hasn’t been there in a couple weeks. the one guy who does most of the cooking is still there tho. A shame tho, because she would occasionally sneak in a free miso soup or dumplings for me.

    the cart is good for what it is, and its cheap. the sandwiches are pretty good, tho a little small for my large appetite. but hey, its only $6.

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