Is Jup She’s Lunch Box The Best Korean Deal Downtown?

Normally when people go to Chinatown it’s for, well, Chinese food or maybe a little Vietnamese or Thai. While I’m sure there are a handful of Korean restaraunts lodged in that part of the city, I wasn’t really aware of them, except for Jup She (formerly Li Hua). It’s a tiny place on Grand St. (at Baxter) with no real sign so you have to watch out for it. The reason I trekked all the way up to Chinatown for Korean food is that there really isn’t much to choose from in the Financial District unless you want Soma By Nature, Bon Chon or Cafe Hanover. Plus, I’m all about a Korean lunch box for less than $10, which I feel is a rarity (especially judging by the crappy-looking box Chris tried at Cafe Hanover for more than $10). Take a gander at what was in Jup She’s arsenal after the jump.

I figured since I took the subway up there, I might as well eat in. That turned out to be a wise decision because sometimes it’s nice to sit in a non-dingy dining room and feast on a Midtown Lunch that didn’t come from a steam table. Plus, a ridiculous amount of food is involved in this lunch deal.

First, you get the side dishes – four of them to be exact. I think they may give different ones depending on what they have around so I’m not going to go into great detail other than saying there was a pasta salad, some cold potato and onions, cold wheat noodles and a kimchi-esque pickled vegetable. Oh, and they also asked if I would like more sides once I had finished most of what was there, so hearty eaters take note.

You also a get a small bowl of miso soup between the side dishes and actual lunch box. It was good and contained a lot of tofu, if that’s your thing.

When they brought the actual lunch box out, I was relieved I wasn’t full yet because it looked so much prettier than my usual lunches. Hmm…maybe I should consider eating at restaurants more often. There are several choices for the meat portion of the box, and they range in price from $8.95 to $11.95 if you want kalbi. I went with the spicy chicken ($8.95), although it was a tough choice between that and bulgogi ($9.95). Shrimp, eel and jae-yook are other options under $10.

In addition to a generous pile of meat, you get some rice, lettuce salad, tofu and some jap chae. The chicken was white meat, but had been grilled and was pretty great although not particularly spicy.

The rest of it was pretty self-explanatory, but I did really enjoy the jap chae while I pretended that my lunch was healthy.

If it’s not in the cards for you to go up to Chinatown for lunch (or down if you work in Soho), they do deliver. I would imagine you would get a gigantic bag full of tiny little containers to sift through.

And if any of you have found good sources of Korean food downtown, share in the comments.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • It’s uncommonly cheap for Korean food.
  • You can eat in the nice ding room and feel like you’re not eating a Midtown Lunch.
  • Refills on the sides!

THE — (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • I’d rather just go eat some Bon Chon and keep it in the FiDi.
  • I hate Korean food.

Jup She, 171 Grand St. (at Baxter), (212) 343-0090



  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Korean food in Chinatown…intriguing!
    There is Seh Ja Meh on Greenwich St. Good lunchboxes but its a bit pricey.

  • Thank you!
    I have been searching for a Korean place nearby… and bonus that it wont break the bank. I totally packed lunch today but i think i can take a walk over there… its been too long since i’ve had korean.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    I just went today. Great find! The dumplings and soup they gave were a bit cold and the bulgogi is decent, but the japchae was excellent! Service was very attentive as well.

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