Koko is a Korean restaurant in collegetown, and as somebody who has never tried Korean food prior to coming to Cornell, the two Korean restaurants in collegetown, Koko and Four Seasons, has changed me into a hardcore Korean food fan (I actually prefer it to Chinese food…). The restaurant has also quickly became a date-night favorite between me and my boyfriend.

Koko has a small storefront, but on any Friday it would be packed, mostly with students. The ambiance of the restaurant is quite cozy, and actually, between the other Korean restaurant in collegetown, the service is actually better. The food has a sort of ‘rustic’ and ‘home made’ vibe to it, and in all the times I’ve been here, I have not been disappointed.

My go-to order here is the dolsot Bibimbap. It’s a pretty ‘classic’ Korean rice dish with an egg, veggies, and your protein of choice. I went with tofu of course–in the case of this dish it’s also cooked in a sizzling stone bowl. If you just get the regular bibimbap, that is just cooked rice with the toppings in a normal ceramic bowl. I usually find that the regular version isn’t hot enough to fully cook the egg, even after mixing.

Bibimbap with tofu, vegetables, and spicy red chili sauce

Topped with the spicy and tangy (with a slightest bit of sweet) red-chili sauce, it’s a delight in my mouth. As for portion size, this is what I get when I’m hungry and it’s very filling.

I also really like this restaurant because it’s vegetarian friendly! Though not catered to only vegetarians, there are a wide selection of dishes that could be made vegetarian. Many of the dishes will allow you to customize with no meat, or add tofu as the protein. My other favorites on the menu are the kimchi pajun (a savory kimchi pancake) and the soondubu jjigae (it’s a soft tofu stew, and you can add other proteins if you would like as well).

Overall, Koko is a great restaurant to eat at for a chill Friday evening and may just get you to fall in love with Korean food.

Vegetarian Friendly? 4/5 (YES!)
Ambiance: 4/5
Price: $$/$$$
Food: 5/5
Service: 4/5

Food Diaries Friday is a series on my blog where I write about my “food adventures” in my last semester at Cornell.

You can read the previous installment here: Pho at Saigon Kitchen