I’m always down for good Korean food, and I found exactly that at quirky space in NYC, 31st between 5th and Mad. Ave. By day, it’s a quiet little cafe called Cup & Cup that serves cute lattes with fusion Korean food. By night, it transform into the Korean gastropub Take31 with soju & rice wine cocktails and the extremely satisfying Korean pub food. YUM.
How are there two yummies in one place? I asked around and they are two completely different businesses, with different staff, chef, menus, and opening hours but they simply share the same space. I visited both in one week to see what the fuss was about.
Cup & Cup
Cup & Cup is perfect for lunch during work, and that is exactly what I did this week. Luckily for me it’s only a few blocks away. Pictured above is the front section of the cafe, and it seems like it was cut straight out from a cafe in Sinchon. You can pretty much chill for hours by yourself.
Some of the ~inspirational~ Korean decor around the space as well as the cafe’s menu. When I came to visit their alter ego at night, this menu did not change to reflect the pub’s menu. So I guess this is the permanent touch from the cafe. They have snacks, ramen, rice balls, salads (with black crunchy rice!!!), etc. At its core, the food is Korean but there’s a bit of Japanese fusion happening as well. They have a fab range of coffee, including the barista’s special: matcha bomb. I’ve only tried their red velvet latte (super cute) and what’s pictured below, but I’ll definitely be back to try more of their menu next time.
This week I ordered the spicy miso ramen and a green tea latte. I’ve been eating like a mouse lately, so this portion was a tiny bit bigger than I could stomach. I’d say it’s a damn good portion for lunch. And yes, it was delicious.
Cup & Cup is great for a quick lunch, catch up with a friend or if you need to work in a casual environment. They have lovely staff and a yummy menu, so pay them a visit if you can. Just remember, they take cash only.
When the clock strikes 6PM, the space transforms into a busy Korean gastropub. A delicious one at that.
Take31 is noticeably busier than its daytime counterpart. They take no reservations so you’ll just have to hang around. When I arrived around 8:30PM on a Wednesday night, there were 5 groups ahead of us on the list. Luckily they went wandering so I only waited around 20 minutes all up.
I only went as a party of two so we couldn’t order too many dishes. We had a perfect budaejjigae (pictured in the featured image too). It has rice cakes, sausages, spam, cheese, veggies, and ramen. I noticed that basically half the restaurant was ordering it and for good reason too. It’s easily the best I’ve had! Very similar standards to the ones I’ve tried at a budaejjigae restaurant in Korea.
As a side, I ordered a crispy havana-style corn pancake. I have a weakness for corn and this was so satisfying for a corn lover. It’s pretty much the corn on the cob style street food you get but as a pancake. YUM!
Lastly for dessert we ordered the green tea honey butter brioche with green tea ice cream (what a mouthful!). The pan was SO hot so be careful. I accidentally touched it burnt my hand. :( The dessert was interesting — crunchy, chewy and hot, paired with the fresh, cold ice cream.
I’ve already made plans to come back to Take31 on Friday. It’s definitely a great spot for drinks with friends and they seem to have amazing cocktails (lychee soju, anyone?). ;)