New York

50Best Accolades
  • The Best Restaurant in North America 2024

Elevated Korean counter dining in Manhattan


On the Pass

Junghyun Park

K-wave: If food is the ultimate window into culture, and Korean culture is increasingly prevalent and valued internationally, then Atomix in New York provides the ultimate gastronomic manifestation of the K-wave phenomenon. This is Korean dining at its very finest: sophisticated and flavoursome food, with dishes grounded in heritage, but distinct and innovative. The food is delivered with an attention to detail that ensures every diner departs in wonderment.

Unlikely location: Arrive outside Atomix and you might be forgiven for thinking you were in the wrong spot – until other diners gather on the sidewalk alongside you. The unprepossessing exterior in the still rough-round-the-edges NoMad district of Manhattan belies a beautiful, if minimal, restaurant within. The ground floor houses a bar serving exceptional cocktails, with the main 14-seat U-shaped counter in the basement.

On the menu: Diners can expect a well-paced 12-course tasting menu of Korean-based plates, featuring world-class flavour and texture combinations. Each dish is served in beautiful bespoke ceramics accompanied by an explanatory card providing accessible information on the ingredients, origin and inspiration. Dishes range from lamb with deodeok [a Korean root vegetable] to cherry blossom trout with Korean mustard and rhubarb; sea cucumber might be served with shrimp and egg over rice, while just-grilled wagyu is contrasted with cold noodles.

Couple goals: Atomix is the flagship restaurant of Ellia Park, who runs the business, and her husband, chef Junghyun ‘JP’ Park. The Korean-born duo also oversee three further New York dining spots – the more casual Atoboy (which predates Atomix), Naro (focusing on more traditional dishes) and the drinks-led Seoul Salon – making them arguably the city’s ultimate gastronomic power couple. Yet the Parks have retained the hospitality, humility and sincerity, combined with immense skill, that has been the bedrock of their business and creative success.

Major impact: Atomix is providing a fresh and more international perspective on Korean cuisine, outside the boundaries of hansik [traditional Korean food] or ‘New Korean’ gastronomy. It has become one of the most influential restaurants in the world, reflected by its status as The Best Restaurant in North America 2024.