Atlanta Road Trip: Hankook Taqueria Korean Tacos

Hankook front

Korean tacos was my suggestion, and my family–in Atlanta for a long weekend–actually embraced the idea, or at least didn’t refuse. So to Hankook Taqueria we went, because nothing says Atlanta like Korean barbecue tacos.

Andrew Zimmern was there before us.

Andrew Zimmern was there before us.

I had heard of Hankook through either a feature on TV or perhaps an online reference a couple of years ago. But from the strong recommendation they received, I knew I wanted to eat there. With our trip to Atlanta I finally had the chance.

Hankook is located in an industrial area. You’re somewhat surprised when you find it. We arrived after the lunch rush, so there was no wait to order. But while there was no crowd, even off-peak there was a steady stream of customers, from hipsters to businessmen to blue collar guys. Korean tacos have widespread appeal, apparently, and after I tried the food I understood why.

The pork tacos were calling me (I’m always drawn to barbecue pork), but since I wanted the pork sliders I opted for the beef instead. My lovely wife did go for the pork taco and added the Man-doo pork dumplings. We shared an order of sesame fries (the serving was generous), and I recommend doing just this.

Sesame Fries

Hankook is not for the non-adventurous palate. The flavors are strong, both spicy and hot. The pork, particularly, is also mildly sweet. If you’re new to it the tastes can be overwhelming. But, oh, is it good.

The beef taco.

The beef taco.

Their tacos serve as the anchor for the meal, and both the beef and the pork tacos are excellent. My seven year old ordered the fish taco, and clamored for a second one after she scarfed it down. That’s a pretty strong endorsement, although I didn’t get a chance to try it myself. Next time the fish taco is certainly on my list.

The pork sliders are also wonderful. An order comes with two, but the sliders are big, so you may want to get an order to split with someone so you can try other things. My favorite, though, were the pork dumplings that my wife ordered. She wasn’t as enthusiastic about them as I was, but I say absolutely give them a try.

Sliders pork

There’s nothing negative to say about Hankook. The staff was friendly and attentive. Bubbly college girls took our order. And on the way out, I enjoyed a chat with one of the cooks (the owner?) who has relatives in Kentucky (well, Louisville, but that’s close). He said we had missed Drew Barrymore by a few days. Apparently there is a movie studio nearby, which brings Hollywood types in from time to time. I guess they know good food when they find it.

If you find yourself in Atlanta run, don’t walk, to Hankook Taqueria. That’s my plan next time I’m in Atlanta. It’s Asian street fusion at its finest.

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