We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
$25 Amazon.com Gift Card Get yours when you book a hotel on TripAdvisor and review your stay!


City Center West
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
1608 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19103-5404
11:00 am - 8:00 pm
Closed now
All hours
Mon - Fri 11:00 am - 8:00 pm
Sat 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
More Info
Add Photo Write a Review

17 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Showing 17: English reviews
North Carolina
Level Contributor
42 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2016

I hadn't had Korean food for awhile and was craving it badly. My husband had the dol sot bi bim bap, and I had the soon dubu. I'm half Korean and can vouche that the stew was legit. Delicious! I'd also recommend the dol sot. We also got kimchiijun, which I was disappointed about because there was barely any kimchi.... More 

Thank wanderlust2806
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
17 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2015

Wow, I wasn't sure what to order, so I am glad that the wait staff recommended I order their signature bibimop with crunchy rice that is served hot pot style, with rice, veggies and your choice of meat and 2 sides all for 11.95. This is a lot of good quality food for a terrific price, as close to authentic... More 

Thank dpeacht
Barrington, New Jersey
Level Contributor
54 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2015

Hot lunch bowl (bibimbop) and bulgogi lunch platter are great. Have been here a few times and have always had good meals. Service is always quick and friendly. Prices are a little higher but the quality is good so it's worth it. For lunch, be warned the place is tiny so finding a seat is not easy during the lunch... More 

Thank jeffe82
Level Contributor
27 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2015 via mobile

Buy the sauce. The best part of this place was the hot iron bowls full of cabbage and rice and meaty happiness and topped with their own hot sauce. Its flavorful and spicy but my anti-spice girlfriend still loved it. We go every time we're in Philly.

Thank Brendan W
Level Contributor
46 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2014 via mobile

Always a great sign as I walked to find the place as the queues of people outside! Special sizzling rice bowl was nicely presented in a thick cast iron type bowl surrounded in aged wood. I elected for then brown rice and the spicy pork. Just fantastic. Perfectly cooked veg, great flavours with optional spice with side sauces. Served on... More 

Thank EKB-7
Collegeville, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
18 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

I am not a Korean food expert but I think I have a handle on good food. Stopped here with my brother for the first time for lunch during a conference in Center City. Not much of a place to look at. You pay first and sit while your food is prepared fresh. I will definitely try it again when... More 

Thank tc_odonnell
Towson, Maryland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

This small, stripped-down Korean restaurant is little more than a hole in the wall, but it provides excellent food and excellent value. The ingredients are fresh and attractively prepared. The menu is limited, but the chef was happy to add an egg to my wife's bibimbap, and I heard other diners making adjustments to their orders as well. The vegetable... More 

Thank Richard H
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
30 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

I am not an expert on Korean food but I found the food at Giwa accessible and well priced. I thought the concept of paying up first, getting your own food when it was ready and putting away your tray (a la IKEA) was a good concept to keep the prices decent, which they are. They also provide a jug... More 

Thank PeripheriesPassport
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
94 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012 via mobile

This jewel box Korean restaurants concentrates on a small menu that delivers big flavor with high quality ingredients. Kimchi pancakes and dumplings are consistently tasty and freshly cooked. The meats (bulgogi, kalbi, spicy pork) mix and match well with their offerings: as tacos, bibimbap, or (my favorite) dol sot bibimbap. This place avoids the pitfalls of their compatriot restaurants: too... More 

Thank Da-juiceman
Winston-Salem, NC
Level Contributor
34 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

Great food, fast service. Seating is a little tight, but manageable. The kimchi pancake is the best I've ever tried---

Thank breinings

Travelers who viewed Giwa also viewed

Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia, PA

Been to Giwa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing
Improve this listing

Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    3.5 of 5 stars
Asian, Korean
Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Open Hours
11:00 am - 8:00 pm
11:00 am - 8:00 pm
11:00 am - 8:00 pm
11:00 am - 8:00 pm
11:00 am - 8:00 pm
12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 1608 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19103-5404
  • Location: United States  >  Pennsylvania (PA)  >  Philadelphia>  > City Center West
  • Neighborhood: City Center West
  • Phone Number: 215-557-9830

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Giwa and other visitors
1 question
Ask a question
Questions? Get answers from Giwa staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?