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Lifestyle

'Hidden Gem' Restaurant Stands Out For Authentic Cuisine, No-Frills Atmosphere

Cana Korean Restaurant in Chicopee
Cana Korean Restaurant in Chicopee Photo Credit: Cana Korean Restaurant

In Chicopee, off the beaten path, in between a driving school and an accounting firm is a “hidden gem” restaurant that has local foodies buzzing.

Cana Korean Restaurant stands out, just not from the street.

In online reviews, diners praise Cana for its authentic cuisine and knowledgeable staff who serve up a varied menu in a no-frills atmosphere.

Menu standouts at Cana include Spicy Chicken Bulgogi, Shumai (shrimp dumplings), Kimbap, Sweet and Sour Pork, Donkatsu (“deep-fried pork in a crispy coat served with Korean style coleslaw”), Yakisoba, sweet potato noodles, and Stone pot Bibim-Bap.

The restaurant has menus for gluten-free and vegetarian diners.

Yelp foodie RJ F. of Tampa, Florida, said the in-table barbecue is delicious and fun for a group.

“Nothing fancy but the food is delicious and authentic and the staff is friendly and engaging,” RJ F. said. “Great place for dinner and a conversation as the bbq tables allow you to cook your own food and eat at a leisurely pace. The bibimbap is wonderful rice and egg dish served in a hot stone pot which crisps the rice on the bottom for a nicely textured dish. Good stuff!”

Cana has been open since at least 2012 and provides dine-in eating as well as delivery. The restaurant extends its delivery circle to parts of Longmeadow during dinner times toward the weekend. Check their Facebook page for more details.

The interior at Cana has butter-yellow walls, clean pale wood tables over plain black metal chairs with vinyl cushions that match the walls.

Yelp foodie Linda M. of Wayland noted the restaurant’s conservative decor on her most recent trip to Cana, as well as the knowledgeable staff.

“A real hidden gem in an unassuming location,” Linda M. said. “If you are not fussy about decor and location, and simply crave quality food with superb customer service, this is your place! Upon arrival, we were greeted immediately by the friendly host who also happened to be our waiter. He seated the five of us right away a table with a BBQ grill. We chose the beef bulgogi to grill, japchae, and several appetizers.

“As with all Korean restaurants, the waiter brought out the one dozen small dishes first. But here is where things truly stood out - instead of just putting them on our table, the knowledgeable waiter explained to us what each of the dish was. Despite having had them multiple times before at various Korean restaurants, this was the first time someone actually named them all for me.

“The beef bulgogi and japchae were delicious and flavorful. The beef cooked quickly on the grill, and to our liking. The fulfilling meal ended with a delightful serving of chilled cinnamon tea, complimentary of the restaurant, which made for a memorable dining experience.”

Cana Korean Restaurant is open Monday, 11 a.m to 8 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Contact the restaurant at (413) 592-1362 or canakoreanrestaurant.com.

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