Folks are already fans of fast casual spots like Chipotle and Moe’s for regional cuisines. Bibillia, a new spot now open in Ridgewood, lets you create custom Korean food dishes in a similar way. The business takes the place of Leon’s Mexican Cuisine and, one drastic renovation later, looks brand new.
Though originally intended for a mid-March opening, the 3,700-square foot, 60-seat Bibillia didn’t actually open until May. As you may suspect, the COVID-19 pandemic is the reason behind the delay. “Opening during the pandemic has been difficult, to say the least. But it also has been an important lesson,” says owner Hyungmin “Min” Mun. “It has taught me to act faster and wisely to changes. It is my responsibility to quickly understand the changes and make adjustments accordingly.”
Bibimbap + Utopia = Bibillia
But what does Bibillia mean, you ask? Mun explains it combines the words “bibimbap” (the rice bowl they serve), “Korea,” and “utopia”. As for his previous work experience, Mun’s family ran a restaurant and catering business in NJ. In fact, opening in Ridgewood was a no-brainer for Mun because he grew up in town.
“Through years of living in town, I’ve seen the changes Ridgewood has gone through,” he says. “Now that I’m starting a business here, I can help make this amazing town even better.” For example, Mun plans to hire high school students and create a scholarship program for students. “I received so much from the teachers and town when I attended schools in Ridgewood,” he explains. “I want to return what I’ve received by being part of the community.”
Outdoors, Bibillia can seat 10 during the week on the sidewalk and, on weekends, offer some street seating as well.
Signature Dishes with Rice and Noodles
The menu focuses on Korean bibimbap and Korean home-style noodles. “Our menu is small and simple, but the selections are unique and distinct,” says Mun. For instance, they serve bibimbap that preserves its Korean taste despite using non-Korean ingredients. In addition, meals at Bibillia come in biodegradable, fiber bowls. Click here to see the full menu.
To start your order, first you must select your bibimbap; rice options include brown, white, or purple, but you can also substitute with lettuce. Then, you pick one protein from the six options of chicken, beef, pork, mushroom, tofu, or shrimp. Next, you can pile on toppings ranging from beets, cucumbers, and carrots to eggs, cabbage, and bean sprouts. The final touch is to select your sauce from one of four house-made choices like teriyaki. Likewise, building a noodle bowl consists of choosing a protein and toppings to go with a special broth from scratch.
You can complete your meal with a side, like their Korean-style veggie fries, or order from their drink menu; they make hot or iced tea in house using real fruits like blueberry, mango, pineapple, or strawberry.
To visit Bibillia, head over to 16 Chestnut Street in Ridgewood. They offer delivery (via ChowNow and UberEats) and pickup (both in-store and curbside). To learn more, click here to visit their website or click here to give them a call.
Click here to find the latest restaurants open in New Jersey.