Background Infiltrating lobular carcinoma (ILC) is the second most common type of invasive breast cancers and it has been reported to have some unique biologic and epidemiologic characteristics. Methods Clinicopathological features of 95 patients with ILC, their relapse free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) were retrospectively investigated and compared with those of 3,621 patients with infiltrating ductal carcinoma-not otherwise specified (IDC-NOS) between January 1984 and December 2005. Results ILC constitutes 2.3% of all invasive breast cancers. There were no difference between the ILC and the IDC-NOS groups regarding age at diagnosis, tumor size, nodal status, and treatment modalities except hormone therapy. The ILC group showed more estrogen receptor expression, less HER-2 expression and higher bilaterality. RFS and OS of the ILC patients were similar to those of the IDC. IDC-NOS metastasized more frequently to the lung and bone, whereas, ILC to the bone and ovary. Conclusions The incidence of ILC was relatively low in Korean breast cancer patients. Comparing to IDC-NOS ILC showed some different features such as higher estrogen receptor expression, less HER-2 expression, higher bilaterality and preferred metastatic sites of bone and ovary. Contralateral cancers and bone and ovary evaluation should be considered when monitoring ILC patients.