Vegetarian Dining Options in Seoul

Vegetarian Dining Options in Seoul

This list attempts to highlight all of the “vegetarian” restaurants in Seoul. The term vegetarian is quoted because what may appear vegetarian is not. For example, at the Mushroom Floor restaurant (#51 restaurant below), the soup broth which you will be dunking the various fresh mushrooms is made with dried fish flakes. So while this list will satisfy most vegetarians that are looking to avoid meat and fish, for the vegans and the Hindus that are absolutely strict with having 100% vegetarian, aside from the few Temple cuisine, it will be difficult to have truly vegan Korean meals. The available options out there will be the pure vegetarian restaurants and the Indian and Italian (pasta and pizza) restaurants.

Note that this is not a review of the vegetarian restaurants. That would require me to eat at these restaurants which I can’t say that I have…yet. This information is provided more as a resource for the plant based eaters out living here in Seoul. Since I haven’t been to each of these restaurants and taken photos, I have provided some external Naver blog links for you to check out the food, location, interior, menu, etc. In no way, am I endorsing any of these blogs. In fact, I haven’t even bothered to read what each blog says about the restaurant. I just selected based on visual content.

SeoulFoodPatrol is a Flexitarian in training. I have watched the documentaries Forks over Knives, What the Health, read the Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollan, VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health for Good and know the truth in #plantpower.

Cuisine Categories

Temple Food (Vegan)

  1. 마지– Maji  [Gyeongbokgung Station]
  2. 산촌- Sanchon  [Insa Dong]
  3. 발우공양- Balwoo Gongyang [Anguk Dong]
  4. 봉은사- Bongeunsa Temple  [Samseong Dong]

Vegetarian / Vegan Restaurants

  1. Monk’s Butcher  [Itaewon]
  2. 마치래빗– March Rabbit  [2 Locations – Garosugil & Digital Media City (Mapo)]
  3. 배드파머스– Bad Farmers  [Garosugil]
  4. 부첼라- Buccella  [Maebong Station]
  5. 오세계향– Oh Sae Gye Hyang  [Anguk Station]
  6. 쿡앤북- Cook & Book  [Hapjeong Station]
  7. 플랜트- Plant  [Itaewon]
  8. Raw Vega  [Sinchon]
  9. 사블랑카샌드위치- Casablanca Sandwich  [HBC]
  10. 모로코코카페- Moroccan Café  [HBC]
  11. 허거스- Huggers  [Itaewon]
  12. 페트라- Petra  [Noksapyeong]
  13. 샐러드브라더스- Salad Brothers  [Hongdae]
  14. 한과채  [Insa Dong]
  15. 젤렌- Zelen  [Itaewon]
  16. 베제투스– Vegetus  [HBC]
  17. What a Salad [2 locations – Itaewon & Amore Pacific Building]
  18. Kafe Nordic  [Hannam Dong]
  19. Salad Seller  [Hannam Dong]
  20. Root  [Hannam Dong]
  21. La Ferme  [Hannam Dong]
  22. Fat Cat  [HBC]
  23. Vatos [Itaewon]
  24. NY Bagel  [Itaewon]
  25. 자하손만두- JAHA SON MANDU  [Buam Dong]

Tofu

  1. 백년옥–BAEKNYEONOK  [Seoul Arts Center]
  2. 황금콩밭- HWANGGEUM KONGBAT  [Aeogae Station]

Indian

Italian

Pizza

Soba (메밀국수)

  1. Mijin  [Gwangwhamun]
  2. 미나미–Minami  [Seoul National University of Education Station – Seocho-Gu]
  3. 스바루–Subaru  [Bangbae Dong]
  4. 양양메밀막국수- Yangyang Memil Makguksu  [Bangbae Dong]
  5. 백운봉막국수- Baek Eun Bong Makguksu  [Yeoksam]
  6. 오무라안–Omuraan  [Gangnam Station]
  7. 호무랑–Homuran  [Cheongdam]
  8. 마포즉석모밀촌–Mapo Cheg-Seok Mo-mil Chon  [Mangwon Dong]
  9. 소바야청담–Sobaya Cheongdam  [Ichon Dong]
  10. 청수–Jung Su [Saetgang Station]
  11. 오비야–Obiya  [Hongdae]
  12. 남경막국수[Bangi Dong] 

Udon

  1. 우동카덴–Udon Caden  [2 Locations: Hapjeong Station & Yeonhui Dong]
  2. 교다이야- Kyodaiya  [Hapjeong Station]
  3. 이나니와요스케- INANIWA YOSUKE [City Hall Station]
  4. 야마다야- Yamada  [Bundang]

Bibimbap

Vegetarian Friendly Restaurants

  1. 버섯마루- Mushroom Floor Restaurant  [Hapjeong Station]
  2. Sandeulhae [Multiple Locations]
  3. 갈국소- Kalguksu
  4. 삼청동수제비–Samcheong Sujebi  [Samcheong Dong]
  5. 빠르크- Parc  [Hannam Dong]
  6. 카페마마스- Café Mamas  [Multiple Locations]

Temple Food (Vegan)

1. 마지- Maji

Description: Vegan restaurant, Temple cuisine.

Location: Jongno-Gu, Gyeongbokgung St (Line 3, #327)

2. 산촌- Sanchon

Description: Vegan restaurant. Buddhist temple cuisine.

Location: Jongno-Gu, Insa Dong

3. 발우공양- Balwoo Gongyang

Description: Michelin 1-Star temple cuisine food.

Location: Jongno-Gu, Anguk Dong

“Balwoo Gongyang forever changed the public perception of temple cuisine when it opened its doors in 2009. Prior to its opening, temple cuisine was often perceived as “bland” or “flavorless” for its vegan nature as well as its lack of pungent aromatics such as garlic, green onions, chives, wild chives and Chinese squill. But, the dishes boast real depth of flavor, aided by aged temple-made gochujang, doenjang and soy sauce. The restaurant does not offer any alcohol but a corkage service is offered during dinner service.”

     – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

4. 봉은사- Bongeunsa Temple

Description: Buddhist temple, tourist attraction in downtown Seoul. Not as much of a restaurant as it is a tourist attraction.

Location: Gangnam-Gu, Samseong Dong

Vegetarian / Vegan Restaurants

5. 몽크스부처 – Monk’s Butcher

Description: Vegan restaurant

Locations: Yongsan-Gu, Itaewon

6. 마치래빗– March Rabbit

Description: Vegan restaurant

Locations:

(1) Gangnam-Gu, Garosugil

(2) Mapo-Gu, Digital Media City (“DMC”)

7. 배드파머스– Bad Farmers

Description: Sandwich Shop – Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian

Location: Gangnam-Gu, Garosugil

8. 부첼라- Buccella

Description: Salad and Sandwich Shop – Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian

Location: Gangnam-Gu, Maebong Station (Line 3, #343)

9. 오세계향– Oh Sae Gye Hyang

Description: Korean vegan restaurant

Location: Jongno-Gu, Anguk Station (Line 3, #328)

10. 쿡앤북- Cook & Book

Description: Vegan restaurant

Location: Mapo-Gu, Hapjeong Station (Line 2/6)

11. 플랜트- Plant

Description: Vegan restaurant

Location: Yongsan-Gu, Itaewon

12. 로우베가 – Raw Vega

Description: Vegan Café

Location: Mapo-Gu, Sinchon

13. 카사블랑카샌드위치- Casablanca Sandwich

Description: Moroccan sandwich and shakshuka casual restaurant offering vegetarian sandwiches and shakshuka.

Location: Yongsan-Gu, HBC (해방촌)

14. 모로코코카페- Moroccan Café

Description: Moroccan restaurant. May want to call ahead and ask Berber Jin if vegetarian options can be offered. You can buy the vegetarian sandwich and shakshuka from Casablanca, since it is directly across the street, and bring it to the café. It has been done before. Not a problem.

Location: Yongsan-Gu, HBC (해방촌)

15. 허거스- Huggers

Description: Vegetarian / Vegan restaurant

Location: Yongsan-Gu, Itaewon

16. 페트라- Petra

Description: Middle Eastern / Jordanian

Location: Yongsan-Gu, Noksapyeong

17. 샐러드브라더스- Salad Brothers

Description: Salad restaurant

Location: Mapo-Gu, Yeoonnam Dong – Hongdae Station

18. 한과채 – Han Gwa Chae

Description: Vegetarian Buffet. Not the fanciest interior

Location: Jongno-Gu, Insa Dong

19. 젤렌- Zelen

Description: Bulgarian restaurant. Salads and vegetarian appetizers available

Location: Yongsan-Gu, Itaewon

20. 베제투스- Vegetus

Description: Vegan restaurant

Location: Yongsan-gu, HBC (해방촌)

21. 왓어샐러드 – What a Salad

Description: Salad restaurant

2 Locations: (1) Yongsan Gu, Itaewon & (2) Amore Pacific Building @ Sinyongsan Station

22. 카페노르딕 – Kafe Nordic

Description: Sandwich & Salad restaurant

Location: Yongsan Gu, Hannam Dong

23. 샐러드셀러 – Salad Seller

Description: Sandwich & Salad restaurant

Location: Yongsan Gu, Hannam Dong

24. 루트 – Root

Description: Sandwich & Salad restaurant

Location: Yongsan Gu, Itaewon

25. 라페름 – La Ferme

Description: Sandwich & Salad restaurant

Location: Yongsan Gu, Hannam Dong

26. 팻캣 – Fat Cat

Description: Sandwich & Salad restaurant

Location: Yongsan Gu, HBC

27. 바토스 이태원점 – Vatos

Description: Tex-Mex Restaurant

3 Locations: (1) Yongsan Gu, Itaewon (2) Garosugil (3) Jamsil Lotte World

28. 저스트뉴욕베이글 – NY Bagel 

Description: Sandwich & Salad restaurant

Location: Yongsan Gu, HBC

29. 자하손만두- JAHA SON MANDU

Description: Tofu restaurant. Michelin Guide Seoul Bib Gourmand Award Recipient (2018). The broth in which the dumplings are served in is a beef broth.

Location: Jongno-Gu, Buam Dong

“For over two decades, this restaurant has been attracting diners with a rustic dumpling recipe passed down from the owner’s mother and her grandmother. Although humble by nature, their Mandu dishes are always elegantly presented. Their signature dish is manduguk: plump pork, Tofu and vegetable dumplings nestled in a delicate beef broth, seasoned with homemade soy sauce. The main dining room offers a spectacular view of nearby Inwangsan Mountain.”

          – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

Tofu

30. 백년옥- BAEKNYEONOK

Description: Tofu restaurant. Michelin Guide Seoul Bib Gourmand Award Recipient (2018).

Location: Seocho-Gu, Seoul Arts Center

“Located across the main road from Seoul Arts Center, Baengnyeonok has been attracting loyal patrons, including local performers and musicians in their droves, since 1992. This humble institution specializes in fresh homemade Tofu, the central ingredient in a variety of tofu dishes it offers; they include plain soft tofu and soft tofu served in a nutty perilla seed soup. The interior is simply decorated and offers both table and floor seating.”

            – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

31. 황금콩밭- HWANGGEUM KONGBAT

Description: Tofu restaurant. Michelin Guide Seoul Bib Gourmand Award Recipient (2018).

Location: Mapo-Gu, Aeogae Station (Line 5)

“Tucked away in a small alley in Ahyeondong, this hidden gem specializes in rustic homemade tofu. The unctuously creamy tofu is made from scratch, daily, at the crack of dawn. The secret to the elevated nuttiness of local soybeans that shine through in Hwanggeum Kongbat’s tofu is the extra thick soymilk and reduced levels of the coagulant bittern. With a desire to share healthy food with other people, the proprietor also makes and sells homemade cheonggukjang and makgeolli.”

            – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

Indian

32. Indian

Any of the curries and naan should be vegan. Check out SeoulFoodPatrol’s Dining Concierge Guide (“DCG”) and search for “Indian” in the Search Bar for an Indian restaurant near you.

Italian

33. Italian

Any of the pasta dishes should be vegan. Check out SeoulFoodPatrol’s Dining Concierge Guide (“DCG”) and search for “Italian” in the Search Bar for an Italian restaurant near you.

Pizza

34. Pizza

Any of the pizzas should be vegan. Check out SeoulFoodPatrol’s Dining Concierge Guide (“DCG”) and search for “Pizza” in the Search Bar for a pizza restaurant near you.

Soba (메밀국수) – そば

Soba (buckwheat noodles) or maemil (메밀) as it is referred to in Korean should be vegan. You should confirm whether the soy sauce based broth used to dip the soba contains any fish ingredients.

35. Mijin

Detail: Mijin is a 65-year old restaurant (1954) in downtown Seoul, renowned for cold buckwheat noodles. Michelin Guide Seoul Bib Gourmand Award Recipient (2018)

Location: Jongno-Gu, Gwangwhamun

“Located in the heart of Gwanghwamun, Mijin has been serving Korean-style cold buckwheat noodles since 1954. The restaurant operates a factory in the basement where dipping sauce and buckwheat noodles are prepared fresh daily. One portion comes with two stacked tray baskets of noodles, a large kettle of chilled sauce and basic side dishes. Dress your dipping sauce to your desire with grated daikon radish, light wasabi, crispy seasoned laver and chopped green onions already laid out on the table for you.”

          – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

36. 미나미- Minami

Detail: Michelin Guide Seoul Bib Gourmand Award Recipient (2018)

Location: Seocho-Gu, Seoul National University of Education Station (교대)

“The star of the show at Miniami is Japanese-style soba noodles. Trained at the prestigious Tsuji Culinary Institute in Osaka, Japan, Chef Nam Chang-soo is no stranger to the world of Japanese cuisine, but he professes that soba is his one true love. While respecting the time-honored traditions of Japanese-style buckwheat noodles, Nam adds his own spin to the soba dishes he serves at his restaurant. Customer favorites include soba noodle soup topped with soy sauce-braised and grilled conger eel and another variety with soy sauce-braised herring imported from Kyoto.”

          – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

37. 스바루- Subaru

Details: Michelin Guide Seoul Bib Gourmand Award Recipient (2018)

Location: Seocho-Gu, Bangbae Dong

“The owner-chef at Subaru has one sole purpose and that is to serve the best-tasting soba to his customers. Like a true master committed to his craft, Chef Kang Yeong-cheol spent many years in Japan eating soba and honing his soba-making skills. Chef Kang sticks to the classic ni-hachi-style soba, which consists of two parts wheat and eight parts buckwheat. His bestselling zaru soba shines in its utter simplicity – a must-try at Subaru.”

          – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

38. 양양메밀막국수- Yangyang Memil Makguksu

Detail: Michelin Guide Seoul Bib Gourmand Award Recipient (2018). Restaurant only has 9 tables.

Location: Seocho-Gu, Bangbae Dong

“The not-so-secret secret to the longevity and success of Yangyang Memil Makguksu is that its noodles are made with 100% buckwheat and that the noodles are made to order every time. The proprietor of the restaurant began his business many ago for one reason only; makguksu was his favorite food. Although the restaurant specializes in the Gangwon-do Province-style chilled buckwheat noodles, it also makes a fine bowl of spicy kimchi bibimguksu made with homemade kimchi. The basic spread is simple, but it’s rustic food at its best, made with love.”

          – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

39. 백운봉막국수- Baek Eun Bong Makguksu

Details: It’s a pork BBQ place but they grind their own buckwheat flour on site. Try their buckwheat rolled pancakes (stuffed with kimchi) called chun-byung (전병) and any of their buckwheat noodles – with (1) beef and cold kimchi soup broth (2) spicy noodle – 비빔면(3) sesame oil and soy sauce (들기름) which I think is the purest and tastes the best.

Location: Gangnam-Gu, Yeoksam Dong

40. 오무라안- Omuraan

Detail: Izakaya owned and operated by a Japanese chef. Soba is handmade and delicious.

Location: Gangnam-Gu, Gangnam Station (Line 2, Exit 4)

41. 호무랑- Homuran

Location: Gangnam-Gu, Cheongdam Dong

42. 마포즉석모밀촌– Mapo Cheg-Seok Mo-mil Chon

Location: Mapo-Gu, Mangwon Dong

43. 소바야청담– Sobaya Cheongdam

Location: Yongsan-Gu, Ichon Dong

44. 청수– Jung Su

Location: Yeongdeungpo-Gu, Saetgang Station (Line 9, 셋강역)

45. 오비야– Obiya

Location: Mapo-Gu, Hongdae

46.남경막국수

Location: Songpa-Gu, Bangi Dong (방이동)

Udon (우동) – うどん

47.동카덴– Udon Caden

Location #1: Seodaemun-Gu, Yeonhui Dong

Location #2: Mapo-Gu, Hapjeong Station

47. 교다이야 – Kyodaiya

Detail: Michelin Guide Seoul Bib Gourmand Award Recipient (2018).

Location: Mapo-Gu, Hapjeong Station

“When one can hear the dull tap of a blade against a wooden board every time a customer places an order, it’s a telltale sign that the chefs are serious about their craft. At Kyodaia, that craft is Sanuki udon. The thick noodles are always cut to order to preserve their characteristic elasticity and smoothness until the very last minute. In addition to the classic kake udon, flavored with dried and smoked sardines and seasoned with light soy sauce, the brother chefs also offer classics like tempura udon and chilled bukkake udon.”

          – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

[Honestly, not sure how this restaurant was recognized, acknowledged by the Michelin Guide. It was ok, but not great]

48. 이나니와요스케 – INANIWA YOSUKE

Detail: Michelin Guide Seoul Bib Gourmand Award Recipient (2018).

Location: Jung-Gu, City Hall Station (Line 2, Exit 6)

“일본의대표적인면요리인우동. 일본의3대우동이라불리는사누키, 미즈사와, 이나니와우동은각각개성이뚜렷한면발로사랑받아왔다. 이나니와우동은우리나라에가장널리알려진통통한면발의사누키우동과는달리면이가늘고납작하며, 식감은부드럽고쫄깃한동시에기분좋은탄력을자랑한다. 수작업으로만들어지는이나니와요스케우동은건면으로생산하는데, 사흘의작업기간이소요된다. 일본사토요스케의서울분점으로현지의맛을그대로즐길수있으며그중참깨쯔유와간장쯔유를곁들여먹는차가운세이로우동의인기가높다. 저녁엔좀더다양한요리와함께사케를즐길수있다.”

– Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

[NO ENGLISH NARRATIVE]

49. 야마다야- Yamada

Details: Freshly made and cut udon. Real deal.

Location: Gyeonggi-Do, Bundang

Bibimbap (비빔밥) 

I am not a bibimbap fan so you’ll have to rely upon some other website’s recommendations:

Vegetarian Friendly Restaurants

Not known for vegetarian fare but has enough vegetarian options to make it worthwhile

49. 버섯마루- Mushroom Floor Restaurant

Description: Mushroom and meat shabu-shabu. The broth used for the shabu-shabu has fish flakes – Katsuobushi (鰹節)

Location: Mapo-Gu, Hapjeong Stationx

50. 산들해 – Sandeulhae

Check out SeoulFoodPatrol’s Dining Concierge Guide (“DCG”) and search for “Sandeulhae”

51. 갈국소- Kalguksu

Kal-guksu is a Korean noodle dish consisting of handmade, knife-cut wheat flour noodles served in a large bowl with broth and other ingredients. It is traditionally considered a seasonal food, consumed most often in summer.

Check out SeoulFoodPatrol’s Dining Concierge Guide (“DCG”) and search for “kal-guksu” in the Search Bar for an kal-guksu restaurant near you.

Note: Most of the time, the broth in the Kal-guksu is clam broth.

52.  삼청동수제비– Samcheong Sujebi

Description: Sujebi or hand-pulled dough soup is a Korean traditional soup consisting of dough flakes roughly torn by hand, with various vegetables. Michelin Guide Seoul Bib Gourmand Award Recipient (2018).

Location: Jongno-Gu, Samcheong Dong

“This local haunt has been an integral part of Samcheongdong’s history since 1982. The signature dish here is sujebi—rustic hand-torn noodles served in a savory anchovy broth. The restaurant is also known for its potato pancakes, made with grated potatoes that are pan-fried until crispy on the outside and pleasantly chewy on the inside. Avoid the lunch rush if you don’t want to stand in line, but be warned – the restaurant is always busy.”

        – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

53. 빠르크- Parc

Description: Vegetarian dishes are on the menu.

Location: Yongsan-Gu, Hannam Dong



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Evelyn

Does the caden udon has vegetarian menu?