There is a reason that South Korea is not on many people’s shortlists of great vegan cities. I documented many of the problems in an article for the Matador Network, but that was back in 2009 and the city is slowly coming around. There are certainly more blogs now. I don’t know if the most famous (Alien’s Day Out) was around back then, but if so, it was less well-known. More importantly, there are more restaurants than ever, and there are 4 vegan buffets within an hour of where I live(keep in mind that Seoul is a big city).
With no further ado, here are 5 of our favorite restaurants for vegan treats. (Some of these are completely vegan, others can serve vegan dishes upon request.)
5. Om Shanti
There are a lot of great Nepalese places in Seoul, and this could go to Everest just as easily. But Shanti has the greatest variety of vegan dishes available and is pretty amazing in its own right.
4. Loving Hut: Thiendang.
Unlike others on this list, we have only been here once. But the owner is super nice (very active with the Seoul Veggie club) and the menu is stunning; even though it is far away (4 transfers on the subway for me), we plan on heading back regularly. They even have So Delicious. The veggie burger is great, maybe the best in Seoul, even though (because?) it has slices of apple in it. Also, the tomato riceball soup is one of the three best things I’ve eaten in Korea.
Well, of course we like the name. But the location is great–a former bathhouse, with dim lights, low tables, and dope pictures and tapestries. And all the Bollywood you could ask for (more than all, if you’re me). The service here isn’t exactly quick, and they really only have one unmodified vegan dish. (The below picture of the vege thali obviously isn’t vegan, but they will skip on the cream if you ask).
2. Loving Hut – Sinchon
This was the first vegan restaurant I found in Seoul, and even though I live quite far away from it now I still am happy to travel an hour-and-a-half for the mandu and beef stew. They also have a veggie burger, smoothies, and numerous other menu items.
1. Achasan: Loving Hut
For 13,000 won, you can feast like never before. The salad bar alone is nearly worth the price, but the endless rice, veggies, fake meats, mandu, kimbap and so much more add an exceptional amount of choices. There are cool drink machines (Japanese plum juice) and not bad coffee. The peace cakes are quite delicious as well. Additionally, this place is at the bottom of a nice mountain, which makes for a nice appetite whetting.