Did you know that Korea could possibly be a heaven for vegans? It's true! Korean cuisine has an incredibly wide variety of dishes that cater to a broad range of tastes and diets, including vegetarian diets. If you are a vegan but still want to have a delicious trip to Korea, you won't be disappointed.
To give you an idea on the variety of choices, some of the well-known Korean dishes that don't have meat in them are 순두부찌개 (Spicy soft tofu stew), 비지찌개 (Ground soybean stew), 된장찌개 (Korean Soybean Paste Soup), 곤드레밥 (Thistle leaf rice), 두부스테이크 (Tofu Steak), 녹두빈대떡 (Mung bean pancake), 팥죽 (Red bean porridge), and 호박죽 (Pumpkin porridge).
Even if you are a hard-core meat eater, you will enjoy these dishes. With that said, here are top 7 vegan restaurants in Seoul, in no particular order, that everyone should check out.
No.1 Monk’s Butcher
Monk’s Butcher is a restaurant you just have to visit if you are a vegan. They also let you choose which bread you'd like to have before your meal - either a regular bread or a vegan bread. The menu, of course, is completely vegan, so don't be surprised to see meat in the menu, because it's all bean meat made with plant protein.
The most famous item in the menu here is Katsu curry, and it has tofu, winter mushroom and vegan meat in it. Other popular menu items of this restaurant include Beyond burger, Black olive oil pasta, Cauliflower steak with romesco, and Bulgogi salsa pizza.
No.2 Little Mananim
Another must-visit vegan restaurant, Little Mananim serves vegetarian dishes that cater to just about anyone.
Little Mananim specializes Korean vegan dishes in particular. The most popular dishes you can try in this restaurant are a vegan ricecake soup called “soothing ricecake soup” and a vegetarian bibimbap called “amazing bibimbap”.
Sukkara is a restaurant where you can enjoy a cozy ambience and delicious vegan dishes that are prepared wholeheartedly. One noticeable trait about Sukkara is that this restaurant doesn't serve anything too strong-tasting. So there is a chance you might find the food here a bit too bland, especially if you are used to foods with strong flavors. But if you are a vegan, you'll probably enjoy them very much.
The must-have dish at Sukkara is Sourdough with vegetable stew platter. As for some of the other dishes, they have butter curry with grilled vegetables, fertile eggs cheese omelet, , fried tempeh and vegetables with housemade dips, and chickpea salad.
Chaegeundaam, which was one of the restaurants in Michelin Guide Seoul in 2017 and 2018, specializes in traditional Korean dishes that are vegan. You can actually get Korean vegan dishes as a course menu here. The food is light with not too much seasoning on it.
If you are a non-Korean, there are a couple of perks for you that you wouldn't get to enjoy if you were Korean. If you aren't from Korea, the waiter will ask you where you are from, and then stick your national flag on the table as a welcoming sign. They'll also give you a small gift bag when you leave the restaurant after finishing your meal.
No.5 This world is a playground
This uniquely named restaurant is quite small compared to the other vegan restaurants introduced in this article. Located in the corner of an alleyway, This world is a playground serves only two menu items and has only four tables. But let the simple set-up fool you! This world is a playground's specialty is fusion vegan Korean food. The dish that this restaurant is most famous for is mushroom & perilla seeds with rice. The dressing is unbelievable, and you'll love the unique nutty flavor of the perilla seeds. The other menu item is a spicy vegetable soup, known as Chaegaejang in Korea.
No.6 Pan Honesta
Located in Yeonnam-dong, Pan Honesta is a vegan bakery that serves vegan bread which is famously tasty. The most popular menu item is tofu cake, which is made with whole soybean curd. It's small but surprisingly filling. Other menu items include tofu cake, sweet pumpkin tofu cake, chocolate tart, brownie, and pound.
No.7 Osegye Hyang
Osegye Hyang is perhaps one of the most well-known vegan restaurants among vegans in Korea. The dishes are surprisingly diverse, ranging from noodles to rice to bean cutlet. Seriously, there are so many dishes in the menu, and some of them actually don't really look vegan at first glance. But don't worry. Every dish in this restaurant is made with nothing but vegan ingredients.
Two of the most popular dishes at Osegye Hyang are mushroom hot pot and Cirsium setidens bibimbap. Other popular dishes include tofu stew, Chinese style hot noodles for vegetarian, fried soy protein served with sweet and sour starchy sauce, and soft tofu gang-doenjang bibimbab.