So you’re in Seoul and you’re looking for some cheap Muslim-friendly eats that wont break the bank. Here are a bunch of my personal picks that come in under $10 and allow you to eat a sit down meal that’ll keep your belly satisfied!
P.S. Check out more tips
on how to explore Seoul on a budget!
1. Guksu at The Noodle Tree (Guksu Namu)
This was the first place my co teacher took me to for food when I arrived in Korea! They only have a handful of options that are Muslim friendly but if you’re looking for something cheap, yummy and popular among Koreans, you’ll be a fan?
Credit: @guksunamu_jeungsan on Instagram
There's also no need to worry about eating alone if you're a solo traveller! I’ve seen plenty of people sitting and eating alone here.
I would recommend the saengmyeong guksu, this warm bowl of soup uses an anchovy/seaweed broth, kimchi and tofu with heaps of noodles. Every dish comes with unlimited kimchi and danmuji (sweet pickled radish) so feel free to help yourself to them!
Credit: @guksunamu_jeungsan on Instagram
At 4,000KRW it’s an absolute gem and you’ll find them dotted across Seoul!
Most of these stores have a menu with English names for dishes so look out for Muslim friendly options and check with the staff before you order. But you should learn these key questions in Korean, just in case: “gogi isseo yo?”
(is this meat/does this have meat) and “gogi mot mogo yo”
(I can’t eat meat). It'll help to make your dietary preferences clearer for the staff.
(use Chrome to translate the page if you aren’t confident in Korean!)
Usual opening hours are from 11am - 9pm (Mon to Sat), all stores are closed on Sunday - do check the exact opening hours before heading down.
2. Korean BBQ at Yang Good
If you’re travelling with a friend or in a group, Korean BBQ would be an excellent option. Yang Good in Yeoksam, Gangnam is currently the only restaurant offering the Halal Korean BBQ experience!
Credit: @chad.abapix on Instagram
The lamb here is Halal certified so you can eat to your heart’s content! While you’re enjoying your meal, you might notice that this place is incredibly popular among the locals too! That’s definitely a sign that you're in the right place?
Credit: @ashrafhissan on Instagram
With unlimited banchan (side dishes), an order of marinated lamb (18,000KRW) and two bowls of rice (each 1,000KRW) the total works out to be 20,000KRW for two people! That’s just over $9 each.
Credit: @hanimhanii on Instagram
Note: Although this is a certified Halal BBQ restaurant, in order to cater to locals, this restaurant does serve alcohol.
15 Nonhyeon-ro 95-gil, Yeoksam 1(il)-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
3. Juk at Bonjuk
During the cold season, you'd crave a bowl of something hot and Juk (rice porridge) is simply perfect? When I was looking to try Juk, this was the only chain that I found which does not use meat stock - meaning that there are plenty of Muslim friendly options available!
I would recommend the shrimp (saewoo) juk and the octopus kimchi (nakji kimchi) juk as they are my personal favourites.
Credit: @mariyah.eats on Instagram
There's definitely more on the menu including vegetable, mushroom and oyster, tuna and vegetable and more so you need not worry about running out of options to choose from. And if you’re craving a sweeter option, there are options like red bean and sweet pumpkin!
As with all Korean mains, you’ll get banchan. One includes meat which you could ask them to leave out. ("Gogi baego jusseyo").
Both the shrimp juk and the octopus kimchi juk are 8,000KRW each, which is pretty affordable if you ask me!
Bonjuk sells their porridge in supermarkets but unfortunately they’re not Muslim friendly so be aware! Freshly cooked food probably tastes better anyway?
Address: Various locations
Opening hours vary per branch (my local one is closed at the strangest hours) but central locations such as Myeongdong are open from 9pm - 10pm
Here’s the Myeongdong location:
4. The Halal Guys (Gangnam/Itaewon)
The Halal Guys started off as a humble food cart in New York where they grew enormously in popularity amongst both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Since then, they have successfully opened stores across the globe, with 2 being in Seoul! The Halal Guys has done incredibly well in Seoul and my mouth is salivating just talking about it? If you're visiting the eatery, I would recommend heading to the Gangnam location as it’s far more spacious and new.
The most popular dish on the menu is undoubtedly their platter! Let me tell you - their white sauce is EVERYTHING.
Credit: @thehalalguyskorea on Instagram
You also have
to try the beef gyro (and sometimes the chicken) which contains of a few crispy bits of green pepper and lots of greens.
Credit: @thehalalguyskorea on Instagram
The food might not be the cheapest but here’s my tip: get their special fries!
Credit: @kto_malaysia on InstagramPrice:
8 Gangnam-daero 69-gil, Seocho-gu, Seoul or
187 Itaewon-ro, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
11:00am-10:00pm (Sun to Thurs), 11:00am- 4:00am (Fri to Sat)
Itaewon outlet:Gangnam outlet:
5. Makan Halal Korean Restaurant (Itaewon)
Authentic Halal Korean food doesn't get any better than this. This is a Muslim-owned restaurant conveniently located close to the Seoul Central Mosque so it’s perfect for those who are looking for authentic Korean food near the masjid.
Credit: @najlakhairiyyah on Instagram
Bulgogi is traditionally a dish made with beef in a sweet sauce but this eatery puts an interesting spin on it - using squid (ojingeo) and rice cakes (Tteok) instead! What’s even better is that it comes out sizzling on a hot pan (yes, it’s worth that insta story?).
I would DEFINITELY order this again.
Credit: @marcel.alexander.6474 on InstagramPrice:
Around 10,000KRW/$9.20 per dish
52 Usadan-ro 10-gil, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
6. Bibimbap at Osegyehyang (Insadong)
Conveniently located in Insadong, we have Osegyehyang! Treat yourself to a tasty and nutritious bowl of bibimbap which literally translates to mixed rice.
Credit: @jessicarandazza on Instagram
This is a healthy way of getting some veggies into your diet (something I know I forget about when I’m travelling?). The bowl consists of rice topped with assorted veggies, which always include beansprouts and greens. This particular restaurant is a vegan restaurant hence it offers a lot of other dishes completely free of animal products (incuding a very tasty jajjangmyun-black bean noodle!).
Credit: @onelifelefttolive on Instagram
The best part is the setting of the restaurant as it offers a traditional floor sitting, allowing you to enjoy a truly authentic Korean experience?
Credit: @sheilalily on Instagram#HHWT Tip:
They also sell Muslim-friendly ramyun by the cash register, if you want to grab some for when you're hungry!
4-5, Insadong 12-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03146, South Korea
Chewy, spicy and sweet! Tteokbokki is a dish made with chewy rice cakes smothered in a spicy and sweet red sauce. The texture should be soft but still chewy. It’s perfect to share among friends and it’s probably the most well known Korean street food!
You can find this at most (if not all) street food markets. They’re usually served with fish cakes (yum) but are occasionally mixed in with cheese and meats (I would always ask about the presence of meat if there’s any doubt: “Gogi isseo yo?”
Credit: @lillea0912 on Instagram
Although you can buy this just about anywhere, if you’re visiting Seoul, I would recommend getting it in Myeongdong. There are plenty of food stalls with assorted food here so you can eat to your heart's content. Plus, some even clearly indicate that they are Halal but I would personally always ask to double check.
(P.S. If you're looking for more Muslim-friendly street food in Seoul, this article
would be just the thing you need!)
Credit: Kim Evangeline A. Okoi on FacebookPrice:
Less than 5,000KRW/$4.60
8. Pajeon (Hoegi)
a.k.a. Pajeon Street! This place is known as the place to go to for all sorts of jeon (Korean savoury pancakes)?
Credit: @ho___j93 on Instagram
With multiple restaurants in the area, you will be stuck for choice. There are plenty of seafood options to explore when it comes to Jeon so just head to Hoegi station, exit 9!
And there you have it! Eating a delicious Muslim-friendly meal in Seoul need not be expensive or boring. I hope something here has tickled your fancy! Happy eating?