A recent wave of veganism has taken over the hip food culture scene in Seoul. Be it for health reasons, environmental concerns or love of animals, many people are choosing veganism as a life-style choice. I have been involved in this movement since early 2016, as my quest for Halal food had lead me to this whole new culinary world. Vegan food dishes are made using vegetables only, which means no animal products which include milk, butter, eggs or honey are used in making them.
Halal food can be difficult to find in Korea, and whatever options that do exist are sometimes out of reach. Halal being elusive and expensive, I decided I would have to look for more alternatives. When it comes to vegan food, we know that no animal products are used in the making of them. Personally, I feel so relaxed and relieved whenever I am eating vegan, I felt I should share this experience. Today’s write up features some of the best vegan cafes in Seoul. Check them out!
Disclaimer: The cafes listed in this article are not halal certified. As such, we advise that you dine at your own discretion.
1. Dalyang Café
I began my journey into the world of veganism with a visit to Dalyang Café. Not only does the name which means “Sweet Kitten” appeal to me (I love cats!), but the owners of the café Soy and Kelly’s hospitality was very heart-warming.
Their food is delicious; some of their best dishes are pesto spaghetti and vegan mac and cheese. I love the soy milk ice-cream they have. If you are close to Korea University, this is the best place to go!
Credit: @lezbvegan on Instagram
Address: 45-183 Jongam-dong, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Opening hours: 11AM-10PM (Closed on Sundays and Mondays)
Contact: 02 -6010-9033| Website | Facebook
Directions: Get out of Exit 1 or Exit 2 of Korea University Station and keep walking straight, you will pass by the GS Gas Station. As you keep on walking you will walk passed by Sung Rae High School on your left. Keep note that as you walk, you will see SK Energy gas station, McDonalds and the Korea post office on your right side. As you reach the intersection with the GS25 grocery shop, turn left and keep walking straight until the road ends, take a right turn and Dalyang Café will be on your right. It’s quite a long walk from the station, say about 15-20 minutes.
2. Changbi Book Café
This book café is actually part of a publishing house called Changbi Publishers. The ambience of the café is just like a library, but of course much more relaxed. There are shelves filled with books in all directions and sitting arrangements especially for studying. The café also has a basement floor with study tables for students and comfy sofas for magazine reading.
This café has a huge variety of delicious baked goods to choose from, along with your coffee, which are 100% vegan.
The prices are also quite reasonable. Although it’s quite far from my place, I do make time to go there to spend some time studying and eating their amazing tofu pizza rolls.
If you are close to Hongdae/Hapjeong, it’s just one station away from Hapjeong located in Mangwon. Take some books with you and spend some quality time in this amazing vegan café.
Address: Mapo-gu, Worldcup-ro, 12 Gil 7, 1st Floor
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 8AM-11PM, Holidays: 9AM-11PM
Directions: Alight at Magwon Station Exit 1, walk towards your left, until the first intersection. Turn left and the first building you will see is Changbi Publishers. The café is on the first floor.
3. The Bread Blue
Located in Sinchon, The Bread Blue is a similar bakery to Changbi, but it’s not a book café. It is also popular for its vegan baked goods, especially because they are made without using milk, egg or butter.
Credit: The Bread Blue on Facebook
So with no milk, egg and butter used, these baked goods are very healthy and great options for those trying to control their diet.
Credit: The Bread Blue on Facebook
Address: -dong, 239-24 Seongsan 1(il)-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Opening hours: Mon-Sat : 10 AM to 10 PM, Sun: 8AM-9PM
Contact: 070-4405-0723 | Website | Facebook
Directions: Take exit 8 from Sinchon station, walk straight ahead until you see the Holly’s Coffee shop. Turn left, walk straight past two blocks. Turn right, you will see The Bread Blue at the end of the alley.
BONUS: Taco Amigo (Mexican Restaurant in Itaewon)
Itaewon is the place for restaurants serving international cuisine in Seoul. But some of them are special; like Taco Amigo.
This Mexican restaurant has options for almost all kinds of dietary needs; including Halal and Vegan. I recommend this place to anyone who wants to explore new cuisine, and also to those who love Mexican food.
Note: Taco Amigos is not halal certified, however, they do serve halal meat upon request and have vegetarian/vegan options. The cafe also serves non halal meat and alcohol, so we advise that you dine at your own discretion.
Address: 130-34 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: Mon; 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Tue-Sat; 11:30 am – 10:00 pm, Sun; 11:30 am – 9:30 am
Contact: 02-749-5253 | Website | Facebook
Directions: Itaewon Station, Line 6. Exit 4. Upon exiting, turn around and walk towards IBK bank and Gecko’s bar. Tacos Amigo is a few buildings past the bank. You should be able to see a sign at the top of the building, from the intersection.
The vegan/vegetarian eatery scene is still growing in Korea and there are many places to explore aside from these cafes. I chose to write about them because of their relatively easy to find locations and good food at affordable prices. With all the good spirit that comes with vegan food, I hope you will be inspired to try out these places on your next visit to Seoul!