Vegetarian Friendly Restaurants in Seoul
Written and Photographed by Chalica Pack
This article comes courtesy of Groove Magazine in Seoul
Finding vegetarian friendly restaurants in Seoul can be a bit challenging if you don't know where to look. Let me try to point you in the right direction with three of my finds to get you started.
Cafe Sobahn is owned by one of Korean's largest food companies (CJ Foodville) but when you step inside, you feel like you are in a down to earth, back to basics eatery. Part of that feel comes from the greenhouse that greets you when you walk in-they grow many of the sprouts they use on their dishes. The greenhouse shows how deeply they are committed to using only the best ingredients . Vegetarians, or those trying to live a healthy lifestyle might tear up just a bit upon seeing the little greens. I'm not ashamed to admit my eyes got a little misty.
Cafe Sobahn has a varied menu, but is perhaps most known for their plethora of bibimbap dishes. With over 10 variations on bibimbap, Sobahn has something that should please every palette. I sampled (devoured) the tofu bibimbap. For 6,500 KRW, you get a large porcelain bowl filled with fresh bibimbap. I've paid nearly that for bibimbap in a back alley restaurant before and let me tell- the presentation and ambiance at Sobahn is worth an extra won or two. There is also the fresh leaves bibimbap that has no meat and most of the dishes can be made vegetarian, if you simply inform your waiter. Also, I really enjoyed the fresh salad and the fried sweet potato snack that accompanied my bibimbap.
Sobahn is open for breakfast (8-11am) in addition to lunch and dinner. I recommend starting your day off with the waffle and ice cream dish. What? Waffles are clearly a breakfast item and the ice cream...well...consider it your daily dairy allowance.
Take Subway Line 5 to Gwanghwamun location and go out the 6th exit.
It takes just 5minutes fromm Gwanghwamun to Café Sobahn
On a hill overlooking the gateway to Itaewon sits a restaurant that would likely go unnoticed if you were walking by. Berlin isn't flashy; it's sophisticated. Their menu is eclectic, with a range of choices from Indian and Thai to Japanese and Italian. Can a restaurant striving to excel at a variety of international dishes really meets its mark? I think they can.I stopped in to Berlin for after dinner drinks and dessert (fabulous!) and saw several vegetarian items marked on their menu. I made a mental note to make plans to return for a full meal. (Do you know how exciting it is to see a menu denoting the vegetarian dishes with a little "V"? It's like they are saying, "Vegetarians! We know you are out there and we care deeply about your happiness!")
I started my return visit off with a tofu and avocado canape. The presentation was outstanding. The chilled tofu and avocado slices were layered with a spicy chutney style sauce that made my mouth crave every bite. Yes, it was that good. For my main dish, I ordered a green curry Thai pasta. Again,the dish was visually stunning. The vegetables were fresh and colorful. The sauce with enough heat to keep my water glass running low, but not so much that it interfered with enjoying all of the other flavors the dish offered. I'm not one to skip dessert, so I ordered a slice of the blueberry cheesecake to round out my mid-day meal. The cheesecake was very soft and creamy. The blueberries- not fresh, but a great topping none-the-less.
I was ecstatic to find a restaurant with so many appealing vegetarian options from around the globe and I'll be sure to return.
located near the archway into Itaewon, just up the hill from the Money Exchange.
Monday- Sunday 11:30-2am
Check out their face book page under Berlin Cafe & Lounge