Where eating your veggies doesn’t have to be blandSanchon
Sanchon, located just off the main street in Insa-dong, is always selected as one of the top temple food restaurants in Asia, including a review by the Asian addition of the Wall Street Journal. The restaurant is run by a Buddhist monk and provides traditional Korean stage performances for 40 minutes from 8 p.m. The lunch set is 22,000 won ($19), while the dinner set is 39,600 won.
Gwanhun-dong, Jongno, Seoul. Near Anguk Station, line No. 3, exit 6.
(02) 735-0312, www.sanchon.com
Baru (Temple Stay Information Center)
This restaurant, on the fifth floor of the Temple Stay Information center, serves Buddhist temple food. The Buddhist monk managing the restaurant is considered a local authority in temple food. Dinner prices range from 25,000 won to 50,000 won.
Gyeonji-dong, Jongno, Seoul. Near Jonggak Station, line No.1, exit 2.
New Start Vegetarian Buffet
The New Start Vegetarian Buffet offers more than 30 different vegetarian dishes in buffet style. The restaurant uses organic vegetables and prepare for the food without preservatives or any harmful additives. Both the lunch and dinner buffet are 12,000 won per person. The lunch buffet is from 11:30 a.m. to 14:30 p.m. and the dinner buffet is from 17:30 p.m. to 20:30 p.m.
Daechi-dong, Gangnam, Seoul. Near Seolleung Station, line No.2, exit 2.
(02) 565-4324, www.newstartvege.com
This restaurant is famous for its lotus seed porridge, supposedly good for treating coughs, so when it is cold or when the weather is changing rapidly, many people visit the restaurant just for that single dish. However, there are many other tasty offerings here, all made from nothing but vegetables. Entree prices range from 20,000 won to 30,000 won.
Sanggye-dong, Nowon, Seoul. Near Sanggye Station, line No. 4, exit 1.
Dagyoung serves food to order, so if you’re a vegan, you can make special requests. On the other hand, if you would like meat in your dish, you can ask for that too. That makes Dagyoung a great compromise if you are a vegetarian but your friends are not, or if you have vegetarian friend. Lunch is around 7,000 won and dinner sets range from 13,000 won to 58,000 won.
Daechi-dong, Gangnam, Seoul. Near Hanti Station, Bundang line, exit 1.
The Loving Hut
The Loving Hut, a vegan restaurant, has several branches in Seoul: in Sinchon, Achasan, Yangjae, Gangnam and Hannam. The restaurant serves very healthy and nutritiously balanced food buffet style, as well as a la carte. Although prices differ at each branch, the dinner buffet is generally cheaper than 15,000 won per person.
The main store is in Daechi-dong, Gangnam, Seoul. Near Yangjae Station, line No. 3, exit 5.
(02) 576-2158, www.lovinghut.kr
The restaurant is famous for bibimbap, with fresh and organic vegetables and fried mushrooms in sweet and sour sauce. Eco Bapsang does not use any preservatives or additives. Almost everything the restaurant uses, down to the dish detergent, napkins and take-out containers, is environment-friendly. Prices range from 10,000 won to 40,000 won.
Jeokseon-dong, Jongno, Seoul. Near Gyeongbok Palace Station, line No. 3, exit 4.
(02) 736-9136, www.ecotable.co.kr
We Food Care’s
This restaurant is managed by Park Chun-seo, a professor of alternative medicine at Gyeonggi University. Accordingly, the restaurant has as its mission statement: “What medicine cannot cure, food can.” It uses fresh vegetables and even pays attention to what kind of water is used to prepare the dishes. Set menus start at 12,000 won and go up to 50,000 won.
Shinsa-dong, Gangnam, Seoul. Near Apgujeong Station, line No. 3, exit 2.
Hyeonmi Health Buffet
This restaurant offers a buffet at only 7,000 won per person for both lunch and dinner. Preservatives and additives are forbidden, and the kitchen uses 100 percent olive oil. Although most of the dishes at the buffet are vegetarian, some include seafood.
Seongsu-dong, Seongdong, Seoul. Near Seongsu Sation, line No. 2, exit 1.