Vegan Eats and Treats in Seoul: Gangnam Garobee Wellbeing Buffet

For our next vegan foodie excursion, we headed out to Gangnam for the first time to try the highly-praised Garobee Wellbeing Buffet.

Traveling from Hongdae (the Hongik University area) to Gangnam was like entering a completely different city.  Whereas Hongdae is all about tiny streets and alleyways packed with teensy cafes and boutiques, Gangnam has some of the widest streets I’ve seen in Korea, with massive buildings and huge shopfronts.  The sewer system everywhere in Korea is usually quite bad (sometimes the smell is so overpowering I actually have to hold my breath), but Gangnam had no foul odor at all.

Garobee is a short walk from Gangnam subway exit 11, on the second floor of the Sohyun Building. [UPDATE: GAROBEE HAS CLOSED DOWN.]

It’s a self-serve, all-you-can-eat buffet, with a seriously wide array of dishes to choose from.


It’s 15,000 won (around $15) for lunch and 17,000 won for dinner, which is SO reasonably priced for the quality of food that’s on offer: everything we ate was outstandingly scrumptious!


Sorry I don’t have any better food pictures; I guess we got so overwhelmed with stuffing our faces, we forgot about the photos!  There were selections of salads and veggies, imitation breaded pork cutlets, tofu stew, veggie stir fry, mushroom sushi, veggie pancakes, soy bulgogi, three different soups, and SOOOO much more.  I had about five cups of ice cold plum tea, too.  So, so good.  People of Gangnam: I envy you.

After cramming as much food into our bodies as possible, we decided to do a bit of walking and shopping.  Gangnam is full of designer shops, but there are also some funky backstreets, too.  We walked around for a while, heading towards Sinsa-dong, and came across this random stuffed animal shop:

We didn’t go inside, but it looked to be about three stories purely of realistic-looking stuffed animals!  There was a massive giraffe on the roof, too.

And this little cutie!

After a bit more walking, we finally found what I’d been looking for:

An official Choo Choo Cats store!  So pretty and pink.

I’ve become just a teensy bit obsessed with Choo Choo Cats since moving to Korea.  Korea definitely doesn’t do cute the way Japan does; Korean stationary and cartoons are more on the slightly grotesque, weird side, rather than being super sparkly and cute, so Choo Choo Cats are a bit of an anomaly here.  I seriously would’ve bought EVERYTHING in this store if I could have; you can usually find bits and pieces of Choo Choo merchandise in Korean bookstores, but definitely not THIS amount.  Nearly everything here was cheaper than it would be in a bookstore, too!  I walked away with a huge bag of goodies including notebooks, a phone cover, postcards, stickers, and more, and it only set me back around $40!  Bargain!


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