UPDATE: Care Vegan Cafe has closed, but may reopen in a new location. Check their Facebook page for updates.
When I became vegan, obviously my dining options slimmed down quite a lot, especially since Korea is a very pro-meat country. And, now that I’ve become a dog mom, my dining options have reduced even more, because I love taking Duggie just about everywhere with me! Thankfully, finding dog-friendly cafes and restaurants with vegan menus isn’t too difficult in Seoul.
Me and my super cute dinner date!
It’s pretty safe to assume that (almost) any restaurant or cafe with outdoor seating is doggy friendly, though I always ask anyway. It’s also pretty safe to assume that vegan restaurants will always allow (well-behaved) dogs to sit in with their human companions; I can’t really imagine a vegan restaurant turning away a customer because they brought their dog! Also, food health and safety regulations are totally different here than in the US, where dog and cat cafes would probably be seen as a huge health hazard.
Loving Hut is a big franchise of vegan cafes and restaurants all across Korea, Asia, and even some parts of the US! Each location is independently owned and operated, so they’re all totally different. There was one Loving Hut in Ulsan, which was a super traditional Korean family-style restaurant, with floor seating, and a set menu featuring loads of banchan, bubbling pots of jjigae, and pajeon. Then, there’s the super popular Loving Hut in Sinchon which has some traditional Korean food, but is more like a fast food joint, with burgers, hot dogs, and greasy noodles.
I’ve been to about five different Loving Hut locations, but this one, in Yangjae, is by far my favorite. As you can see, their menu is kinda limited, but the quality and service here are always awesome, and they have a massive grocery section.
All Loving Hut locations seem to really like this cream and lime green aesthetic. Dog friends are allowed to sit both inside and outside; we always put Duggie in his carrier bag on a chair if we’re sitting inside, though many people let their dogs wander around and sit on the floor.
The menus are all in Korean with some pictures and English names, aside from the extensive drinks menu which is only in Korean. The staff at this location all speak some English, though, so if your Korean abilities are non-existent (like mine), it’s not a problem. Sweet potato, red bean, and green tea lattes are pretty standard here, as well as regular lattes, mochas, and cappucinos. This location also does really awesome smoothies and frappucinos (which totally rock the socks off of Starbucks’).
Lots of yummy GMO-free vegan breads and baked goods. This Loving Hut sells the BEST whole wheat, multi-grain bread I’ve had in Korea, for about 3-4 dollars a loaf (bread can be EXPENSIVE here; I once paid ten bucks for a loaf of average whole wheat bread…). They also sell organic vegan cake, by the slice, or you can order whole cakes in a range of sizes.
I love how cheap everything here is!
We do a majority of our grocery shopping here every Friday after work. They always have tubs of So Delicious coconut ice cream (coconut, green tea, chocolate, and mocha almond fudge flavors), Vegelion vegan cheese and spreads, Nuttelex buttery spread, and Loving Hut and Vegefood brand frozen foods.
There’s also lots of dry food, cookies, cereal, mock meats, sauces…etc. Most of it is very reasonably priced, too! Organic cereal from grocery stores is usually 8-10 dollars, but here it’s around 5-8.
I am happy to say that, in Korea, vegan tonkatsu is even tastier than the real thing! We’ve eaten at this Loving Hut around ten times now, but I ALWAYS gotta go for the cutlet.
The noodle set is my second favorite dish here. Thick and chewy udon noodles topped with seaweed, greens, and crispy fried mushrooms. It also comes with some super tasty kimbap, which I wish they’d sell on its own, too! Another recommendation is the vegan pizza; it’s a bit soggy (I like my pizza crusts to be extra thin and crispy), but comes LOADED with toppings and vegan cheese.
Yangjae Loving Hut is accessible from Yangjae Citizen’s Forest station on the red Shin-Bundang line, though it’s about a 15-20 minute walk. For map and directions, check out Happy Cow.
Our second favorite doggy dining spot is the CARE Vegan Cafe.
We loved this place even before we’d adopted Duggie, and it was actually after lunch here that we decided to visit their adoption centers, where we found our little man!
The menu here is pretty big, and not at all expensive. Hot dogs, burgers, and ramen here are less than four dollars!
The cafe features lots of cute and quirky artwork and animal-themed nick nacks, and there’s loads of seating. They host big fundraiser events every few months, so they need a lot of space.
Similar to Loving Hut, well-behaved pets can sit inside or outside. Duggie’s made a few friends here!
I really like the outdoor seating here; it’s a pretty big area with overhanging trees and a nice breeze.
Obviously Duggie chose the comfiest seat in the place.
I’m going to appreciate this place even more when summer comes!
This is our favorite dish: Cruelty-free Beef and Rice. It’s mega spicy, but so tasty, and the salad is nice and refreshing. The burgers here are outstanding, too: they’re packed with fresh veggies, pickles, and pineapple.
Care Vegan Cafe is accessible from Dapsimni station on the purple line. I found it using the directions on Alien’s Day Out.
UPDATE: CARE Vegan Cafe’s menu and interior have recently changed; click here for an updated post!
So, there ya go, dog-friendly dining in Seoul!