I’ve totally neglected this blog, I know, but for a reason: I’m no longer in Korea! Yup, I said so long to Seoul last month and returned to America, not before taking a final trip to Japan, though, which I will cover in a later post. Anyway, here is a very, very belated post about my final vegan find in Seoul: Babione. If you’re craving wholesome Korean food, but lacking the time to partake in a multi-course temple cuisine meal, then Babione is definitely worth checking out.
I live for autumn. Forget Christmas, autumn is by far ‘the most wonderful time of the year.’ The weather’s perfect for light layers, the duvet comes back outta storage and turns the bed back into snuggle central, spiced candles are lit around the apartment, the trees come to life in bright red, yellow, and golden hues, and sunsets resemble candy apples sinking into the horizon. Even though autumn in Seoul means that the sidewalks become covered in festering piles of puke-scented ginko nuts, I can deal with it. That’s how much I love autumn.
I was recently asked by one of my fave Seoul-centered blogs, My Seoul Searching, to contribute a post about my top vegan eats in Seoul, which I was happy to do! You can check it out here. Anyhow, since writing up my top five recommendations, one of them has closed down, and the quality of another one has slipped. Total bummer! I’d been regularly visiting Mimi & Kelly’s to try and work my way through their whole menu when they suddenly announced that they’d be closing. I didn’t want to waste the photos I’d taken of their awesome vegan comfort food, though, so I’m posting them regardless. Anyway, hopefully they’ll be able to reopen in a new location soon!
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.
Insadong is rife with traditional Korean vegan and vegetarian restaurants serving temple food; we’d already visited the two most well-known temple food restaurants in this area, Sanchon and Baru, so over Buddha’s Birthday weekend, we visited two lesser known establishments: Oh Se Gae Hyang and Han Gwa Chae.
Most restaurants in Insadong are located down a series of winding labyrinths with random dead-ends, hidden doors, and unmarked fronts. Even while using the most sophisticated navigation equipment, you’re bound to get a bit lost wandering around here!
UPDATE: Loving Hut Rainbow (Sinchon) and New Start Buffet have closed.
To put it simply, we are LOVIN’ life in Seoul. The speed and convenience of the subway, the variety of restaurants, cafes, and shops, how crazy cheap (in comparison to other cities) everything here is, and the overwhelming positive attitude of the people here. In comparison to Ulsan, living in Seoul honestly feels like living in an entirely new country. People aren’t spitting, cursing, and screaming everywhere, no one’s pushing anyone over, or driving insanely recklessly, old people are actually treated with kindness and respect, people are SMILING, and holding doors open for each other, and basically just being decent human beings… I dunno what went wrong with Ulsan, but MAN, I am so grateful to be outta that cesspool of misery and poo-smells.
I am also SO grateful for the vast abundance of vegan-friendly noms this wonderful city has to offer!
BIFF Square isn’t really a square, so much as a long, rectangular area bordered by countless portable food stalls. It’s a short walk away from the main shopping street in Nampo; just follow the red and yellow umbrellas.
Ever since the Loving Hut vegan restaurant in Haeundae closed, eating out in Busan has been a bit of a disappointment. So, this weekend, Eoin and I ventured out to Seomyeon to try the last remaining vegan restaurant in Busan: Well-Being Namsae Buffet.
Well-Being Namsae Buffet is a short walk from Exit 11 of Seomyeon station: continue past Busan Bank, and it’s up a flight of stairs just after KB Bank, on the second floor.
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!