I have heard from vegetarian friends how difficult it is to live in Korea. Virtually everything has meat in it in some form or another. I can only imagine how difficult it is to be vegan in Korea, especially since kimchi, a staple of Korean food, contains fish and shrimp products. Even the kimchi here is vegan! There is no shrimp or fish in it.
Loving Hut is also great, it has been pointed out to me, for individuals who cannot or do not consume pork products due to religious dietary restrictions and, from someone who consumes meat, the dishes that usually contain pork, in their Loving Hut form, do still taste like the meat-containing version.
A while back, probably around 3 or 4 years ago, my friend introduced me to Loving Hut in Sinchon. The Loving Hut is apparently a chain of vegan restaurants around the world started by a spiritual leader. Each store has its own unique menu. I have only been to this store and one in New York, so I cannot tell you what is on the menu in the other stores in Seoul/Korea, but I can send you directions if you need them. Just leave a comment.
|Top: Vegan jajjangmyum|
Bottom left: kongnamulbap (bean sprout rice)
Bottom Right: Vegan tangsuyuk (Sweet and sour "pork"), jangmi lemonade (rose lemonade)
|Dugaejang (The vegan version of yukgaejang made with soy protein)|
There is a picture menu available, so don't worry if you cannot read Korean. I think the descriptions are in English, but I do not really remember because I typically order the same thing.
I typically get the dugaejang. I like hot soups, even on a hot summer day (see above). It is 6,000KRW and comes with side dishes and rice. I think you can ask for extra side dishes if you want a refill.
With my friend, we got the vegan tangsuyuk (Small (what we got) 5,000KRW, M 9,000 KRW, L 13,000KRW) and she got the vegan jajangmyun (S=4500KRW, L=5500) and I, the kongnamul bap (5,000KRW). I was feeling like eating rice and I had just moved into my new place, so that's why I didn't get my usual. The move also explains the tangsuyuk. It's the typical Korean food you eat on moving day. For my taste, the sauce of the tangsuyuk was too sweet, but the rest was pretty good, but I am partial to the pork version. This sauce was made with maeshil, Korean plum.
We both got the jangmi (rose) lemonade 3,500KRW. Sometimes, it is too sweet for me, but sometimes it's not. It's still really good, but sometimes I just have to put some water in it.
I have also tried the kongbulgu-i ddookbaegi, doenjanjjigae, soondoobu ddookbaegi, California roll, bokkeum udong, and ssalguksu. All were very good.
I have included the menu for you to look at, just to see the breadth of the vegan options here. Sorry it's not in English.
EDIT: There's an English version of the menu.
Directions: From the UPlex exit of Sinchon (Line 2), walk straight across the street towards Yonsei University. Keep walking straight and it will be on your left. If you get to the pharmacy, you have walked too far. If it hasn't changed, there should be some sort of arcade machine in front of a stairwell right before you get to the store.
There are also other stores in Seoul and Korea: List of Loving Hut Branches
If you go to the other ones, let me know what you have and if the menu is different!