How to manage vegetarian food in South Korea - eNidhi India Travel Blog

How to manage vegetarian food in South Korea

If you’re visiting South Korea and you’re a pure vegetarian, below is how you can manage your trip. My 10 day trip went smoothly- largely managed with food I had carried from India, we did visit a few Indian restaurants and did try a few Korean restaurants as well. This mail lists your options if you’re planning to visit South Korea and need to manage your food.

#1 Indian Restaurants- big cities have Indian Restaurants, so with a little bit of search on the internet you can locate a nearby Indian restaurant. We found many of them in Busan and Seoul but not in Jeju island. A proper meal for 4 people may cost you around 100000 KRW or around 6000 INR depending on what you order and price at the restaurant. 

Benefits    Drawbacks
 Enjoy tasty Indian vegetarian foodYou will not find pure vegetarian restaurants. Need to be content with veg+ non veg food and hope that they didn’t mix the utensils.

Need to factor opening hours- need to check and plan your visit based on their opening hours.

Will easily cost 1000 INR per person onwards- will be expensive if you depend on this option for all days

Some Indian restaurants are run by Pakistani, Bangladeshi etc, may not be authentic

Indian Restaurants we tried in South Korea:


Namaste Indian Restaurant- was right next to our hostel, so very convenient.

Nirvana Indian restaurant was a good option located on Insadong road, close to Gyeongbokgung palace. Had great food on our day 01 in Seoul- lunch for 4 people cost us 115000 KRW. Day 02 we wanted to try again but we got late- they close between 3 PM to 5 PM. Many other Indian restaurants also had closing hours in afternoon.

Shanti- somewhere near Hondgae street shopping area, not too far from our hostel- good food.

Busan: Bombay Brau, located on Jagalchi Market was an easy find. Good was good, though orange juice was from a tetrapack and not freshly made.

Many other restaurants have their own timing- so do your research and plan. Else you’ll have to walk out hungry

#2 What is available in supermarkets and cafes 

If you’re not finding an Indian restaurants and feeling terribly hungry, following items are easily available in any supermarket - banana, grapes, chocolates, wafers, apples, juice and curd

These will hold you for a few hours.

  • Pure veg noodles is hard to find. If you can eat egg, noodles with egg, cake etc might be available.
  • Coffee machines in supermarkets may not have milk and sugar- you may have to buy it separately.
  • You will find potato twisters at roadside shops.
  • You may grab a coffee, croissant at any coffee shop.

#3 Ask for veg food in Korean restaurants

You will get an all veg Pizza & french fries on request in most Pizza shops

Some restaurants may make veg noodles

Use translator apps to convey that you would like something without fish, without meat, without egg and they might offer some options.

We ordered one veg noodle, but to my surprise it was ice cold. Noodles submerged in crushed ice and some spicy toppings- Tried to eat it, couldn’t manage. Asked them to pack it, took it to hostel, discarded the ice part, heated it and ate it as normal noodle.

#4 Cook at hostels

Supermarkets sell pre- cooked rice. Curd is also available. If you carry pickle from India you can make curd rice for a low price.

#5 Carry food from India

You may carry ready to eats from India and cook at hostels- very affordable and convenient option, just that you’ve to spend time and effort carrying & cooking the food.

Option #4 and #5 you will not get it if you're staying in hotels. You can book a hostel which has a private room option, so that you get kitchen access.

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