A Vegan Guide To Hongdae in Seoul, Korea
Seoul is becoming more and more friendly towards vegan and vegetarians, and Hongdae is one of the best neighborhoods for the lifestyle! Here are a few places to check out if you’re in the area and are looking for a delicious meal, some famous Korean skincare, or a sweet treat :)
Where to Eat a Meal:
Cook and Book
Cook and Book is a little off the beaten path, but its a quaint spot serving up baked goods and proper vegan meals. I got the Veggie Burger (the cheapest thing on the menu!) and it was much better than I expected. The burger is potato based, served on a bed of rice with roasted chick peas, topped with a creamy sauce that I couldn’t quite figure out (but it was delicious!) and some roasted veggies. I plan to go back and try their famous carrot cake!
Address: 361-26 Hapjeong-dong, Mapo-gu (마포구 합정동 361-26)
Hours: 12pm - 8pm (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays)
Price Range: Meals are 11,000-16,000won
Yummy Yomil is a new town favorite that admittedly I still haven’t visited. Along with an assortment of gluten free/vegan breads, they serve veggie burgers that have been the talk of the town since they opened. When I finally get over there for a meal, I’ll update this but so far I’ve heard nothing but good things!
Address: 6-5, Yanghwa-ro 7-gil, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu (마포구 서교동 양화로 7길 6-5)
Hours: 6am - 9:30pm
Sukkara is a cozy spot in Hongdae that serves up nice vegan meals and some great desserts! If you’re looking to try some vegan eggs (their omelette looks impressive!) or some Japanese curry, this is the place! The darker atmosphere would be great for a date too :)
Address: 157 Wausan-ro, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu (마포구 서교동 와우산로 157)
Hours: 11am-11pm (closed Mondays) (break time 3:30-4:30pm, last order 9pm)
Price Range: Meals are 7,000-15,000won
Where to Eat Dessert:
Cafe Honesta is another spot off the beaten path but its a little gem! They use rice flour instead of wheat, coconut sugar instead of cane sugar, and no dairy at all! Their famous for their pound cake and bingsu in the summer and have a wide variety of drinks to enjoy including oat milk lattes and shakes! The scone I had was a little dry but after the second bite I fell in love!
Address: 240-34 Yeonnam-dong, Mapo-gu (마포구 연남동 240-34)
Hours: 12pm-9pm, closed Mondays
Price Range: Drinks 4,000won to 7,000won, pastries 5,000won
Fell and Cole
Fell and Cole has been around for a looong time, and for good reason! Their ice cream is amazing and they offer between 1-3 vegan options every day! I had the cardamon coffee and it was heavenly~ They even have popsicles for your dog!
Where to Buy Vegan Skincare:
Address: 357-4 Seogyo-dong Mapo-gu (357-4 서교동 마포구)
Hours: Open 11am-10pm
Unless you’re new here, you know that I am in love with Klairs Skincare from the Wishtrend Company. They’re cruelty free, they don’t sell in China (where all cosmetics must be tested on animals before being put on the shelves), and they’re working on becoming completely vegan in the future (currently 90% of their stock is vegan!) They are almost exclusively available online, but you can find them in stores at all Åland locations - Hongdae, Myeongdong, Garosugil, etc.
My personal favorite items are their supple preparation toner, vitamin E mask (seriously AMAZING), Vitamin C Drop, and their classic all over lotion.
NOT VEGAN: Manuka Honey & Choco Body Soap + Midnight Blue Calming Cream
You can also find COSRX at Åland which I will talk more about in the next section:
Address: 363-17 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu (마포구 서교동 363-17) (they’re everywhere!!!)
Hours: Usually 10am - 10pm
Olive Young is similar to a Walgreens or CVS in America, where it is a one stop shop for beauty, skincare, and health items such as vitamins or snacks. They are everywhere in Seoul and carry more than a few vegan items! Here are some items to stock up on:
NEOGEN (Not 100% Vegan but these are) - Bio-Peel Gauze in Lemon, Green Tea, and Wine, Real Flower Cleansing Water in Rose and Calendula.
Mamonde (Flower-infused line is all vegan) - Rose Hydrating Beauty Water, Petal Spa Oil to Foam Cleanser, Floral Hydro Eye Gel Cream,
COSRX (Not 100% Vegan but these are) - Low pH Good Morning Cleanser, One Step Pimple Clear Pads, Hyaluronic Acid Intensive Cream