Finding a vegan restaurant in Seoul is not an easy task. In a country known for their barbecue, you’re much more likely to find pork belly or bulgogi than tofu. As plant-based diets become more popular, though, Plant Cafe is leading the charge for vegan restaurants in Seoul and across South Korea.
Itaewon-dong 130-43 2F, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
PSL (seasonal), Sesame Peanut Soba Bowl
You Should Know
Absolutely everything on the menu is completely vegan, including their custom cake and cupcake orders.
Plant Cafe Vegan Restaurant | Seoul
Plant Cafe and Kitchen was born out of a blog. The owner, Mipa Lee, started the blog “Alien’s Day Out” as a way to connect with other vegans and plant-based eaters in South Korea. As the community grew, Mipa began experimenting more with began baking and found a strong customer base.
So strong that it led to the opening of the first Plant Cafe location in 2013. Since then, it has continued to grow. The original location in Yeonnam remains the Plant Bakery while the Kitchen has become a leading vegan restaurant in Seoul. When we visited, the restaurant was full of Koreans and foreigners alike, enjoying delicious vegan eats.
Plant Cafe is on the second floor of a building in Itaewon, Seoul. The doorway is framed in white wood planks and clearly marked, so you can’t miss it.
The first thing you notice inside is all the plants (as expected.) They hang from the ceiling, they decorate the walls, they add some life to the tables. They help transform the cafe into a completely separate space from the busy city outside.
If you’ve got a party of two or less, grab a high top table just past the entrance. You’ll get a great view of the kitchen working and can check out their merch.
The main seating area is just over a small divider to the left. They’ve added some couches and pillows to make the space cozy. For a view of the city, sit against the window at the bar-type seating.
The counter and coffee bar are at the back of the space. This is where you’ll order all your food and drinks. I love the woven light coverings that give it an almost tropical feel.
Plant Based Menu
Plant Cafe sets the bar HIGH when it comes to vegan food and drinks. Unlike most cafes in Korea (and in the US, tbh,) all drinks at Plant are made with soy milk by default.
Almond or oat milk are also available for substitute in everything from lattes to smoothies. Even their whipped cream and syrups are house-made to be vegan friendly. Check in at different times of the year to see what delicious seasonal flavors are on the menu. My personal fave is the vegan PSL.
Of course, you can also get tea, fresh juices, and adult beverages if you so choose. They have local kombucha and beer on tap and offer bottles of craft beer and wine.
I get that ‘vegan restaurant’ may not conjure up the most appealing images in your head. Respectfully, you’re wrong.
Whether you’re a meat eater or not, you can’t deny that looks amazing. Plant Cafe serves up all your favorite foods with a vegan twist. You’ll find everything from chili cheese fries to a soba noodle bowl to burgers to pasta.
The menu varies slightly between locations. At the Itaweon location, the hubs and I got the sesame peanut soba bowl and the lentil veggie bowl. Both were full of flavor and really filled us up for the afternoon.
For a healthy, vegan meal, you cannot beat Plant Cafe especially in a country full of BBQ and fried chicken. For all you vegetarians and vegans (and really anyone who loves good food) in South Korea, put this place on your list. Know other good plant-based restaurants in Korea or beyond? Tell me about those too!
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