Being vegan in South Korea isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Unlike many western countries, who have embraced the shift towards ethical purchase decisions, Korea has fewer eateries and specialty items available. But once you learn a few phrases, a few delicious dishes and expand your network of vegetarian/ vegan friends, you’ll embrace your uniqueness and the opportunity to share your philosophy with others.
Essential Korean Veg*n Phrases
In Korean, a Vegan is described as a ‘strict vegetarian’. But the term is moot as very few people I’ve come across know what a vegetarian is. Here, as is found across Asia, people believe meat is correlated with wealth, strength and virility. I like to think my bulging muscles break this stereotype.
I carry a piece of paper in my wallet which reads;
I can’t eat animal products
저는 고기류가 포함된 음식을 먹지 않습니다.
I don’t eat meat including seafood or ham and I don’t eat dairy products like cheese or milk.
동물에게서 나오는 치즈나 우유 그리고 햄 종류도 먹지 않습니
For more Korean phrases click here.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive list of Korean food that vegetarians / vegans can eat check out this detailed list.
Location of Vegetarian Restaurants in South Korea
Kenneth Holman has put together a map detailing the location of Vegetarian Restaurants around South Korea. It wonderfully details hot spots, popular favourites and vegetarian friendly cafes. Another great source of information for those who can read Korean is Hanulvut.