Life for vegetarians in South Korea can sometimes be challenging. While there are some traditional vegetarian options available, such as Buddhist temple cuisine, most South Korean entrees involve meat. Even seemingly vegetarian dishes, such as kimchi jiggae (김치찌개) or kimchi stew uses meat in the broth. For months a vegetarian classmate of mine urged me to go to Plant, a vegan bakery and restaurant, in Itaewon. On September 16, I went there with her and a few friends.
I do not frequent Itaewon very often. While I have many friends there, I am often turned away by some aspects of the pervasive Western expat culture there. A number of observers have noted that many western expats living in Itaewon–but certainly not all–would rather complain about Korean culture than try to learn about it.
While I think that it is important to provide a safe space for people to express their thoughts, a lot of complaints about Korean culture often end in needless generalizations. Itaewon has a lot of interesting areas, but the culture of complaining is simply off-putting. Not to mention that ex-pats from Western nations only make up a small percentage of immigrants in South Korea.
Regardless, Plant is very close to the Itaewon subway station. I had walked by it many times, but I had totally missed it! The restaurant is tucked between a convenience store and a cell phone repair shop, with a nondescript outside. However, the interior is really comfortable, with comfortable seats and quirky artwork. The vibe of the restaurant is incredibly relaxing.
My friend, Ms. B, ordered macaroni and cheese, while Ms. T ordered the lentil veggie burrito bowl. I ordered a Plant Burger and Ms. O ordered an avocado burger. We split a dish of chili cheese fries. All of the dishes, except for the burrito bowl and macaroni and cheese, contained artificial meat. However, had I not known that it was artificial, I may have believed it to be real meat. The food itself was incredibly high quality. However, the prices were a bit high compared to the portions. The service was quick and friendly.
Plant is an excellent choice if you are looking for good vegetarian food. All of the options are also vegan. If you are advised by a medical professional to be gluten free, you will be happy to know that there are many gluten free options as well. While I am not a vegetarian, I know that I will be recommending this restaurant to my friends who are.
Tasteless | Bad | Okay | >> Good << | Tasty
Name (Korean): 플랜트
Name (Official English): Plant
Name (Romanized): “Plant”
Name (Translated): “Plant”
Credit Cards? Yes
Apple Pay [?]? No
Take out? Yes
Outside seating? No
Wheelchair friendly? No
Dogs allowed? ???
Bike parking? No
Car parking? No
Monday: 11:00 – 21:00
Tuesday: 11:00 – 21:00
Wednesday: 11:00 – 21:00
Thursday: 11:00 – 21:00
Friday: 11:00 – 22:00
Saturday: 11:00 – 22:00
Address (Korean) 서울특별시 용산구 보광로 117
Address (English) 117, Bogwang-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul