Seoul vegan restaurant, buffet style. Han Gwa Chae is an abbreviation for "rice with herbal medicine, fruit and vegetables". Food is prepared in a traditional, Korean (temple food) spirit, with locally grown ingredients from small farms. The basic menu is composed of porridge, a soy-base soup, a variety of cooked season greens, homemade acorn jelly, tofu, and different kinds of side dishes. Organic fruit and seasonable tea served. Directions: Take Seoul subway line 1 to Jonggak Station (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonggak_Station), take exit 3, walk straight toward Geumgang Jehwa, turn left at the intersection of Geumgang Jehwa, turn right at Sudo Pharmacy located centrally on Insadong Street (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insadong), walk 100m and on the left is Han Gwa Chae. Also nearby is Anguk Station on the Seoul subway line 3. Price: Moderate more-less
Vegan, Buffet, Korean
30-9 Guan Hoon Dong, Jong Ro gu, Insadong (Insadong Street)
Seoul, South Korea
02-720-2802

Open Mon-Sat 11.30-15, 17-20.30, closed Sun.

more-less
  • Accepts credit cards
reviews

Reviews

First Review by tohho
BibiErrKarim
BibiErrKarim
  • non-vegetarian
Contributions
+4

Fantastic place to eat, feel just like home.

4 Posted on 09 / 21 / 2013

My friends & I like everything they served. We were looking for a restaurant that doesn't serve any meat at all it was quite difficult to find a halal restaurant near our hostel in Insadong. The halal choices in Itaewon are pretty over the budget for us.

Glad that we found this restaurant from this site. I would gladly recommend this restaurant to my friends who will be going to Seoul. Warmth welcome from both the owners was sufficient enough to make us feel like having meal at home. And Eomoni (lady boss) gave us a bag full with guguma (swet potatoes) when we're about to leave. Too sweet of her!

Will definitely go back here when I come down to Seoul again.

Pros: Reasonable price, Easy to locate
semichi
semichi
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+17

A Must-Go!! Fantastic!!

5 Posted on 09 / 07 / 2013

Besides its super delicious and fresh food from local farms, Han Gwa Chae's a lo-fi and warm place that makes me feel like home. My vegan partner (who has been a vegan for 10 yrs)and I call it the "mama place" because it has a warm chef mama and a cute goofy daddy as staffs. The next day, we couldn't find our way to a nearby famous (but overrated, won't go there again) restaurant called Sanchon. Out of stupid desperation I went to Han Gwa Chae for help. They were sooooo kind that they called Sanchon for me for directions and asked their own customers who just finished their meal to lead me there! OMZ...

Our favorite dish was called Tarae SSuk. The mama chef told us that it's a very special Korean vegetable. It looked like spinach but deserved a category of its own because it didn't taste like vegetables! The overall experience was mouth-and-soul-orgasmic.
Updated from previous review on Sunday August 11, 2013
Updated from previous review on Sunday August 11, 2013

Pros: impressive food, good value, friendly staff
Ricardo
Ricardo
  • vegan
Contributions
+1028

Vegan Buffet for a Very Reasonable Price

4 Posted on 07 / 20 / 2013

I was there a couple of weeks ago on a weekday during lunch time.

There was a good variety of food: salads, soups, fruits, main dishes, etc.

The staff was friendly but they only appear to know basic phrases in English.

The buffet is 13000 Won (lunch or dinner), which is a very good deal, I think.
Food do not have labels, but most of the times you can guess what's in there just by looking at it.

The place is a little bit hard to find, given that it's in the basement. So I think you can get pretty close if you go towards the "Kyung-In Museum of Fine Art".
Then, you will see the building right on Insadong 10-gil street.

Pros: good variety of food, very reasonable price, friendly staff
Cons: food do not have labels
Katharinenstrasse
Katharinenstrasse
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+40

Delicious food.

5 Posted on 04 / 11 / 2013

We came here for an early dinner and loved the food. The buffet is small enough to not get panicked and big enough to have a wide selection of fresh korean vegetables. The taste was on a really high level, they definitely know how to cook.
What we liked most was that it all tasted so natural, it's about the true ingredients in this restaurants. Especially good are the sort of pancakes made of rise with different herbs inside. The staff is very friendly and warm.

Pros: mostly organic and regional, delicious food , buffet for a reasonable price
lizlemon
lizlemon
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+14

so good!!

4 Posted on 02 / 11 / 2013

if you expect a large scale buffet you will be disappointed. however, if you don't mind a cozy atmosphere, great service and fresh food for only 12000 won this is the place to go. i loved the soups, the buffet food (had seconds) and the oven roasted sweet potatoes we were given for dessert. plus the owner and wife were so warm to us - we would definitely go again!

Pros: good value, great food, friendly atmosphere

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vegpenguin
vegpenguin
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+44

Great buffet choice in Insadong

5 Posted on 10 / 30 / 2010

Buffet style restaurant in the heart of Insadong. It can be hard to find in the evening, so look for the Korean spelling of the restaurant's name or count your foot steps ;) Restaurant is below the ground floor and buffet price was 12000 Won (all you can eat). The staff spoke English to a limited extend. Good choice of food. Hangwachae is to the north of Seoul what New Start Restaurant is to the south.

Pros: Good price, Great choice of food
Cons: Can be hard to find in the evening
scrouton
scrouton
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+29

Ouf enfin manger sain a Seoul !

4 Posted on 09 / 07 / 2010

je me permets de faire une review en french pour changer, smile. Ce resto n'est pas facile à trouver dans ce quartier tres touristique, d'autant qu'il est dans un sous-sol ! le mieux est de passer avec l'adresse au centre d'info touristique, car il est en plein dans le quartier touristique. Et là, d'un coup : le calme, la tranquilité, un petit buffet simple, deux riz complet, un brouet de céréale, de nombreux crudités, champignons, kimchi (chou fermenté). Ca a l'avantage d'être bon, simple, varié et pas trop épicé ! Personne ne parle anglais, mais on fait des signes et des sourires, le prix du buffet est passé à 12000 K, on paie en sortant. C'est une oasis dans l'agitation des rues marchandes, une aubaine pour les touristes de passage.

Pros: unexpensive, variety of crudities, organic
Cons: only one hot vegetable
mmandania
mmandania
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+13

Good food

4 Posted on 02 / 20 / 2010

Great family atmosphere in this place with very friendly staff who can speak English. Food was as described in above reviews, I would have preferred more hot dishes. My fav dish were shallow fried, crum covered vegetables.

Great site BTW, has helped me a lot during my travels in the far east!


Flo
Flo
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+11

Fantastic!

5 Posted on 06 / 21 / 2009

This is a wondeful place to taste a variety of "real" Korean food. It's a bargain, the staff is wonderful, the atmosphere peaceful although you are at the center of Insadong.
The soups are great, as is the rice combined with spicy sauces and the variety f tastes (from bitter to spicy to... unexplainable) in the vegetable is amazing. I would not really know about Korean food had I not come here. A sincere, good place!

Pros: originality of taste, variety of vegetables, roots, excellent value
backpasher
backpasher
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+90

Good value, great taste

4 Posted on 12 / 30 / 2008

For 10000 won, it's hard to beat this place! It's located in Insadong, which is an interesting part of town itself, and pretty easy to find.

The food was delicious - particularly the tempura type veges, the hearty soup and the rice.

Staff were friendly and helpful.

Pros: Great food, Friendly, Good value
am_martine
am_martine
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+14

Hanguachae - Excellent !

5 Posted on 12 / 13 / 2008

I know several vegan places back here in Canada and abroad, but this has been a wonderful experience. The food is surprising, the caring service, the tastes of prepared vegetables and pickles, all has been a wonderful experience. Their rice tastes like no other. No need to be a vegetarian to enjoy this, as my non-vegetarian friend was delighted too. The menu in English gives some information about the dishes. I truely recommend this place to everyone.


Guest
Guest

Fantastic !

5 Posted on 12 / 01 / 2008

I have tried many vegetarian places in Seoul, also pricy ones, but this one beats them. 8 or so freshly prepared dishes, ranging from bitter to spicy, deliciously hot kimch-tofu stew, rice cake (rated by my Korean friend as one of the most delicious she ever tried), fresh raw vegetables with soybean paste... Various soups served, in a calm, honest atmosphere. Mainly Korean people eat here, although their smile welcomed me. According to my friend, this is REAL Korean traditional food. The owner was eager to let me try some "secret" specialities (pickled zuccini, fermented seaweed...). I only can recommend this haven, though the outside may not be inviting. ;)

Pros: tastes unlike anything, healthy and fresh, try all you want
Cons: unappealing entrance
Pipipi
Pipipi
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+12

Paradise for real vegetarians

5 Posted on 11 / 29 / 2008

This buffet may seem less fancy than many other vegetarian places in Seoul, but it offers a large variety of vegetable dishes based on 100% fresh, high quality products from local farmers. The recepies are not adapted to western tastes, so this is about the most Korean 100% vegetarian (with many vegan options) you can find. My favourite (in the winter): fried pumpkin tempura.Two different soups offered, raw salads, seriously fresh organic apples, pickles... Better than any vegan restaurant I found when living in Europe.
And you can find here vegan products to buy, like seaweed, pickles, lotus tea, and delicious jam (figue, pumkin).
A real bargain for 10.000 Won : food for the soul and body.

Pros: Fresh, Authentic, Surprisingly different
  • Pipipi Pipipi

    As a matter of fact, all the dishes are 100 % vegan.

    more-less
westcornersville
westcornersville
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+283

Large Buffet--Albeit with No Mock Meats

4 Posted on 05 / 08 / 2008

I liked this place--a surprisingly large number of dishes given that they didn't use mock meats (though a few mock meats would've added even more to the variety). There were several dishes that I couldn't identify--including one very thick starchy wheat-like dish. Otherwise, they had a tofu dish (fairly plain) that contrasted with some spicy vegetable (and kimchi) dishes, quite a few salad items and a yam dish. They had several soups. They brought out a pancake with each meal. Note that this restaurant is actually on Seokjeong-Gil (on the north side approximately 2/3rds of the way down the block as you head east away from Insadong-Gil, in the basement). The price is 10000 won per person.

Pros: good food, decent variety, yams and pancakes were especially good
Cons: could use a few mock meats
tohho
tohho
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+17

traditional korea food

3 Posted on 03 / 28 / 2008

Good tast, 13 types to choose plus salad and also a Korea pake cake. 10000 won per person, good for value.



 

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Last updated: 2013/07/20

 

Added: 2007/10/02

 

Added by: Guest

 

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