Features panchan (side dishes), soups, vegetable dishes, and traditional music & dance. Started by a former monk. Directions: right in the heart of the Insadong area. It is about mid way between the two ends of Insadong Street. In Aug 2010, Sanchon had a type of "health food store" right on Insadong - and the sign said temple food. To get to the restaurant, follow the little alley right next to the health food store all the way back. Price: Expensive more-less
Vegan, Korean
Insa-Dong
Seoul, South Korea
02-735-0315
reviews

Reviews

First Review by veganqwert
beckettthedog
beckettthedog
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+126

AMAZING

4
Posted on 10 / 25 / 2014

My lunch at Sanchon was an amazing culinary experience. A set full course, consisting of nineteen different varieties of delicious food, is served beautifully in an intimate and relaxing space. The geotjeori and the stew were particularly tasty.
While there is no entertainment provided at lunch time the price is significantly lower.
The menu provides English translation and a copy of their New York Times’ review. Some staff members speak English.


veggieisland
veggieisland
  • vegan
Contributions
+67

Yikes, overpriced...it was Okay

3
Posted on 10 / 07 / 2014

We went for the night performance which was entertaining. The location and decorations in the restaurant were quite breathtaking as well.

WITH THAT SAID, you don't get nearly enough food for the amount of money that you pay and the food was just Okay.

It was a good one-time experience but I won't be going back.

Pros: vegan, entertainment
vegan herbivore
vegan herbivore
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+25

One of the Great Vegetarian Restaurant Experiences

5
Posted on 07 / 02 / 2014

What a fabulous experience! The restaurant itself is beautiful and endlessly fascinating -- dozens of nooks and crannies to explore and enjoy, all with an indoor/outdoor feel and temple/antique collector gone wild look. The food is super abundant. I think the negative reviews were due to the fact that this is not comfort food -- far from it, but truly healthy, earthy, authentic Korean food, not adapted to Western palates. The help seems austere, but in fact, if you are friendly, the staff is also friendly, and if you are needful of anything, the staff will in fact accommodate. The evening show is also not to Western taste, but is authentic and wonderful. Note that this restaurant is very hard to find. The pine needle liquor is awesome.

Pros: Unique, Beautiful, Authentic
Cons: Expensive, Hard to find, Staff is austere

vixtrola
vixtrola
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+17

Beautiful

5
Posted on 01 / 16 / 2014

We loved this restaurant for the food and for the ambience. As a shellfish allergic traveler it was nice for me to be able to enjoy kimchi for the first time, and my partner who had eaten the non-vegan versions said it was one of her favorites. This place felt special. They have a house made plum wine that I wish I could have taken with me.

Pros: Ambiance., Service. , Great food and a lot of it.
Cons: None.
semichi
semichi
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+17

Overrated, not worth it!

2
Posted on 08 / 11 / 2013

I'm very disappointed by Sanchon. They raised their lunch price from 22,000 won to 33,000 won just because they're famous. Their food was neither fresh nor delicious. Only their environment and pine liquor pre-meal drink are worth checking out. The overall procedure and experience was too superficial.

If you're going for real delicious temple food, I highly recommend going to "Han Gwa Chae" instead, a nearby lo-fi and warm vegan buffet that is totally underrated.
Updated from previous review on Sunday August 11, 2013

Pros: traditional vibe, good liquor
Cons: expensive, bad value, food was not fresh at all, hard to find
BradenPollock
BradenPollock
  • vegan
Contributions
+130

Outstanding!

5
Posted on 02 / 18 / 2013

I have no idea why a couple people panned the restaurant. This place was incredible. Be sure to go hungry as it's a pre-fix menu. There are two rounds of appetizers (about 20 items) and then the main course which consists of another 20 items. Thankfully, dessert was just one item plus tea (albeit, the third tea). The price is $33 per person (no tipping in Korea) and well worth it. The ambiance is fantastic too. Be prepared to sit on the heated floor to eat your meal (there are also standard table and chairs).


DonPedro
DonPedro
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+63

I don't recommend to go for the food

2
Posted on 09 / 18 / 2012

The food was an experience, but not so much of an enjoyable experience. If you go, go for the show (which by the way only lasts for half an hour).

Pros: dance show
Cons: price, very special food
Pitaya
Pitaya
  • vegan
Contributions
+269

Real experience

3
Posted on 06 / 19 / 2012

I had a set dinner menu at this restaurant while they were having the traditional dance show. I did not even order, they just brought the huge amount of dishes included in the set menu. It is really expensive, but the overall experience was unique.

Food is very original temple food, and I don't think all the people like the food. It has extraordinary flavours and consistencies.

Restaurant is beautifully decorated traditional house, but it is quite hard to find. I think it's not totally correctly marked on the map. It is at the ultimate end of one of the Insadong's side streets.

Pros: Originality, Experience, Aesthetics
Cons: Food even too strange, Hard to find, Expensive
pbj_atw
pbj_atw
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+11

an interesting experience

3
Posted on 05 / 14 / 2012

DInner at Sanchon was more about the experience than the meal. As other reviewers have mentioned, it is expensive, but I think you are paying for the whole experience -- the dancers, all of the dishes, etc. I arrived pretty late on a Sunday night and they were eager to close up for the night, so my meal was somewhat rushed, but overall it was interesting. Not a place to go if you are really hungry and just want to get something to eat.

Pros: more than a meal
Cons: expensive
mfoy
mfoy
  • vegan
Contributions
+60

Great ambiance - great food

4
Posted on 09 / 16 / 2010

We visited the restaurant for dinner while in Seoul in Aug 2010. It is a fixed course vegan meal, you just sit down, and food starts to come. Nice place right in the heart of the Insadong area. It is about mid way between the two ends of Insadong Street. In Aug 2010, Sanchon had a type of "health food store" right on Insadong - and the sign said temple food. To get to the restaurant, you followed the little alley right next to the health food store all the way back. The food is very good, and you get many courses. There is also live entertainment on certain nights. We did not ever go for lunch, but the lunch prices were lower (so that is a good choice if you want to experience this place, but don't want to spend about 34,000WON on dinner - I think lunch was about 22,000WON).

Pros: Ambiance, Location, Delicious food
surin
surin
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+9

Service is not good.

2
Posted on 05 / 04 / 2010

Although there have been several positive comments mentioned about this restaurant, my experience there was far from pleasant.

I visited it last Sunday and even though the food was palatable (it was very pricey too!), the service was beyond lacking. After several attempts of calling the attention of the waiters, I was kept waiting for a further 30 minutes by which time I had had enough. I was not even served the full course because no-one had the courtesy of ever coming to the table to see why I had called them in the first place.

And when I eventually decided to leave the restaurant, I was forced to wait even longer to pay! And the manager did not even bother to apologize after I politely lodged my complaint.

Definite pass on this place!

Pros: Vegan meal, Healthy food
Cons: Terrible service, Expensive
tbonesf
tbonesf
  • raw
Contributions
+49

Once in a lifetime dinning experience

5
Posted on 02 / 22 / 2010

I've been a vegan for over two years now and besides the kimchi, i have no clue what i was eating. I got the lunch special, which was about 15-20 bowls of small servings of mostly root vegetables and root based soups. Amazing flavor.
The waiter server everything in almost kind of a ceremonial vibe. The decor was magical.
The other reviews are correct, the place is a little tricky to find. If you can get to the famous Insa-Dong shopping street, you're pretty much there. Totally worth the adventure. You won't be disappointed.

Pros: Experience, Food, Setting
Cons: A small adventure to find.
wacka2
wacka2
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+14

Excellent Buddhist Temple Cuisine

5
Posted on 12 / 15 / 2009

Great traditional ambiance, generous servings, and well-prepared food. This place is not easy to find but when you do, it's like stepping through a portal. Omnivores will enjoy this place too.


TdotOdot
TdotOdot
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+18

feast is a good descriptive term

4
Posted on 10 / 11 / 2009

Went here 5 months ago (May 2009) so this won't be the most descriptive review. It was very tricky to find. It was a lovely setting to enjoy a meal. Staff were nice. There was a TON of food and I rolled out of there. I think the price was up to 42,000 won (lunch) when I went there. Definitely good food.

Pros: good food, nice atmosphere
Cons: hard to find, expensive (but not bad value)
al30sh
al30sh
  • vegan
Contributions
+55

Vegan Feast Like None Other!

5
Posted on 04 / 11 / 2009

This is one of those can't miss restaurants! It may have been the best vegan feast I've ever had. They do a fixed price meal in a beautiful courtyard teahouse, serve small portions of over 20 different items from sweet lotus to hearty miso soup, cooked greens 8 different ways, to vegetable pancakes, various types of kim chee, lots of mushroom dishes... it is absolutely delicious, healthy, and the whole experience is a major delight for the eyes and stomach.

Pros: Very special experience, Huge amt of variety, Setting is lovely
Cons: Staff spoke little english
backpasher
backpasher
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+91

Amazing

5
Posted on 12 / 30 / 2008

We absolutely adored this place. It was 39000won and there was a LOT of food, but it was super tasty and we were able to polish it off between us - only just though!

Our set menu was comprised of dishes from fried sea-weed to a tofu-mushroom hot-pot, tempura, veggie Kim-Chee and various other delicious dishes.

Staff were friendly and we enjoyed the traditional dance performance after dinner.


veganqwert
veganqwert
  • vegan
Contributions
+45

Only go if you are HUNGRY! :)

5
Posted on 09 / 13 / 2007

As others have said, you get a LOT of food. Menus are set. They are set for a minimum of two people, so they really prefer you do not dine alone, although I have been accommodated once in the past.

The setting is beautiful, the atmosphere is very peaceful, and the staff is very friendly and kind.

If you can't find it easily with the directions provided, go to the information center in Insa-dong and ask there.

It's well worth any time spent looking for it and well worth the price. Bring your camera to take a picture of the layout of food you'll be getting or no one will every believe you when you try to describe it later.

Pros: delicious, spacious, lots of food
Cons: can be hard to find, not so good for solitary diners

 

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Last updated: 2013/09/25

 

Added: 2007/08/01

 

Added by: eric

 

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