CLOSED: Sosim Vegetarian Restaurant

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 11 reviews )



Insa-Dong Gil Street (at Anguk station on Line 3 (Orange line), exit Insa-Dong), Seoul, South Korea

Serves meat, vegan options available. All veg except for fish. Vegetarian-friendly restaurant in basement of building. Menu is in Korean and English, and English is spoken. Sample items include Korean pancake, bi-bim-bap (Korean traditional vegetables and rice) without egg upon request, free refills of rice and side dishes. Also offers a fixed menu meal for around 10,000 won (about US$10.50). Interior is natural wood, and guest sit at regular tables or on the floor. A popular place with monks from nearby chogye-sa (temple), though the restaurant is run by Christians. Directions: After train exit, walk straight pass Tourist Information booth on right, art store on left. Walk across Insa-Dong Street towards convenience store in front. Go right when you get to convenience store. Entrance is between GS25 convenience store and bank, and is marked by large vertical black-and-white sign with the name in two Chinese characters, the English words "Sosim" and "Vegetarian Restaurant." Reported closed to HappyCow. Closed Sunday.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Macrobiotic, Organic, Korean, Non-veg

11 Reviews

First Review by craigmc

maybe closed - Edit

Impossible to find this restaurant. Probably closed.

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Nice place for lunch - Edit

We went to Sosim during our November trip to Seoul. It is right next to the convenience store at the entrance to Insa-Dong. We were there for lunch and there were two set vegan lunches, one for 15,000 and one for 12,000. We chose the 12,000 won option since we weren't too hungry, but it was a lot of food.

The food is very much temple-style with lots of little dishes full of simple tastes. We had grilled tofu, tempura vegetables, soup, and lots of little vegetable dishes (maybe 10 or so small bowls), some a bit too sweet for my taste.

The service was friendly, but no one really spoke any English. The food came quickly and our grilled tofu and tempura was refilled mid-way through. The atmosphere is nice and cosy with lots of wood. It is surprisingly well-lit for a basement. Overall, a good place for healthy food in Seoul. We would definitely come back.

Pros: Healthy food, Good value, Good location

Cons: Limited menu

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Solidly good Korean veg food - Edit

We ate here twice while in Seoul in Aug 2010. They have good food; from our perspective, very Korean (maybe Sambap style food for their fixed menus). Looked like maybe some of their fixed menus include fish now. Unfortunately, at least during the humid summer days we were there, it smells a little dank; maybe because it is in the basement; not terrible. Overall we enjoyed it, and the prices are not bad.

Pros: Good food

Cons: Basement location

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Awesomely good food - Edit

Except for two grilled fish dishes, everything was vegan. The meals came with a ton of really nicely seasoned and fresh vegetable banchan, a variety of pancakes, and delicious soup. We thought the food was much much better here than Sanchon (and cheaper), though Sanchon is definitely prettier.

Pros: excellent food, good value

Cons: basement room

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Cosy place with good service - Edit

My husband and I had a set lunch for two, and found the amount of food to be plentiful. I also thought it was a good value at around 12000 won each, but I guess maybe I don't have many reference points in Seoul. The food was excellent and thoughtfully prepared/presented. It was a good memory of a quick trip to Seoul!

Pros: relaxing, good portions

Cons: small menu

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Way too expensive for the little you get! - Edit

I'm sorry to say that I'm quite dissatisfied with Sosim.

I have been in Korea two years and am used to how things are usually done. Generally, side dishes and often rice are re-filled when you finish them. It's often done even without you asking for it, and you get tons of side dishes in addition to your main meal. At Sosim, the entire "set meal" consists of side dishes. I went with another vegetarian as well as someone who eats fish. The cheapest set meal was 15,000 won, and it contained fish, so we got one of those as well as two "vegetarian dishes" for 12,000 each.

The food that came for the three of us consisted of three small bowls of rice, three bowls of soup filled 1/4 of the way, and twelve small side dishes filled with less food than most restaurants serve. For the fish eater there was also one small piece of fish. We quickly ate the various side dishes, because we assumed they would be re-filled since there were three of us (especially since the meal was only side dishes with no main dish), but they would not re-fill them for us! No one ever came to check and when we did ask, they said no. I did manage to get my rice re-filled, but in the end that cost of an extra 1000 won. The side dishes were good, but we only got about 2-3 pieces of each one before the bowl was empty - ie a very small piece of broccoli, a bit of kimchi, a teeny triangle of pancake, a bite-sized piece of tofu. None of us were anywhere near full. Honestly, there wasn't even enough food in the side dishes for ONE person, and none of us are "big-eaters."

I didn't expect this place to be dirt cheap, but I also didn't expect to leave as hungry as when I came in! In the end, a few bites each of various side dishes plus rice and a bit of soup cost (plus the small piece of fish) cost 40,000 won! I can't believe we paid that much for a "meal" of single-serving side dishes... one of the worst eating experiences I've had in Korea.

Pros: the decor

Cons: the amount of food in each side dish, the fact that there are no re-fills, unhelpful staff

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Lovely place - Edit

Sosim is a really lovely little restaurant. Easy to find, it is located right on one of the popular streets of Insadong, a neighborhood that manages to be pleasant and interesting, despite also being one of Seoul's major tourist draws. The food is absolutely delicious, and tastes like it is really fresh and of high quality. It seems the banchan (little side dishes) have been selected to perfectly suit one another. The staff ranges from warm to extremely friendly, and the interior is cozy and pretty.
The menu can seem a little pricey at first glance, but you end up getting a LOT of food in one order. I went with my husband once, and we ordered two of the set menu. It ended up being too much for us, which was surprising because we were famished, and he usually eats a lot. The most recent time I went, I was alone, and one of the set lunch menus was too much for me, although the hostess was extremely receptive to packing up the leftovers for me.

One warning to true vegetarians / vegans: some of the set menus contain a fish plate. If you ordinarily eat fish, or you're willing to compromise though, the fish is very tasty. Also, it comes separate from everything else, so you don't have to worry about picking it out.

Pros: delicious food, healthy cuisine, great staff / atmosphere

Cons: better for two or more, some fish (not really a problem)

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Bibimbap Lunch Set a bit small - Edit

I was a bit disappointed (surprising given the otherwise good reviews)--mainly the bibimbap lunch set had rather small portions. The quality of the food was pretty good, regardless. You get better value at Han Gua Chae (since it's a buffet) and Oh Say Gay Hyang, both in Insadong a little further south. This is actually pretty easy to find--the directions provided in the writeup on HappyCow were great.

Pros: decent tasting food, easy to find

Cons: small portions, limited menu

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Hard to find but worth the search - Edit

I have been to Seoul a number of times and always ate at this cosy restaurant that serves fantastic food. My favourite is still the vegan bibimbap.

Pros: Excellent food, Smoke free, Very friendly service

Cons: Hard to find

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So delicous... - Edit

I had an excellent and huge set dinner there with many new (to a foreigner perhaps) dishes. The set dinner had a 2 person minimum. The restaurant was very nicely decorated, with quaint booths, and the staff was very friendly. The area nearby also has a lot of fun shops.

Pros: excellent food, good variety

Cons: 2 person min for set course, not as cheap as bibimbap

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good food - Edit

korean dishes are plentiful here.
the main meal comes in ten dishes, a variety of veg and one tofu.
very tasty, and the place is clean and has a nice atmosphre.
very limited options though.

Pros: nice place, good food

Cons: limited options

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