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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Jeju Island Editions: 6 Best Places to Eat Near City Hall

I love food!!  I realized this when I went vegan for one month during World Vegan's Month last November.  I would find these awesome recipes and make them my own by changing out vegetables or beans or grains to one that suited my appetite and omg!!!  A vegan foodie was born.  However, by mid December, I was back to my regular vegetarian diet.

With Korea being a veggie friendly country, it's easy to think that foods that look vegetarian are, but that's often not the case as most of the sauces used in the cooking process contains anchovy paste.  Fear not!  I've been living on the island for nearly a year already and I've mapped out several food spots that will satisfy whatever craving (within reason) you may have.

Things to Note:

  • With the exception of The Loving Hut, each restaurant offers meat-based meals for the meat lovers.
  • Be sure to see below for hours and a map on how to get there form Jeju-si City Hall (체주시청).  If you are using a mobile phone, you will need to download the Naver Map App. 

#1  Mexican Food--Zapatas 

I loooove Mexican food!!  And when a Zapata's recently opened in Shin Jeju, boy oh boy was it a topic of conversation for Jeju Islanders! "When is it opening?" and "Is it opened yet?" or "What are the hours?" and "What's on the menu?"  Everyone wanted to know where and when and rightfully so.  This is the one Mexican restaurant I know of on the island. As for the food, they offer a vegetable burrito that comes quite close to the flavors my taste buds are accustomed to when it comes to Mexican food.  Last time I was there, I sat with a friend and one with avocados and took one to go.

Hours:  Monday-Saturday 11:30am- 2:30pm and 5 pm-10 pm (Closed on Sundays)
How to get there from City Hall:  
1.  Take any bus going to E-Mart (#20 going south) in Shin Jeju, walk up to (south) to Lotte Mart, at the traffic light make a right, it's two blocks down on a side street on the left.
2.  West of Lotte Mart in Shin Jeju, just past the I-parks Apartments on the right.
Naver Maps:

Vegetable burrito topped with avocado and hot sauce

#2  Korean Vegan--The Loving Hut 

The Loving Hut is a chain of vegan food restaurants of which I first learned of during my teacher orientation in Seoul back in October 2013. They offer everything from ice cream to yummy beverages to Korean dishes that will have you licking your fingers.  It's great!  I've tried just about everything on the menu from hot soups to soy cutlets and the "bul-gogi" (meat substitute).  Unfortunately there were three on the island.  Then there were two.  Now there's only one in the Tap-dong area.

Hours:  Sunday to Sunday 11:30 am-9:00 pm
How to get there from City Hall:  Take any bus going to Tap-dong (north of City Hall, the #10 for sure).  Get off at Jung-Ang-Ro (중앙 로) bus stop.  It's the underground shopping area (If you miss the stop, get off at the next one and walk back and make a left).  There is a street with an eye glass place on the corner (on the right), go down that street and The Loving Hut is on the left just past a tattoo parlor.
English Address:  1387-3, Ido 1-dong, Jeju-si, Jeju-do, Korea
Korean Address:  체주시 이도1동 1387-3 1F

Phone:  070-4222-6113 
Naver Maps:

Soy Cutlet at The Loving Hut, Tapdong

#3  Indian Cuisine--Bagdad's Cafe

Bagdad's is easily my favorite restaurant on the island.  I've been there enough times to know what I'm getting before I get there: Dhal Makhani with Plain Naan.  They offer at least three vegetarian options served with rice or naan (garlic or plain).  The atmosphere is also quite relaxing and the servers, quite friendly.  Be sure to check out the samosa's!

Hours:  Sunday-Sunday 11 am-11 pm
How to get there from City Hall:  Located in the city hall area.  It's on the opposite side of the street of city hall.  Take any of those side streets, make the second left and it's on the right.
Naver Maps:

Eating out with friends at Bagdad's

#4  Korean, Juk Restaurants--Haneul Nari

On my most recent trip to Seoul, I couldn't think of a meal that would satisfy both my vegetarian diet and tight pocket. That was until I passed a juk (porridge) restaurant.  I ended up having the yache (vegetable) juk (porridge) three days in a row, it was so good.  The price suited my pocket nicely and it was enough to eat twice. Today, I decided on juk as well, as there is a restaurant very close to my officetel building opposite McDonald's in City Hall.

Hours:  Monday-Saturday 9:30 am-8:30 pm (Closed Sundays)
How to get there from City Hall:  These restaurants are everywhere.  There is one south of City Hall (up the hill) across the street from the McDonald's.
Naver Maps: 

Yache Juk (Vegetable Rice Porridge)

#5  Turkish--Ates Turkish Pub

Ates is a Turkish Pub in Shin-Jeju and while they do serve meat, you can get most wraps without meat and for a lowered price. This is also the one Turkish restaurant I know of on Jeju Island.  I really enjoyed this wrap to the right and for maybe 3,500 won, it was totally worth it.  If you haven't tried Turkish food before (like me), go!  It's really, really good.
Hours: Monday-Saturday 5 pm-2 am (Closed Sundays)
How to get there from City Hall:  See map below
Naver Maps:

Vegetable Wrap

#6 Breakfast--Isaac Toast and Coffee

Egg, cheese and
hashbrown on toast
with pineapple
I stumbled onto this place while waiting for my doctor at Halla Hospital to get back from his lunch.  Truth be told, I was looking around for Korean food restaurants with hopes of getting bibimbap or even gimbap.  I would even settle for a slice of pizza from Yongu's which is on the same street.  I was ready to turn the corner at Hurdy Gurdy's to see what Korean restaurants were there and there it was.

I ordered the potato sandwich which comes with egg and cheese.  And it was so good; the bread, slightly toasted and I picked up a slight sweetness to the sandwich.  Really, really good!!  This may be the only thing that's vegetarian on the menu but there are several beverages and of course, there are hot beverages as well.

Hours:  Sunday-Sunday 10 am to 10 pm
How to get there from City Hall: -Take any bus going to E-Mart (#20 going south) in Shin Jeju.  From E-Mart, head north, toward the McDonald's.  Take the street that Mc Donald's is on and head to the right.  Go straight maybe three blocks and it's on the corner, just below Hurdy Gurdy's.
 Naver Maps:

Inside Isaac's Toast and Coffee

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