Vegan Bakery in Seoul: Cafe The Bread Blue

If you're a vegan traveling around or living in South Korea, Seoul has a lot of (new!) vegan bakeries, restaurants and just hidden menu options for delicious meals, both western and Korean style. On a short trip to Seoul, I visited and taste-tested as many places as I could, and Cafe The Bread Blue was my first stop. Here's my review of this lovely little bakery in central Seoul with its motto of No Eggs, No Butter, No Milk. 

You can find The Bread Blue, or Paran Bbang, near Hongdae in Sinchon area at this address:

Seoulsi Mapogu Sinchonro 12 Dagil 3 (Nogosangdong by the old address system)

They offer custom cakes for birthdays and the like, too, if you place your order in advance at this phone number: 070 4405 0723
I think the staff or at least the owner speak a bit of English, but I forgot to ask! 

After the long search for a wedding guest outfit in the shopping paradise that is Hongdae, The Bread Blue had the perfect sugary treats to help me recharge! It's a bit of a walk from Hongdae to the corner of Sinchon where The Bread Blue is located, but hey, I wanted to work up an appetite anyway!

My travel diary sketches for this day in Seoul and Incheon. The Bread Blue was my personal highlight haha...

My travel diary sketches for this day in Seoul and Incheon. The Bread Blue was my personal highlight haha...

Vegan Options when Traveling around Korea 

Seoul has, over the last couple of years, seen a lot of vegan options pop up. Where there previously were only traditional Buddhist temple food restaurants offering vegan food and the random Korean dishes which were "accidentally" vegan like Kongguksu, you can now find cafes, bakeries, and both western and Korean style restaurants specializing in vegan options. 

So, of course, when I went to Seoul for the weekend, I couldn't wait to get my hands on delicious, plant-based cakes, lattes and whatever else I'd be able to find!

My options on Jeju are limited to (totally delicious) traditional, temple-cuisine-inspired restaurants like Jayeoneuro and a couple fusion restaurants with vegan menu items, but to be able to visit a cafe and find vegan desserts is still a bit of a dream...

Pastries and breads at the Cafe The Bread Blue in Seoul, Korea. Top row were Millefeuille, Montblanc, chocolate ganache and walnut tartes, as well as mousse cakes and tiramisu. The bottom row had filled buns with vegan cream, lemon mousse, chocolate bread...

Pastries and breads at the Cafe The Bread Blue in Seoul, Korea. Top row were Millefeuille, Montblanc, chocolate ganache and walnut tartes, as well as mousse cakes and tiramisu. The bottom row had filled buns with vegan cream, lemon mousse, chocolate bread...

All the sugary goodness!

I'm quite the healthy vegan, though not entirely by choice. Living on Jeju forces me to cook and bake from scratch most of the time and I prefer the simplicity of bread to elaborate cake baking sessions. For a year or so I'd only ever eaten rice cakes, homemade banana bread or similarly "healthy" desserts - imagine how overwhelmed I was by the sheer number of cakes, pastries, puddings, and sweets here!

Vegan dessert bakery "The Bread Blue" in Seoul, Sinchon area. If you're traveling around Korea and crave desserts, this is your place to go! Near Hongdae, all vegan bakery selection, soy milk coffee options, cute interior and delicious food!

Seriously, how to choose? Everything looked wonderful... 
Since I bake for myself a lot, I'm all for trying new things that would be too complicated/time-consuming or require too many special ingredients at home. The vegan Ganache Tarte definitely looked promising!

Almond cookies and more! The little decorations all over the Cafe The Bread Blue are adorable, too~

Almond cookies and more! The little decorations all over the Cafe The Bread Blue are adorable, too~

There were packaged cookies, simple breads, and some savory dishes like sandwiches available too. I only noticed when preparing this blog post that I didn't take a single picture of the salty/savory section of the bakery! My brain and camera were focused on the desserts...

Taste-Testing! Vegan Dessert in Seoul's Cafe The Bread Blue

In the end, we went with the Montblanc dessert! It's my husband's favorite dessert and also something I'd eaten a lot when I was a child since my dad loves the similar "marron vermicelle" in Switzerland. Childhood memories! 

And really, there's no way I'll ever make this at home!  

Spoiler alert: It was delicious! I don't like saying that a Vegan dessert tastes exactly like a non-vegan one, because a) I'm not sure if my taste buds aren't a bit forgetful b) there are good and bad versions of any recipe out there, anyway. But the chestnut vermicelle had the perfect texture, it wasn't too sweet (a bit of an issue with most desserts sold in Korea...), the tarte and cream at the bottom just melted in my mouth and we had a fight over who got to eat the chestnut hidden inside this little sugar mountain. (Went 50/50 in the end! Marriage saved!)

We also got a free red bean paste bun (which I took with me as a snack for the next day...) and ordered soy milk lattes. Disclaimer: I hate the soy milk lattes at Starbucks. They drown their lattes in milk... If you like to have coffee that actually still tastes like coffee, I can definitely recommend the lattes here at Paran Bbang!

I regret not having bought more - like maybe a cookie or two (or ten) and some of their sandwiches looked great, too. Next time!

Cafe The Bread Blue Review:

So, in short: A cozy vegan cafe and bakery, with delicious breads, desserts, and savory meals, tea and coffee, all clearly labeled for your vegan/lactose-intolerant needs. Located in Sinchon near Hongdae, so it's easy to reach as a tourist, too. Staff is super friendly, helpful and gives away free goods, which is always a plus! Affordable prices and large selection. We'll definitely be back!

You can find The Bread Blue on Happy Cow for information on opening hours, too.
 

More travel tips, restaurant reviews and vegan places in Korea:

Bottle & Bowl Salad Restaurant - Eating Vegan on Jeju Island

Bottle & Bowl is a relatively new addition to Jeju Island's gastronomy world and I discovered it by accident, just a week ago!

For more Jeju Island travel tips:

Hiking around Jeju Island's Olle Trail
Lazy Day on Jeju: Cafe & Nature
Arts & Crafts: Markets on Jeju Island

Salad & Juice Bar on Jeju Island

Described as a 'Health Food' restaurant with a focus on salads and juices, Bottle & Bowl is a great choice not only for health-conscious travelers, but also for vegetarians and vegans on Jeju Island.

Travel to Seogwipo

When we went to Seogwipo-Si, where Bottle & Bowl is located, for a day trip, we'd had several options in mind where I (probably) could get a vegan variation of the menu. As so happens on trips, we were already full from snacks and decided on a late lunch at the salad bar. 

I was expecting to do my usual 'without the grated cheese, eggs, chicken etc, please' routine, especially based on what I'd glimpsed online.

The salad restaurant can be found on a small road in the center of Seogwipo. The exterior is simple and sleek - based on the neighbourhood, I'd expected much less modern fare! Bottle & Bowl opened in October 2016, so everything is still new and shiny, too.

So imagine the joy when I laid eyes upon that huge menu banner!
A lot more variety in the salad bowl section than I'd expected and even two smoothie bowls to choose from!

Restaurant Prices on Jeju Island lately...

The prices also looked promising.

Jeju Island has gotten quite expensive over the last couple of years. Where traditional Korean fare went for as low as 5,000 Won for a lunch set, it's gotten hard to find traditional Korean food for under 8,000 Won - and of course, the famous Jeju Black Pork restaurants are on a whole other price level. Western food, even simple Pasta, usually starts at around 12,000-20,000 Won.

A huge salad with expensive ingredients like avocado is a great find for under 10,000!

A wild smoothie bowl has appeared!

I'd planned on getting a salad, but in the end, I couldn't resist the sudden temptation of a smoothie bowl!

If you can read Korean, you can check the ingredients yourself.

In Korea, the word 'Vegan' is often either not understood or confused with 'Vegetarian'.

When trying to use the Korean 'Chaesik' 채식 which literally means 'Vegetable Food', people usually understand it in one of three ways:

  1. Some will understand it as eating vegan (rare...)
  2. Some will understand it as only ever eating vegetables (I've had confused Korean friends ask me why I was able to eat falafel, noodles or bread).
  3. Some will just think it means a meal with lots of vegetables - fish sauce, meat side-dishes or dairy can still be included.

But! Here at Bottle & Bowl, after I'd confirmed that the Green Smoothie Bowl contained no dairy, they automatically assumed that we'd also like to avoid it in our salad sauce, pointed out which of the three sauces contained mayonnaise, and offered to remove the eggs from the avocado salad. So while not every item on the menu is vegetarian or vegan, the owners know about food preferences and what they'd include/exclude. 

Bottle & Bowl in Seogwipo, Jeju Island, Salad Bar

Bottle & Bowl in Seogwipo, Jeju Island, Salad Bar

Bottle & Bowl - Interior & Decor

Curiosity sated and order placed, we chose the window table. The view ain't much (if you've ever been in the older parts of Korean cities, you know what I mean lol), but the interior and lighting is done very tastefully!

And hey, you need natural light for food pics.

Cafes and restaurants on Jeju have the cutest interiors and decorations...!

One Green Smoothie, One Salad and One Juice, Please.

Both the salad for my husband and my green smoothie bowl were made fresh (yay, mixing noises!), and we'd ordered a fresh pressed juice, too. The wheat grass, lemon, and kiwi mix was refreshing (if a bit too similar to my smoothie bowl).

All items are available for take-out, too. Someone was picking up a huge amount of pre-ordered salads while we were eating, so if you're in a hurry, that would be the perfect option for a meal on the go. 

The smoothie's base are kiwi, spinach, grapes and coconut water. With toppings full of goodness like cacao nibs, hemp seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, bananas, grapes and cereal, the smoothie bowl was a lot more filling than I'd expected!

My husband had the shrimp salad. On top of the titular shrimp, there were a lot of ingredients that are unusual for Korean restaurant's salads. Beans, black olives, a large variety of different greens, sweet pumpkin... it made for a very complete meal, especially with the slice of bread.

If you miss your smoothies as a vegan traveling in Korea, Bottle & Bowl is the perfect place to go!

wip-smoothiebowl-stickers-illustration.PNG

As always when traveling, I took some time out of the day to sketch and journal. After all of that smoothie inspiration, little smoothie bowl doodles were a must! I'd drawn a smoothie bowl previously for my 'Creative Life' sticker set, but there are just so many variations and colors that I'd had yet to draw!

I'm really happy with how these turned out! Very colorful and with a potential to make me hungry...
I like adding sketches and stickers to my diary/journal entries, especially when traveling! So I hope these can be a nice decoration for your meal planner, diary or journal, too. :)

PDF

Just download the PDF file (US letter size, 300 DPI) and print on sticker paper of your choice!

보틀 앤 볼 Bottle & Bowl | Information & Contact

Adress: 서귀포시 동홍남로 61    Seogwiposi Donghongnamro 61
10:00 - 20:00, Closed Sundays
Phone Number: 064-733-6969

I hope you'll have the opportunity to visit Bottle & Bowl if you are on Jeju!

Thank you so much for reading!

Have you ever traveled to Jeju Island, or to South Korea in general? How did you find the food? Korean food is delicious - I love traditional cuisine - but once in a while, it's nice to have fresh veggies instead of the fermented/steamed/cooked variety. 

A Day on Jeju Island: Follow me as I discover hidden places and Vegan friendly restaurants in South Korea. Jeju travel guide, photography & illustration on evydraws.