Tag Archives: vegetarian food

Andong Bomun Resort Buddhist culture Food & drink Gyeongju Gyo-dong Hwangseong-dong Music & dance tips for tourists Uncategorized

Fall Events in Gyeongju: Temple Food, Hallyu Dreams, Liquor and Rice Cake, Marathons and more

Gyeongju Liquor and Rice Cake Festival, 2010

Gyeongju Liquor and Rice Cake Festival, 2010

The official start of fall is less than a week away, meaning it’s time again for some of the best weather in Korea and its accompanying  frenzy of festivals.   Here in Gyeongju we can look forward to a few old favorites plus some changes and special events.  First off, both vegetarians and Buddhist culture aficionados will want to check out the first annual Sachal Eumshik (사찰 음식), or Temple Food, Festival out at Deoksungsa Temple (덕숭사) next Saturday, Sept. 24th.   Contrary to popular belief (of many Koreans, in fact) Korea has a rich and delicious tradition of vegetarian cuisine rooted in the country’s numerous Buddhist temples.  Sachal Eumshik can be savored at several restaurants around Gyeongju, like Baru in Seondo-dong or Ssukbujaengi near Bomun.

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Bulguk-dong Food & drink Gyeongju restaurants tips for tourists

Restaurant Review #19: Bomun Does Vegetarian Part 2- Ssukbu Jaengi (쑥부쟁이) Restaurant

Ssukbu Jaengi Vegetarian Restaurant, Gyeongju

Ssukbu Jaengi Vegetarian Restaurant, Gyeongju

If you’ve read any of my restaurant reviews on here on the blog, you’ve probably noticed  I don’t bother ratings restaurants with crap like forks, stars, or hearts.  I’m a busy guy.  I figure if a restaurant’s blasé or bad (and Gyeongju ‘s got its share of those) then it’s not worth writing about.  Also, everyone has different tastes, especially when it comes to cuisine as unique, flavorful (and sometimes challenging)  as Korean.   Giving a sundae (순대)restaurant four out of five stars (or toothpicks or whatever) doesn’t mean much if thought of blood sausage turns your stomache. All that said, for its combination of quality food, reasonable prices and tasteful traditional décor, I’d about give Ssukbu Jaengi (쑥부쟁이) five out of five stars.  It’s just that good, and it happens to be vegetarian. read more »

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Bomun Resort Food & drink Gyeongju restaurants tips for tourists

Restaurant Review #18: Bomun Does Vegetarian Part 1- Dayoo (다유) Restaurant

Da-yoo Vegetarian Restaurant, Bomun Resort

Da-yoo Vegetarian Restaurant, Bomun Resort

Although it’s not quite enough to call a trend, a couple vegetarian restaurants have sprung up around Bomun Resort (보문단지) in the last few years which, for a country that generally considers eating meat equal with common sense, is a pretty big deal.  Perhaps the frequent media scares over livestock-borne diseases, like mad cow, foot and mouth and avian flu, are beginning to turn some Koreans off from their gleefully carnivorous diets.  Whatever the case, it certainly helps the vegetarian cause that both Dayoo (다유) and Ssookboo Jaengi (쑥부쟁이) restaurants near Bomun serve excellent traditional Korean vegetarian food.  And, contrary to the popular belief among Korean school kids, this is not a contradiction in terms. read more »

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Food & drink Namsan-dong restaurants tips for tourists

Restaurant Review #11: Kalguksu (칼국수) on Mt. Namsan

Chilbulam Restaurant, Mt. Namsan, Gyeongju

Chilbulam Restaurant, Mt. Namsan, Gyeongju

Along with temples, ancient Buddhas, and funny-shaped boulders, Mt. Namsan (남산) has also been blessed with a fair number of kalguksu (칼국수) restaurants. If you’ve not tried it before, Kalguksu is a hot and hearty noodle soup; perfect after a hike. Kalguksu literally means “knife noodles” as the noodles are cut by hand and quite thick. Kalguksu has a mild savory flavor, but it comes with a side jar of soy sauce with green onions and chilies which you add to your liking (I’d suggest starting with just a dolop or two to see how you like it). It’s served without meat, so it’s vegetarian friendly (though I can’t vouch for the broth). read more »

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Festivals Food & drink Gyeongju Hwangseong-dong Korean culture photography tips for tourists

More Gyeongju 2010 Liquor & Ddeok Festival (경주술과떡잔치)

 

2010 Liquor and Ddeok Festival, Gyeongju

2010 Liquor and Ddeok Festival, Gyeongju

It’s Thursday morning which means that we’re down to the final day of the Gyeongju Liquor & Ddeok Festival (경주술과떡잔치) in Hwangseong Park. Unfortunately I missed the Festival’s kickoff Saturday, though I hear it was packed with people and the weather was gorgeous.  By the time I got down there on Monday, this week-long bout of dreary weather had already set in.  read more »

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Downtown Gyeongju restaurants tips for tourists

Restaurant Review #10: Pranzo (프란조) Italian Restaurant

Pranzo Italian Restaurant, Gyeongju

Pranzo Italian Restaurant, Gyeongju

One of my few complaints about Gyeongju is that there just aren’t many foreign restaurants here. Sure, Gyeongju has all your usual greasy fast food joints, but you’ve got to go all the way to Daegu to find a TGI Fridays or Outback Steak House. And if you’re itching for Thai or Mexican, just forget it. Luckily we do have a couple of descent Italian joints in town, and the cream (if you’ll pardon the pun) of the crop is Pranzo (프란조). read more »

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Buddhist culture Gyeongju restaurants tips for tourists

Restaurant Review #9: Baru (바루) Vegetarian Restaurant

Baru Vegetarian Restaurant, Gyeongju

Baru Vegetarian Restaurant, Gyeongju

Being a vegetarian in Korea can be rough. I, myself, am an omnivore, but I’ve got enough vegetarian friends here that I can sympathize. There just aren’t a lot of vegetarian options in Korea.  Like with a lot of countries who’ve recently come out of poverty, vegetarianism seems counter intuitive to most Koreans.   Since you can actually afford to eat meat 3 meals a day, why shouldn’t you?  It doesn’t help that a lot of Koreans don’t really consider fish or seafood to be meat.  You might’ve ordered that jjigae (찌개), or stew, with out meat, only to find a fish head floating in it when it gets to your table. read more »

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Gyeongju restaurants tips for tourists

Restaurant Review #7: Boo Yong (부용) Chinese Restaurant

Boo Yong (부용) Chinese Restaurant

Boo Yong (부용) Chinese Restaurant

Ever since “China Cook” changed owners and slid down hill, I’ve had an aching void in my life where great Chinese food should be. As the fates would have it, last month some kind folks at work turned us on to a new Chinese joint in town: Boo Yong (부용) Chinese Restaurant. It’s just across the river in Guemjang-ri (금장리); a little bit out of the way, but well worth the effort. We’ve been there about 4 times last month and we’re slowly working our way through the menu. So far there’s not a thing on it we haven’t liked. read more »

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Food & drink Gyeongju Gyo-dong restaurants tips for tourists

Restaurant Review #5: Ha Yeon Ji (하연지) Lotus Restaurant

Ha Yeon Ji (하연지) Lotus Restaurant

As promised in my recent post Nak Cheon Won Temple (낙천원사), I got back to Ha Yeon Ji Restaurant (하연지) last Saturday with some friends, and this time I did actually  remember to bring my camera.   Ha Yeon Ji Restaurant (하연지) is part of  Nak Cheon Won Temple (낙천원사) complex , which is new, private temple that’s home to a huge golden Buddha in the front courtyard. read more »

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