If you are planning to stay near Itaewon you won’t face any problem looking for halal food. Itaewon is filled with halal restaurants, especially among the road heading to Seoul Grand Mosque. This post will be focusing on halal restaurants and muslim friendly food outside of Itaewon. While it is more difficult to find halal restaurants outside of Itaewon, it is not impossible. In addition to halal restaurants there are still many other options.
These are restaurants that serve vegetarian/vegan meals exclusively or have a separate vegetarian menus.
Vegetarian Friendly Restaurants
These are restaurants that have one or two vegetarian options. Some have seafood options like prawns.
The riskier option. While all seafood is halal, other ingredients used may be of not permissible sources. Most Muslim travel agencies will take you to seafood restaurants but they probably have Korean speaking guide to instruct the restaurant servers. In backpacking case you have to tell them yourself that meat and chicken should not be put inside.
Here are some menus that are less likely to have the ingredients above and should be safe to order:
MaeWoonTang / 매운탕 – Spicy Fish Stew
Sundubu Jigae / 순두부 찌개 – Hot & Spicy Soft Tofu Stew
Saengseon Gui / 생선구이 – Grilled Fish
Saengseon Jeon / 생선전 – Pan-fried Fish Fillets
Haemul Paejeon / 해물파전 – Seafood Pancake
Even if the ingredients for menus above show only seafoods are used, some restaurants may put beef inside the stews for stock. Make sure to tell them not to. This site list very few seafood restaurant, but you can just walk in to any seafood restaurants you found or hail a taxi and ask them to bring to nearest seafood restaurant. Try looking for this sign: 해물 (Seafood).
Fast food Restaurants
Many muslim must have experienced just buying french fries in fast food restaurants at that moment of hunger in foreign countries due to no halal restaurants nearby. Fortunately fast food restaurants nowadays have seafood menus in addition to their usual dishes. Fast food restaurants in Seoul are not exempted. Vegetarian pizza and shrimp burgers are among some dishes that Muslims can buy from outlets of KFC, Lotteria and Mr. Pizza.
We hope this entry will be beneficial for travellers looking for permissible meals in Korea.
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