take pride in the wide variety of vegetables of their traditional dishes – including their beloved kimchi – meat remains a significant part of the country’s cuisine and culture. Consequently, vegetarianism has yet to become part of the mainstream, especially in cities outside of Seoul. Things are slowly changing, however, and restaurants are adapting to meet evolving dietary needs and preferences. So, while not all the Daegu restaurants on this list are entirely vegetarian, each offers vegetarian and/or vegan options to satisfy the palates of non-meat eaters.
Weolbae Vegetarian Sol-nae Restaurant (월배 채식 솔내 식당)
Restaurant, Korean, $$$
Traditional Korean jeongsik
, a full meal consisting of rice with loads of side dishes, is the main focus of this no-frills vegetarian restaurant. All the classics are here, from japchae
, sweet potato starch noodles stir fried with vegetables, to nurungji
, scorched rice. But the real star is the ssamjang
, a perfectly balanced spicy bean paste. But a dollop of it on a sesame leaf, add your choice of veggies, wad it up and bon appétit
Restaurant, Indian, Pakistani, $$$
Brothers Rashid and Shafiq Ahmed have more than 20 years of experience in cooking traditional Indian-Pakistani food, and serve up some of Daegu’s best curries. There are plenty of flavorful and fresh vegetarian options available, the service is good, and the restaurant’s cozy atmosphere makes it a great spot for a relaxing dinner. Or, enjoy your meal at home, as New Saladdin
Restaurant, Korean, $$$
Those looking for fresh veggies at an affordable price should look no further than Borisu. Opt for the dolsot bibimbap
, a hot stone bowl of warm white rice topped with colorful vegetables and Korean condiments. (Vegans, ask for your sans egg.) The “Nutrition Rice,” rice cooked with chestnuts, jujubes, and various other nuts and beans, is another tasty option and is served with plenty of sides. Grab a seat next to the courtyard, and enjoy your meal in the restaurant’s peaceful atmosphere, which remains calm even during the lunch rush.
Restaurant, Cafe, Fusion, Asian, $$$
Part of the international chain
of vegan restaurants, Loving Hut was opened by followers of Supreme Master Ching Hai, an advocate for vegetarian living. Menu items include salads, sandwiches, burgers, sushi, desserts, Korean dishes, and various tofu and meat-flavored soy-based dishes, all of which are 100 percent vegan. Non-Korean speakers will find the restaurant’s photo menu particularly helpful. Should you want to pick up a few cooking items for home, Loving Hut also sells a small selection of vegan products.
Restaurant, Turkish, $$$
lovers rejoice! While the chickpea-based dip that most of the world has come to know and love is still difficult to find in Korea (outside Seoul), this Turkish restaurant serves up plenty of it. Nazar Kebab also does a falafel kebab that’s so delicious you probably won’t be able to eat just one.
Bar, Restaurant, North American, $$$
One of Daegu’s best craft beer bars
also serves up a tasty selection of high quality, handmade pizzas suitable for vegetarians. Furthermore, both the dough and tomato sauce EtOH uses are vegan-friendly. The drafthouse also provides a 3,000 won (US$3) discount for those who order their pizza without cheese, which means more money for beer!