Alien's Day Out

The Foreign Food Mart 2


It’s been almost 2 years since I first blogged about one of my favorite grocery-shopping spots in Seoul, the Foreign Food Mart in Itaewon. Since then, they’ve done a big renovation of the store and have expanded their inventory tremendously, so I thought it was time I did an updated post about them.

Even though it’s not that close to where I live, I frequent the FFM about two or three times every month, to stock up on essentials like dried lentils and chick peas. You can also find other veggie staples such as flax seeds, nuts, tortilla wraps, pumpkin puree, black salt, tahini paste, organic cane sugar, and all kinds of spices and seasonings. Sometimes I go there just to browse the isles and find new, bizzare ingredients that I have no idea how to use. I’m telling you, it’s my kind of store. Here are some things I get there:

Tahini for hummus and black salt for vegan omelets.

Lentils, white poppy seeds, and chick peas.

German brot

Vegan Pho
Random spices (pictured here: cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise)

Thai Curry
Ingredients for Thai curry (curry paste, cilantro, lemon grass and galangal, and coconut milk)

And then here are some newer items I’ve found at the Foreign Food Mart during recent shopping trips.
Liquid Smoke to give your ‘tofu bacon’ strips that ever-so-important smokey flavor! It’s the ‘Wright’s All Natural Hickory Seasoning Liquid Smoke,’ to be exact. They only have this in-stock on random occasions, so if you see it there, grab it cuz it might not be available on your next visit.

Foreign Food Mart
Cooking coconut oil, 4,000 won. However, you should know that this Minola coconut oil is “bleached, refined, and deodorized.” Not 100% pure coconut oil. Bah.

Foreign Food Mart
Veggie Straws! Three different flavors, all vegan.

My only gripe about the FFM (ok, I have more than one), is that they’re not good about putting price tags on a lot of the stuff. I always have to ask one of the workers for prices, which gets annoying after a while! I think they’re assuming that us expats and gyopos are so desperate for pop tarts and flamin’ hot cheetos that we don’t care how much they cost. Also, they don’t take cards (cash only!), or give receipts, and the lines are always rather disorganized. Let’s hope one of their workers reads this blog post and does something about it. hehe. (** update ** the FFM has renovated and now accepts credit cards. yay).

Some things I’d like to see them carry: quinoa, Earth Balance butter (how awesome would that be!) and tofutti cream cheese. Hey, you never know, it could happen! :) Between the FFM, Korean supermarkets, and, I can get practically all the foods needed to live an un-deprived vegan life and cover all the important nutrient bases. Happy shopping!

Directions to the Foreign Food Mart:
Itaewon Station, Exit 3. Walk straight for a block and turn right after Dunkin Donuts and Mr. Kebab. Walk up the hill and you will see it on your left.


  1. Don't forget vanilla silk soymilk. Please!! I'm begging. I'll do anything. Pretty please!!

  2. oh yea… would LOVE to see silk soymilk! And almond milk!!!!!

  3. Don't know if you know that iherb is now selling the Earth Balance Natural Peanut butter as of last month.

  4. That store looks like it has some great stuff, especially the huge bag of black salt – awesome.

  5. Veggies straws! Those are adorable! I wish we had a store like that nearby ;-) !

    Blessings, Debra
    Raw Vegan Diet

  6. did you buy tahini by any chance? i actually bought that same bottle a few months ago (thinking i would make hummus) but never did. and i leave korea in 3 weeks. i most likely won't use it by then. if you would like it (it's unopened), i will gladly send it to you. i don't think i know another person that even knows what tahini is here!

  7. @Sara in Korea: for reals? I'd be happy to take the tahini off your hands. hehe. send me an email if you can't find anyone else who wants it. :)

  8. I love this place, actually went a few days ago grabbed a rye bread :)
    Anyway I have a question about cafe harunohee.
    As far as I know it's close to Konkuk university, right?
    I want to go eat lunch between classes.
    I am wondering if I can eat vegan lunch on any weekday.
    Thank you in advance!

  9. sad to say i left my extra virgin coconot oil in toronto before moving to seoul.. i checked and they have it on iherb… maybe add that to your next order. i love mixing coconut oil with brown rice and cinnamon… its like dessert.. yumm :)

  10. you mentioned they had pumpkin puree at this foreign mart! is this the same kind as the stuff from baking world? or is it less runny and more 'pumpkiny'? thanks!!

  11. They have the same pumpkin puree as bakingworld, but they also have pumpkin pie mix in a can (not 100% pumpkin). I also noticed that the pumpkin puree from bakingworld has been runny lately! :( It didn't used to be like that… not sure why it changed.

  12. @Freesia: Harunohee serves vegan bibimbab for lunch only on Thursdays and Fridays.

  13. Have you had any success finding cinnamon sticks anywhere else in Seoul besides Itaewon? Any local markets? Stores? I’m wanting to make some mulled wine and need those sticks, but don’t want to go all the way to Itaewon (I live in Seodaemun).



  14. Pingback: Vegan Jackfruit Chinese Pulled-”pork” | Alien's Day Out

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