Alien's Day Out

Hyosowon Buffet



Lately, I haven’t been eating out as much as I used to, but there are so many restaurants on my list to check out! My most recent meal out was at Hyosowon, a Korean well-being, vegetarian buffet that I’ve been meaning to check out for at least two years! Based on my love for other veg buffets, you would think that I’d be all up in it ASAP, but for some reason, I never got around to it until this weekend.

There are actually two different locations and they’re both within walking distance of eachother, by Sadang Station. The one my friend I went to is their second (newer) branch which is slightly closer to the station. There’s also a Hyosowon cafe next door to this buffet but we didn’t get around to checking it out.

13,000won per person, and 6,000won for children under age 10.

For a buffet, it’s fairly small and the options aren’t as diverse, but everything is really fresh and tasty. You can also tell that they try to make everything as healthy as possible. Whole foods, brown rice, fresh veggies, nothing is too salty or oily, no wheat/soy meat.

“If you are vegan, please let us know^^”

To be clear, this buffet is not 100% vegetarian or vegan. For vegans, they will specifically point out anything that has animal products. When I went, the ajuma there was sooo friendly and helpful and explained that the kimchi and jjigye (soup) are not vegetarian. But she said that they would make a specific animal-free jjigye for any vegans that come in. So she hurried into the kitchen and soon came out with a really delicious spicy soup with tofu and veggies.

Different raw veggies and banchan to make your own bibimbab

Tofu patties

Lotus roots and peanut jorim. This was da bomb.

Battered and fried mushrooms, covered in spicy sauce.

Different banchans, including natto! I’ve never been a fan of the stuff, even though I love beans and it’s supposed to be really good for you. I just can’t get over the sliminess. hehe.

Japchae (vermicelli noodles). One of my fave Korean dishes!

Steamed whole wheat bread

We got there a little late in their lunch service, so the salad and fruit bar was a little empty.

The dining area. Super clean and bright. They have TV screens, but it’s not Supreme Master TV! hehe. :)

Time to eat!

My specially-made vegan soup. This was really tasty and even my omni friend liked it, even more than the regular jjigye they had out.

Dessert plate. The yellow thing on the right is goguma salad made with crunchy raw sweet potato slices (not apples).

Each person also gets a little packet of “Enzyme Essence” which is supposed to be healthy for you.

It looks like tiny grains or fish food and it has a strange seaweedy/nutty taste. An acquired taste. I checked the ingredients list and it seems vegan…. hm, I guess a little extra ‘essence’ won’t hurt.

Overall, I really enjoyed this place. Don’t expect a huge spread like Loving Hut Achasan, or fancy food presentation like Garobee, but go for the simple, nutritious Korean food. I’m always happy when there’s a variety of Korean banchans so this was right up my alley and I definitely plan on eating here again in the future.

Directions to Hyosowon:

Sadang Station, Line 4 & 2, Exit 13. When you come out of the subway exit, immediately turn right into the alley. Keep following the road as it goes up uphill and veers slightly to the left. Stay on the same sidewalk and Hyosowon will be on your left.

서울시 서초구 방배2동 475-31 1층
Lunch:11:30am – 2:30pm
Dinner: 5:30 – 8/8:30pm
Closed on Sundays
Take out available


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  1. Wait, what? Whoa! They have non-vegetarian things on the vegetarian buffet, and you only get a vegetarian version if you say you’re vegan? ! That’s kinda weird. But this restaurant still looks good. It looks so clean and fresh, and I would be aw-haw-hawl over that make-your-own bibimbap… what a good idea. 13,000W seemed a little steep to me at first, but I went to a Korean restaurant (US) yesterday and paid $9.99 for just bibimbap and didn’t even get any enzyme pellets, so… ;-)

  2. AWWW…how I wish I lived in Seoul! This buffet looks so yummy. But “steamed wheat bread”? haha that’s a first.

    • haha, yea. I’m not sure why but steaming slices of bread seems to be a common thing at vegetarian buffets here. Maybe it’s to prevent it from drying out and going stale.

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