Alien's Day Out

Jack’s Bean: vegetarian falafels @ Hongdae

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There’s a new vegetarian falafel restaurant called Jack’s Bean that opened up in the Hongdae neighborhood near the end of last year. There are a lot of awesome middle-eastern restaurants in the Itaewon area, but not a whole lot around Hongdae, so when my friend heard about this new vegetarian falafel spot, we decided to try it out.

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The interior of the restaurant is small, bright, cute, and friendly. The owner and cook is a Korean guy (and his wife?) who has traveled around Israel, and then he decided to bring back a bit of the cuisine and start up this casual eatery.

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I like the bunnies on the wall~~ :P

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Jack’s Bean is entirely about the chickpea in all its glory, so every dish features them in some way, whether it’s chickpea soup, or even chickpea milk. However, even though everything is vegetarian, this doesn’t mean it’s all vegan. The items with the red (V) are items that can be veganized.

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While several of their dishes are vegan-friendly, it’s important that you tell them in advance that you are vegan, so that they can make the necessary adjustments. Even if you think you’ve ordered something vegan, it’s just best to make sure.

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Potato cream soup (not vegan), falafel wrap, and falafel salad.

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Condiments on the side: hot sauce (not ketchup), mustard, and hummus.

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I just ordered the salad which came with three falafel balls (5,800). A very light lunch indeed.

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I thought the falafel balls were tasty but a bit too crunchy on the outside. They were hard to break apart with a fork without worrying that it would go flying off the plate.

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Even though the outer crust was a bit too hard, the center was fine~. Perhaps they could’ve had a little more flavor, but they were still good and I enjoyed it a lot with the salad.

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Simple and basic falafel wraps filled with falafel balls, iceberg and romaine lettuce, and some tofu mayo/cream in the middle.

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My other friend Mike ordered the Falafel Platter, which came with a large falafel salad, 2 tortilla wraps, and hummus. And then my other friend got the spicy chickpea vegetable soup.

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The fresh tortillas, made in-house, from scratch. Toasty good!

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The hummus plate with a drizzle of olive oil and a bit of paprika. Yum!

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I personally prefer hummus to be a little smoother and not as thick, but it was still yummy spread on some of the warm tortilla~

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The spicy vegetable soup with chickpeas. This is actually not vegan because they use a little butter in the cooking. If you are vegan, please double check with them before ordering their soups.

We didn’t have any problems with the food– infact everything was incredibly fresh and tasted yummy! But the big glaring problem was the slow service during the lunch rush. And I’m talking glacial pace here. Since the restaurant is set up as a very casual place and the menu is pretty simple, we expected the food to come out pretty fast…. unfortunately, the food was coming out one by one, at an shockingly slow pace. Even though they were behind on the orders, neither of the cooks seemed to move any faster. It was all just a bit frustrating to watch as a hungry customer. I don’t mean to blast them this way, but it has to be said. I’m sure it’s just growing pains though, so let’s just hope that they find their groove sooner than later.

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That said, we all still enjoyed the food and it was all pretty affordable too (although portions are a bit small). The restaurant is really cute and clean, and you can tell they try really hard to make customers feel welcome, especially vegans and foreigners– notice the Happy Cow sign on the bulletin board!

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Jack’s Bean
Opening Hours: 10:30~21:00
Closed every 2nd & 4th Sunday of the month

Naver map
address: 서울특별시 마포구 서교동 339-1
phone: 02-333-4849

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4 Comments

  1. Sort of a random note – but Grazie Restaurant in the Seonggeondong neighborhood in Gyeongju (across the river from Dongguk University) now also serves falafel as well as a few other vegetarian dishes. But the falafel is hands-down the best. If you’re ever in Gyeongju we have a facebook page up now too, called Gyeongju Vegetarians which is updated now and again with restaurants! :)

  2. Is it easy to find Jack’s Bean from the subway in Hongdae? Thanks!!! I spent time in Israel and I’m craving good falafel!

    • Not THAT easy because it’s in one of the small alleyways, but if you follow the Naver Map, you should find it.

  3. Just a note that Jack’s Bean is closed on Mondays.

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