Food & Drink

Maji: Enjoy the Taste of Temple Food

Temple food is the everyday food eaten by monks in Buddhist temples. Recent years, Korean temple food is gaining popularity among those who are neither Buddhists nor vegetarians for its clean aftertaste and high nutrition. Made with no meat and MSG, temple food is well known as a well-balance vegetarian diet. The difference between temple food and vegan food is that temple food forbids the use of 5 pungent vegetables which are onions, garlic, chives, green onions and leeks.

I have always been curious about how good temple food actually taste after reading numerous blogs written on Naver. Today, I am going to share my dining experience in a temple food restaurant located in Seoul.

Maji (마지)

Maji is a restaurant located in Jongno that serves authentic temple food. It is worth mentioning that the place is selected as one of the 100 Seoul Restaurants & Bars that represent the taste of Seoul.

The restaurant itself is quite atmospheric, classier than the usual ones but not fancy. It is such a good experience to enjoy good food in a calming hanok setting. I love how they placed the room dividers to divide the dining space. Not only does the traditional Korean style folding screens add on to the ambience of the place, but providing a comfortable dining experiences to the customers as well.

Restaurant Menu

The menus are available only in Korean. You may need a help of a translator app if you don’t know any Korean. The owner does know a bit of Chinese.

How’s the food?

Me and my friend order two set of “Today’s Maji” (오늘의 마지) which cost 10000 won and 13000 won respectively. The 13000 won course meal include two lotus leaf rice, savory Korean pancakes, salad, side dishes and fermented soybean paste stew. The 10000 won course meal consists of barley rice instead of the lotus leaf rice available in the 13000 won course meal. Not to mention that you can enjoy a 2000 won discount on “Today’s Maji” course meal if you visited the place during lunch hour (before 2pm). Besides, we also added on 1 portion of mushroom tangsooyook side dish which costs 3000won.

A table full of veggies, a meal great in nutrition indeed!

The side dishes served includes kimchi, braised radish, soy braised peanuts, perilla leaves and young radish greens.

The mushroom tangsooyook is a dish made of shiitake mushroom with the sweet and sour sauce used in the tangsooyook that we usually have. The dish was so delicious that I prefer this than the one made with pork! I love how the shiitake mushrooms earthy flavor goes so well with the sauce.

Overall Experience

Cooked with no garlic or onion which are often used to form the bedrock of dishes, the food here does not lack in flavor. I was very satisfied with the size of portion and the harmony taste of the food.

The restaurant is highly worth a visit if you would like to have some cultural experiences with temple food. Also, the restaurant is also a great choice for those who are looking for Halal and vegan food.

Operation Hours

How to get there?

Walk out from Gyeongbukgung Station (Line 3, Exit 2). Maji is just 6 minutes walking distance from the station.

Address: 19 Jahamun-ro 5-gil, Chebu-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul.


Hi! I am Kok Ke Ying. I'm an engineering student currently studying in Korea University. I enjoy travelling and writing. You can find me on Instagram at xuanzhen_99