Seoul is a city full of many big and famous universities. Korean and foreign students alike gather to pursue their education dreams. However, universities in Korea are known not only for their rigorous education but also for the little streets surrounding their campuses. It is no coincidence that many of Korea’s so-called “matjibs” (flavor houses) are hidden away nearby big university campuses. Spiced Cafeteria is one of the Konkuk University area’s most popular matjibs, serving delicious vegan food.
Some examples of hip neighborhoods in Seoul include Hongdae (near Hongik University), Sharosugil (near Seoul University), and also Seongsu in the Konuk University area. There, you can find one of the biggest unofficial Chinatowns in Seoul. Plus, a collection of the trendiest and most innovative cafes in town. This area has also become an up-and-coming paradise for vegans and eco-lifestyle lovers, and I’d like to introduce you to one of the most recent additions to the list.
Spiced Cafeteria is a small diner/bar located just about a 10-minute walk from Konkuk University Station exit 1. Like many other matjibs in the area, it is tucked away in a small local alley.
Spiced Cafeteria opened its doors to customers in late 2021 and has since gained a loyal following among vegans and non-vegans alike. The chef team has loads of experience having attended renowned culinary schools all around the world. Their global experience is reflected in their international menu. While the dishes change every month and also differ between lunch and dinner, you can generally expect a mix of Indian, Sout-East Asian, and European cuisines.
Both lunch and dinner are currently only available through reservation. The place has only a few tables and it is popular so it is always crowded. Dinners are run in a more bar-like style, with vegan wines, beers, and side dishes. The interior is small but airy, benefitting from the big glass wall that lets in plenty of light. The decor features trendy artwork and LPs, the bar covers the view into the kitchen but does not prevent the amazing smell from reaching the tables. Customers can also pick up various vegan grocery items or homemade sauces and condiments to take home with them.
Spice Cafeteria Feast
When I visited, the menu featured lots of delicious dishes, including Mala Pho Noodle, Palak Tofu, Truffle Fries, and Little Samosas. The chef likes to add special daily menu items, so every day you can choose between 3 or 4 dishes.
Every bite I tried was full of flavor and spice – definitely something you can’t find easily in Seoul. I could tell the recipes are modified but that doesn’t take away a bit from the amazing experience. Prices were relatively reasonable considering the rich taste and effort that must go into these dishes. I would gladly visit again.
Overall, even if you are not in the area but would like to try something a bit different I definitely recommend visiting Spiced Cafeteria. The food is delicious and comforting! The team takes vegan cooking to a whole new level.
Spiced Cafeteria Address: 43 Achasan-Ro 21-gil, gwangjin-gu, Seoul Korean address: 서울 광진구 아차산로21길 43 1층 스파이스드 Operating Hours: Sat, Sun: 12:00 PM - 09:00 PM Mon, Thu, Fri: 11:00 AM - 09:00 PM * Closed Tues, Wed
Looking for more vegan options in Seoul? Click Here to read all about a vegan Eurasian fusion restaurant located in Yongsan.