Finding gluten-free restaurants or bakeries in South Korea is extremely challenging, but luckily, I’ve compiled an updated list of gluten-free, dairy-free, and/or vegan diet restaurants, bakeries, and cafes in Seoul, South Korea.
Korea unfortunately is not very allergy-friendly or gluten-free friendly despite rice traditionally being a main staple of the Korean diet. Even if you carry a gluten allergy card (like this one) translated into Korean, chances are that they won’t really understand it. Coeliac (celiac) disease is also not widely recognized by doctors in South Korea, and gluten-free food is seen as part of a trendy diet.
Your best bets for dining out are probably heading to dedicated gluten-free restaurants or bakeries, cooking at home, or dining out at hotel restaurants familiar with the needs of international guests. Many of the restaurants and bakeries in Seoul, South Korea featured in the lists below offer menu items that are also nut-free, dairy-free, and/or vegan.
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Problems with Cross-Contamination in Korean Restaurants
When you’re dining gluten-free in Seoul, cross-contamination in kitchens is a huge issue. Even though ingredients may not list wheat as an allergen on the label, there still may be traces of gluten that isn’t listed. Korea is particularly guilty of this. You may think that rice flour is gluten-free, but wheat may still be added. Korean cuisine is also generally salted with soy sauce for flavor in lieu of say, actual salt.
Traditional Gluten-Free Korean Foods that are Safe to Eat
Gluten-Free Korean BBQ
If you’re dying to taste traditional Korean food while in Seoul, try heading to Korean barbecue restaurants as a starting point. Typically, you can choose non-marinated meats or samgyeopsal (grilled pork belly) and wrap them with lettuce leaves.
Make sure to avoid sauces like doenjang (brown soybean paste) or gochujang (red pepper paste) as they are often thickened with wheat. BEWARE of the soy sauce-laden banchan (side dishes)! Even kimchi is thickened with wheat flour these days. Some traditional recipes of doenjang or gochujang do call for rice flour, but most store-bought brands will not be gluten-free.
Gluten-Free Korean Soups and Porridge
Juk (Korean rice porridge) may be okay. Samgyetang (Korean chicken ginseng soup) and seolleongtang (Korean ox-bone soup) made without noodles may also be okay. Watch out for soy sauce or gochujang (red pepper paste), but if it is made with gochugaru (red chili pepper flakes), you’re probably fine.
Gluten-Free Korean Rice Dishes
Contrary to popular belief, rice dishes like kimbap or bibimbap are usually a no-no. The artificial crab meat or ham hiding inside the kimbap does contain gluten as well as some sneaky soy sauce. Bibimbap may also be made with ganjang (soy sauce) or gochujang (red pepper paste that’s often made with malt syrup or wheat flour as a thickening agent). If you insist on ordering bibimbap or hwedeopbap (similar to bibimbap, a rice bowl with raw fish and no egg), ask that the dishes be prepared without gochujang and any seasoned vegetables.
Gluten-Free Korean Noodles
Unfortunately, even buckwheat noodles (like those in naengmyeon, a cold buckwheat noodle dish) may or may not also be made with wheat depending on the restaurant. The usual gluten culprits: noodles, gochujang (red pepper paste), soy sauce, seasoned vegetables, and seasoned laver (seaweed).
Gluten-Free Street Food in Seoul
Street food can be hit or miss when you’re gluten-free depending on the cart. If you see roasted chestnuts, ginkgo nuts, roasted sweet potatoes, fruit skewers, or dried squid, you’re usually in the clear. Fortunately, you can find sweet potatoes at almost every convenience store in Korea! You probably want to avoid anything fried in batter, mandu (dumplings), fish cakes, and tteokbokki (stir-fried rice cakes). Even though tteokbokki is made from rice flour, it is often coated with wheat flour as a thickener.
Gluten-Free Grocery Shopping in Seoul
If you’re playing it super safe, head to the nearest grocery store and stock up on nuts, vegetables, raw meats/fish, canned food, and fresh or dried fruit. You can also purchase plain, microwaveable white rice bowls — most convenience stores have microwaves — and canned tuna. Big grocery chains like E-mart or Lotte Mart also stock familiar Western brands that may have clearer ingredient labeling.
Double-check any dry nut mixes as they often contain coated, coffee peanuts!
Gluten-Free Friendly Restaurants in Seoul, Korea
Keep in mind that a lot of restaurants in Seoul, South Korea are gluten-free friendly, but many do not have a dedicated gluten-free kitchen — especially as there is not much demand or food allergy awareness in South Korea. There may be a risk of cross-contamination. Do try to express your dietary needs to the staff very clearly, and they will often do their best.
Gluten-Free Brunch in Korea
Most popular for their gluten-free pancakes and their typical western-style brunch, they also have a variety of gluten-free and non-gluten-free menu items like open-faced sandwiches, burgers, smoked salmon, homemade yogurt, croissants, scrambled eggs, and sausage.
Grain Seoul Address: 23, Donggyo-ro 46-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul (좌측 동교로46길 23 지층 KR 서울특별시 마포구 GRAIN)
The Flying Pan offers a standard western-style breakfast at its two locations — one in Itaewon and one by Gangnam Station. They have an all-day brunch, soups, salad, sandwiches, and pasta. There’s no dedicated gluten-free menu, but a lot of their brunch items (without bread) should be relatively safe.
The Flying Pan (Gangnam) Address: GT Tower B1, 411 Seocho-daero, Seocho-gu, Seoul (서울 서초구 서초대로 411 지티타워 지하1층)
The Flying Pan (Itaewon) Address: 13, Itaewon-ro 27ga-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (서울 용산구 이태원로27가길 13)
Gluten-Free Mexican Food in Korea
Tamales in Korea is a delivery-only restaurant founded by professional chefs who worked in Mexico City, France, and Spain. Their menu includes handmade tamales, guacamole, salsa, atoles, and flan. A vegan menu is also available. Their corn tortillas and tamales are also gluten-free! They ship all over Korea — including Jeju Island.
One of the better, if not best, Mexican restaurants in Seoul, South Korea. Chef Christian Morales, better known as Chef D, is a Korean-American adoptee that hails from East Los Angeles. Menu items include chicken enchiladas, carnitas tacos, and house-made guacamole. They make their tortillas with 100% corn. Most of the staff are English-speaking, so bonus points for easier communication.
El Pino 323 Address: 220, Itaewon, 녹사평대로, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea (서울 용산구 녹사평대로 220 2F)
Kind of like the Korean version of Chipotle Mexican Grill that you may be familiar with in the United States, Cuchara offers burritos, burrito bowls, and tacos. If you’re opting for dairy-free, make sure to remove the sour cream and cheese on the burrito bowl.
Multiple locations across Seoul. Search for 쿠차라 on Naver Map.
With a Korean-American team, the original Coreanos food truck — serving up Korean-fusion tacos — began in Austin, Texas in 2010. There’s even a Coreanos in Allston, Massachusetts where I lived for many years. Menu includes tacos, burrito bowls, salads, carne asada fries, nachos, and quesadillas. Tacos are served with a choice of corn or flour tortillas.
Coreanos Kitchen Itaewon (코레아노스 키친 녹사평점) Address: 46 Noksapyeong-daero 40-gil, Itaewon 1(il)-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea (서울 용산구 녹사평대로40길 46)
Coreanos Kitchen (코레아노스 키친 본점) Sinsa Address: South Korea, Seoul, Gangnam-gu, Sinsa-dong, Seolleung-ro 157-gil, 25 B1층 (서울 강남구 선릉로157길 25)
On the Border Mexican Food and Cantina serves tex-mex in Seoul, South Korea. Though some items can be made without gluten, there may be a risk of cross-contamination. A list of On the Border restaurants in Seoul can be found here.
Gluten-Free Korean Food in Korea
Famous for their traditional, royal Korean cuisine, Jihwaja restaurant in Seoul, South Korea offers a vegan/vegetarian course menu and a gluten-free course menu.
Jihwaja Address: 125 Jahamun-ro, Cheongun-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea (서울특별시 종로구 청운동 자하문로 125)
Michelin-starred restaurant in Seoul, South Korea that serves seasonal, traditional temple food. Because it is deeply rooted in Korean Buddhism, the food served is also vegan and naturally, dairy-free. Most ingredients are made in-house and often gluten-free friendly. However, double-check with your server in case of menu changes.
Balwoo Gongyang Address: 56 Ujeongguk-ro, Gyeonji-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea (서울특별시 종로구 견지동 우정국로 56)
Gluten-Free Fried Chicken in Korea
Korean fried chicken chain restaurant in Seoul that makes their chicken with an all-rice batter. Just be careful to avoid any sauced chicken and beer. Those with coeliac (celiac) disease should still be careful as there are dishes prepared with soy sauce and there may be cross-contamination. This fried chicken restaurant may be better suited to those without very serious dietary restrictions, wheat allergies, or celiac disease.
Multiple locations across Seoul. Search for 쌀통닭 on Naver Map.
Gluten-Free Pizza in Seoul
California Pizza Kitchen in Seoul has a dedicated gluten-free pizza menu made with a cauliflower crust. Unfortunately, the crust is not vegan or dairy-free. You can also check California Pizza Kitchen’s nutritional information online. This is probably not safe for people with Celiac Disease because of cross-contamination.
California Pizza Kitchen Address: 513, Yeongdong-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul (서울 강남구 영동대로 513)
Gluten-Free Thai Food in Korea
Buddha’s Belly is a Thai restaurant in the foreigner district of Itaewon, Seoul, South Korea.
Buddha’s Belly Address: 48, Noksapyeong-daero 40-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea (서울특별시 용산구 이태원1동 녹사평대로40길 48)
Gluten-Free Vietnamese Food in Korea
TukTuk Noodle is a popular, traditional Thai restaurant in Yeonnam-dong, Seoul, South Korea. Also featured in the Michelin Guide for Seoul.
TukTuk Noodle Address: 161-8 Seongmisan-ro, Yeonnam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 성미산로 161-8 2층)
Vietnamese restaurant in Seoul, South Korea.
Plus84 Insadong Address: 6 Insadong 16-gil, Gwanhun-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul (서울 종로구 인사동16길 6)
Plus84 Itaewon Address: 56 Bogwang-ro 59-gil, Itaewon 1(il)-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (서울 용산구 보광로59길 56 2층)
Gluten-Free Indian Food in Korea
Jyoti is an Indian restaurant in Seoul, South Korea.
Jyoti Restaurant Sinchon Address: 6, Sinchon-ro 20-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 신촌로20길 6)
Chakraa is an Indian restaurant in Seoul, South Korea.
Chakraa Hannam-dong Address: 28-26 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (서울 용산구 독서당로 83)
Everest Food in Dongdaemun is a restaurant in Seoul, South Korea that serves up food from India, Tibet, and Nepal. Many options are gluten-free.
Everest Food Address: 2-1 Jong-ro 51ga-gil, Changsin 1(il)-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea (서울 종로구 종로51가길 2-1)
Gluten-Free Vegan Food in Korea
Plant Café is a vegan restaurant in Itaewon, the foreigner district of Seoul, South Korea. They are allergy-aware. If you have a severe gluten allergy, be conscious that there may be cross-contamination as many of their menu items do contain wheat.
Plant Café Address: 2 floor, 117 Bogwang-ro, Itaewon 1(il)-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea (서울 용산구 보광로 117 2층)
Vegetus is an allergy-friendly, vegan restaurant in Seoul, South Korea with gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free options. Vegan and gluten-free items on the menu right now include their Mac’n Cheese, Pesto Pasta, Bolognese, Lasagna, Green Olives, Caprese Salad, Beans Party Salad, Petite Ratatouille, Burrito Bowl, and their seasonal gluten-free Pumpkin Pie.
Vegetus Address: 22-12 Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea (서울특별시 용산구 용산2가동 22-12)
Vegan restaurant with some gluten-free items like the gluten-free veggie burger and tofu cheesecake.
SOIROUM (소이로움) Address: 41 Pirundae-ro, Nuha-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea (서울특별시 종로구 누하동 필운대로 41)
Gluten-Free Friendly Dessert Shops and Bakeries in Seoul, Korea
Don’t forget to double-check each bakery item individually for allergens. Some bakeries are not as careful with listing ingredients for allergens.
Gluten-Free Friendly Ice Cream in Seoul
gelateria età (젤라떼리아 에따) is a gelato and ice-cream shop near Hongdae in Seoul, South Korea that offers vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free ice cream (gelato). At the time of writing, their vegan ice cream options are peach rose, hibiscus passionfruit, and roasted bananas & coconut.
gelateria èta Address: 44, World Cupbuk-ro 4-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 월드컵북로4길 44)
Gluten-Free Friendly Chocolate Shops in Seoul
I was creeping on Instagram looking at chocolate shops in Seoul when I came across this one that had a gluten-free chocolate cake! Here is the link to the chocolate cake post which touts itself as being 67% dark chocolate.
Chocolatique (쇼콜라티끄) Address: 17-18 Yeonhuimat-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul (서울 서대문구 연희맛로 17-18)
Gluten-Free Friendly Bakeries in Seoul
Rice bakery-cafe in Seoul that makes their cakes with domestic rice and organic sugar. Gluten-free and vegan options available.
Cafe Sosohage Address: 1F, 27 Seongdeokjeong-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul (서울 성동구 성덕정길 27 1층 카페소소하게)
Pan Honesta makes their baked goods with “NO Wheat Flour, NO Dairy, NO Egg, NO Sugar”. Instead, they use rice flour and coconut sugar.
Pan Honesta Yeonnam Address: 2F, 153-13 Seongmisan-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 성미산로 153-13 2층)
Pan Honesta Apgujeong Address: 1F, 43, Dosan-daero 25-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 강남구 신사동 도산대로25길 43)
Pan Honesta Yeouido Address: Shinyoung Securities Headquarters B1, 16, Gukjeum-ro 8-gil, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul (서울 영등포구 국제금융로8길 16 지하1층 B129)
Bakery-cafe in Seoul, South Korea with gluten-free and vegan options. Last time that I went to their cafe, they only seemed to have one dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free option and that was one slice left of their chocolate avocado cake. You can also find them on Coupang Eats for food delivery.
Nilk Factory Address: 32 Gangnam-daero 162-gil, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea (서울 강남구 강남대로162길 32 1층 더닐크팩토리카페)
Gluten-free, allergy-friendly, and vegan bakery café that serves up all sorts of rice flour-based sweet treats like scones, cookies, injeolmi cakes, cupcakes, and handmade pepero sticks. Some products may contain soy or coconut cream, so check the ingredient list if you have any special allergies. You can also order delivery on their Naver Store.
Alfreebe Bakery Address: 9 Nambusunhwan-ro 188-gil, Gwanak-gu, Seoul (서울 관악구 남부순환로188길 9 차일드빌딩 1층)
Ooh Breado (우부래도) advertises itself as an egg-free, milk-free, butter-free, gluten-free, vegan bakery café. Their baked goods like baguettes and ciabatta are made from rice flour. You can order delivery from their Naver Store.
Ooh Breado Address: 3 Sangdoro 37-gil, Dongjak-gu, Seoul (서울 동작구 상도로37길 3)
Haemil Bakery (해밀 비건베이커리) is mostly a vegan bakery which touts no egg, no butter, and no milk products. Most products are made with organic wheat flour, so keep in mind that there is a high risk of cross-contamination for those with coeliac disease. A few items like these chocolate cookies are made with rice flour only.
Haemil Bakery Address: 1st floor, 101 Donggyo-ro 19-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 동교로19길 101 1층)
Cook and Book Vegan café also hosts a cooking class in Seoul, South Korea. Though mainly marketed for vegan customers in Seoul, some food items also happen to be gluten-free as rice flour is often used as the base for cakes.
Cook and Book Address: 61 Seongji 3-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 성지3길 61)
Muhwadang Bakery sells low-carb, keto-friendly, wheat-free, sugar-free goods in South Korea. They sell anything from lemon madeleines to peanut butter pound cake made with almond flour. Some of their products do contain dairy, egg, and sugar alcohols.
If you’ve ever accidentally consumed a bag of sugar-free candies made with sugar alcohol like erythritol, you know the disastrous effects it has on your digestive system. So, watch your serving size.
Their baked goods are made with 100% rice flour and sweetened with maltitol instead of sugar. Dairy and eggs are often included, so not suitable for vegans or those who are lactose-intolerant.
As you may know, maltitol, like most sugar alcohols are keto-friendly but may have a laxative effect. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Sugar-Free Factory Address: 206, 38-9 Digital-ro 31-gil, Guro-gu, Seoul (서울 구로구 디지털로31길 38-9 206호)
Zero Bakery is a dedicated gluten-free, sugar-free bakery (not dairy-free or vegan!) in Seoul marketed towards diabetics, health-conscious consumers, or those with gluten-free requirements.
All their bread is made of erythritol (zero-calorie sweetener), Nahan fruit extract powder (another zero-calorie sweetener), or allulose instead of sugar. Instead of wheat flour, Zero Bakery uses almond flour, coconut flour, and/or tapioca flour.
Zero Bakery Address: Zero Bakery, 1F, 354 Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul (서울 송파구 올림픽로 354 1층 제로베이커리)
Specialized gluten-free bakery in Seoul. The owner grew up in the United States, so she speaks English fluently. Sunny Bread does sometimes use oats, so be aware. There is also a gluten-free, vegan section with sweets made with coconut oil instead of milk products.
Sunny Bread Address: 33, Usadan-ro 14-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (서울 용산구 우사단로14길 33)
Bakery in Seoul that carries gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan foods in Seoul, South Korea.
Vegan and Beyond Bakery Address: 41, Yeonhui-ro 11-gil, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul (서울 서대문구 연희로11길 41)
Gold Plus Food Room is a gluten-free, sugar-free bakery in Seoul, South Korea that caters to keto, diabetic, and vegan diets.
Gold Plus Food Room Address: 156-8 Hongjecheon-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul (서울 서대문구 홍제천로 156-8)
Paradiso Canzone is a sugar-free, butter-free, gluten-free bakery that caters to vegan, keto, gluten-free, diabetic diets. Looking at the ingredients list of their bread, they’re sweetened with allulose instead of sugar and made with coconut flour and coconut milk.
Health-conscious bakery in South Korea that advertises no egg, no dairy, and no flour. Vegan-friendly. A lot of their products are made with glutinous rice flour and non-GMO soymilk.
Mangnut Address: 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors, 296, Donggyo-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul (서울 서대문구 동교로 296 1층, 2층, 3층)
Better Choice is a vegan bakery cafe in South Korea that uses rice flour, almond powder, and soymilk for their baked goods.
Better Choice Address: 2nd floor, 9-13 Yeonmujang 5-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul (서울 성동구 연무장5길 9-13 2층)
THE RAW by twins is a raw food, plant-based cafe in Seoul, South Korea that offers vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, egg-free, and dairy-free desserts.
THE RAW by twins Address: 6 Poeun-ro 2ga-gil, Hapjeong-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea (서울 마포구 포은로2가길 6 지1층 더 로 바이 트윈스)
Mami Good Pie (마미굿파이) is a gluten-free bakery in Gangnam, Seoul with vegan and non-vegan gluten-free pies made with cashew nuts, oats, sugar, and coconut oil.
Mami Good Pie Address: 102, 61 Yeongdong-daero 112-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul (서울 강남구 영동대로112길 61 102호 마미굿파이)
Gluten-Free Friendly Bakeries in Changwon
Biroso (비로소현미) is a gluten-free bakery in Changwon that doesn’t use wheat flour, gluten, butter, milk, eggs, or white sugar in their baked goods. Instead, they use organic domestic brown rice as the base of their products.
Biroso (비로소현미) Address: 64, Sahwa-ro, Uichang-gu, Changwon-si, Gyeongnam (경남 창원시 의창구 사화로 64)
Gluten-Free Friendly Bakeries in Daejon
All of their items are nut-free, gluten-free, and vegan.
Sei Vegan Bakery Address: 51, Eungubiseo-ro 24beongil Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, South Korea (대전 유성구 은구비서로24번길 51)
Gluten-Free Friendly Bakeries in Busan
Vegan bakery in Busan, South Korea with gluten-free options. They do take online orders, however.
Soosoo Bakery Address: Daesu Raemian 3 Susu Bakery, 54 Jinnam-ro, Nam-gu, Busan (부산 남구 진남로 54 대동래미안3 수수베이커리)
Gluten-Free Grocery Shopping in Seoul, Korea
If you want to be extra careful, definitely head to the local grocery stores — especially big chains like E-mart, Shinsegae, Costco, or Lotte Mart — or shop online for gluten-free food in Korea. Korean mayonnaise and even some store-bought rice cakes contain gluten as well, so always check the nutritional label.
Vegan grocery store in HBC (Haebangchon), Yongsan-gu, in Seoul, South Korea. Carries a multitude of hard-to-find products like kombucha, organic vinegars, real maple syrup, oat milk, and tahini. They have gluten-free snacks like these Eat Real Tomato & Basil Lentil Chips, Bonduelle Chickpea & Corn Veggie Pasta, and Jack’s Bean Roasted Garlic Hummus.
Online health food store that sells gluten-free products that ship internationally. Just make sure that your cart (including shipping) doesn’t exceed 150,000 KRW or you’ll have to pay duties/import fees. They have gluten-free products like these Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers, Now Foods Organic Quinoa Macaroni, Bob’s Red Mill Arrowroot Flour, and Jovial Chocolate Filled Cookies.
Korean e-commerce store similar to Amazon.com. You can purchase gluten-free foods like this gluten-free jajangmyeon, Snyder’s gluten-free pretzels, Nairn’s chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, and Sunny Bread Baking Mix. You can copy & paste 글루텐프리 or gluten-free into the search box.
Most gluten-free foods are shipped from overseas with rocket fast shipping, but it is free shipping when your overseas purchase totals 29,800 won or more. It arrives surprisingly fast — within 4-7 days in my experience. You will receive a text message to enter your customs information (alien registration number, passport information, or personal clearance number) upon arrival.
Premium Korean online-only grocery store in South Korea. You can purchase many different kinds of international and specialty foods, including gluten-free foods. They have gluten-free products like this gluten-free tamari (soy sauce alternative), Rummo gluten-free pasta, Messy Monkeys gluten-free cereal, Korean rice chunjang sauce, and Korean rice ssamjang sauce.