Before moving to Busan, I didn’t know very much about Korean food. I did very little research and was surprised when I got there and realized that most Korean food is very meat-centric. I used to be a vegetarian and have never been a really big fan of meals centered around meat (aside from burgers!). I quickly tried to find a couple restaurants where I could enjoy foods from back home, here are a couple of my favorites!
Slice of Life
Every expat in Busan has been to Slice of Life (SOL) at some point. The original location is at Gwangalli Beach and has a great view! I actually saw a double rainbow there one day (see picture above)! The pizza there is the best in Busan and they have lots of choices for vegetarians, they can even make vegan pizza as well. This is my go to place for a pizza and a beer on a Friday night and I highly recommend it. They also recently opened another location in Seomyeon in the Fiesta Building!
To get to the Gwangan location: take the green line to Geumnyeonsan and then walk towards the beach, SOL is on the 4th floor and right across from the beach.
Address: 153 Gwanganhaebyeon-ro, Gwangan-dong, Suyeong-gu, Busan, South Korea
For more info/menu/prices check: https://www.facebook.com/pizzeriasol/
Maison de Mare
Located at Songjeong Beach, Maison de Mare is my favorite brunch spot in Busan. Like Slice of Life, it has an amazing view of a beach as well. The brunch food at Maison de Mare is incredible. They have a smaller menu than some other places but everything on it is delicious. They have the regular English Breakfast, croissants, salads, and lots of yummy coffee, tea, and smoothies! Maison de Mare is a great place to go in the summer before a day at Songjeong Beach.
To get there: this location is in a very inconvenient spot for public transit. I usually take the Dongnae line to Songjeong beach and walk 20 minutes along the beach as this cafe is situated on the far side of the beach, this restaurant is in the same building as the “Nest Hostel”. I’d also recommend taking a cab if you have multiple people to split the fare!
Address: 4F, Gwangeogol-ro 29, Songjeong, Haeundae-gu, Busan
Home Cafe and Bistro
Home (like Hello India) is also located close to Haeundae Beach. It is an amazing vegan restaurant - not an easy thing to find in Korea. They have vegan burgers, wraps, curries, and much more. They also have an extensive wine and beer list - lots of them I’ve never seen sold anywhere else in Busan. Even if you’re not vegan or vegetarian I would highly recommend this restaurant - the atmosphere is great and sometimes they have live music as well!
To get there: take the green line to Haeundae station or take a bus to Sponge, it’s a couple blocks from the station or bus stop, northeast from the beach.
Address: 5, jung dong, 2-ro, 26 beon-gil, Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea
For more info/menu/prices check: https://www.facebook.com/HomeBarCafe/ or https://www.happycow.net/reviews/home-busan-144581
If you miss Indian food, this is the place to go! The menu is massive! They serve not only Indian food, but Lebanese food as well. So if you’re craving curry, hummus, naan, or shawarma I’d recommend Hello India in Haeundae over any other Indian or Middle Eastern restaurant in Busan. It’s a little bit pricey but well worth it. The manager is also very friendly and often will give free naan and drinks to returning customers.
To get there: take the green line to Haeundae station and walk along the main strip to the beach. It is about halfway down the strip, on the left side, 2nd floor. There is usually someone handing out coupons on the street below it!
Address: 1383-12 Jung 1(il)-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea
For more info/menu/prices check: https://www.happycow.net/reviews/hello-india-al-waha-busan-139935
Finding a decent burger joint in Busan was difficult, it took several months (and quite a few restaurants) before I found one that would ever survive outside Korea! Burger Shop is a great place to get a classic burger, their curly potato wedges and homemade dipping sauce are delicious, and they also have Jarritos soda and Dr. Pepper! They have two locations, one in Haeundae and one in Seomyeon.
To get to the Haeundae location: Take the green line to Haeundae station or the bus to Haeundae subway station. Instead of heading towards the beach, head the opposite direction towards the old station/mountains. Once you pass the railroad tracks turn left and it will be on your right! (it’s less than a 5 minute walk from the station or bus stop).
Address: 19 Udong 1-ro 20beon-gil, U-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea
For more info/menu/prices check: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Burgershop/1122517011236475
I hope you enjoyed my recommendations and mouth-watering pictures. Happy eating!
Monica Russo graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelors in Psychology and is from St. Louis, Missouri. After spending a couple years in social work she decided to move abroad to learn more about other cultures and to challenge herself to live outside her comfort zone. Moving abroad hasn’t always been easy, but it has always been worth it and Monica loves living in Busan, South Korea. She loves new experiences, hiking, exploring other cities and helping others any way that she can. Her philosophy with her students is work hard, play hard!