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One of the spearheads of the Hungarian vegan scene has just opened an outlet in the heart of Budapest after years of success on busy Bartók Béla út. Vegan Love is now serving its tasty, meat-free versions of burgers, quesadillas and kebabs on Vitkovics Mihály utca, five minutes from Deák tér.

Vegan Love was opened on Bartók Béla út in 2014 by the founders of the then popular Magic Burger. Leaving meat behind, they wanted to show that a plant-based diet can be downright enjoyable. It became an instant success, with even first-timers admitting that the burger and kebab flavours were little different from their traditional counterparts.

In the years since, the brand has only grown stronger. As vegan pioneers, they played an important in making a vegan lifestyle more popular. Also on the increase are those who still eat meat now and then, but also enjoy vegan food. The VL owners realised it was time for a open a new outlet.

The new restaurant is much larger than the one in Buda, some 300 square metres in size – a factor which should come into play once life returns to normal.

The menu has also broadened, in terms of type, offerings and often ingredients. A new generation of sandwiches now features, vegan versions of the juicy, waist-expanding eateries familiar in the US. Everything from vegan chicken nuggets to buffalo wings, originally made from chicken wings, is available.

There’s even breaded vegan crab tail. Deceptive in texture and reminiscent in taste, they come from a Dutch company, also responsible for the next-generation bacon found in several dishes. 

When things finally reopen, you will be able to order craft beers from FIRST and Rizmajer, spirits and cocktails from the bar on the ground floor of this two-storey locale – its remit goes far beyond a basic fast-food outlet.

There are also the burgers and hot dogs familiar to those who frequent Bartók, but here everything has been re-arranged. Not only do they have new suppliers, they have been able to install serious technology in the new kitchen. They even have their own smoker.

The BBQ beet burger, for example, is a hickory-smoked beetroot-and-adzuki-bean patty. Thanks to technological innovation, seven new burgers will soon feature, a truffle burger, and the Beyond Juicy Lucy burger in the Beyond Meat category, stuffed with green spicy cream cheese.

The IPA superior burger is a tofu variety baked in batter with plenty of fragrant Andalusian aioli and crispy vegan bacon. Prices are still being worked out, but you can expect to pay between 2,000-3,000 forints.

Of the hot dogs and sandwiches, the chili dog and the BLT remain, the latter turbocharged with the aforementioned new bacon – but there’s a lot of innovation here as well.

Once things open up again, themed evenings will be held, the venue rented out for various vegan-focused events, plus seasonal international offerings are planned, Indian or Asian Weeks, for example. This is already reflected in the hot-dog menu: the Thai twist dog is a fusion creation made with Asian sauces and spices, lots of peanut sauce, coriander and Asian cabbage salad.

As for desserts, American-style treats are also expected, with the well-known vegan cheesecake soon to be upon us.

Recent changes also involve Vegan Love’s ecological footprint – only recyclable bottles will be sold, and most drinks will be produced in-house.

Vegan Love Downtown
District V. Vitkovics Mihály utca 8


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