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Menő-Jövő packaging-free and mobile shop
If you like exploring farmers' markets and filling your tote bag/basket instead of plastic bags, you will love Menő-Jövő, a team dedicated to sustainability and packaging-free products. If you are just visiting Budapest, find them at the farmers' market on Római part (Roman beach) every Saturday, which is a must anyway. If you reside in the capital, you will have even more options. You can visit their packaging-free shop in Nagykovácsi, the outskirts of Budapest. They also have monthly stands at Platz in Pilisvörösvár, Üröm, and Budakeszi. They mainly sell cereals, legumes, and oilseeds, but also flakes, pasta, and other seeds, see here for a detailed list.
Szafi's free-from products in three locations
Flour, pasta, vitamins – you can get all the things you need, whether you're on a diet or have an intolerance to an ingredient, at all three Szafi Products stores in Budapest (Alkotás utca, Kelenföld, and Zugló). They also offer 4 types of free-from meals if you want to take your lunch or dinner with you. They have recently revamped their menus at all three locations, offering a choice of nearly 40 dishes that are free from soya and lactose, as well as a range of egg-free, dairy-free, and vegan options. All are freshly prepared in the guaranteed gluten-free kitchens of Szafi bistros. To start the morning with a hearty breakfast, try the fruit or vegan sweet curd muesli, but they also offer dairy-free túrósbatyu (a Hungarian pastry with a sweet curd base) or cocoa rolls. For lunch or dinner, the Szafi bistros offer a selection of special burgers, pizzas, lángos, and salads in vegan versions, and all their desserts are vegan.
Kata Restaurant – Pest and Buda
If you're on a gluten-free diet but are craving a chicken paprikash and noodles, a burger, or a piece of breaded meat, Kata restaurants are the place to go. Located on the ground floor of both the Hajós utca in Pest and the Rózsadomb Center in Buda, they offer fresh, quality, and seasonal ingredients, cross-contamination-free, completely gluten and lactose-free dishes. In addition to Hungarian specialities, they also offer international dishes, burgers, and fabulous desserts – all gluten-free, of course. In addition to the seasonal offerings, there are always specials on the chef's menu. The friendly and elegant interiors of both restaurants were created by interior designer Szóra Szende and the menus by chef Géza Filep. A new feature at Kata Buda is that both sweet and savoury breakfasts are served 7 days a week between 8 and 11 am, and lunch menus are available in both the Buda and Pest units.
Hikes in and beyond Budapest
The best antidote to the winter season's moodiness and laziness is a hike. Not only does it substitute a workout in a stuffy gym, but it also offers the opportunity to rejuvenate in the tranquil, yet dormant countryside. There are many hiking possibilities in Budapest, for example around Kecske Hill or on the classic Nagy-Hárs Hill yellow trail, but if you're keen to leave the city, you can also head for the heights of Börzsöny and Pilis, where panoramic viewpoints await. It's worth taking the Jági trail in Piliszentiván or the Gyada trail at the foot of Naszály, but if you don't want to leave Budapest, the Jane Goodall trail or the easy-peasy Keresztúri Forest trail are also good options.
Baths, spas and swimming pools
Indulge in revitalisation for both body and soul at spas boasting a splendid atmosphere and steeped in history. Unwind in a sauna or opt for a leisurely swim in a serene pool for a more relaxed pace. Furthermore, numerous city hotels provide a comprehensive wellness experience, which you can try as a guest.
Yoga and Pilates
For yoga or Pilates enthusiasts, or those eager to explore something new, venturing beyond your typical routine can be truly rewarding. Perhaps you'll discover your preferred mode of movement through Bikram or singing bowl yoga classes, or even unconventional options like aerial,face or rave yoga. Here's a glimpse into some of these possibilities.
(Cover photo: Getty Images)