With health at the top of everyone's agenda, it's time to seek out the best places in Budapest for salubrious sustenance. Here are 14 destinations offering fat-free, and often meat-free, meals.
You can create your own salad bowls by combining various leafy greens, veg and cheeses at this small salad and gastro bar next to the Basilica, at 390 forints per 100 grammes. This is a great choice if you’re looking for a quick lunch without being in a food coma for hours afterwards, and set menus with a daily soup and salad are only 1,240 forints. If you’re not bothered by a few more calories, look out for their pancakes, too.
Franziska first gained popularity with their health-conscious biscuit boxes, which didn’t contain any animal fat, milk, grain flour or white sugar. Then, two years ago, the founder opened his own breakfast spot on Batthyány tér. The main attraction here is brunch – there are paleo and raw vegan options, but followers of other popular diets will find what they’re looking for, too. In addition, Franziska has great salads and pastries, and their vitamin-filled bowls are perfect for lunch.
Fruccola - Mom Park
Fruccola currently awaits health-conscious customers at two locations, one in Pest and one in Buda. Their extremely wide selection allows you to create your own salads, but you can also choose from a number of main courses and soups as a daily menu. Fruccola is not the cheapest salad place in town, but you’re guaranteed to get top quality for your money here, with fast service.
Good Karma Kitchen
Creating the perfect combination of Indian cuisine and street food, Good Karma can now be found at two locations in the city. Their permanent meat- and vegetable-based offers can be ordered with a side dish of your choice, such as rice, salad or Indian flat bread. You can always count on them for fresh, crispy vegetables, exciting sauces and kind service, and there are always a few seasonal offers available as well.
Soft blues, yellows and pink doll’s-house colours, a pleasant atmosphere and exclusively vegan food await at the Great Bistro, where the permanent offer consists mainly of exciting salads and signature versions of classic sandwiches. There are also lunch meals every day, completed with everyone’s favourite standard desserts in plant-based forms.
Hokedli is not necessarily a vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free place, although most of their options tend to suit the followers of particular diets. With ingredients sourced from small producers, Hokedli serves daily soups, stews, meats and one-course meals, all delicious without fail. The portions are generous, the lunch menu excellent value for money.
This tiny outlet at the opening to the Corvin Quarter, as its name suggests, brings us a little bite of Japan. In addition to sushi, they have exciting Japanese street food that you can eat in situ – if there’s space – or take back to the workplace. Their bento boxes are specifically created for showcasing Japanese lunch habits at home, full of vegetables, fish, sushi rice and all other healthy elements.
Kitchen of Health
Dishes are fine-tuned to fit a specific lifestyle at this health-conscious food bar, with no compromise when it comes to fine flavours. Founder Viki Bocsi has been involved with personalised nutrition counselling for years, but her innovative gastronomic ideas shine the brightest here, on Dohány utca. The dishes are prepared with the purest of ingredients, excluding any refined products, artificial flavours, soy, lactose, gluten or sugar. The usual offers are complemented by a daily changing menu.
Napfényes Étterem és Cukrászda - Ferenciek tere
One of the pioneers of vegan gastronomy in Budapest, the Napfényes Restaurant is well-known for offering traditional Hungarian flavours in plant-based forms. In addition to fine Magyar delicacies, you will also find pizzas and international vegan food favourites on the menu, as well as seasonal options and a lunch menu for a fair price.
One of the oldest vegan sandwich and salad bars in town has been around for almost 15 years. You can expect sophisticated sandwiches, filling salads, allergy-friendly lunch menus that change daily, and a small queue at that time of day. Their big advantage is that although they have been offering meat- and dairy-free pleasures for a decade and a half, they are pretty creative so regulars rarely get bored or repeat the same order week after week.
This Buda newbie wasn’t designed to cater to those with allergies but groups can safely come here with varied requirements – those who crave meat, those who don’t want gluten and those who can handle most things with ease. The menu, inspired by Oriental cuisine, has plenty of healthy dishes, exciting salads, vegetables and fish. One of the few kitchens offering healthy food, in fact, where you should book a table for a more serious dinner.
ONO Poké Bowl Bar
Budapest’s de facto Hawaiian embassy specialises in poke, vegetable and rice-based bowls crowned with a variety of seafood. There are quite a few fixed options on the menu, but you can make your own combinations. If you get there early in the morning, they also have healthy, nutritious, colourful and creative breakfasts that match the spirit of the place.
Tökmag Vegan Street Food
At Tökmag (‘Pumpkin Seed’), they not only make sure to keep animal products out of the kitchen, but they also avoid sugar, gluten and yeast. They have colourful and unique burgers, tasty pastas and hearty lunchboxes, as well as homemade desserts and healthy juices to make you full and satisfied on any day of the week.
Founded by the team behind Magic Burger, this is fast-food heaven for those following a meat-free diet, or interested in a vegan lifestyle. Vegan Love challenges traditional fast-food outlets with eight different veggie burgers packed with deliciously fresh ingredients and innovative patties, as well as various hot dogs, vegan kebabs and a salad bar.