Vegan and not sure where to eat in Budapest? The Hungarian capital has ever more meat- and dairy-free options. While traditional Hungarian gastronomy generally caters to carnivorous crowds, the number of vegan venues is on the rise citywide. Whether you are craving a hefty burger or dreaming of great goulash, Budapest can offer it – free from animal products, of course. There’s even a bakery and a Neapolitan pizzeria whose fare is exclusively vegan. Many of these eateries offer daily lunch specials at fair prices, making these vegan-friendly dining destinations your best bet in Budapest. Expect long queues at some of these hangouts between noon and 2pm.
Found on a less frequented sidestreet near the Allee mall in Buda, Deli’s Vegan is the place to go for smoky lentil soup, Dijon burger with plant-based sausages, a range of raw cakes and daily lunch specials. From time to time, even a reimagined version of the Hungarian meaty classic, the Hortobágyi pancake, is featured on the menu, free from animal products, of course. Many of the delicacies are also gluten-free. The permanent sweet selection ranges from coconut milk pudding to raw brownies. Best of all, a three-course meal costs less than 2,000 forints.
Soft scones, piquant pizza slices and scrumptious rolls make up the mouthwatering merchandise of Budapest’s first vegan bakery. Found just steps away from the Jászai Mari tér stop of the 4-6 tram line, this grab-and-go locale is open ever day of the week, providing this desired rarity to vegans, baked delights that are free from products of animal origin. Fill Good also offers popular dishes with a twist that you generally don’t find in ordinary bakeries, such as cabbage-filled spring rolls and a baked version of French fries, served with home-made ketchup on the side. Come here for a morning booster and a quick lunch any time, or a light dinner during weekdays.
Come lunchtime, a lengthy queue appears in front of this vibrant little venue, found a short walk from focal Szabadság tér: people from the nearby offices and tourists strolling the city centre gather at Great Bistro, where even the napkin is made of recycled material. A variety of menu options is available with soups, main courses, sides, salads and desserts, all made without using meat, dairy products or eggs. One recent offering here was sweet strawberry soup with rose water, followed by Hungarian marrow pottage, prepared with a pinch of dill and a dab of lime. On weekdays, the place opens at 9am, when you can enjoy sweet breakfasts, such as buckwheat pancake.
No herbivore remains hungry when roaming Budapest’s party vortex. Burgers are served fresh from Las Vegan’s truck equipped with cooking facilities and possessing a permanent parking spot at the Karaván street-food court on Kazinczy utca. Inspired by Indian, Thai and other international gastronomic trends, all burgers come with oodles of vegetables. On request, spicy or sweet potato fries are served on side with delicious dips. Crown your meal with an immune-boosting smoothie made from fruit and vegetables. You can also find the Las Vegan’s treats near Buda’s Allee shopping mall and soon they will roll into Rácskert garden, Budapest’s first vegan food court set to open early summer.
Ambient tunes intermingle with street chatter around this tiny District XIII hangout, selling signature burgers loaded with distinct veggie delights, such as beetroot patty and pumpkin-seed cream. Daily soup selections and creative sandwiches are also available, all served on eco-friendly paper trays and plates. But you can also go for one of Tökmag’s pre-packaged lunch boxes, containing wok vegetables or pasta varieties. The majority of dishes here are also suitable for those on a gluten-free diet. During summer, a small terrace area is set up for guests to dine out, while inside the restaurant, organic decorations of herbs and plants bring the place to life.
Around midday, crowds of students and office workers congregate on tree-flanked Múzeum körút, forming a queue in front of a spacious eatery that resembles an ordinary canteen from the outside. What sets Vega City apart is that from goulash to gyros, all regular dishes ingrained in Budapest gastronomy are created for a vegan clientele. The menu also features burgers, sushi, Asian curries and local pottages. Given the popularity of the place, service can be hectic and the consistent standards of presenting food can’t always be maintained. Lunch specials are available at fixed rates, but ask the staff before ordering your food to understand the available options for combining dishes.
With a focus on truly tasty alternative burgers and hot dogs, Vegan Love is a long-established destination on Buda’s Bartók Béla út. Smoky tofu steak, sweet potato and shiitake mushroom are just a few of the plant-based ingredients that go into the patties. Some burgers feature added zucchini, dairy-free cheese, sprouts, soy sauce and chili. Hot dogs come with a generous amount of fried onions or jalapeno salsa and guacamole. Vegan Love has a self-service salad bar, where you can mix and match the healthy ingredients and fill them into a pocket of pita bread. A banana or spinach smoothie is a nice accompaniment to any dish served here.
Home to the monthly Vegan Sunday Market, the centrally located Anker’t ruin pub is known for promoting a green lifestyle. Just recently, a whitewashed wooden kiosk was added inside this dilapidated hangout to offer thin-crust Neapolitan pizza, made with alternative ingredients. Using a real wood-burning oven and plenty of plant-based ingredients, this in-house eatery offers vegans a variety of the southern Italian treat from margherita to Mexican to marinara. A permanent item on the menu is verde, covered with spinach pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, rocket and cherry tomatoes. In addition, Vegażżi always offers one special treat available through the month.