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You may remember that I traveled to Hungary’s capital last year (check out my top 18 things to do in Budapest). As the choice of vegan restaurants was pretty overwhelming, it took me quite a while to put together this guide, but it’s finally here. I also changed things up a little bit and am no longer listing the places in chronological order of my visit, but grouping them in categories. I hope that this is more useful for you when looking for specific types of vegan food in Budapest.
There are more vegan restaurants in Budapest, but these are the ones I went to. So without further ado, here’s my vegan travel guide for Budapest that so many of you have been asking about.
Vegan Breakfast in Budapest, Hungary
The first morning we went to a cute little place called Great Bistro. I got the buckwheat pancakes with cinnamon and agave syrup (as you know, I loooove cinnamon) and some coconut water. The pancakes were amazing, people! Alfonso got a Club Sandwich, and we even shared a chocolate mousse for dessert. I mean, can you call it dessert if it’s part of your breakfast?
Everything was delicious and filling so we had enough energy to explore the city. We also really liked the atmosphere at Great Bistro. We were definitely happy to have found a vegan breakfast spot.
Bank utca 6. Open Monday to Friday 9 am to 4 pm, Saturday 10 am to 3 pm. http://www.greatbistro.hu/
The next day we had breakfast at a very cozy spot called Naspolya Nassolda where we both got granola (I got banana/coconut, and Alfonso went for the apple/goji one.) This is a very small place, but the atmosphere is wonderful, and the décor is so pretty. Even if there aren’t a ton of items on the menu, the vibe is reason enough to come here, so we went back another day just for lemonade.
Káldy Gyuala utca 7. Open Monday to Sunday 9 am to 7 pm. http://naspolya.hu/
The next morning for breakfast we headed to Budapest’s vegan bakery, Fill Good. Yes, you read that right, Budapest has an entirely vegan bakery. If you weren’t convinced to book a trip to Budapest yet, now you know that you absolutely have to. Fill Good is quite a small place, but again, we’re talking about a bakery that is entirely vegan! There are quite a few choices, both sweet and savory. Being a sweet tooth I had the apricot and chocolate buns which were both unbelievably tasty. Alfonso was more in the mood for pizza and some pastry which were delicious as well.
Hollán Ernő utca 3. Open Monday to Friday 7:30 am to 7 pm, Saturday 8 am to 2 pm. https://www.facebook.com/fillgoodvegan/
The last breakfast we had was at Vega City, a kind of fast food place where you order from what you see behind the counter. I had a ciabatta and lemonade here which were okay but nothing special to tell you the truth. I hoped to improve my experience by asking them to recommend a cake, but the oatcake I got tasted mediocre. Overall, the food wasn’t bad here, but not great either, and I feel like the place lacked soul. They seem to want to offer all these healthier options, but at the same time, it’s ready-made fast food. It’s neither a buffet, nor a proper sit-down restaurant, so it all seems to lack a real concept. I wouldn’t say don’t go here, but there are so many better places to try first.
Múzeum körút 23-25. Open Monday to Friday 9 am to 7 pm. https://www.facebook.com/vegacitybudapest/
Vegan Desserts in Budapest
The weather was amazing, so the first evening we decided to get some ice cream at Gelarto Rosa. Now, this is not an entirely vegan place, but they do have quite a few options. I got raspberry and mango, and Alfonso went for two mixed flavors, strawberry/elderberry and raspberry/chocolate. The single flavors were better than the mixed ones, I would say, so unless you’re feeling adventurous stick to those.
What I didn’t like about Gelarto Rosa was that they basically took Amorino’s concept of “rose petal” ice cream, but then don’t let you choose one flavor per petal, but only one per layer. Nonetheless, if you want vegan ice cream in Budapest, this is a place worth checking out. There is actually a second Gelarto Rosa right around the corner which also has some juices that we tried.
Szent István tér 3. Open Monday to Sunday 10 am to 11 pm. https://gelartorosa.com/en/
Now for a more curious little place called Dynamo Bake. This is a bakery and bike rental (how cool is that!?) with some vegan options. We tried two cheesecakes, tropical and avocado/nut, and a homemade lemonade. There are a few tables outside, and it’s so lovely to sit there as it’s a quiet street away from all the crowds. As they are not vegan, you’re not always guaranteed to find vegan options, so maybe just check in if you’re already in the area.
Képíró utca 6. Open Monday 9 am to 7 pm, Wednesday to Friday 9 am to 7 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 4 pm. https://www.facebook.com/Dynamobake/
Veganized Hungarian Dishes
The first day we had lunch at a place called Edeni Vegan. Now this restaurant was a bit difficult to find because the address on HappyCow was not correct. Here we got to choose from a bunch of options that were available behind the counter. We both got a mixed plate with a bunch of different things like potatoes with spinach, tofu scramble, soy meat, caramelized onions, mashed potatoes, pasta with soy meat, a burger patty, and more pasta. We also had minestrone soup. Along with that, we got some water and lemonade, as it was quite warm.
Everything was delicious and filling, and we definitely got a traditional Hungarian vibe from the food and the interior. The ladies working there were a bit older and seemed like some sweet grandmothers turning Hungarian food vegan. Definitely a great place to go in the Buda part of the city. However, if you’re sensitive to soy you might not have that many options here.
Iskola utca 31. Open Monday to Sunday 9 am to 8 pm. http://www.edenivegan.hu/
The next day for lunch, we ended up at Napfenyes Restaurant. Now, this place was quite a surprise. Usually, I stumble upon vegan restaurants that are fast-food restaurants or very cozy casual ones. This one looked a bit upscale, although the prices were not too high and the crowd was very relaxed. But there was something about the décor, the napkins, the tablecloths that just made this place seem a bit fancier.
And again we were lucky and got to try veganized Hungarian dishes. If there is one thing Hungarians are good at it’s offering vegan versions of traditional dishes. I feel that as a vegan I sometimes miss out on a culture’s traditional foods, but not so in Budapest. At Napfenyes Restaurant I had goulash and stuffed cabbage, while Alfonso went for the far less Hungarian ratatouille.
For drinks, we chose the typical water and lemonade – so refreshing in the heat. We also had an outstanding sponge cake for dessert. The food here was so traditional and good that we even saw Hungarian families with their grandmothers eating here! Definitely a must when you visit Budapest!
Ferenciek tere 2. Open Monday to Sunday 12 pm to 10:30 pm. https://napfenyesetterem.hu/english/
So now it’s time to talk about my favorite vegan spot in Budapest: Kozmosz Vegan Étterem. It’s not the prettiest restaurant in Budapest, but wow, the food! And again, they have veganized versions of traditional Hungarian dishes, yay! Plus they have cute plush veggies, look!
The first time we went here I got a seitan stew, and Alfonso got the traditional cottage cheese csusza. Csusza is a Hungarian type of pasta and really tasty. We usually try each other’s food, and after trying the csusza, I wanted to come back a second time to have a whole plate! So delicious, I’m telling you. I also had some kombucha by the way because I couldn’t keep drinking lemonade all the time.
The second time I obviously had the csusza and Alfonso got stuffed peppers with tofu. Again, mind-blowing dishes. I cannot begin to explain how happy we were with the food. But you know, this second time around we figured we’d also have some dessert, and oh my goodness…! We ordered a layered pancake with poppy seeds, walnuts, topped with chocolate sauce. Again: a cake that was basically made by layering pancakes with a paste of poppy seeds and walnuts in between each layer, topped with chocolate sauce. Heavenly!
If you only have time for one vegan meal in Budapest, it has to be at Kozmosz Vegan Étterem. It’s just out of this world! Now I’m not Hungarian. I have also never had any Hungarians cook for me before I went vegan. I can’t promise that these dishes taste exactly like the non-vegan originals, but they were mouthwatering for sure.
Hunyadi tér 11. Open Monday to Friday 11:30 am to 3 pm and 6 pm to 10 pm, Saturday and Sunday 11:30 am to 10 pm. http://www.vegankozmosz.hu/
Vegan Italian Food in Budapest
Italian food is a classic all over Europe and incredibly easy to veganize when it comes to pizza and pasta. Whenever I travel, there’s a good chance I have pasta or pizza at least once.
The first night in Budapest we went for dinner at a vegan pizza place called vegazzi. I loved this place! They didn’t have a ton of options which means they really got a chance to perfect their pizzas. I got the Margherita here because it is THE original pizza, and you can judge it very easily. Alfonso went for the mushroom pizza. Both were outstanding and probably still the best vegan pizza we’ve had so far.
I also really liked how friendly the people here were. What was even better, though, was the location. The restaurant is actually more like a stall in one of the many open-air venues in Budapest. This one included a bar as well. Perfect for summer nights!
Paulay Ede utca 33. Open Wednesday to Thursday 4 pm to 9 pm, Friday 4 pm to 12 am, Saturday 12 pm to 12 am, Sunday 12 pm to 9 pm. https://vegazzi.hu/
Then there is Madal which makes fresh vegan pasta. This was my first time finding a vegan place that makes fresh pasta. If you are really into pasta you know that fresh pasta makes all the difference. I went for the arrabbiata sauce and Alfonso chose the carbonara sauce, and both were really delicious! I looove spicy food and usually get disappointed with the so-called “spicy” options because of the lack of flavor. But as Hungarians really like their hot paprika, the arrabbiata sauce here actually had a decent level of spice. I would say not to opt for the extra cheese because it really becomes a bit overpowering. To drink I had my favorite: coconut water, so hydrating and healthy.
Madal is close to the Parliament and some university buildings so there are lots of students working on their papers here. There’s also a cafe in the same space but sort of separate. Not all their cakes are vegan so ask them first if you want to get a cake. We got a cheesecake and carrot cake, but they weren’t particularly great.
Alkotmány utca 4. Open Monday to Saturday 11:30 am to 4 pm. http://madalfood.hu/
Vegan Burgers in Budapest
Burgers are something I never make myself which means I enjoy them all the more when going out to eat. At the same time, I don’t like only getting burgers. There has to be a balance between burgers and slow food.
Budapest has amazing burgers, and to tell you the truth, you could easily live off burgers. One place I’ll definitely recommend is Las Vegan’s. It’s located at a food market in between some old buildings in the Jewish neighborhood. I ordered the coated burger and a berry smoothie here, and Alfonso had a carrot burger and “immunity” smoothie. And since we were on vacation, we also shared some fries with garlic sauce and vegan mayo. The burgers were absolutely amazing! And again, having a small menu really only makes the few dishes on it that much more amazing. The fries were delicious as well, though the garlic sauce didn’t really taste like there was much garlic in it. Again, what I loved most was the amazing atmosphere in this open-air space.
The burgers were so good that on our last day, we each got a Forest burger to take to the airport. So tasty! They also have a few different locations.
Kazinczy utca 18. Open Sunday to Wednesday 11:30 am to 11 pm, Thursday to Saturday 11:30 am to 1 am. http://facebook.com/lasveganshun
Right next door to Fill Good, the vegan bakery I mention in the breakfast section, is another burger place called Tökmag. Here, I got an amazing mushroom burger, while Alfonso had a delicious beetroot burger. They also have juices and water, but it’s a really small place and focuses on the burgers. This is not simply a place with good burgers – even the buns were surprisingly good at this tiny place.
I loved that there were some benches outside so you can people-watch while enjoying your burger.
Hollán Ernő utca 5. Open Monday to Sunday 9 am to 8 pm. http://www.tokmagvegan.hu/
Budapest was also the first city where I saw a vegan kind of typical fast-food place like the big chains. Istvanffi Veggie Burger is smaller than a regular fast-food place but follows the exact same concept. Except everything is vegan! I had the Cezar oat burger here which was quite good. Of course, the food is nothing special, it’s a fast-food joint after all. However, isn’t it great that an option like this exists for when you’re hungry and in the area? And it’s obviously quite cheap despite the fact that it’s good and filling.
Királyi Pál utca 20. Open Monday to Sunday 11 am to 9 pm. http://istvanffi.com/
The One Place to Avoid
As you know by now, I am always honest in my reviews of places. I usually only go to a given restaurant once or twice during my travels and can’t be sure that the quality is always the same. However, in my mind, if it’s good once there’s a chance that this is because they know what they’re doing. On the other hand, if I feel a restaurant sucks, I can’t be certain that it’s always bad, but I want to share my honest opinion with you based on my experience. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give a place a try. But if you have limited time in a given city, wouldn’t you want to avoid the restaurants that have already disappointed other vegan travelers?
One such place would be Veganeria in Budapest. This was close to our Airbnb so we thought that if it was any good we could go there more often. Unfortunately, it was the worst food experience we had in Hungary.
So I had the fried cheese with vegan mayo and rice while Alfonso got the Stroganoff pizza. Now, he didn’t have any complaints about the pizza, though it wasn’t particularly good either. However, my fried cheese was bad – as in, really bad. First of all, it was definitely a frozen meal that was just heated up in the kitchen. It had that very salty taste lots of frozen foods have. The rice and mayo, on the other hand, tasted like nothing. Because the meal tasted so bad, I had to keep drinking my pineapple juice to get rid of the taste. I really struggled to even finish it.
As friendly as the people working at Veganeria were, this was some of the worst food I’ve ever had so I can’t recommend it.
Nagymező utca 51. Open Monday to Sunday 11 am to 10 pm. http://www.veganeria.hu/
Tips for Vegan Travelers in Budapest, Hungary
If you’re heading to Budapest as a vegan you’re in for some really excellent food. From breakfast to dinner and dessert, you can get anything here in Budapest, and it will be good. But where Hungary’s capital really shines in terms of vegan food is traditional Hungarian dishes. Think about it, where else are you going to be able to get amazing vegan goulash and csusza?! And if you end up getting bored there are excellent vegan burgers, pasta, or pizza dishes to try in the Hungarian capital.
Have you ever been to Budapest as a vegan? Did I miss any vegan places?