Whether it’s an Ayurvedic buffet or a Michelin-star vegan tasting menu you seek, you’ll find it all in Budapest. Discover the Hungarian capital’s best vegetarian and vegan cafés, bakeries and restaurants from Andrássy Avenue to Fifth District.
Since Hungarian cuisine is best known for traditional meat-based dishes like goulash and paprikás stews, the idea of dining out in Budapest when on a plant-based diet may seem a little daunting. Having said that, Budapest offers a wealth of vegetarian and vegan eateries to suit all budgets and appetites – if you know where to find them.
Found on the quieter, less touristy end of Andrássy Avenue, Flow is a quality-oriented speciality coffee shop with good Wi-Fi, comfy chairs and great music. What makes it unusual, however, is its choice to only serve dishes without animal products. “We believe that it is possible to provide a wide variety of delicious food this way,” says György Antalóczy. “We are not just targeting the vegan community,” he continues, “We serve dishes that can stand on their own as a choice for someone with an omnivorous diet because they are good and tasty and not just ‘good…for something plant-based.’”
Founded in 2018, the Vegan Garden offers solely plant-based dishes. Centrally located at the heart of the lively Seventh District, between March and November, it offers a wealth of meat-free options to feast one’s taste buds on. From juicy burgers to tasty, sugar-free treats by Hideg Nyalat, there’s a variety to suit all appetites. For those visiting in the winter months, the Garden’s Vexicana truck remains open all year round serving delicious vegan Mexican food. Don’t miss trying its killer jalapeño poppers.
The Govinda restaurants, two of which can be found in Budapest’s Fifth District, offer a diverse palate of flavours and colours in line with Ayurvedic tradition. This includes traditional Indian cuisine of meat, fish, egg, and mushroom, all onion-free. The daily offer at Govinda always includes soups, dhals made from legumes, pakoras, various vegetable sauces, chutneys and a selection of garnishes and sweets.
A speciality pizzeria, Vegażżi boasts Hungary’s first Naples-style plant-based pizza baked in a wood-burning oven. What began as a food truck turned into one of Budapest’s busiest ruin bars and a fully-fledged standalone restaurant with a menu of six permanent meat-free pizzas and a monthly special. Vegażżi’s Pizza Porcini: a turbocharged, bohemian cousin of the classic pizza ai funghi, is perhaps its most memorable special, featuring six different types of mushrooms.
Located in a pedestrianised zone not far from the banks of the Danube, Tökmag offers a variety of vegan meals perfect for guilt-free, healthy snacking. Whether it’s a juicy burger, sandwich, veg lunch box or soup, all of Tökmag’s meals are made from local and seasonal ingredients without sugar, gluten or yeast. A stand out seasonal favourite at Tökmag is the burger with a zucchini patty, curry butternut squash cream, melted cheesy slices and sage aioli.
Walking past Hokedli without noticing it is far too easy, thanks to its tiny size and inconspicuous exterior. Do not miss out on their daily offer of unique delicious soups and pottage. Ideal for a quick nutritious lunch for those on the go, Hokedli is located between the Opera and Oktogon stops in Budapest’s central Sixth District. There is no fixed menu here, and each item on the board disappears and is replaced the next day by something equally appetising cooked fresh that very morning.
For those seeking an unforgettable plant-based fine dining experience in Budapest, Babel – one of Budapest’s six Michelin-star restaurants – offers a lavish seven-course vegan tasting menu. Highlights of the menu inspired by the childhood memories of its young chef include a carrot tartare with elderflower and an exuberant dish comprising Jerusalem artichoke, potato, black radish, coffee and horseradish.
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