Vegan and Budapest aren’t exactly words that you put together when you think eatery options in Central Europe, but the country’s capital is rapidly evolving it’s selection of great animal free options. For those of you reading this and not exactly sure what vegan means, it’s defined as diet that contains no animal based product whatsoever. It sounds tricky, but it’s really not, especially if you want to eat out in Budapest!
1. You may not be aware but Budapest’s Jewish influence means there are great places to eat all around the city that borrow from Middle Eastern traditions. One of my favourites is “ruin restaurant” Mazel Tov. As one would imagine, naming your venue after the Yiddish salutation implies a certain degree of connection with foods popular in countries like Israel. What I really love is that none of the dishes have been reverse engineered. Falafel and humus are naturally vegan and made fresh as they are here, they fail to disappoint.
2. Grabbing food in a rush can be somewhat of a struggle for vegans but Inez bagel shop makes it easy. Located in a small hole in the wall style canteen not far from Budapest’s famous Bazilica, Inez offers a great selection of vegan and non vegan bagel options. All the bagels are baked and prepared fresh. Yes, that means a bit of a wait but it’s definitely worth it. Top tip for vegans is the Asia Bagel – peanut butter, marinated tofu and chopped coriander. Always a winner among vegan friends of mine.
3. Vegan Love is a burger place with a difference! All of the burger buns come filled with pure plant based deliciousness. I’ll admit, as somewhat more of a flexiterian I was a little hesitant but the burgers are all amazing. Everything about burgers that I love is represented here, cosy interior, easy service and a solid portion of fries. Don’t worry about a lack of mayo either, they’ve got that covered too!
4. For the more discerning vegan audience that fancies a bit more range than just one cuisine alone, there’s Napfényes Étterem. The name translates as sunshine restaurant and the dishes are full of exactly that: fresh, light and animal free. It’s clear that the owners put a great deal of effort into providing something to keep everyone satisfied. If you don’t have time to sit down or simply fancy picking up a tasty present for a friend they have a wonderful counter full of things to take away.
5. Finding vegan ice cream can sometimes be a bit tricky, but the Levendula chain of handmade ice cream shops makes it really easy. Alongside cow’s milk favourites is a stunning selection of vegan options made with plant-based milks and creams. The chefs preparing the ice cream constantly try to vary the ingredients to give customers a chance to try things that might not have been available before, like wonderful sorbets infused with lavender as well as rich creamy ice cream made with coconut milk.
There you have, a (hopefully) mouth-watering guide to the best that Budapest has to offer when it comes to vegan friendliness!