Exploring Russian cuisine.

I have always been warned that I will be having a hard time finding vegetarian or vegan dishes, especially traditional / local food. As I have travelled to Russia before I knew that it might be tricky sometimes but having a sweet tooth anyways made it a lot easier for me to find dishes that I liked.

In the past four month I was able to try various local dishes in various restaurants not only in Moscow but also in the cities that I’ve travelled to. As a food enthusiast I am always open to try new dishes. However, being a vegetarian has it made a bit difficult sometimes but I never went hungry. Except that one time. But that was just an unfortunate event. So in my opinion there are several places that one should definitely check out if they are vegetarian or vegan, or just want something without meat or fish.

Favourite local food

Blinchiki

Bliny – or блинчики (blinchiki) in Russian – are thin pancakes made from buckwheat flour. They can be served savory or sweet, with sour cream, butter, or even caviar.

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Varenyky

Varenyky – which are also known as pierogi – are filled dumplings. Inside the wrapping dough pockets there is either a savory or a sweet filling. I usually had them with a potato filling and Smetana (sour cream) served on the side.

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Pelmeny

Pelmeny – пельме́ни – are dumplings that are usually filled with minced meat and made out of a thin, unleavened dough. These dumplings seemed to be the most popular ones among us foreign students as you could buy them everywhere. Some could eat them every day. Even twice per day. But I won’t say any names on here. It wasn’t me.

Khachapuri

This traditional Georgian dish is a bread that is filled with cheese in the middle. It comes in various shapes and sometimes contains eggs and other ingredients.

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Syrniki

Cы́рники are fried quark pancakes that are usually eaten with sour cream, jam, or honey. I’ve got to know them on my first stay in Russia a few years ago when our host grandmother made them for us. Since then I have even tried them a few times myself but I still haven’t perfected them. Syrniki are my go-to dish in a restaurant where I don’t want to ask too many questions about ingredients and such or when I am just in the mood for something small.

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Another thing that no one should miss out on doing is getting ice cream at the GUM – the department store on the red square. It is the most legendary Soviet ice cream that comes in various flavours and is served in a waffle cone. It is sold inside the GUM at various ice cream counters year round.

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Favourite Restaurants and Bars

Cafe Sok -Кафе СОК

Cafe Sok is not only a café but they also offer a wide variety of Russian, Georgian, Indian, and Italian dishes. All of them are vegetarian and some are even vegan. It is located opposite of the famous Tretyakov Gallery, more or less in the centre of Moscow.

This restaurant has become my favourite place as every dish that I have tried so far turned out to be delicious, the food arrangement was perfect as well, and the staff has always been very accommodating and helpful. When my boyfriend was visiting we even saw part of a wedding dinner there, so we could see some traditional stuff there as well.

In Cafe Sok I was also able to try Borscht, the famous beetroot soup that is popular in various Eastern European cuisines. As soups in Russia usually either contain meat or are made from a meat stock, I can never just order soup in ‘normal’ restaurants (or at least I don’t trust to). I’ve become a beetroot fan so I recommend everyone to try this soup at least once.

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Phala

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Borscht

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Vareniki with potatoes and mushrooms

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Raw cakes with figs

Jagannath

Кафе «Джаганнат» – Jagannath – is a vegetarian restaurant/buffet in the centre of Moscow. It exudes a somewhat hippy style due to the interior design and the music that is played there.

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Jamie’s Italian

Right next to the Red Square is the location of one of Jamie Oliver’s restaurants – Jamie’s Italian.

City Space Bar

The bar is located inside the Swissotel on the 34th floor. The City Space Bar is one of the highest bars in Moscow and from up there you have a beautiful panoramic view over the city. Even though that the drinks are a bit pricy it is very stylish and fancy there, and the view is really amazing!

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Cafe Pushkin

The Café Pushkin is actually not a café but a five-star restaurant, that is open 24 hours a day. The waiters speak very good English and the service is excellent. The restaurant is located on Tverskoy Boulevard and serves historic fare of Russian nobility. Everything inside looks really fancy, the waiters are educated in the perfect manner. Prices are slightly high, but it’s definitely worth the location and the food and drinks.

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Coffee House culture in Moscow

Coffee Shop Company

There are quite a lot of coffee places in Moscow, and it is even possible to find some Viennese among them. The Coffee Shop Company chain is one perfect example for that. Regarding the prices, it has a level of around Starbucks, and the choices are relatively similar as well. But it is Austrian! They even offer Sacher Torte there. It is possible to find them all over Moscow (and in other cities of Russia as well), and there is one right next to my university.

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Schokoladnitsa

The Шоколадница is one of the biggest and most famous coffee shop chains in Russia. The price is very good in there, and they have a variety of drinks and dishes to choose from. You can even order a cup of pure melted chocolate. Very delicious but very heavy!

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Coffee House

Кофе Хауз is yet another Russian coffee shop chain. Prices are very low, they have a good variety of cake and the cafés are also located all over town. There is also one located near where I was living and it used to be the place that we sometimes went to for having a birthday cake. However, the staff is very slow to respond and sometimes forgets half of the order. The cakes are delicious nevertheless!

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Foodwise there is a lot to explore in Russia, even if you don’t eat meat. It is true, sometimes it is a bit more work or effort – you always need to double or triple check and ask the waiter for specifics.

 

Traditional Austrian desserts

I have to admit that I am not the biggest fan of Austrian food. Too fatty, too meaty. But I love Austrian desserts. Applestrudel, Kaiserschmarrn, Sachertorte – I’m in. However, when I am in Austria I hardly ever eat it at restaurants (as I don’t go to typical Austrian cafés or restaurants to eat sweets there). So when I was at home with my parents I used our kitchen equipment and my mom’s knowledge of traditional food/sweets to make them myself.

Kaiserschmarrn
All you need for our former emperor (Kaiser in German) Franz Joseph I’s favourite sweet dish (hence the name) are eggs, milk, flour, raisins and a pinch of sugar. First you separate the egg yolks from the whites. Mix yolks, milk, flour and a pinch of (vanilla) sugar until it is a smooth dough. Then beat the egg whites till stiff and carefully fold the beaten egg white in. Add the raisins and you’re done! Now you need a frying pan, a bit of oil and make ‘pancakes’. After you’ve flipped the pancake for the first time, instead of leaving it like that you split it with two forks into pieces. Sprinkle it with powdered sugar and there you go – the Kaiserschmarrn is ready to be eaten up. Usually we eat it with stewed plums, but I’m not the biggest fan of it so I just made some applesauce.

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Bauernkrapfen
Bauernkrapfen are made out of a sweet yeast dough that is very traditional in parts of Austria (and apparently also in southern parts of Germany). The dough is shaped in a way that it is thicker on the edges and thin in the middle. I still don’t exactly know how to make the dough – only technically as I’ve only watched my mom doing so. But I know how to form the round buns (we even have a special verb for this) and how to make the typical shape afterwards. The frying part is also special, but I’m not going into this. ;) After they are fried we let them cool down for a bit and then eat them with powdered sugar or jam. Delicious!

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Sachertorte
Some time ago I came across this recipe from the lovely Eva of Electric Blue Food. So instead of posting her recipe you can just have a look at her page – it’s definitely worth a try! I wasn’t able to master the recipe as well as she did, but I also changed a few bits as I was lacking a few ingredients and had to substitute them with the things I had at home. Nonetheless, it made a delicious birthday cake for my Mom :)

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Admittedly, Austrian traditional sweets are very fatty and sugary but my mouth is already watering just from writing this post! Too bad that I have to wait a few months before I’m able to eat it again… :D

By the way – I decided to have a facebook page dedicated to this blog – go and check it out and maybe like it? pretty please :) –> just follow this link and do me the favour, yes? :)

Baking something traditional: Linzer Torte.

With more time on my hand I was inspired to bake a very special cake which in my memory I have only made once in my life before. This cake is a traditional cake from Upper Austria (the region where I originally come from), typical for ‘my’ hometown (or the next big town to my parent’s house – also the town where I went to high school). It is possible to buy this cake in local bakeries but also at the supermarket – and relatively cheap and delicious, which makes it a perfect hospitality present.

The cake’s name is derived from the third biggest city (population) of Austria – Linz ;) According to several sources the Linzer Torte is the oldest cake that is named after a city, with original recipes (there are 4 slightly different ones) dating back to the 17th century. Yet it is unknown who named or invented the cake. A mystery probably never to be solved.

I followed a recipe that I found in an old cook book that my Mom got when she was still in school. There were four different recipes in there, and of course I had to follow the one that is called ‘original’, which unfortunately was also the one with the highest amount of butter -.-

Ingredients
Butter (200g), sugar (180g), grated roasted almonds (150g), flour (250g), eggs (1 egg and 1 yolk), cinnamon (a pinch), and a bit of lemon zest. I also added a pinch of vanilla sugar and a little bit of baking powder, and forgot the lemon zest :D

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How to make it:
You basically mix all the ingredients and create a shortcrust pastry. Then, after formed into a big ball, 3/4 of the dough needs to be rolled and be put onto the base of a spring form cake tin (which doesn’t need greasing). Then spread a layer of red currant jam on top of the dough. With the remaining quarter of the dough several small rolls for the lattice and one bigger for the edge need to be shaped. After doing so, the edge can be sprinkled with flaked almonds. Done. Well, you need to put it in a pre-heated oven (180°C) and bake it for around 45 minutes. The older the cake the better it is, which of course doesn’t mean that you should keep it forever, but it tastes the best after 1-2 days :)

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So if you ever want to try something that is typical for Linz, try this! Very delicious and easy to make. Next time I will opt for a recipe with less butter probably, though :D

Catching up: June Edition.

June was a month full of university related stuff due to final hand-ins and oral exams. It was also the month of my sister’s wedding and a week without proper Internet.

June in terms of: Travelling.

In my last blogpost I already wrote about that I had to take one final trip up north to Copenhagen due to my final exams. I couldn’t take a direct flight from Vienna so I had to travel to Munich via car-train-bus and then take a plane to CPH. So exhausting! Unfortunately, I had to do the same when travelling back – but this time instead of driving to my parent’s home I stayed on the train even longer to go to Vienna and visit my bf & friends. 14+ hours travelling was so exhausting… But at least I got to enjoy breakfast with Carina at Munich airport and we drove past Chiemsee in Germany.

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June in terms of: University.

Right at the beginning of the month my group members and I had to finish our last written paper (about Lego and Airbnb, in case you are wondering). Also, we had to prepare ourselves for the oral exams that were based on our written projects. Unfortunately, there was so much confusion until the very end regarding what would be asked and what not. However, both exams turned out to be okay-ish, the examiners were not too bad and we got good pieces of advice for our master thesis. A good end of the semester/year.

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June in terms of: Food.

At the beginning of June I attended a food festival in Vienna. The location was beautiful as it was in the courtyard the town hall of Vienna. I tried a burger from Die Burgermacher, a Burrito from Wrapstars and a famous portuguese Pastel de Nata from Nata Lisboa.

Another food highlight of June was that one time that I cooked vegan for half of my family. They got to enjoy a cucumber-apple soup and a burrito bowl, and they liked it (:

June was also the month where I got to try my own home-grown cress for the first time. I haven’t had cress in years and we kids used to eat it quite a lot when we were younger. So it was a little throwback to my childhood :D

My love for Pizza is not unknown, and due to all the free time on my hands I decided to make some from scratch myself (together with my bf). Delicious, of course ;)

Last but not least, I also need to mention the delicious Pad Thai that I had at Wagamama and the strawberry muffins at Shaneel’s, if you remember my last post.

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June in terms of: Life.

Definitely the most memorable life event of June was my Sister’s Wedding. After 10 years of dating and 1 year of being engaged, she got married to (I suppose :P) love of her life. I wish them all the best (:

This June was the first time ever that I swam in the Danube. Crazy, even though that I grew up so close by it, and it is pretty common in Vienna to take a refreshing swim in the river on a hot summer day. I just never got around to it and I have to admit that I’d rather stay inside in a cool house than broil in the hot sun. But taking a refreshing swim isn’t too bad, I have to admit… :D

At the end of June there’s always a (music) festival in Vienna that millions of people have been enjoying for quite some time now. As it’s at the end of June I have only been there once (or twice?) before as it was usually the week right before finals at uni. No time for fun, eh?! As my exams were over mid-June, I finally got to enjoy the Donauinselfest guilt-free, yay. Gudrun von Laxenburg was definitely my favourite act, Samy Deluxe and Frittenbude were pretty cool too. Also, I got to watch and more or less hear (terrible sound engineering) a few songs of Sean Paul. AND EVERYTHING FREE OF CHARGE.

June 2016 is also more or less equivalent to Euro2016. I am not a huge soccer fan but I like watching the ‘bigger’ games, especially with other people around. Naturally, I had to watch at least one game with the Austrian national team in a public viewing place. Sadly, ‘we’ lost and this was the end for our team for Euro2016. But I never expected them to be any good, so I am ‘officially’ rooting for Iceland and France now. Go either one of them!

The end of June did not mean well with me as everywhere I travelled to in Austria there was a problem with the wifi connection. What was there to do with all my free time when everybody around me in Vienna was studying and it was just too hot outside? And at home – when I needed the internet for scholarship/uni stuff and my blog? Stupid UPC and stupid thunderstorms that damage modems -.- Thankfully, this torment is over now and I am back online. :D

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June in terms of: Home.

After months of studying, travelling and more or less living in two countries (at least for the past two months), I finally (more or less) settled in Austria again (at least until the end of August). However, I’ve already made future travel plans, and big things are planned for the time after August, so there’s a lot going on at the moment. Still, it is good to recharge batteries at home. Enjoy the nature, enjoy the pets, enjoy the family. All the things that I never/hardly ever have in my beloved cities.

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This happens when you try to take a selfie with your dog…

Food Festival Vienna.

This week when I was having lunch at Banh Mi in Vienna, I stumbled across a flyer for a food festival that was about to take place in Vienna. The decision was made immediately: I had to go there ;)

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On Saturday my boyfriend, Julia (which you may remember from this blogpost) and I met there at lunchtime. The rush of visitors was okayish, the weather was quite nice as well – perfect day for a food festival that was held in the courtyard of one of the most noblest buildings in Vienna: the Town Hall.

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I think I’ve never been inside the town hall before, so this was the perfect opportunity to go and ‘explore’ it from the inside. Technically – just the courtyard and one small hall, but who cares… ;) It was still amazing to look at the picturesque facade and the small ‘park’ inside while enjoying the sun and delicious food!

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We also had a quick peek inside before the boy and I met up with my friend :D

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Food

Die Burgermacher
First, while waiting for Jules to arrive, the boy and I shared a goat-cheese burger from Die Burgermacher. I’ve heard of them before, but haven’t gotten around yet to go and visit the burger place at their restaurant in the 7th district, Burggasse 12.

Our opinion: very delicious, even though one of the ingredients of the sauce was olives, which I absolutely dislike.

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Wrapstars
Our next stop was Wrapstars, a food truck that specialises in…. wraps that are #realfood and #nobullshit ! :D Their base is organic couscous, organic black beans and kale. You can decide to have organic beef, organic pork or a veggie option. This is rounded up by different ‘flavours’.

Our opinion: we were very curious how couscous would taste like in a wrap. The combination of kale, couscous, black beans and their signature flavour of ‘Tasty by Nature’ made it a perfect wrap. I can wholeheartedly recommend it!

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Market Hall

There was also a market hall in the ‘Volkshalle’ of the town hall, where different market stalls provided visitors with information on various food-related subjects or you could also try a few things such as hip new drinks (e.g. Helga – made from algae) or Verjus (verjuice – a highly acidic juice made by pressing unripe grapes).

One of the things we tried (but also had to pay for of course) was one of the famous Pastel de Nata, a Portuguese egg tart pastry, from Nata Lisboa. It was the first time that I had one of those delicious treats, so I was super excited to try it.

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The Adamah BioHof also had a market stall there and we got to try a two organic juices and their concept of the ‘Biokistl’ was explained to us. Every week they deliver a box full of local, fresh, organic vegetables and/or fruits to your door. Very interesting concept and definitely something to think about when living in Vienna.

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However, there weren’t only stalls about food in the market hall. You could also see local upcycling design from ‘gabarage‘ – they had some of their “long-ton” designs, where they upcycled garbage cans into furniture. Again, very interesting concept and I’d love to see this furniture again somewhere.

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Our resume:
The food we tried was delicious yet a tiny bit expensive. But that’s just a given for food markets. Plus you get to try amazing food at a beautiful venue, so the prices were fine in my opinion.

Productivity and cake: last week in Copenhagen.

University is (almost) over, summer is (almost) here. But before everything comes to an end uni-wise there was still time for last group meetings, cheesecake and a nice day at the park :)

Team meeting & cheesecake

University is/was coming to an end so we had our last group meetings for this semester in order to be very productive. But productivity was not the only thing that we were worried about… we also wanted to make sure to be all ready and set for the meeting so we had a team breakfast before. Our team meeting was at one of the student dorms in Copenhagen (where Sarah lives and where we also had our International dinner). Sarah made delicious buns, so we had buns with jam and cheese, coffee, juice and fruits. Perfect start for a productive meeting, don’t you think so too?

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But breakfast was not enough for us. Shaneel was set on bringing cheesecake to our meeting. We couldn’t say no to that, could we? ;) Therefore, we treated ourselves to some delicious chocolate cheesecake after we were done with university stuff.

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Frederiksberg Have

The Frederiksberg Gardens is one of the largest and apparently most attractive greenspaces in Copenhagen, designed in the English style with many winding paths, lakes, islands and canals. One day, Carina, Shaneel and I decided to pay a visit to this beautiful garden.

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Frederiksberg Slot (Frederiksberg Palace) is located on one end of the garden, right next to the Zoo. It is a baroque palace, inspired by the Italians, and dates back to the early 1700s. It was used as a summer palace, but also for the king’s permanent residence for a few years. The royal family left in 1852 and the Royal Danish Army Officers Academy moved in a few years later.

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We picked a great day – the sun was out and it was really warm. We walked around for a bit, sat in the grass for quite some time while watching ducks, and enjoyed the day :)

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Homeward bound

My time in Copenhagen has almost come to an end! I have already moved all my stuff out of my apartment and will only come back to the city in mid-June for oral exams. I can’t believe how fast time flew by… :O

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Catching up: March edition.

Another month has passed. I was quite busy – university and traveling were the main things on my agenda. Easter holidays are over and spring is finally here! Here’s my little March update :)

March in terms of: University.

March has been the busiest month so far at university in 2016. Two courses finished and two exams started. I can’t believe that the semester is almost over – only two courses are left! But there is still a lot to do for the courses so don’t worry, I won’t get bored. Unfortunately.

March in terms of: Life.

March was also the month were we had our little Easter break. I decided not to fly back home for various reasons and instead stayed in Copenhagen for the holidays. This was my first easter break where I did not go home for at least two or three days :O However, I got to spend a couple of days with my family earlier in February and I am going home in a couple of weeks for my sister’s hen anyways, so it wasn’t that big of a deal after all ;)

I used the holidays for inviting a few friends over at my place and cook dinner for them. I made broccoli soup and a sweet potato & green rice burrito bowl (inspired by cookieandcake). My friends brought wine, cake, chocolates and flowers. We had a great night! :)

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March in terms of: Food.

Regarding food March was great for me. I tried quite a few new recipes and cooked food that usually only my mom cooks at home :)

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Avocado, hummus and tomatos on crispbread – my go-to dinner of the month ;)

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Dinner-leftovers with cake :)

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Rice pudding with almonds

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Spinach soup with roasted pumpkin seeds

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Sweet potato – broccoli – feta bowl

For a course at uni we had to work in a group. However, as we all are food-lovers (who isn’t?!), we decided to go have burgers at Cocks&Cows instead of doing stuff for uni. ;)

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Treehugger at Cocks&Cows

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Perfect instant picture selfie skills I must say…

March in terms of: Traveling.

At the beginning of March I got to spend a few days with my boyfriend in Hungary’s beautiful capital Budapest. I ate way too much food and saw so many beautiful spots in the city.

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March in terms of: Copenhagen.

Spring finally arrived in Copenhagen! The sun has been shining a lot, I packed my winter clothes away and I could finally use my sunglasses again. I even bought a new pair – yay! What a great time to be in such a beautiful country at that time of the year. Walking around in my neighbourhood is really great! :)

Enjoying the neighbourhood

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Enjoying Copenhagen

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What have you been up to lately? Are you happy that winter is gone and spring is here? :)

Budapest adventure: Food edition.

Before going to Hungary, people told me that vegetarians and vegans are going to have a hard time finding ‘good’ food in Budapest. Even the guide of our walking tour said so. However, so far I have always been able to find tasty non-meat or non-fish food in a foreign country/city. And no, I haven’t had salad every day. This time I even had none at all. So here is my little guide for people who are looking for vegetarian or vegan options in Budapest or just want to go someplace nice to enjoy a cup of coffee or have breakfast ;)

Breakfast places

No. 1 – Bordo Bisztro

This building used to be home of massive printing presses on red floor (hence the name ‘Bordó’ = claret). It is known for its weekend brunch, which takes place between 10am & 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays. The menu is around 2,100 forint (around 8 EUR) and includes three courses. You can choose between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, warm and cold dishes, and desserts. They have (almost) everything that a brunch-lover wants.

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Beautiful Interior

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Mimosa & Toscan omlette with potato wedges

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Bloody Mary & French toast

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Rice pudding with poppyseeds

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New York Cheesecake

Located in the VI. district on Nagymező Street
Open every day from 10:00 – 00:00 (or 1:00 on Sat & Sun)
Facebook page

No. 2 -Zoska Reggeliző Kávézó

This place is a haven (or heaven) for breakfast-lovers, as it serves breakfast in downtown Budapest all day long. The menu is great, the interior is lovely. There is also a special message board where anyone can post something (with sticky notes) and right next to the entrance is a small ‘picnic corner’ with artificial grass and cosy cushions, where you can sit right on the windowsill.

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You can choose from a wide range of breakfast options – sweet, sour, warm, cold. They even had Club Mate :O Hipster-heaven ;) We also assumed that the portions would be smaller so we ordered a bit too much. Oops ;)

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Delicious Sandwich

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Porridge & French toast

Located in the V. district, near the metro station Astoria, on Ferenczy István Street
Open Mon – Sat from 7AM – 7 PM
Facebook page

 

No. 3 – Cafe Brios

Right next to the Margaret Island and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge is the location of this café, which offers breakfast and lunch menus for hungry mouths. The selection apparently varies from season to season. Breakfast is available all day and they also serve delicious cakes. We only came there to get something to drink and treat ourselves to a delicious cake. However, it is more known for being a breakfast place – hence the breakfast category ;)

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Chocolate Cake

Located in the Újlipótváros (“New Leopold Town”), in the XIII. district, on Pozsonyi Street
Open everyday between 7.30 and 20.00
Facebook page

No. 4 – Café Vian

A french/hungarian bistro that offers different types of food for different ‘occasions’ of the day – breakfast, lunch, dinner and midnight snacks. Regarding the breakfast part of the menu, it is possible to choose from a wide variety of ‘nationalities’, but you can also opt for creating your own breakfast menu that is ‘fresh from the bakery’.

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French Breakfast with warm croissants

The coffee tasted really good and the croissants were fresh & still warm. Delicious! Also, the staff was really nice.

Various locations
Open everyday from around 9.00 til 00.00
Website


Lunch & Dinner places

No. 1 – Napfenyes Etterem

This is a place where you can get Hungarian (!) dishes that are vegetarian, vegan and/or gluten-free. The place that we went to was in district V. and this one had a pastry shop included.

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Hungarian Soups!

Unfortunately, our eyes were bigger than our bellies (and we had no idea that the portions would be so big and filling), we could not finish our meals but we got the option to take it home with us in a container :D

The interior threw us off a bit – usually when it comes to vegetarian & especially vegan restaurants, the places are very trendy and hip, with eye-catching (or weird) interior. However, the restaurant seemed a bit like its location was in the countryside and at least 50 years old yet on the other hand the pastry shop suited the vegan style :D Nevertheless, the food was really good and we could enjoy typical Hungarian food. Finally, I got my goulash! :D

Various locations, eg. in the V. district next to metro station Ferienciek tere
Open 12.00-22.30
Website & Facebook Page 

 

No. 2 – Padthai Wokbar (Wok2Go)

If you are a Padthai lover – this is the place to go for fast-food style Padthai. The concept is similar to the one Vapiano uses and is very efficient. You can create your own Padthai by choosing from various base ingredients, toppings, sauces and additional ingredients. It is freshly cooked in front of you, tastes delicious and is good value-for-money. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get good pictures of the food -.-

Various locations, eg. in the VII. district
Open Sun to Thu 11.30am 0.00 & Fri to Sat 11.30 – 2.00
Website & Facebook page

No. 3 – Mazel Tov

This is a place that offers Mediterranean cuisine and comes with an open kitchen and various cultural events. They have very good options for vegetarians!

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Window

Very relaxing atmosphere with kind of a roofed patio where the kitchen and some of the tables were (I should have seen it in daylight to really understand the concept of the building ;)

Food

Tasted WAY better than it looked ;)

Interior

The place was packed, there was a birthday celebration with >20 people right next to us, and the toilets are kind of not really separated from the rest (the entrance to the toilets had western-like swing doors…). Yet I have to admit that I really enjoyed the place. The food was delicious, the music was good, the lighting was perfect, the art on the wall was weird, the staff was great. The best place that I have been to in Budapest so far :)

Located in the Jewish Quarter
Open Mon-Fri 18.00 – 2.00 and Sat & Sund from 12.00 – 24.00
Website & Facebook page


Places for the Sweet Tooth

No. 1 – Szamos Gourmet Palace

This is a sweet-shop, café and chocolate manufacturing shop at the same time. Apart from the classical choices, French sweets and desserts from the era of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy are offered. It is also possible to order from a daily menu, or á la carte, or even have breakfast there. The Gourmet Palace is in the elegant building of the Exchange Palace and the interior tries to reflect this with chandeliers, ceiling frescos, tall mirrors and gildings. It ‘perfectly’ reflects the taste and style of old times (except the weird porcelain pictures on the walls).

interior

The variety of cakes they have was immense, it was hard to make a decision. And even though they were rich in fruit/chocolate/nut creme/mousse, they were delicious! True cake-heaven.

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Dobostorta – traditional Hungarian sponge-cake

Located in the V. district
Open every day from 10.00 – 21.00
Website & Facebook page

No. 2 – The Donut Box

Delicious square shaped donuts – do I need to say more?!

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Donut

Located in the VI. district
Open everyday until 20.08
Website

No. 3 – Gelarto Rosa

A place where you can get rose-shaped scoops of ice cream. Lactose- & sugar-free options are available, but also macarons & cupcakes can be bought there. Unfortunately, due to the rose-shaping of the ice cream it takes forever to get your cone. Also, there are only two options to choose from – 2 or 3 ‘scoops’. Nevertheless, delicious ice cream, good options available and over-the-top interior :D And the more scoops you take the better it looks ;)

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Located in the V. district, next to the Szent Istvan Bazilika
Website & Facebook


(organic) Coffee-Lovers place

Born2Bio

It is one of the biggest bio stores in Budapest in terms of size and variety, offering over 1,200 kinds of gluten-, lactose-, sugar-, and additive-free products, as well as bio, paleo, vegetarian and vegan items, along with medicinal and natural foods, with a focus on environmentally friendly products and fair-trade (found the info online, didn’t memorize it all :D ). The adjacent café is based on a similar concept and offers coffees made from organic ingredients and other beverages as well as cakes and desserts.

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Coffee

Located in the VI. district
Facebook


The bottom line is:
It is possible and very easy (at least it was for me) to find vegetarian food for a very good value-for-money ratio in Budapest. Even local cuisine can be prepared in a vegetarian/vegan way and it still (can) taste delicious! Yes, goulash without meat is very good.


 

Food and Wine – always fine.

What do you do when the weather’s only suboptimal and you haven’t got much to do for university? You go out and try a new place for lunch. Or go to a wine tasting. Why not?! ;)

So at the beginning of the week my friends & I went to a place for lunch that we’ve never been to – Grød. This place specialises in porridge, but has other dishes on its menu as well. There are three Grøds in Copenhagen and one of them is at the Torvehallerne, which is more like a market hall with over 60 stands where you can get a lot of different things – from food to body soap to plants and flowers. It is a great hall to walk around and see all the delicious things that are offered. They even let you try a few of the things for free ;) And it’s right next to Nørreport Station, so very easy to get to.

As it was already around 1pm we all decided to go for a more lunch-like option so Sarah & I had Daal (linsen lentil porridge) and Carina went for a more Risotto-like dish. Our Daal was really good, although I have to admit that I’ve had better ones before. I think the main reason for this was that they put coriander in there and that’s not my favourite spice ;)

MenuDal

What I really really liked were the salted almonds – delicious! :) Carina didn’t like her dish but it had chicken in it so I couldn’t taste it myself – so no comment from my side :D I definitely want to come back and try one of the porridges.

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I spent the rest of the week preparing for university, going on the occasional walk and cooking. Yes, I had a bit more time for cooking and eating healthier again ;) During the past few weeks I haven’t been my usual self and haven’t eaten properly (maybe also due to my laziness and not wanting to go grocery shopping…). So I got back on the healthier side! yay! I even cooked with bulgur for the first time in my life and ate A LOT of fruits :D

Wine tasting
mentioned before that CBS has a Wine Society and I already took part in one of their tastings (Wine Tasting 101). They hosted another event this week and Sarah, Carina, Cecilia and I got tickets for it. The event was held at a wine store in the city centre, at Vinoble St.Petri. Very pretty.

Winetasting_location

We got to try 8 different wines from ‘all around the globe’ (actually 8 different types of grapes from Germany, Italy, France, New Zealand and other places). So 1 champagne, 3 white wines and 4 red wines.

Personally, I almost every time prefer a red wine over a white. This time my favourite was also a red one, organic (first organic one that I’ve ever tried), coming from Germany (more precisely the Pfalz region).

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the best!

The tasting was interesting, we heard (too many) interesting things about wine, how it’s made and other stuff. Fun fact of the evening: there’s an app which tells you if today is a good day for drinking wine. The day of the wine tasting was apparently one of the best days in the month for drinking wine. yay. ;) So to sum it up – we had a lot of fun, it was a great evening with the girls :)

Enjoying the last week of October.

The past week was very relaxed. My boyfriend was visiting me and as I still had to finish my exam on Tesla Motors (yay) we did nothing much exciting during the first couple of days. After handing in my assignment and due to the fact that I only had two classes during the week we had a lot of free time.

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Hi there.

First, we went to Christiansborg Slot as I haven’t been there yet. Christiansborg Slot is a palace on the small island Slotsholmen in the centre of Copenhagen. It is the seat of the Danish parliament and also used by the Danish monarch. It was a very beautiful day, the sun was out and it was not cold at all.

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Guy with an owl.

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Christiansborg Slot

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Selfie in front of the castle

Then we went to an exhibition about Tolkien (mentioned here in a previous blogpost). As we were headed to the Royal Arsenal Museum, which is also on Slotsholmen, we also came across a small beautiful garden.

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A pond in the garden

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Shameless selfie again.


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The Tolkien’s Universe exhibition was about Tolkien and more or less based on the movies Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. However, it was not as exciting as we’d imagined, but we had fun nevertheless and it was free admission, so yeah. And it took us a long time to figure out where the exhibition was located. :D

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After the museum we went to a tower where we’d have a beautiful view over Copenhagen. The tower was also located on Slotsholmen and the entrance was free. Funnily enough, we had to go through a security check just like on an airport in order to go up to the platform. The four or five people working there seemed very happy that someone showed up as there were not many people around to go up the tower.

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After spending a couple of hours on Slotsholmen, we had dinner at a Burger place near Kongens Nytorv – Cocks & Cows, which was recommended to us by a friend of mine (thanks again, Linda (: ) and which was packed the last time my boyfriend was here. The place is really nice, though a bit expensive. However, it was probably the best vegetarian burger that I have ever had!

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A beautiful day in CPH

As I was about to move places, my bike had to be moved as well. We took the chance and explored my new neighbourhood and found a few nice spots. One of it was the Kalvebod Bølge (Kalvebod Waves), a promenade that was opened in 2013 and its purpose is to reconnect the city with the water. It’s worth a visit!

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Beautiful to walk on

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playground?!

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Nice spot

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booh.

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My new neighbourhood, very posh ;)

Later on, as we were already in Christianshavn, we decided to go to the Street Food Market on Papirøen and enjoy Colombian/Thai Food and cakes.

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Very cute boat

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Halloween spirit everywhere

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Bull’s head

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Enjoying cakes

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Underneath a bird.

We also spent quite some time in a Lego store…

On Saturday (the last day that my boyfriend was in town) we had lunch at the Street Food market again – there’s just too much delicious food there! Besides, it was the very first time that I tried a Korean dish and of course I’ve already forgotten the name of it. haha. We also treated ourselves to some delicious Apple Crumble Pancakes. YUM!

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Street food market

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Pancakes!!

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Bird!

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And birds again!

We had a lovely week together that included a lot of food :)

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Last selfie of the post.