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 ;)
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.
Mimosa & Toscan omlette with potato wedges
Bloody Mary & French toast
Rice pudding with poppyseeds
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)
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.
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 ;)
Porridge & French toast
Located in the V. district, near the metro station Astoria, on Ferenczy István Street
Open Mon – Sat from 7AM – 7 PM
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 ;)
Located in the Újlipótváros (“New Leopold Town”), in the XIII. district, on Pozsonyi Street
Open everyday between 7.30 and 20.00
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’.
The coffee tasted really good and the croissants were fresh & still warm. Delicious! Also, the staff was really nice.
Open everyday from around 9.00 til 00.00
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.
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
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!
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 ;)
Tasted WAY better than it looked ;)
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).
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.
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?!
Located in the VI. district
Open everyday until 20.08
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 ;)
Located in the V. district, next to the Szent Istvan Bazilika
Website & Facebook
(organic) Coffee-Lovers place
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.
Located in the VI. district
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.