Goulash (a meat and vegetable stew), Töltött Káposzta (mince-stuffed cabbage) and Túrós Csusza (cheese and bacon noodles) are some of the dishes that come to mind when thinking of Budapest’s food scene. But this meat-centric approach might just be something of the past. All over the city, local restaurants and cafes are increasingly catering to vegan trends. Here we look at some of the hotspots in the Hungarian capital that have catapulted veganism into the limelight.
There may be pastries filled with creams, sizzling meats and lots of other non-vegan delicacies for sale on street corners across Budapest, but there are plenty of vegan foods to enjoy, too. Visit one of the corn-on-the-cob stalls which sell piping-hot corn smothered with salt, pepper, chilli or cinnamon, for delicious food on-the-go.
Located at the bottom of Castle Hill, Édeni has a great selection of raw cakes, courgette bakes and vegetarian burgers. It doesn’t just offer the standard vegan fare though, often playing around with Hungarian specialities (such as stuffed peppers, for example) on a menu that’s designed for ethical-eaters.
Perfect for vegans who love to party, the Hummus Bar is one of the few vegetarian diners that keeps it doors open ‘till late. Most of its dishes are admittedly geared towards vegetarians rather vegans, but there’s still enough hummus and pita, soups and salads on sale to satisfy even the hungriest vegan.
Located in a former wine cellar, Napfenyes Étterem is one of two Napfenyes restaurants (the Erzsebetvaros sister property specialises in pizza) in Budapest that serves top-quality vegan food. Loved by vegans all over the city for its daily specials board, cabbage rolls, bean soups and dark, rich coffees, the atmosphere – chatty but not crowded – makes dining here a real treat.
Feeding the ravenous yogi who emerge from Ashtanga classes at the back of the Atma Centre, Atma focuses on vegetarians but provides excellent vegan fare, too. More inventive than its competition, highlights include chickpea and tomato Sabji, which may explain why its front-door often has a 30-strong queue spilling out at lunch-times.
Head to Fruccola at Kristofter for a lunch you won’t forget in a hurry. Selling delicious vegan plates like the “Olla Gitana” (carrot, pumpkin, chickpeas, green beans, mint, pear, tomato and beans), as well as fresh lemonades and juices, customers love that its left-over food always goes to local charities and social projects.
A dainty café off Muzeum Konut road, Dynamo Bake rents bikes and sells baked goods down a little cobblestone alley. Not technically a vegan location per se, nonetheless, the Portuguese owner loves her black-bean brownies and vast assortment of vegan milks almost as much as her bikes.