Budapest, simply put, was food heaven. Either that or I was always hungry (which I usually am – writing this as I stuff down a whole packet of Oreos). Contrary to my hilarious and overcomplicated Japanese experience, our eat-outs in Budapest went by without any mishaps. A quick look at Happy Cow for vegan-friendly restaurants in the city – so I wouldn’t starve – generated several possibilities, each that looked more tempting than the other. Our (my) original plan of cooking for ourselves, since our accommodation offered that possibility, just never happened, mostly because we were out till very late everyday and eating out wasn’t as expensive as we (I) initially thought it would be. I didn’t get to try out Hungarian cuisine; there was this place I read about which served a vegan version of the lángos, Hungarian fried bread usually topped with sour cream and grated cheese, but we never did make it there (excuse to go back?). We spent most of our time around Kálvin tér, so most of the places (listed below) we ate at tended to be not far from there or the sights. We did end up coming back home every single night stuffed as hell, so that’s a good sign right?
Jen took me to this one when I said I was starving and that I loved hummus. I’m not sure which one we went to but they have several branches and I learned you’re never far away from delicious hummus and falafel from anywhere you are in the city. Jen and I got to know each other even better over a bowl of Msabbaha (mine), what I would call a gourmet version of the hummus served with warm pita bread and a piece of chocolate baklava (hers).
We were served homemade lemonade shots whilst we were waiting for our (my) food, which probably rekindled my hummus addiction. I’m glad I didn’t have to decipher Hungarian on my first day (actually didn’t have to at all because people spoke English everywhere I went) since the menu was in English and the staff really friendly. I probably went on about how hot Hungarian accents are for a while too, oops. Sorry, Jen!
Kepiro U 6, Budapest, 1053
This was our first stop for breakfast on our first full day. We hadn’t had time to go to the supermarket and get some bread so I suggested going there. It was a tiny cosy and interesting cafe as well as a bike rental shop located on a cute pedestrian alley: a good place to stop by in the morning or during the day to recharge before taking on the sights. PC had cheesecake whilst I went for two of their mini raw nuts and date cakes, and coffee of course.
Some of their baked products are not labelled as being vegan so they would attract more non-vegans as well. The staff spoke quite good English so will point out what is in everything, so just ask. When I went, the nut and date cake was the only vegan option but they told me they were making some chocolate and chilli cake which I unfortunately didn’t get to try. They also offer plant-based milk for the drinks although I’ve always been a black coffee type of girl so no worries there.
Kiralyi Pal 13/A , Budapest, 1053
PC and I are always up for Thai food and since I don’t get to eat plain white rice as much as I would want to in Turkey, I always tend to choose rice over noodles at any Asian restaurant I visit. I went for the “Kuang Lang” which was yellow curry based with coconut milk and vegetables. PC dared to go for dessert after the big portions we had just had and I have to say, I probably would have eaten the coconut milk based rice pudding with mango he ordered if I had any space left in my tummy. Thank goodness for someone that I didn’t.
Baross utca 4, Budapest 1085
I had my second breakfast there on one of the days after a stop at the Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library because I just couldn’t resist. I probably had, hands down, my best bagel ever there. From what I read, the bagels are freshly baked as small batches are baked several times throughout a day to guarantee freshness and the fillings sourced from the local market as much as possible.
I went for the avocado one and requested to not have the cream cheese, which they didn’t seem to mind. We sat outside at the rustic makeshift table taking in some vitamin D before continuing on to National Hungarian Museum.
Kálvin tér 5, Budapest 1053
Budapest seems to be budding with Asian restaurant. We came across this one just after having lunch at Tao, another restaurant down the road. The only difference was that this was a completely vegetarian restaurant, with most of the meals being vegan. I was saving myself to have some ice cream later but PC went for a mango smoothie which was amazing, we were asked if we wanted cow or soya milk when ordering. The staff was also very enthusiastic and helpful, which made our experience even better.
We decided to go for the extra large plate option (because of course) which allowed for one side dish and three main ones. To be honest, the regular plate would probably have been enough for me. My favourites were probably the BBQ seitan with black pepper, sweet and sour seitan and the fried spicy taro balls. I got myself some raspberry and cheesecake flavoured ice cream afterwards which wasn’t too bad. Pity they were out of chocolate.
Which of these have you or would you try? I’d give a go at any of them anytime!