- 9 Feb 2024 11:13 AM
- We Love Budapest
1. Tahina Bite
1077 Budapest, Wesselényi utca 2.
We first visited this vegan spot on Wesselényi utca (near the Great Synagogue) in the spring of 2021 and we've been obsessed ever since. While Tahina Bite is not eye-catching from the outside, trust us, it's well worth a visit.
You can't go wrong with their hummus, baba ghanoush, muhammara, various salads, sandwiches, and bowls (even made from superfoods): they're juicy, fresh, and delicious. Their falafel is also a must-try, it even made our favourite falafel list!
2. Hÿgge Bistro
1027 Budapest, Frankel Leó út 20.
Opened in November, and on a temporary break until the spring, Hÿgge Bistro serves the Frankel Leó út area with amazing, delicious, plant-based dishes. Chef Dávid Tikos has also won a place in the professional category of the Free-from Chef of the Year competition, which is one of the reasons why you'll find such complex dishes here.
During Veganuary, they try to help those who participate – not only by replenishing our depleted stocks but also by sharing a recipe every day on their Facebook page. The menu changes often, so there's always something new, even if you're a frequent visitor.
Update: The place is temporarily closed and will reopen in the spring.
3. Szabad Bisztró
1077 Budapest, Király utca 101.
Szabad Bisztró is the city's first vegan pub, created by a talented team that proved itself in other restaurants previously.
The cosy Király utca venue serves street food, but in addition to a variety of burgers, dirty fries, and Balkan non-meat balls, you can also try a veGambas al ajillo (chilli and garlic dumplings). You can also come for a daily menu.
In the summer of 2023, a new unit was added: Szabad Új Hely next to the Rákóczi Square Market Hall, also waiting for those who are open to vegan experiences.
4. VegaKuckó Vegetarian Food Workshop and Canteen
1093 Budapest, Boráros tér 3.
VegaKuckó, conveniently located on the line of tram 4 and 6 (on Boráros tér), is a reliable vegetarian and vegan food bar with homemade Hungarian, Italian, Indian, and Greek-inspired dishes. You can choose from a different menu every day, available at affordable prices.
The service is friendly and welcoming, a combination that is reason enough to return from time to time.
5. The Planteen
1031 Budapest, Záhony utca 7.
Located in a modern office area in Buda, Graphisoft Park, Planteen is not only a plant-based vegan food canteen but also the definition of sustainability. They prepare a simple but great menu every day and are eager to prove that regular meat-based dishes can be just as enjoyable and delicious without animal products.
There is nothing of animal origin, they use seasonal ingredients wherever possible, and there is no plastic – even their coffee is imported without packaging. Moreover, all furniture is recycled, their kitchen waste is taken away by the Graphisoft Park gardeners and used for compost, and the leftover food is donated to the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta.
6. Szelence Café
1013 Budapest, Pauler utca 8.
Szelence Café is a small gem in Budapest's 1st district. It is a family business where the Vető family welcomes you in their former home, among self-made furniture and textiles. Everyone has their own job to do: the experimental vegetarian (and constantly changing) dishes are prepared daily by the mother, skilfully balancing between new-wave and old-fashioned flavours.
The desserts are raw, vegan, free from flour, dairy, and sugar, and – along with all the other dishes – show a love of cooking, baking, and hospitality. The place has a charm that makes you want to come back again and again, even with a child or a dog. Szelence Café is also a community space, with frequent workshops and events.
7. Madal Food
1054 Budapest, Alkotmány utca 4/B
Along with good coffee and good karma comes good food in Madal's Alkotmány utca unit. This is their only spot where you can get more substantial dishes, and it's also the country's first vegan pasta bar.
Madal Food offers a choice of 2 sauces every day (and even gluten-free pasta), but the menu also includes plant-based pizzas and quesadillas, and a different soup every day. Not to mention a speciality coffee to extend your lunch break.
8. Tökmag Vegan Street Food
1136 Budapest, Hollán Ernő utca 5.
Tökmag has been a popular spot for years and for good reason. It's characterised by powerful flavours, whether it's the soup of the day, burgers, or sandwiches. Because of its gluten content, the vegan favourite, seitan, is discarded in favour of a meat substitute made from coriander beetroot, mushrooms or pumpkin, grated carrot, and spices.
All this is complemented with spicy and imaginative ingredients and creams – we would recommend a sweet potato chip with minty cashew or a smoked paprika dip. The hedonism can be enhanced with vegan cakes, and the food can be enjoyed on the terrace of Ernő Hollán utca or in the basement area.
9. Vegan Garden
1061 Budapest, Király utca 8–10.
Vegan Garden started out in a 7th district garden space, where we often stopped to sample meat-free steaks, burgers, or quesadillas prepared in food trucks. By 2020, the food court had outgrown its space and moved closer to Deák Ferenc tér, to Central Passage, taking vegan catering to the next level. Today, you can eat multi-course menus in a spacious and design-rich space, surrounded by Buddha statues, macramé planters, and a fully grown tree.
From Caesar salad, bean goulash soup, and ramen to beetroot risotto and Brassói (a dish made of small-cut pork and seasoned potatoes), Hungarian and international dishes fill the menu. Alongside the food, the drinks are 100% vegan, meaning coffee comes with oat milk as standard, and cocktails are made with no animal ingredients of any kind.
10. EPOCH Vegan Burger
1053 Budapest, Királyi Pál utca 20.
EPOCH Vegan Burger, once known as Istvánffi Veggie Burger, opened as the country's first vegan burger spot back in 2013. And it has been a family-run business ever since. All the ingredients for the burgers, from the buns to the sauces, are made in-house and can be sampled near Kálvin tér.
If you are after simple, delicious and most importantly animal-free fast food, this is the place to go.
1065 Budapest, Hajós utca 12.
The tiny spot, which opened in the summer near the Basilica, aims to promote sustainable veganism to improve physical health and reduce our ecological footprint. The place may be small, but the team of three does their job with a big heart and an even bigger smile, so you can quickly feel that you are not in a restaurant, but in the kitchen of a good friend.
They serve delicious smoothies and breakfast bites in the mornings, a daily changing lunch menu, and a weekly vegetable stew.
12. Hummus Bar
1136 Budapest, Hollán Ernő utca 6.
Hummus Bar is the place that has slowly introduced Budapest to the concept of hummus and falafel since its opening in 2005. We're confident to go here for a predictably good hummus experience: we know the falafel balls will be sufficiently crispy and the sausages will have just enough coriander.
Hummus Bars' presence sprouts like wildflowers, so it's not hard to come across a shop in town. The restaurants on Ernő Hollán utca and Nagymező utca offer only vegetarian dishes, while the other units have added meat to their menus – but they also have a full meat-free selection.
13. Hippeace by Főzelékesferi
1072 Budapest, Klauzál tér 11.
Főzelékes Feri's name is synonymous with new-wave cooking – he's taught a generation what a 21st-century cook is like when it's done right. At the end of December, he opened a test kitchen on the ground floor of the Klauzál Square Market Hall.
The menu changes daily: two soups, three vegetable stews, and a topping, all spiced up with crunchy seeds and fresh greens. Consult Feri about what fits in with your vegan January project, as he sometimes includes dairy in his soups or vegetable stews, so you better ask him, but 80% of the offer is vegan, so there will be more options to choose from.
1037 Budapest, Jászai Mari tér 4/B
Nemsüti is one of Budapest's first vegetarian salad and sandwich bars. Today, it offers plant-based lunches in three locations, Hold utca, Jászai Mari tér, and Klauzál tér. With a multi-course menu that changes daily, you'll find that meat-free cuisine can be varied and rich.
Thai and Italian-inspired dishes are often included in the options, in small and large versions. The small portion is really small, so if you arrive hungry, go for the large. Although it's a bit pricy, everything is tasty and fresh.
15. Flow Specialty Coffee Bar & Bistro
1061 Budapest, Andrássy út 66.
Flow is the place where you might find it hard to decide whether to go for the speciality coffee or a fresh, seasonal, plant-based dish first. Neither is worth skipping, as this coffee bar and bistro on Andrássy út is solid at both.
The creative and daily changing lunch menu, weekend brunch, or even the pastries can be enjoyed in the rustic, loft-like space (or on the patio in the courtyard in good weather).
Source: Welovebudapest - republished with permission
Main photo: courtesy of Vegan Garden Budapest