Together with my best friend Jordy I did a city trip to Budapest. A few months ago we were planning it. We had a few cities in mind. I viewed them at Happycow (a site that lists vegan (friendly) restaurants from all over the world) and Budapest seemed OK in terms of vegan options.
Do you have to starve as a vegan in Budapest? No, you haven’t!
Just before I left I had investigated more deeply. “Kind OK” in terms of vegan options quickly changed to “wow, I can’t try everything in those few days” 😉 I checked each site and what I liked, I collected it on a map. That way, depending on where we were in Budapest, I could quickly see which vegan restaurant was nearby.
I saw that we would certainly not starve and that I should not put too much food in my suitcase. Fortunately, because it barely closed anyway 😉 I did take a few bars (because it is handy to take with you and you can eat something quickly), and a box of crackers.
Karaván, food trucks with street food and vegan options
We arrived in the evening and after we had put everything in the room and called our parents, we went exploring the area. After walking straight ahead we took a random street and arrived at Karaván, a place with food trucks. We just thought we had a drink there. But when we walked all the way to the back with our drinks to find a standing table, two food trucks caught the eye: “hummus bar” with veggie and vegan things such as wrap with hummus and falafel and “Las vegan’s” one with vegan burgers.
Karaván is open every day from 11:30 am, Mon, Tue, Wed and Sun until midnight and the other days until 2 am.
We both took a burger with resounding names like Lord Seitan and Hot Cheezy and sweet potato fries.
It took some getting used to the prices, since 1 burger costs 1890 HUF, seems like a lot, but is only € 5.8 / $6.6.
You can find Las Vegan’s, apart from Karaván, in 2 other places: Alee street food and Vegan garden
Ask the locals for advice
After our bellies were full we passed a synagogue and then discovered a nice pub Bakelit. The standard beers are half a liter, so you have to specifically ask for less if you want and that is then a 30 cl. That is not only with beer but also with water and soft drinks. In Belgium, the standard is 25 cl.
We were approached by a Hungarian asking from which country we were because they could not immediately understand our language. It turned out that he also spoke Dutch, but because he had learned that in the Netherlands and we were from the Flanders and speaking our local dialect, he didn’t immediately understand us. We talked to him in Dutch for a while. He worked in Budapest for a Dutch firm. We asked him about what we definitely had to see and we received a lot of tips. Like the old town is very beautiful, but you didn’t have to buy anything there because it was much more expensive. And where we certainly did not have to.
The next day we decided to follow his advice and went to see the old part of the town. We both love just walking around a bit and seeing what kind of fun / beautiful things we encounter. So not very planned, no entering, no explanation of guides, but chill walking and still see everything you should see.
On a terrace I ordered coffee and asked if they had “plant-based milk”. At first, they didn’t understand me but then they said: “ah lactose-free?” They had almond, coconut and rice milk. Really cool that on the first terrace you can immediately drink a vegan coffee. Then we visited the Budda Castle.
When we got hungry, we looked around at what was nearby. That was Édeni Vegán. There were a few trays of hot food and soup and you could take a plate with it all. We took that, but when we saw what the person behind us had on his plate, we thought it was a pity because it looked much better.
Ours doesn’t look very delicious, but our bellies were filled and we could take it again for a long walk.
They use fresh and organic ingredients and gluten-free and sugar-free options are also available. The burgers were homemade. You can also get raw food desserts and freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices.
Open every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
There was one restaurant that I definitely wanted to try: Naphéyes. During the preparation, that appealed to me both in terms of menus and in terms of price. The other places where we eat were rather street food or fast food. But Naphéyes is a real restaurant with tables where they brought you and such a menu book where you can browse and then no longer know what to order 😉
Jordy took the grill dish with seitan, zucchini, sweet potato, and a roasted paprika sauce. I had the gluten-free grill dish. That was about the same but with tofu instead of seitan and a soy yogurt sauce. It was really delicious, lots of taste.
We both also had a dessert and that was really “wow!” 🙂
We were both so excited about this restaurant that we wanted to do it again as “the last supper.” So on Sunday, we went back. Jordy took the same as the time before and I took Asian rice noodles. Very beautifully presented and again super tasty.
When we went to pay, Jordy told a waiter that we were from Belgium and that we thought it was so good that we had returned a second time. “Was het lekker? (Dutch for: was it nice?)” He asked, apparently many Hungarians also know some Dutch 😉
There is also a different menu daily. That looked very good, but unfortunately, we were unable to enjoy it. The first time we went there was on Friday and then the menu was until 5 pm, the 2nd time it was until the end but unfortunately, it was sold out. We arrived late, at 9 p.m.
In addition to eating there, you can also buy pastries.
If I could only recommend one place to eat, it is definitely this. Both in terms of food, friendliness of all staff, quiet seating and price, this was just great.
Open every day from 12 noon to 10.30 pm
On Saturday we ate 2x burgers. In my life, I have never eaten so many burgers in such a short time.
At Tökmag you can go for vegan street food. Even if you have to eat gluten-free and without yeast, you can go here. The meals are also sugar-free. Jordy took the mushroom burger, I took the zucchini burger with, among other things, curry/pumpkin cream and we shared sweet potato crisps. The burger was packed with flavor and was also beautiful because it was so colorful.
In addition to the burgers, you can also get sandwiches, soup, and lunch boxes.
Open every day from 9 am to 8 pm
Since I had not slept for 2 nights, the first night at my house because of the tension before departure and the second night a different bed, too soft pillow, and noise. I was walking a bit on autopilot on Saturday. I was really tired. If I wanted to get the evening I really had to be able to rest a little. Because of this, we couldn’t try out a new place to eat, because it was already too late. So we went to Karaván again (open until 2 a.m.) to eat a burger at Las Vegan’s.
Get the most out of the trip
My parents thought I was only eating in Budapest (of course I shared all those goodies on my Instagram) 😉 But apart from a lot of vegan food we also tried to see as much as possible during the day, we walked between 20 and 28 km a day and we were going out in the evening (pub, 90’s party, …)
On Sunday we also did a boat trip and got off at Margaret Island. This was a tip we got from a Canadian girl (who comes to Budapest more often for family). She was sitting next to us in the taxi when we arrived.
There were some ruins on the island, there was a Japanese garden, but certainly, athletes will really enjoy themselves here. There was a 5.3 km of piste around the entire island, there were an outdoor gym, tennis courts and a swimming pool. What was less, however, was that there also appeared to be a mini zoo with deer, among other things. What I did read afterward was that the birds of prey and owls that were staying were wounded and rescued and would not be able to stay alive independently. We stayed 2 hours on the island and then the boat picked us up.
90’s disco party
View old part with a view
searched and found 2 geocaches
View a castle.
Széchenyi thermal baths, inside of the building, ceiling
After that, we first strengthened ourselves at VeganLove. I got this as a tip from an Instagram follower. It opened in 2016 on Gellért square and focuses on both vegans and omnivores. Since 2017 there is also the VeganLove food truck with which they are at festivals. On their facebook page, I read in my best Hungarian 😉 that they are going to take big steps in 2019, new products, their own festival, …
You can choose from many burgers and hot dogs. Jordy took the gyros pita and I the Mexican dog. It looked really nice but I didn’t dare to start because I thought it would be a big mess. I looked around hoping that someone else had a hot dog to see how that person ate it, but unfortunately, all the other people were eating something else. I took my first bite and was surprised that nothing, really nothing moved. And nothing fell out during the entire hot dog. That is really an art to make it that way.
On the wall, there was a wall with plants, which I think would be nice to have at home. At first, I thought it was plastic, but since some of the leaves looked a little brown, I think they were real plants.
Since we had already eaten a lot of burgers I was a little sorry that I did not go for the salad bar because I needed to eat vegetables. But I only saw it when I picked up our order. But the hot dog with tofu sausage, vegan cheddar, guacamole, jalapeno salsa, crumbled tortilla chips, iceberg lettuce, and the smoked paprika sauce was very tasty, so I didn’t regret that much again 😉
Open every day from 11 am to 9 pm
After that, we had enough energy to get on top the Gellért hill. For me personally that was (except for all the vegan food then) the best thing to see. Not only looking at buildings but also making a little effort to get upstairs, among the trees that smelled wonderfully. And you have a beautiful view of the city.
When we came down, it started to rain for the first time. So when we went for a drink in a coffee bar.
You often find these homemade lemonades and ice teas in Budapest.
Before planning the trip to Budapest, I never thought that so many vegan foods were available. I have not been able to do everything yet and should go back sometime for the food alone. 😉
What certainly appeals to me is:
Since 2018 a place with vegan food trucks motivated by veganism and sustainability. Both Las Vegan’s and Napfényes where we had dinner, you can spot here, but also Hideg Nyalat (paleo and vegan) and Vegan street (sweets).
They want to show that vegan can not only be tasty but also very diverse, filling and affordable.
Gluten-free and soy-free dishes are available. There are specials based on seasonal vegetables.
Mon-Fri: 11.30 am to 3 pm and 6 pm to 10 pm
Sat-Sun: 11:30 am – 10:00 pm
Hummusbar has around 14 locations throughout Budapest, including a food truck at Karaván. Most locations also have meat, but you can also eat vegan everywhere and apart from the food truck there are 2 vegetarian locations.
Istvanffi veggie burger
I hadn’t found this during my preparation, but I happened to find it when we walked around. On their website, I see that they only use plant-based ingredients and do not use artificial preservatives and flavors/colors.
Open every day from 11 am to 9 pm
Have you ever been to Budapest, then I am very curious where you started to feast on something? Or maybe after seeing all those food you would like to go to Budapest 😉 Let me know in a comment below.