Good news first: beautiful Budapest will not disappoint you if you’re a vegan or vegetarian. On the contrary, the plant-eating part of the population will love Budapest for its openness and great food. You will be positively surprised!
Grocery shopping & markets
Whether you’re a good cook or not: Budapest has various opportunities for you to find vegetarian and vegan groceries. Especially the bigger conventional supermarkets have a decent selection of basics such as plant-based milk or tofu products. There are also some specialized shops in Budapest, such as Bio-Barát Biobolt or Diéta Life Markets all over the city. The drugstores DM and Rossmann also have a decent selection. Here you can find vegetarian sausages and cheese, nutritional yeast and even pre-made meals. Make sure to also visit the lovely organic foods market in Buda, every Saturday at Csörsz utca (MOM Park).
Breakfast, coffee, lunch, dinner or desert: Budapest has too many great vegetarian and vegan places to mention. Although your choices at regular restaurants, especially as a vegan, might be somewhat limited: so far every single place has been very friendly and accommodating. Most places clearly list their ingredients, some even with symbols, so you do not always have to ask if your food is harming the planet more than necessary. I recommend doing research before going out for dinner and lunch, but so far, all coffee places I’ve been at had at least one alternative for milk. Even at the traditional Ruszwurm Confectionary (looking back at 200 years of history) you can get a vegan cake nowadays.
Budapest has also lots of places that are specifically dedicated to vegan or vegetarian food, such as the burger place Vegan Love or the breakfast and lunch place Slow Foodiez (see picture). Budapest has also made me fall in love with hummus all over again: there are great hummus places in various price categories all over town. Hummus is healthy, delicious and vegan, so it’s become my personal go-to food here in Budapest. Find a list of some of my favourite places below!
As our university is filled with open people from all over the world, you will most certainly find allies in surviving Hungary as a vegan or vegetarian. The community is generally really helpful when it comes to sharing recommendations and experiences, so it is always worth asking!
Especially on the ground floor Café at Nador 15 you will always find great options: several milk-alternatives, vegan and raw cakes, and much more. Unfortunately the cafeteria on the 2nd floor has limited options and charges the same price for meat and vegetarian options. Remarkably often you will find them serving fried cheese as a meat alternative.
Conclusion: Whether you are a vegetarian, vegan or just want to decrease your animal product consumption, Budapest has a lot to offer. And even if you sometimes only have one option on a menu, try to see the positive: this way you radically decrease the time you need to order food!
Short list of my favorite places:
Slow Foodiez Restaurant
Kozmosz Vegán Étterem
Olive Tree Hummus Original
Mennyország szíve bio shop and restaurant
Great Bistro – Vegan Restaurant
By Stefanie Berendsen, Mespom student in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy at CEU.