When my friends heard I was going to Hungary, many of them expressed concern for how I was going to maintain my vegan diet in a country that relies so heavily on meat and dairy. I told them not to worry and that I always find a way to stay happy and full. Much to my surprise (and theirs!) I was able to eat exclusively at 100% vegan restaurants while in Budapest! The vegan community in Hungary is thriving and growing, and I was lucky to be able to taste some of it's creations.
Our first stop in Budapest was VegaCity, an entirely vegan cafeteria-style eatery with a variety of hot dishes, burgers, salads, and desserts. I ordered their potato lasagna, a cheesy mozzarella stick, and a lemon bar for dessert. The lasagna was filling and hearty but lacked a depth of flavor. It could've benefitted from a pesto sauce and some veggies! It kept me full all day long though, so I can't complain too much! The cheesy mozzarella stick was indulgent, gooey, and creamy. I definitely recommend getting an order of those! After my filling savory meal, I was craving something sweet and the lemon bar kept calling my name from the dessert case. Unfortunately, it left something to be desired. It didn't specify that it was sugar-free but I swear it tasted like Splenda. VegaCity is a bustling, bright lunchtime eatery with affordable prices and an option for everyone!
Muzeum Krt 23-25, Budapest, 1053
After a full day of exploring the city of Budapest, we were super hungry and ready for a late dinner. We sprinted to Kosmosz before they closed and they were happy to serve us even though they were meant to be shutting down for the night shortly thereafter. My friend Averi and I split the spaghetti bolognese, the seitan "lamb" gyros, and a Hungarian bean goulash stew. The spaghetti bolognese was a HUGE portion! Definitely enough for two people to split without ordering anything else. It was a hearty dish but didn't "wow" either of us. The spaghetti noodles were a bit overcooked and the sauce needed an extra kick of flavor--some chili peppers or a bit of garlic would have done the trick. The seitan gyros were super delicious, though! It came with a creamy vegan tzatziki sauce and veggies. You build your own sandwich using the ingredients they provide! It was filling and flavorful. Even though we would have been set with just the gyros and spaghetti, we were keen to try a typical Hungarian dish and pushed ourselves and our stomachs to eat the bean goulash stew. It was warm, aromatic, and flavored distinctly with paprika. We both really enjoyed it! Kozmosz is a bit pricier than other Budapest restaurants but still is quite affordable, especially considering the portion sizes. Go to Kozmosz hungry, leave super, super happy.
Hunyadi ter 11, Budapest, H1067
Other notable vegan eateries in Budapest
Edeni Vegan: buffet style, a bit pricey, slow service, but hearty and filling vegan food.