If you’re looking for a vegan Budapest guide, or want to take an incredibly fun and personalized tour then keep reading! This is exactly what you’ve been looking for!
I don’t usually take or enjoy organized tours. It’s certainly not on my list of tips for vegan travelers. Walking around for hours with a group of strangers while being lectured by a guide isn’t my idea of a good time.
Then why did I end up taking a vegan food tour in Budapest? Because I was only visiting Hungary’s capital for a few days, wanted to eat as much vegan food as possible, and didn’t have a lot of time to do research on vegan restaurants in Budapest.
Vegan food tours aren’t that easy to find, despite the fact that there are loads of health food stores and vegan restaurants in Budapest. So, I was thrilled when Judit at Budapest101, told me she could organize a strictly vegan Budapest private tour for me.
Vegan Budapest Food Tour
So, one sunny afternoon Judit and I set off on foot to explore what vegan delights Budapest has to offer. It was exactly the kind of tour I was looking for. It felt more like exploring the city with a local friend than a guide. Judit has been a guide for years and knows the city inside and out. She did an exceptional job showing me not only great vegan restaurants but also incredible coffee shops, health food stores, a local farmers market, and a beautiful ice cream shop.
Every tour Budapest101 creates is different based on what shops are currently open, and your personal requests. So, while I visited the below restaurants, shops, markets, and cafes, your particular tour may vary. Here are the spots I visited.
DISCLAIMER: Judit at Budapest101 was kind enough to provide her tour to us free of charge. We are immensely grateful for her partnership. All thoughts and opinions are our own and formed without any prior agreement of a favorable review.
Vegan Budapest – Napfényes Étterem
Napfényes Étterem is a superb vegan restaurant in Budapest. I couldn’t get enough of this place and went back three or four times after my vegan tour.
What really made me a fan is that they have vegan fried cheese on the menu! It was everything fried cheese should be, ooey-gooey, melty, crunchy, creamy, and salty. I had it every time I went to the restaurant and salivate just thinking of it. Seriously, my mouth just watered.
Napfényes Étterem has a large standard menu and a daily menu to choose from. This sautéed seitan with savory donuts in carrot soup isn’t the most appealing dish to look at but my god it is so good!
On one of my visits (so I could save room for that cheese) I tried the carrot soup with raw crackers, and a fresh apple and beetroot juice. It hit the spot and left enough room to enjoy dessert.
Napfényes Étterem has a huge dessert case! I tried the cherry coffee cake, vanilla cream cake, and another creamy vanilla cake topped with tangy raspberry jam. They were all insanely good so don’t hesitate to try
any all of them.
Bio ABC Health Food Store
Since becoming vegan I’ve developed a deep love for well stocked health food stores. Bio ABC in Budapest is exactly that kind of store.
They have all the typical items you see at a health food store like vitamins, grains, and nuts. They also have vegan versions of traditional Hungarian items like sausages and desserts, and Hungarian made products like vegan ice cream and poppy seed oil.
The staff here are extremely enthusiastic and helpful. It’s a lovely little store so I highly recommend stopping by if you need to stock up on vegan groceries in Budapest or need to satisfy your sweet tooth with a takeaway dessert.
The problem I had with VegaCity is that there are too many tempting dishes to choose from. It’s like trying to figure out which present to open first on Christmas morning! I had such a hard time deciding that I let Judit pick my dishes for me. I wasn’t disappointed!
She chose a veganized version of a traditional Hungarian dish called Krumplis Teszta, which I can only describe as the best fucking idea anyone has ever had when it comes to savory dishes.
Krumplis Teszta is a baked casserole composed of potatoes, pasta, and paprika and is usually served with sour cream (ours came with sunflower seed “sour cream”). I LOVED this creamy, carb-loaded dish.
Hungarians might be as serious about poppy seeds as they are about paprika. The stuff is everywhere. So for dessert we had a raw vegan version of a traditional Strudel filled with the little black seeds called Makos Retes.
The cake was tender and moist and the poppy seed filling was slightly sweet and bitter. Absolutely worth trying when you visit.
Hold Street Market Hall
The Hold Street Market dates back to 1891 and has hundreds of stalls spread out over a few floors. You can find everything from fresh produce, pickled fruits and vegetables, and traditional Hungarian products like paprika and homemade horseradish (which I bought and is perfect slathered on vegan hot dogs).
Even though the market is huge, it has the most calm and tranquil atmosphere of any market I’ve been to so far.
Hungarian Paprika was everywhere, and there are a lot of varieties. It can be confusing which one to buy so I asked Judit for a few tips, which she happily gave me. She said the best and most authentic paprika usually comes in the least attractive and most plain packaging. So don’t be fooled by nice designs and pretty wrapping.
Also, there are two kinds of paprika, sweet and spicy. You can tell the difference by color. The spicy paprika is lighter because the pepper seeds and veins are included in the blend, and the sweet paprika is darker because it only includes the flesh of the pepper.
Checking for Poisonous Mushrooms
Did you know that Hungarians are obsessed with mushrooms and mushroom hunting? Don’t worry, I didn’t either.
They’re pretty skilled foragers but the task can be a deadly activity if you pick and consume the wrong kind. Not wanting to lose any of their citizens to mushroom poisoning, the Hungarian government opened an office in the market where foragers can bring their shrooms to and have them analyzed by an expert free of charge.
Even before we got to the bottom of the stairs a strong smell invaded our nostrils. Turns out the basement of the market is reserved for the more “stinky” items like fish and pickled food.
We visited a stall with a myriad of pickled items to choose from including pickled baby watermelon! Of course I had to try one. It was probably the most sour things I’ve ever eaten, yet it was still enjoyable. If you’re an adventurous eater, give them a try. It was a really nice way to end our tour of the Belvárosi Piac market.
Levendula Ice Cream Shop
Levendula Ice Cream Shop has a few locations around Budapest and one is conveniently located just a hop, skip, and a jump from the market.
They have several vegan flavors like chocolate chili, watermelon, mint berry, and arugula strawberry. They even have vegan, gluten free cones! All the shops are decorated in lavender and have a basked adorned bicycle out front.
Their ice cream was delicious, and the perfect treat on a hot summer day.
Vegan Budapest – Mantra Specialty Coffee Minibar
Budapest has a long love affair with coffee that started in the 16th century with the Turkish occupation. By the 1900’s there were over 600 coffee houses in the city. Unfortunately, many of the nicer ones disappeared during communist times.
Recently, however, trendy coffee shops focusing on various brew techniques have been popping up across Budapest. Like every good America, I enjoy drip coffee more than its espresso style cousin (apologies to my Italian friends) so these shops are a dream come true.
We visited a number of coffee shops on our tour but decided to have a few cups at Mantra Specialty Coffee Minibar. Kristian, the owner and barista, brewed three cups of the dark stuff for us using different techniques: Aeropress, Chemex, and a pour over. The differences in color and taste were subtle but nonetheless noticeable.
This guy really knows what he is doing when it comes to coffee. He uses high quality beans, prepares each cup with love and care, and even serves them in large bulbous glasses which, as with wine, makes it easier to enjoy the aroma. Be sure to stop by if you need a fancy pick-me-up.
Final Thoughts on the Vegan Tour of Budapest
At the end of the tour my belly was full, my feet were tired, and my soul was all warm and fuzzy. Judit is an incredible tour guide and I’d recommend her to anyone visiting Budapest, vegan or not. Be sure to check out the Budapest1010 website for more details about her tours and to book one with her. Oh and be sure to mention us when you do.
More Vegan Budapest Restaurants
Although I have not had the chance to visit these vegan restaurants in Budapest, Judit recommends them!
Vegażżi Nápolyi Pizzéria – Vegan Pizza in Budapest
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If you’ve been to Naples you know there is no better place to feast on pizza. Some might say, however, that Vegażżi Nápolyi Pizzéria is your second best option.
Established in 2017 this Neapolitan style plant-based pizza restaurant has gotten quite a reputation…the good kind. Their perfectly crispy crust is baked the right way, in a wood-fired oven! It’s topped with classics like cheese (vegan of course), basil, garlic, olive oil, pesto, and of course mushrooms.
If you’re craving vegan pizza in Budapest, this is the place to go!
Note: the restaurant is temporarily closed as of January 2020 for renovations. So, check their website before heading there!
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This vegan gastropub opened in 2019. Szabad filled the need for a cozy nighttime spot that offers comfort food and drinks in Budapest.
This lovely spot offers up vegan versions of local cuisine like hortobágyi palacsinta (stuffed pancakes) and goulash, stuffed cabbage, as well as American favorites like hotdogs, and burgers. Additionally, draft and bottled beer, wine, shots, and long drinks are all the menu too.
If you’re looking for a top rated vegan restaurant in Budapest, with delicious comfort food and great drinks, then look no further!
VeganLove – Vegan Streetfood
If it’s vegan street food you’re looking for, head straight to VeganLove in Budapest. This joint is serving a wide variety of vegan burgers, hot dogs, chicken burgers, gyros, fries, and even donuts! They even have gluten-free options and a self-serve salad bar!
Tökmag Vegan Street Food
If you just can’t get enough vegan street food, there is another option in Budapest. Tökmag Vegan Street Food.
The menu is simple – burgers, fries, sandwiches, and lunchboxes. Don’t let that deceive you. They are one of the top rated vegan restaurants in Budapest, according to HappyCow. So you know it’s gotta be good!
Flow Specialty Coffee Bar & Bistro
This vegetarian cafe has a reputation for serving up huge portions! Their desserts are delectable, and their coffee comes with oat milk by default!
The focus of Flow is quality and clean food. If you fancy gnocchi made of purple potatoes with fried mushrooms and steamed cabbage, or chestnut cream soup with dried plums and salt caramel, or green spicy quinoa with fur birch and parsley sauce sound good to you, give it a try!