Veg food in Budapest: where to find it and where to eat the best

Leggi in Italiano 

I’ve already said that and here I go again: after travelling for almost 20 years and being a vegetarian for 15 years now, Budapest has definitely been the only place where I’ve eaten better and more.

It’s not just a matter of care for vegetarians (also, but not only).

It’s not just a matter of veg food being part of the local tradition (also, but not only).

It’s the attitude towards food, the way it is served and, above all, seasoned, that made it particularly tasty to me.

One more thing: you’ll read or hear about Budapest not being veg friendly as a Hungarian city. I suggest you question this assumption.

The fact that the Hungarian cooking comes from a Magyar tradition doesn’t mean that it has no variety. There are actually some tasty and simpler vegetable alternatives as well as centuries-old contaminations. And, last but not least, please remember that Budapest is a (wonderful) capital.

Budapest offers veg alternatives as well as local dishes for vegetarians and vegans almost everywhere. I’ve never had to fill my stomach with fries as usual in case of emergency, not even once.

Let me tell you about the places where I’ve eaten and what I suggest you try in your next trip to Budapest even if you are a vegetarian like me.




What to look for and taste

As I’ve already mentioned, soups are among the things I like the most about Hungarian food and you generally have them as first course, before anything else.

They are usually cream soups of hot and light “stuff”, with not that much onion as in many eastern European countries, but with oil and boiled, blended raw ingredients, mainly seasoned with pepper and paprika.

Here are some examples.

Broccoli cream soup
called BROKKOLI KRÉMLEVES and pronounced broccoli crémlevesci

crema di broccoli ungherese che cosa mangiare a budapest se sei veg

This is also a treat I will soon cook at home and include in an Instragram story (follow me on Instagram and don’t miss these goodies).

It’s basically a broccoli and potatoes cream soup with a tolerable amount of onion mixed with sour cream (a spoonful) and nutmeg. Sometimes they serve it with almonds and roasted nuts on top.

Pumpkin cream soup

called SÜTŐTÖK KRÉMLEVES and pronounced sciutotoc crémlevesci

zuppa di zucca e zenzero - piatto ungherese cose da mangiare a budapest

I know you vegan friends love pumpkin and feel extremely excited when you hear the word “ginger”. Well, now think of a mix of these two ingredients with the addition of a hint of cognac. Lastly, the nutmeg is usually added to the final mix (the omnivorous alternative has smoked bacon on top, which makes no sense to me not just for ethical reasons but for its taste. Anyway, there’s no accounting for taste…)

Mushroom soup
called GOMBALEVES and pronounced gombalevesci. 

Lo avevo già detto, e lo ribadisco: in quasi 20 anni di viaggi, di cui 15 da vegetariana, Budapest è stato il posto in cui ho mangiato meglio e di più. Non è solo una questione di attenzione ai vegetariani (anche, ma non solo). Non è solo questione di cibo veg presente nella tradizione locale (anche, ma non solo). Si tratta anche un un’attitudine al cibo, al modo in cui viene servito e, soprattutto, condito, che me lo ha reso particolarmente gradevole. Quest’ultima caratteristica non si applica solo al cibo veg ma anche, ad esempio, al #gulasch, che in #Ungheria è più leggero e gradevole e digeribile che in #Polonia (così mi Han detto gli onnivori). Altra cosa: sentirete dire o leggerete qui e là che Budapest, in quanto città ungherese, non è #vegfriendly. Vi invito a mettere in discussione questo assunto. Adesso ti dico dove ho mangiato e che cosa ti suggerisco di assaggiare nel tuo prossimo viaggio a Budapest se anche tu sei vegetariana, like me. Allora su, scopri che cosa puoi mangiare di buono e dove a #Budapest. (#linkinbio👉💻 )

Un post condiviso da sabrina (@sabrina_barbante) in data:


Some prepare it with cultivated button mushrooms but several restaurants serve it with wild mushrooms such as porcini mushrooms, field mushrooms, oyster mushrooms and chanterelles. This dish is not only about mushrooms but also vegetables with a delicate taste, potatoes and the ever-present sweet paprika, pepper and nutmeg. I’ve tried it also with thickened milk and cheese crust at the Vakvarjù ètterem Pest, in the Jewish quarter, and it was delicious!

Combined with tapas, eggplants appetizers cooked in different ways and hot bread, your lunch will make you feel good, full but also able to go for a walk once over (and even to sleep well at night).

tapas di melanzane a budapest - cosa mangiare a budapest se sei veg

About mushrooms 

Mushrooms and paprika are a quite common eating habit for veg people in Budapest. For instance, porcini mushrooms breaded with breadcrumbs, flour and sweet paprika (an essential ingredient for the Hungarian GDP, as far as I understood) are the celebrities of local cruelty free cooking.

Or you can try the Gombapörkölt, mushrooms cooked with paprika cream and served with boiled potatoes.

You’ll find a good one at the Frici Papa, in the Jewish quarter, a very popular place even among locals.

Goat and/or Trappista cheese (on a bed of things)

sandwich con formaggio di capra - cibi veg a budapest
my cheese vegetarian hamburger lookin sandwich at Szimpla

Another thing for vegetarians yet off-limits for vegans is goat cheese.

It’s used to prepare bread rolls along with dips and vegetables or served in a plate on a bed of either cooked or raw vegetables, or eggplant pâté.

I’ve tasted it both with an olive oil sweet bread roll with fresh vegetables (like those used for hamburgers) at the Szimpla (the most famous among the Ruin Pubs of the Jewish quarter, that I’m going to talk about very soon in a dedicated post) and at the First, an American pub in the same neighbourhood.




I’ve also tried it served in a plate with fresh vegetables at one of the most beautiful rooftop bars I’ve ever been to, the rooftop bar of the Fisherman’s Bastion.  

Here you’ll find a beautiful view both in the morning and in the evening, with the Danube river, red roofs and the Parliament building.

Then there’s the breaded and fried Trappista cheese, served with potatoes, vegetables or rice, based on the availability or individual taste.

Street food and let’s get nasty with fried food

All the food above can be served with the typical Hungarian dumpling, làngos, which is basically a pancake of fried dough.

Oftentimes, the pubs and restaurants serve it with no addition, just fried dough. The most local version is sold down the street though, stuffed with onion cream and/or cheese and/or sour cream. The best and most famous one can be tasted at the Retro Lángos/ Arany János Metró állomás

It is also a cornerstone of local street food, along with the tökipompos, which looks like flat bread or America pizza, deep dish and stuffed with anything. There can be anything on top, from meat to vegetables, onion and shoe sole, covered and hidden by molten cheese. You’d better ask for the ingredients and if the zsír is included in the dough, that is lard, used in many regional versions.

The best place to try local street food is Vörösmarty square




Do you know any other vegetarian food to try in Budapest? Let me know so that I can look for it during my next trip; it can be really useful to the readers of this post who are about to leave to Hungary.

29 pensieri riguardo “Veg food in Budapest: where to find it and where to eat the best

  • febbraio 13, 2018 in 8:11 pm
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    It’s funny, I was just in India and I certainly didn’t have this problem in the slightest! That being said, it’s great to know where to food good veg food in any major city!

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  • febbraio 13, 2018 in 5:41 pm
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    This food looks fantastic! I am not vegetarian, but I love vegetables in everything! The mushrooms look so delicious, and the broccoli soup, oh my gosh! Also that pumpkin soup. I love that they use paprika in everything, it’s one of my favorite spices, YUM! Mouth watering over here!

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  • febbraio 13, 2018 in 1:21 pm
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    Beautiful buildings, lots of history and great food! Sounds amazing. Budapest has been on my list of places to visit for a while now, but reading your review, makes me want to go there sooner rather than later.

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  • febbraio 12, 2018 in 6:33 pm
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    My friend, the one that I travel with the most, is a vegetarian, so while we were in Budapest we tried most of the food that you mention here, and I remember that she loved it.

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  • febbraio 12, 2018 in 12:20 pm
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    I am not a vegan, but I prefer healthy food. I would definitely try most of these options while travelling in Budapest.

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  • febbraio 11, 2018 in 10:41 pm
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    My my, being a vegetarian myself, it looks like I have to plan a trip to Budapest soon. 🙂 Tha pumpkin soup looks delish, I think I’ll give it a try sans the cognac. 😉

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  • febbraio 11, 2018 in 6:52 pm
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    Knowing how food in the Balkans can be – meaty, very meaty! – this is definitely a helpful post when travelling Budapest (as soon as they get rid of Mr. Orban that is 😉 )

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  • febbraio 11, 2018 in 6:21 pm
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    I’ve never thought of Budapest as a good place for veggies! I haven’t visited yet but plan to, thanks so much for your guide 🙂

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  • febbraio 11, 2018 in 7:54 am
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    That pumpkin soup looks ahhhhhmazzzing! I love vegetarian food and I am glad that Budapest has some great veg options. 🙂

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  • febbraio 10, 2018 in 9:18 pm
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    It is important that anyone consuming any veggies should consume a healthy one, I love veggies but am not a vegetarian. That cheese vegetarian hamburger looks delicious.

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  • febbraio 10, 2018 in 6:45 pm
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    Wooow, such vibrant healthy colors!! That Pumpkin soup is really calling my name. Cognac, seriously??? I’m in love!!

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  • febbraio 10, 2018 in 5:13 pm
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    These are some healthy food to enjoy while in Budapest. I’ve never had a broccoli soup before. And the tomino di capra looks deli! 😀

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  • febbraio 10, 2018 in 9:50 am
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    Pumpkin Cream Soup is a very delicious option. Though I have seen people smirking in the name of Pumpkin whenever they hear Pumpkin soup, but it is actually yummy. The burger also looks tempting to me 🙂

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  • febbraio 10, 2018 in 9:02 am
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    Both the pumpkin soup and the burger look delicious! I eat veggies most of the time but I am not a vegetarian. I’d love to see Budapest!

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    • febbraio 10, 2018 in 4:36 pm
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      I love people eating veggie despite not been veg because this makes much easier for those who eat veggies to have something good to taste! Mass makes criticism 🙂

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  • febbraio 10, 2018 in 3:47 am
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    The food there looks amazing. I know this one place I’ll probably never to visit, but it’s cool learning more about it!

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  • febbraio 9, 2018 in 11:32 pm
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    I love the food in Budapest and I’m glad you found some vegan options. I’m not vegan but they look really good, would try the pumpkin cream soup for sure!

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  • febbraio 9, 2018 in 11:12 pm
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    That pumpkin soup looks so good! I would love to try the local street food too. This was a great post! Thanks for sharing!

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    • febbraio 10, 2018 in 4:40 pm
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      the street food I had in Budapest is the evidence that being veggie is not always matched with eating healthy hahaha, but it was great indeed!

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  • febbraio 9, 2018 in 10:42 pm
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    It is indeed important to consume quality veggies and know where they actually came from. I’ll keep this in mind when I go to Budapest.

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  • febbraio 9, 2018 in 3:43 pm
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    That pumpkin soup looks amazing! Dang it…so hours til lunch time

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