Instead of titling this post “Babymoon: Vegan Food in Budapest, Hungary,” I really should call it “Burgers in Budapest” because of how many vegan burgers I ate during our 4 days in Hungary. I really did eat a vegan burger every day and they all were incredible! Thankfully, Brett and I ate other things than burgers and did more than just eat…although let’s be real. Eating was definitely the highlight of our time in Budapest.
If you haven’t discovered this by now, Brett and I are the kind of travelers who like to do our own thing. We love having the flexibility to plan our own schedule and to see the sites we find interesting. And unless I’m trying to see the concentration camps in Poland, we never consider taking tours or going to museums. They just aren’t our thing and often remind me of my childhood when I lived right outside of Washington D.C. and went to museums anytime people came to visit. Yeah, I’m just not a fan.
So basically when we go to a new city, we love to explore the city by walking and eating. We definitely try to see the main sites (unless they’re museums), but other than that we love to find local hangouts and cool neighborhoods to explore. This was definitely the case in Budapest. We walked miles upon miles everyday, stopping only for a meal or coffee and then to sleep at night. We even found a local running spot and got in a good workout one morning, which I’ll talk about at the end of this post.
But now let’s look at the foodie highlights of our time in Budapest!
Let’s start by talking about a non-burger joint called Hummus Bar, which as you could probably guess, is a mediterranean restaurant with all my favorite foods like hummus, falafel, pita, chickpeas etc. The menu here was extensive and made it really hard to decide, but I ended up choosing a hummus plate with falafel. It came with chickpeas, tahini and pita as well as a cucumber salad on side. Brett went for the classic falafel pita sandwich.
The flavors here were not what I expected, but in my opinion you really can’t go wrong with hummus and falafel. We practically wiped our plates clean and left very full and satisfied.
Hummus Bar has everything from salads to sandwiches, veggie platers to meat platters. You’ll easily find something for everyone!
Street Food Karavan:
We actually stumbled across the Street Food Karavan on our first night in Budapest. We were walking to a restaurant that Brett wanted to check out and noticed all these food trucks in a narrow alleyway. I’m so glad we decided to check it out, because we ended up eating there multiple times during our stay. There weren’t many vegan options, but there was a fully vegan burger truck called Las Vegan’s which sold the most amazing vegan burgers I’ve ever eaten. I wish I could have tried them all, but the two I did enjoy did not disappoint. The patties were so hearty and not at all mushy like most vegan patties. The buns they used were whole grain and every burger came with lots of condiments, which is often my favorite part. They also sold refreshing fruit infused waters and slices of watermelon.
Other vegan finds in the Street Food Karavan were a Hungarian potato and vegetable bread bowl and coconut milk-based nitrogen ice cream.
Bite Bakery & Cafe:
I didn’t think Bite Bakery & Cafe would have any vegan options, but it just so happens that they had my favorite breakfast of our whole trip: Muesli! They are known for their cinnamon rolls, which Brett tried and thoroughly enjoyed, but I couldn’t get over how good their muesli was. It came dry in a large cup and they they just poured soy milk over the top. It was made with so many kinds of grains, nuts, seeds and dried fruit and kept me full for hours. If you need a quick breakfast on the go, I recommend checking out Bite Bakery. They also have lots of different locations around the city, which is really convenient.
Vega city is a small, yet bountiful, fully vegan buffet. They rotate their menu every day of the week and always have vegan burgers, desserts and drinks on hand. It was hard to know what all the different options were, as many of the signs were written in Hungarian, but the servers were really patient and willing to answer any of our questions. We passed up all the soups and curries and went for vegan burgers and salads instead. I was obsessed with my burger, mainly because it came with the most incredible beetroot mayonnaise. Brett choose a more unique burger and it wasn’t his favorite, but he loved mine. The salad I ordered was also perfectly light and flavorful. I wish I could have tried out more of their entrees and desserts, but I was so happy with my choice. Because of all the options they offer, Vega City is a great place to eat when people are craving different kinds of food.
We actually didn’t think we’d make it to Vegan Love, a fully vegan burger joint, but due to a missed bus, we ended up with more time in the city. The extra 5 hours we had to explore ended up being perfect. I was able to get the best pedicure of my life and then eat the best vegan burger of my life. Really, this burger was AMAZING! I’m so thankful that I through health out the window and chose the burger that sounded the best, because it literally was so incredible.
I ended up choosing the BBQ Tofu Steak Burger and it came with bbq marinated tofu, smoked vegan cheese, crispy fried onions, tomato, spinach and vegan mayonnaise. Yeah, it was as good as it sounds. I couldn’t get over how real the cheese tasted and looked. It was melty and gooey and paired perfectly with the crispy onions. I also discovered how much I love vegan mayonnaise on this trip, because it came on so many of the burgers I ate. YUM!
Brett ordered the Sweet Potato Burger and loved his as well, although we both thought mine was the better of the two. Vegan Love also has a small salad bar, hotdogs, fries and drinks. I think because they don’t serve many kinds of foods, the food they do serve it that much more amazing.
And just to show you that I didn’t eat vegan burgers our entire time in Budapest, I’ll let you know that I also ate some vegan ramen from a restaurant called Ramenka one night. To be honest, it was a pretty basic bowl of ramen. But with some extra soy sauce and chili flakes it ended up being a pretty good meal.
The best part about Ramenka, however, were their 100% fruit popsicles. I ended up trying their mango and green apple flavors over the course of our stay and they were so sweet and refreshing. If you need a healthy and refreshing snack, I recommend trying out their popsicles!
Last but not least, I want to share with you all a non-food related part of Budapest that Brett and I both enjoyed, which is Margaret Island. This island was easy to get to by tram and reminded us a lot of Roosevelt Island in New York. It wasn’t very big–only about 3 miles around–but it was the perfect place to go for a run. All the way around the island there is a rubber running path. So many people were out getting in some exercise early in the morning, yet it wasn’t overwhelming crowded. I loved that I didn’t have to worry about getting lost running through the streets of Budapest, but could instead just follow the running trail. There were water fountains placed randomly around the island, which was an added bonus, but as for bathrooms, make sure you bring money to use the toilets as they require you to pay.
After our run around the island, Brett and I walked along the water to see the Hungarian Parliament Building and the Shoes on the Danube, which is a memorial for those killed during WWII.
I hope you enjoyed seeing bits and pieces of Budapest, even if it mainly was through the eyes of my stomach. Please let me know if you’ve ever been to Budapest. I’d love to hear about your experience!