Our Top Picks for the Best Restaurants in Budapest for Vegan Grub
With century-old thermal baths, hearty bean goulash, and an excess of vegan cheese everywhere you look, the Hungarian capital does not disappoint. In fact, during our one month stay in Budapest, we probably ate more vegan cheese than we have ever laid our eyes on!
With a month stay planned for Budapest, we hit the streets and dived into all the greasy food and burgers the city has to offer. Let’s get right to it, here’s a rundown of all the best restaurants in Budapest for eating vegan food!
The Hungarian people seem to have a crazy obsession with burgers and Vegan Love is the mecca for all burger loving vegans. This all-vegan fast food joint has taken both burgers and hot dogs to the next level with several epically sloppy items. The menu is quite small but there is something here for everyone. The Mexican burger comes slobbered in guacamole, the onion hot dog is hidden under a thick layer of roasted onion and tartar sauce, and they recently added a chickpea burger covered with blue cheese that we, unfortunately, didn't get the chance to try.
The first time we visited Vegan Love we noticed everyone was eating their burgers with a knife and fork and we couldn't understand why. We've never witnessed such peculiar behavior - burgers are supposed to be eaten with your hands, that's just how it is! But as soon as we received our own burgers we got it. The burgers are physically impossible to eat only using hands, both size and sauce wise.
All in all, the options at Vegan Love are mouth-watering. It's a place that can be appreciated by both vegans and non-vegans alike. Do yourself a favor and stop by for a messy but delicious eating experience.
Price Range: 1490 - 1690 HUF ($5.6 - $6.4) for a burger or hot dog without fries.
Napfayenes is the flagship of vegan restaurants in Budapest. They recently opened up in a second location which we ended up staying just a few blocks away from. Napfayenes might be the most cheese heavy restaurant that we have ever visited, vegan or non-vegan. So come prepared for a food induced coma!
The menu consists of all types of dishes that are an atrocity to your waistline such as deep-fried cheese, seitan schnitzels stuffed with cheese, vegan pizza with three different kinds of cheese, and french onion soup that is mostly melted cheese with onions. Napfayenes also serves a platter for two which is the almighty grail, a mountain covered in cheesy dishes, french fries, and mashed potatoes. We think you get the point. If you have the slightest craving for vegan cheese this is the place for you. However, if you prefer to eat healthy, you should probably stay far away because the temptation might be too much to handle.
With that said, the dishes vary in quality, the decor feels very 1950's, and the services is lacking a lot (which seems to be a common theme in Budapest). But don't let that scare you away because Napfayenes is still one of the best restaurants in Budapest. It is also the perfect place to get your hands on some traditional vegan goulash!
Price Range: Soup 650 HUF ($2.4), Main Courses 2000-2200 HUF ($7.5 - $8.3), Pizzas 2300 HUF ($8.7).
Madal Cafe quickly became our go-to hangout spot in Budapest. It's a small chain of cute cafes with a minimalistic interior design and a couple of vegan options. We mostly went there for the coffee and jasmine pearl tea, but they also serve a couple of raw vegan desserts and vegan sandwiches if you come early enough.
This landmark cafe is popular with both locals and tourists and it is usually packed. It is also popular with digital nomads and students trying to get some work done.
The staff at Madal Cafe is very friendly and the service is really good, especially to be in Budapest. They offer rice and oat milk for their coffee but no soymilk.
Price Range: A coffee cost 650 to 850 HUF ($2.4 to $3.2) depending on size, style, and milk.
Madal Pasta is run by the same people that run Madal Cafe and they serve 100% vegan pasta. You can choose between four different pasta dishes in three different sizes, and it's a great place to stop by for a quick bite to eat. We tried the pesto as well as the mushroom cream sauce and were happily surprised by the quality, especially for the price. We both opted for the largest sized portion but would probably go for a smaller version if we returned because it was a lot even for us.
Madal Pasta is located just one block away from the famous Budapest Parliament so we recommend visiting both places at the same time.
There is also a Madal Cafe connected to the restaurant which means you can enjoy a nice dessert with coffee after your meal. But be aware that Madal Pasta is only open for lunch, not dinner.
Price Range: 900 - 1300 HUF ($3.4 - $5.5) depending on the size of your plate.
We found Mamo by accident since it was located just across the street from our apartment. It is located on the famous Ráday Street, Budapest's famous restaurant street. The owner of Mamo Gelato is Hungarian but she has lived in Italy and serves some great gelato. Not all of the gelato is vegan but there are a few flavors to choose from. As per usual, all of the sorbets are vegan as well as the dark chocolate. Victoria actually talked to the lady in Italian to clarify that the dark chocolate was actually vegan because it's not listed, but sure enough it is! The best part is that the gelato is a real bargain!
Price Range: 300 HUF ($1.12) for one scoop and 600 HUF ($2.25) for two scoops.
Kozmosz Vegan Etterem
Kozmosz Etterem is an all vegan restaurant located in a small basement in District VI. The restaurant is located just around the corner of the House of Terror - a museum about the Nazi and Soviet occupation of Hungary housed in the KGB's former headquarters. Both the House of Terror and Kozmosz are worth a visit and make for a good afternoon activity in Budapest.
Kozmosz serves up a mix of delicious dishes ranging from pesto pasta to bean quesadillas and burgers. They also have a few salads, desserts, and, of course, bean goulash. The staff is young and very friendly, and the service was actually some of the best we experienced during our one month stay in Budapest. The food was also well-made and the portions are very fair. It evident that Kozmosz is run by a group of good friends who love food, which is probably why we found it to be one of the best restaurants in Budapest.
Price Range: Main Course cost 1690 HUF ($6.4) and a dessert cost 590 HUS ($2.2).
Hummus Bar is a chain with 13+ locations serving Middle Eastern fast food in Budapest. Apparently, one of the locations is completely vegetarian but the one we tried also served meat. The vegan part of the menu is your typical hummus and falafel fare served in different versions - in a pita, in a roll, and as a platter. Hummus Bar also makes all of their bread fresh every day in their own bakery.
Our visit to Hummus Bar in Budapest was a bit of letdown and we found the food to be quite underwhelming. Compared to other hummus and falafel dishes we've had around the world it was under-seasoned and bland. We did appreciate that the staff was handing out free mint tea to everyone on a very cold day. But, since there is no shortage of Middle Eastern restaurants in Budapest we wouldn't return.
Price Range: Hummus/Falafel plate 1390 HUF ($5.2), and a Falafel sandwich 790 HUF ($3)
Bonus tip: Bio ABC
Bio ABC is a small little bio store with a huge vegan selection located down the street from the metro station Kalvin Tér. It's a great spot for all vegans visiting Budapest, especially if you cook your own food. Since we were there for a month, we visited the store regularly buying amazing vegan sausages made by the bio store themselves, a ton of vegan cheese, vegan milk, Dr. Bronner's soap bars, and natural laundry detergent. They even sell nutritional yeast that we wish we had stocked up on since it's proven hard to find in other parts of Europe.
Bio ABC also sells more specific items such as unique grains, teff flour, and alkaline water, if you're into that. Next door to Bio ABC is a health store selling supplements and healthy shots.
Other Popular Vegan Restaurants in Budapest:
- 96 Zenetterem is a small all vegan Asian restaurant on Kalvin Tér. The food is served buffet style with items such as spring rolls, fried noodles, tofu curries, and sushi. The owner is very friendly and the place is perfect for a quick lunch.
- Vega City is located two houses down from Bio ABC and they have a changing daily menu coupled with some desserts. We never saw anything we wanted to try on the menu and didn't end up eating there, however the place is usually packed so it's probably worth a visit.
- Say Cheez is a raw vegan restaurant serving raw vegan cheese and desserts located up the street from Vegan Love.
- Las Vegans is a vegan food truck serving burgers. Unfortunately, they were closed when we were in Budapest and we didn't get the chance to try them. Obviously, they change location on a daily basis so your best bet is to check their website to see their schedule.
- Istvanffi is like a fast food vegan McDonalds serving 3 types of patties including oat, mushroom, and wheat. To be honest, we didn't care for the place and found the burgers to be boring, especially the buns.
Frankly, Budapest has some great vegan restaurants - especially if you're into burgers and fast food. You shouldn't miss the cheese overdose at Napfayenes or the super greasy burgers and vegan hotdogs at Vegan Love. We have also read about a few vegan food festivals that are held in Budapest during the summer months which we think would be fun to check out. The vegan food in Budapest is just one of the many reasons why you should visit this historical hub!