There's more to Hungarian cuisine than goulash, but you'd never know unless you accidentally stumbled upon this Buzzfeed post or visited the country to taste for yourself. Hearty, goulash-like dishes definitely feature heavily on the country-wide menu--long with decadent pastries, stuffed and stewed vegetables, and endless dishes prepared with that other Hungarian speciality, paprika--but healthy eaters who lean veg will find themselves well-fed in the vibrant capital straddling the Danube.
Come to Hungary to soak in the curative thermal springs, to gaze at the beautiful architecture, and above all, come to savor some truly memorable meals. Here are a few possibilities to whet your appetite.
If you had but one restaurant in Budapest to experience a leisurely lunch or dinner, it would have to be Napfenyes. ("Etterem" means restaurant in Hungarian.)
This vegan bistro turns out meatless, dairy-free versions of traditional Hungarian classics, including goulash, stuffed cabbage, and the must-try Hungarian oat cakes. But then there's the burgers, the raw plates, the soups, the fried seitan cutlets, and the most tantalizing desserts you've ever laid eyes on.
It's a feast for the eyes, too; the new second location near the Ferenciek Tere metro stop offers elegance--think black-and-white check tiles and white tablecloths--and terrace seating, too. Fresh-pressed juices and a dozen gelato flavors are other tempting options.
It's just a tiny hole-in-the-wall near the Margaret Bridge (with sweeping views up and down the Danube), but it's got heart--and a vegetarian menu loaded with healthy treats to quench your thirst and fill your stomach for less than $5.
Two vegetable-based smoothies are on offer every day (try the beetroot smoothie for something completely different!), as are a variety of vegetable-based sandwiches and nut burgers, soups (gazpacho, creamy broccoli), salads (pasta, grilled vegetables), and desserts (brownies, cookies,). They also make a great cup of coffee! A few stools are available inside, or you can dine al fresco at the pleasant riverside park across the street.
Raw foods that fill you up without weighing you down are always the options du jour at Mannatural, a homey, welcoming spot a two-minute walk from the Parliament building and several other prime tourists sites.
Fruit and vegetable smoothies, creamy grated-veg salads, savory raw crackers and the most decadent nut-based cakes you've ever tasted are just a few of things you'll find on the menu. Don't miss the tiny stuffed cabbage rolls if they're available!