Any suggestions for a vegan going to Budapest on businessin a couple weeks? He'll be working and possibly staying in Obuda but it sounds like the city is walkable and transit is reasonable. We've found some listings of veg-friendly restaurants but many do not have English translations of the websites/menus. Learning a few phrases/words in Magyar and have some (limited) knowledge of German and will carry a list of some veg phrases in both languages.
Anyone know when Vegetarium reopens or if it already has? The happycow entry says, "NOTE: as of May 08, closed for renovations".
TimeOut Budapest identifies Marquis de Salade as a "haven for veggies" but then recommends lamb soup and stew. :-( Does this restaurant actually have much suitable for a vegan or just a salad bar?
We're also seeing info about BioPont. Any feedback on it?
Hungarians believe themselves to be exceptions to God's laws...At my bar mitzvah my Orthodox rabbi (born in Budapest) ate pork ..with sour cream in the sauce...And Hungarians firmly believe that there is no incongruity about cooking a Vegetarian dish in lard. They join my new age friend Eliane Pickermann in secretly believing that libamaj (foie gras) grows on a small bush in the countryside. This is no country for vegetarians without a sense of humor. Having said that, here's what I know:
I am not sure how helpful it is for a vegan, as there often seems to be a range of dairy in Indian cooking, but from the perspective of someone who has grazed widely in Indian restaurants in New York and London, one of the best Indian restaurants in the world is in Budapest -- Salaam Bombay on Merleg utca, behind the Gresham Palace (Four Seasons) Hotel. Wide range of vegetarian dishes, but hard to imagine that, at the very least, they're done without ghee...
There is a vegetarian tourist restaurant that opened recently just off Vorosmarty ter, on Kristof ter...Around the corner from there there is a 'fast food' restaurant that opened last summer -- part lof a German-based chain of Italian restaurants -- Vapiano on Becsi utca, which does the lightest salads in Budapest, and does pizzas to order and pasta as well (probably egg-based pasta though).
My favorite restaurant in Budapest is Cafe Bouchon, not far from the Operetta Theatre on Zichy Jeno utca off Nagymezo utca. While not by any stretch a vegetarian restaurant, they are very vegetarian friendly and I have gone with friends who have described exactly what their criteria were and the kitchen produced something to order that they loved...
Farago has far more detailed knowledge of restaurants in Budapest, but I can pass on our experiences recently on our trip to Budapest, with our vegetarian (but not vegan) son. I was somewhat surprised that we had a harder time in Budapest finding suitable food than we did in the Czech Republic or Slovakia, and to be honest, I can't imagine trying to experience Budapest as a vegan.
We did walk by the Mraquis de Salade and I remember looking at the menu posted outside, and not seeing ANYTHING that I would consider a salad. I finally decided that maybe "Salade" was not a reference to salads. And when we passed by, they weren't open, so I don't know about a salad bar (none was mentioned on the menu).
The lard would probably be an issue with side dishes, such as potatoes, which we did see on a number of menus (and ate several times). Luckily, my son is young enough (13) to not realize that anything fried was probably fried with an animal product (and I'm deceptive enough to not have told him).
We had several lunches at a chain called Pizza Marzano. The pizza was good, and lots of vegetarian selections, but I noticed on their website that they have several salads that look pretty good, that could be vegan depending on what's in the salad dressing.
Also, Obuda is not that close to the more central areas. You might want to have him check on exactly where in Obuda he'll be. We considered visiting some sights in Obuda, and were too lazy to make the trip, as it involved changing from the Metro to the suburban train system.
One place that I can recommend is the Hummus Bar (http://www.budapesttimes.hu/index.php...
)of which there are two locations. They do deliver, but I'm not so sure if they deliver to Obuda. Plus keep in mind that consistency is a big problem here for restaurants.
The taqueria Arriba on Terez Korut in between Oktogon and Nyugati train station is vegan friendly.
Good luck if you are staying in Obuda. Hungary is pretty difficult on vegans if one is not able to cook and provide for themselves. If you were staying in the Pest city center (districts V,VI, or VII) it might be a lot easier as that's where the more "progressive" food items are likely to be found.
Try the Éden Vegetáriánus-Vegán Étterem (behind the old market hall on Batthyány tér in the first district). You might also want to try one of the many Indian restaurants, which are vegetarian friendly.
My husband reports that he fared well at Napfényes Ízek: "I had Gulyás (goulash)... soup with cabbage, carrots, potatoes, onions, saitan(sic), kale, and there were some difficult to identify vegetables, but I think there were Fennel, and Parsnips, Of course there was a lot of paprika. Dinner was some breaded tofu parprika bergers (sic), and lots of fried purple (but they called it lilac) cabbage.
He says BioABC is tiny and most items they stock are from Germany. He did find a farmers market where he got sour cherries, carrots and a banana.