#MyHometownGuide – My 5 Favourite Places to Eat And Drink in Budapest

March 14, 2014 7 Comments

 hometown guide

 Thanks to Fiji Water for sponsoring this partner post about my 5 favourite places in Budapest, Hungary. All the opinions written in this post are my own. Click on the image above to enter the competition and win!

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1. Szimpla Ruin Pub & Farmers Market (Szimpla Kert és Szimpla Vasárnapi Háztáji Piac)

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The beginning of the 21st century was an exciting turning point in the nightlife of Budapest: in the central area of the city new places were opened one after another in tenement houses and factory buildings doomed to destruction. These were equipped with rejected furniture (every corner there is a surprise like an old bathtub functioning as a sofa) of old community centres, cinemas, and grandmothers’ flats, bringing a retro feeling into these places. They were soon called ruin pubs and became popular very fast among the youth of Budapest and tourists.

Szimpla Kert is one the oldest pubs and in 2012 it became the world’s third best bar according to Lonely Planet public vote. The place has a unique charm that you won’t see anywhere else in the world. It also became a social venue especially when the farmers market opened its doors and it became quickly a local favourite. It’s a great place to meet Hungarian farmers and artisan food (cheese, sausages, breads, pastries, spreads, etc.) makers. There is always live music, children programmes and charity lunch (for meat eaters and vegetarians too) organized by the pub, the farmers and a non-profit organization so noone goes home hungry. The market is held every Sunday from 9am until 2pm.

Szimpla Kert és Szimpla Vasárnapi Háztáji Piac
1075 Budapest (7th district)
Kazinczy utca 7.
Phone: +36 20 5404891
Website
Ruin Pub Facebook
Farmers Market Facebook

2. Organic Farmers Market (Biopiac)

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My favourite farmer couple: Matthew and his wife, Maria

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Organic products are becoming more and more popular in Hungary. The organic market in Budapest is held every Saturday between 6.30am and 1.00pm in the park at the MOM Cultural Community Center, where farmers, agriculturists and vendors of pre-packed foods sell their produce in kiosks made of wood and thatch. It is said that this is the biggest organic farmers market in Central-Eastern Europe. There is a cafe inside the community center that has a huge terrace – overlooking the market – where you can sit down and eat/drink what you bought at the market. It’s a children friendly place with playground and baby changing room.

The community is very strong, farmers are very friendly and you can easily ask advice from them on how to prepare a special vegetable that is new to you. On average 40-50 vendors are present offering a remarkably wide range of products (that can’t be found anywhere else in Hungary) including, fruits and vegetables, dairies, breads, pastries, honey, smoked meat, sausages, bacon, eggs, jams, juices, cereal germs and imported organic products. Within the organic market only products of strictly controlled ecologic farm provenance can be bought. The authenticity of these organic products is controlled and granted by Biokontroll Hungária Nonprofit Ltd.

The smells, the colors are wonderful and the market’s energy is very filling, so visiting the organic market is highly recommended. It’s my favorite thing to do on a Saturday morning.

Organic Farmers Market (Biopiac)
1124 Budapest (12th district)
Csörsz utca 18.
Post about the market

3. Gozsdu Courtyard (Gozsdu udvar)

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Image courtesy of Gozsdu Courtyard

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Image courtesy of Gozsdu Courtyard

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Image courtesy of Gozsdu Courtyard

Gozsdu Courtyard is a walkway that runs between Király utca and Dob utca.  There are seven buildings with one courtyard spanning a block. You can tell that in the last century it was a beautiful arcade inhabited by wealthy flat owners who had balconies overlooking the walkway below. A few years ago it was restored and today it is a new fresh location of Budapest, a lively, social meeting point where many restaurants (with traditional Hungarian cuisine, Italian, Thai, etc.), trendy cafes, pubs, bars and nightclubs serve the guests.

From April until the end of October a design fair is held where artisans, makers come to sell their jewelry, paintings, crafts and food (honey, chocolate, cakes, spices, etc.).

Gozsdu Courtyard (Gozsdu udvar)
1075 Budapest (7th district)
Between Király utca 13. and Dob utca 16.
Website
Facebook

4. Ruszwurm Confectionery (Ruszwurm Cukrászda)

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The Ruszwurm confectioner’s is a magic from the past in the present in the Castle district in Budapest. It was founded by Ferenc Schwabl in 1827. The place named after one of the owners and managers, Vilmos Ruszwurm. Since 1990 the shop has been run by one of the most famous Hungarian confectioner family, Szamos. Nowadays the confectioner’s is one of the most popular sight of Budapest, the house and the interior (the counter made of cherry wood with mahogany inlay) are protected monuments.

The cream cake (krémes in Hungarian) is my favourite one here. It is made from real vanilla custard (mixed with whipped cream… Oh My, it’s a die for cake!) and sandwiched between very thin layers of flaky pastry and then dusted off with a layer of confectionary sugar. Cream cake is a pure naughty delight on all fronts. :) Don’t miss it!

Ruszwurm Confectionery (Ruszwurm Cukrászda)
1014 Budapest (1st district)
Szentháromság utca 7.
Phone: +36 1 3755284
Website

5. Napfényes Vegan Restaurant (Napfényes Étterem)

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Goulash soup / Stuffed pickled cabbage and filled pancake a’la Hortobágy style

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Fake curd dumplings with soy yoghurt (balls of millet covered in sweet breadcrumbs served with soy yoghurt and powder sugar)

Being a vegetarian I wanted to show you one of the best vegetarian/vegan restaurants in Budapest that serves Hungarian traditonal food (and international dishes as well) vegan style. The restaurant is situated in a basement but in a beautiful atmosphere and with a pretty vaulted brick ceiling. After you enter the place you pass by the kitchen, smelling the wonderful aroma coming out of it.

They have daily menu (even on weekends) and also a’la carte. The self-serve salad bar always has a selection of fresh, mixed and spicy salads. Apart from their home-made desserts, they also offer a selection of vegan pastries and raw cakes. All of their dishes are made with purified water. Portions are pretty big so go there hungry. The service is excellent, waiters/waitresses are friendly and they speak English. It’s not located in the center but close to it so it’s worth the walk.

Napfényes Vegan Restaurant (Napfényes Étterem)
1077 Budapest (7th district) Rózsa utca 39.
Phone: +36 1 3135555
Website
Facebook

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Vegan Bean-Oat Burger

March 2, 2014 5 Comments

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It’s difficult to find really good vegetarian or vegan burgers in Hungary. At most places the only vegetarian options are made with cheese or mushroom. Restaurants and cafes are not very open to try new recipes and serve the needs of vegetarian customers. Although veggie burgers are a vegetarian delight, but meat-eaters are sure to love them, too.

This vegan beat-oat burger comes from a Hungarian vegetarian cookbook that was written by a vegetarian friend of mine. It satisfies your appetite for a great-tasting veggie burger that’s easy to make and it’s healthy because of using wholesome ingredients to make. Either you are a vegetarian or not , you will love this burger!

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Vegan Bean-Oat Burger

Ingredients (depending on size, it makes 12-20 patties)

- 125 g rolled oats, soaked in lukewarm salty water for 30 minutes
- 1 can of beans, drained and puréed
- 80-100 g whole wheat bread crumbs
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 1/2 a medium sized celery root, chopped
- small bunch of parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- salt, pepper
- olive oil
- serving: salad, mustard, ketchup, sliced red onion, sprouts, ciabatta or rolls

Method

Drain the soaked oat for a few minutes through a fine strainer. In a food processor chop all the vegetables (onion, garlic, carrot, celery).

In a pan heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and saute onion, carrot and celery. After 2-3 minutes add garlic and a few pinches of salt. Saute for a few more minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a bowl mix together the soaked and drained rolled oats with puréed beans, sauted vegetables, parsley and season with lemon juice, mustard, oregano, salt and pepper. Add breadcrumbs and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Form pingpong ball sized balls from the mixture, flatten them with your palm or a spoon. Place the formed patties on a tray.

Heat 1-2 teaspoons olive oil in a pan, add patties and cook for about 5-7 minutes until golden brown. Flip the patties and cook them on their other side until golden. Cook the remaining patties too. Serve with ciabatta or rolls and with vegetables, ketchup, mustard.

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Red Lentil Sauerkraut Soup

November 3, 2013 1 Comment

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This soup is called korhelyleves in Hungarian. Is is originally a meaty cabbage soup that is often eaten on New Year’s Day. Korhely often refers to a person who likes to drink alcohol and as a result is lazy and careless. Sour cabbage (sauerkraut) soup is thought to relieve the symptoms of a hangover, and this is probaby the reason why this traditional Hungarian soup is so popular on New Year’s Eve and also called korhelyleves.

Sauerkraut is made by a process of pickling called lacto-fermentation that is analogous to how traditional (not heat-treated) pickled cucumbers and kimchi are made. The cabbage is finely shredded, layered with salt and left to ferment. Fully cured sauerkraut keeps for several months in an airtight container stored at 15 °C (60 °F) or below. It is extremely high in vitamins C, B, and K; the fermentation process increases the bioavailability of nutrients rendering sauerkraut even more nutritious than the original cabbage. It is also low in calories and high in calcium and magnesium, and it is a very good source of dietary fiber, folate, iron, potassium, copper and manganese.

I love this soup especially during cold months so I cook it quiet often. Of course, mine is a vegan version and I usually add vegan what sausage to the soup which gives a great smoky flavor to the soup.

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Red Lentil Sauerkraut Soup

Ingredients (serves3-4)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 medium carrot, grated
- 200 g red lentil
- 200 g sauerkraut
- 1 and 1/2 liter water
- 2 bay leaves
- vegan wheat sausages (optional)
- salt
- sunflower oil
- sour cream/soy yoghurt for serving the soup

Wash the sauerkraut well in cold water and chop them.

In a pan heat 3-4 tablespouns sunflower oil and saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes. Then add the grated carrot, red lentil and just enough water to cover. Season with salt, add bay leaves, wheat sausage (if you use) and sauerkraut. Put a lid on top and simmer for 20 minutes.

Serve the soup with sour cream or soy yoghurt.

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Kale Tempeh Salad

October 29, 2013 0 Comments

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I cooked tempeh before but I still would like to try more tempeh recipes because I really love this ingredient. I didn’t know that tempeh comes originally from Indonesia (especially popular on the island of Java, where it is a staple source of protein). It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form.

Like tofu, tempeh is made from soybeans, but it is a whole soybean product with different nutritional characteristics and textural qualities. Tempeh’s fermentation process and its retention of the whole bean give it a higher content of protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins. It has a firm texture and an earthy flavor which becomes more pronounced as it ages. Because of its nutritional value, tempeh is used worldwide in vegetarian and cuisine.

This salad is very easy to make and if you would like to make it more filling, cook brown rice, quinoa or millet and serve it with the salad.

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Kale Tempeh Salad

Ingredients (serves 2)

For the salad
- a bunch of kale, leaves removed and torn into small pieces
- 2-3 spring onion, chopped
- 1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup walnut, toasted in a dry pan and chopped
- 250 g tempeh, cut into small cubes
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- salt, pepper
- olive oil

For the dressing
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- salt, pepper
- chili flakes
- water

Method

Heat a pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil and roast tempeh cubes for a few minutes. Add soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, honey and cook for 2-3 minutes and set aside.

In a bowl mix together olive oil, lemon juice, honey and garlic for the dressing. Season with salt, pepper, then add tahini, nutritional yeast, chili flakes and dilute with a bit of water.

Place kale leaves, parsley, sprin onion and walnut on a plate. Add roasted tempeh and sprinkle with the dressing.

Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes With Vegan Gravy

October 23, 2013 2 Comments

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When it comes to comfort food what you would say? Mac and cheese, a bowl of soup, hamburger, chili, casserole, pie or mashed potatoes?

Comfort foods may be consumed to positively pique emotions, to relieve negative psychological effects or to increase positive feelings. The term was first used, according to Webster’s Dictionary, in 1977.

Comfort food for me is a meal that it’s easy to make, warms your heart and soul and it makes you feel you cooked something extraordinary. This mashed potatoes with caramelized onion and a vegan brown sauce is absolutely a worth-to-try meal and it can be a dinner on its own.

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I used nutritional yeast before added it to salads, pasta meals but making a gravy from it takes you to a new level. Nutritional yeast is a source of protein and vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins, and is a complete protein. It is also naturally low in fat and sodium and is free of sugar, dairy, and gluten. Sometimes nutritional yeast is fortified with vitamin B12.

Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes With Vegan Gravy
(Recipe inspiration: Daily Garnish)

Ingredients

For the mashed potatoes
- 8 pieces of medium potatoes (about 600 g), peeled and diced
- 2 large onion, chopped
- salt
- nutmeg
- milk (cow or non-dairy), butter, sour cream – as you request to make your mashed potatoes
- olive oil

For the gravy
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 3 talbespoons white spelt flour (or all-purpose flour)
- 250 ml water
- salt, pepper
- olive oil

Method

Heat 3-4 tablespoons olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add diced onion with a pinch of salt. Put a lid on your pan and keep cooking the onion over low heat. Stir often so the onions don’t stick to your pan. Cook for another 25-30 minutes until tender and light brown.

In the meantime cook the potates in salted water until tender (about 20 minutes). Drain the pan into a colander and add the potatoes to a bowl. Season with salt, nutmeg, then add milk, butter or sour cream to your taste and mash the potatoes.

In a small pan heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and saute the chopped garlic for about 3-4 minutes. Add soy sauce and nutritional yeast. he key to smooth gravy is working quickly so add flour to the pan and immediately start whisking the mixture. Pour water slowly, step-by-step, while continuing to whisk the mixture. If you work hard enough the gravy will be smooth after you added all the water. Bring the gravy to simmer and let it thicken in a few minutes. If you find it very thick, add a bit of water to it.

Serve the gravy by pouring it over the mashed potatoes.

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