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Like a local #2—Culinaria Italia, Tökmag Vegan Street Food, Flow

Our series continues, where we present the best gastronomic places in Budapest, more precisely our current favorites, where you can often see us. In the first episode, we visited a sourdough bakery in Buda, sipped basic stock in the shade of the Mammut shopping malls, and checked the shelves filled with chocolates. Now we first go shopping for an Italian dinner, then have a lunch break with a divine vegan hamburger, and finally, we recharge our batteries with a specialty coffee in the heart of Terézváros.

Culinaria Italia

1024 Budapest Lövőház Street 2-6. (Mammut I. 1st floor)

Italian cuisine has a strong fan base in Hungary as well, as evidenced by the Neopolitan pizzerias springing up like mushrooms and the fact that discount chains also run an Italian-themed week from month to month when we can buy a variety of pasta, sauces or dairy products. However, truly dedicated home chefs are not content with fancy, Italian-named labels, but search for authentic sourcing locations.

Culinaria Italia is quietly hiding on the first floor of Mammut I, but its popularity is shown by its recent move to a larger store. In the shop you can literally find everything that pleases senses: there is an amazing offer of various pesto and stews, there is a separate showcase for delicacies made from truffles, plenty of olives and natural olive oil, pasta (with different shapes and colors) there are always original mascarpone, ricotta, burrata in the fridge, but the alcohol supply is also impressive. And they didn’t forget the sweet tooth either: a lot of biscuits, chocolate, pralines line up on the shelves, so the shopper quickly realizes there is life beyond Nutella. My absolute favorite is the risotto and olive oil pistachio pesto, which will make even steamed broccoli magical. As Christmas approaches, so does the offer, so you can get classic Italian holiday cakes, the pandoro or panettone, for example. (And just a tip: they also have a webshop…)

Culinaria Italia | Web | Facebook

Tökmag Vegan Street Food

1136 Budapest Hollán Ernő Street 5.

Vegan hamburger? Don’t think of a sad bun filled with salad! The Tökmag on Hollán Ernő Street shows that it can be a miracle. The founder Tímea Magyar was determined to offer an exciting, nutritious street food alternative not only to vegans, but to anyone who is open to novelties. The result is more than perfect: the various burgers, as well as the bowls, have great herbal ingredients, are wholesome, all-free (except for the spelt bun) and incredibly delicious.

I’m pretty critical, but I really didn’t eat anything here that wouldn’t have tasted good. In the beetroot burger, the beets appear in three forms, in the green pea burger you get pea cream, spinach, sweet potato pea cake, cucumber and crispy carrot with a little mint-spring onion cashew sauce. If you’re looking for a dish that’s easier to eat (meaning with a knife and fork or takeaway), you can choose from a great one-course meal, such as a broccoli salad with cashew cream or a gluten-free gnocchi with mushroom pesto. Oh and the desserts: a healthy selection of candies reminiscent of your eternal favorite chocolates (Snickers, Bounty, Ferrero) is the perfect gift, provided you get to your destination and don’t eat it on the go. Don’t be scared by the size of the small shop, as there is a huge guest room deep under the counter above, where you can devour your lunch comfortably and without shame.

Tökmag Vegan Street Food | Web | Facebook | Instagram

Flow Specialty Coffee Bar & Bistro

1062 Budapest Andrássy Avenue 66.

Spacious space, industrial style, views of Andrássy Avenue—from there you know that you are not in a cool downtown loft apartment, but in a super-specialty café with the delicious smell of coffee and the noises of coffee making in the air. The Flow is the perfect location for an afternoon meeting or a couple of hours in a café office, but it also fits at lunchtime, thanks to its plant-based, exciting, nutritious food. On weekends, they visit the cuisines of the world (with a free concept), but they also collaborated with Kristóf Steiner before.

I especially like the desserts because they dared to play with the flavors: the rice pudding appears in white and black, the millet becomes cottage cheese cream, and the oatmeal cake is huge (and very delicious), but somehow it always disappears by the end of the article. What I love more about them is the commitment to the new wave coffee culture: they have also launched training courses for beginner or advanced baristas as well as genre-loving fanatics. Even if you don’t take part in this, feel free to ask, the baristas are professional, kind and helpful, so whatever you’re curious about, you won’t be left unanswered.

Flow Specialty Coffee Bar & Bistro | Web | Facebook | Instagram

Photos: Krisztina Szalay

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