In the first part of this series, we have shown places where you can grab either a sandwich, a bagel or a baguette, and still feel like you have had a filling and healthy lunch. In the second part, we show you a few places where you can have a hot meal for lunch, while still staying on (sometimes around) the HUF 1000 budget.
Even if you are not vegetarian or vegan, Vega City will not let you down. I do not follow any kind of special diet, and I still like this place very much.
It is a self-service place that always reminds of my high school cafeteria, only with much better food.
They have a huge menu that changes daily, including soups, stews, pastas, and some kind of reform dish. If you could not find anything on the menu, they always have a couple of permanent dishes you can get on any day of the week, like deep fried vegetables, falafel, salads, vegetarian burgers, etc. They often serve traditional Hungarian dishes which, by default, have no meat in them, such as lecsó or the different kinds of so-called főzelékek [vegetable stews, boiled seasoned vegetables usually thickened with flour or sour cream]. The place also has a wide selection of very delicious smoothies.
Every meal is vegetarian, but if you happen to follow a specific diet, they also have vegan dishes, as well as sugar-free and gluten-free options and desserts. The dishes are always fresh, delicious and cheap. I usually go for a small soup and small main course [together HUF 1040], and sometimes I cannot even finish everything in one sitting.
I get a serious craving for pasta at least once a week. There are amazing places in Budapest where you can get a box of delicious pasta that fills you up for at least until you finish working. I would like to introduce two such places to you: PASTA. and Bellozzo.
PASTA. is a very tiny place on Kálvin square with a very tiny menu, but honestly, that is all you need. They usually offer three or four types of pasta to choose from, the options change from time to time. They have the classic Bolognese, the so called “not-padthai”, and a lot of other funny named pasta that you should give a try. Ok, it is a little bit above our HUF 1000 budget, because their pastas usually cost around HUF 1100 – HUF 1200, but it is not a small portion!
Bellozzo’s staff is nice and very quick, you usually get your order in 5 minutes after you paid for it.
If you wait by the counter, where your food is actually being prepared, you can actually have a say in how your meal is done. For example, you can choose between al dente or well-made pasta, or you can always ask for a little more spice, or you can ask them to skip the garlic if you are on a date.
My favourite pasta is the arrabbiata (HUF 1190), but their cheapest pastas are the aglio olio (HUF 790), the pasta in bianco (1090) and pomodoro (HUF 1090).
The pizzas are pretty good too. My favourite pizza is the plain and simple margherita (HUF 890), but even the one with Italian prosciutto is only HUF 1290.
Hear me out. I know it seems like I am trying to push the vegetarian agenda, but it is not the case. I am not even vegetarian, but this is still one of my favourite places downtown when I want to have something hot, quick and somewhat healthy (it is still burger and fries though) for lunch. The ingredients are very high quality, they only use plant based ingredients, and they do not use artificial preservatives, flavour enhancers and food colouring.
The patties and the sauces are all hand-made, and they have 100% juices as drinks. You get that familiar diner feeling, but you had something way healthier than McDonald’s for lunch. A menu (burger + fries + juice) is HUF 1190. (although it can cost more if you go with the double burgers, or if you ask for an extra sauce, etc.) I personally think that it is a good value for your money.
Featured image: Facebook.com/BellozzoRestaurant/