Beautiful Budapest has to be one of my favourite cities and gluten free Budapest is an added gem to discover. Wide horizons, the gently flowing Danube river, incredible history and excellent food make it quite a destination, and the perfect choice for a weekend break.
Gluten Free Budapest
On my third and most recent visit to Budapest I found plenty of gluten free options, although I don’t have much photo evidence as I was leading a hen party and couldn’t be distracted too much from the task at hand – keeping the bride-to-be happy!
Koleves Vendeglo: we ate at this restaurant and I would highly recommend this restaurant for gluten free diners. The food was delicious, and great for vegetarians and coeliacs alike, as all their dishes were marked GF where appropriate. We ate steak, venison stew and roast lamb amongst other things. We drank house wine and braved a selection of Palinka, the national spirit of choice…it burns! Staff were friendly and value-wise it was extremely reasonable, coming to around 7000 HUF each (£14) for two courses, the odd dessert, half a bottle of wine each and a palinka each. Our waiter spoke perfect english and was very patient in teaching us some Hungarian essentials.
As an aside, there is a cool ruin pub across the road from Koleves, but more on the joys of ruin pubs later…
That evening, we went to Innio wine bar – they have some good gluten free nibbles but we focused on their delicious spritz cocktails and extensive wine list. Exposed stone walls, arched ceilings and blackboards spanning the width of the walls (plus token disco ball) set the scene for some late night antics. I’ve also been here previously for drinks with my husband, so I would recommend for any occasion, whether it be boisterous or romantic!
Walking Tours, Ruin Pubs and Huge Gluten Free Dishes
On the Saturday the group woke up with slightly fuzzy heads and we had some breakfast at our flat before heading out to explore. The fresh air and a gentle scenic stroll from the parliament building, along the river bank, to the chain bridge worked its magic, and we continued up the hill to the Mattias Church and Fisherman’s bastion. Wonderful views, you really can’t miss this place on a trip to Budapest. Had gluten free hot chocolate and mulled wine at the top for 400-600 HUF (£1 – £1.50) while we admired the panorama.
After you’ve taken it all in, walk down the hill to the edge of the river and look out for Belga Söröző. This café specializing in Belgian beers, HOWEVER, they also do huge portions of hearty, delicious food. My husband and I visited twice on our last trip. They were really helpful regarding my need for gluten free and I strongly recommend the pork knuckle if you are a meat eater – delicious.
Alternatively, if you are a hen party you skip lunch and go straight for the go karting (G1 GoKart Center is on Robert Karoly krt – very fun, even though it is a bit disconcerting when you are trying to find it in the basement of an abandoned shopping centre). The group had pizza here, but the centre had some snacks on sale that were gluten-free and kept me going.
That evening we had a big dinner at “home”. From our AirBnB base, on the Pest side of the river, it was just a short stroll over to the CBA supermarket close to Andrassy Ut/Arany Janos Utca junction and they had everything we needed. I was able to find plenty of gluten free food.
We had signed up for a Ruin Pub tour that evening, which I would highly recommend. It’s hard to describe to ruin pubs of Budapest, other than to say East London would LOVE to have bars like this and you cannot visit Budapest without checking at least one or two of them out. They are essentially very quirky bars (often with very low drinks prices), many in huge converted ruined houses, spanning various rooms and floors full or interesting installations and other curiosities – from skeletons playing cards on the ceiling to flying rabbits. We did an organized tour (as sometimes the bars can be a bit tricky to find), which I would recommend as it was really reasonable and our Alexa and Lily were fab. Be sure to check out Lokal for some swing dancing, Szimpla Kert and its irrepressible character and Instant (which turns into a nightclub and is HUGE – 23 rooms, 6 bars, 4 dance floors).
Szechenyi Baths and Long Gluten Free Lunches
On our final day we visited the Szechenyi Baths (beautiful outdoor spa, highlight recommended) and then sampled the delights of Robinson Etterem for lunch. Situated in the middle of the park, it has a really picturesque setting and they could happily accommodate my gluten free coeliac needs.
A couple of other suggestions for gluten free options, which we found on previous visits include:
- TG Italiano – an Italian restaurant for when you’ve overdone it on the paprika (it’s on EVERYTHING). They have an allergens menu available and I ate gluten free with no problems.
- Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge Hotel – fabulous hotel (the comfiest bed EVER) and they had a huge arrange of gluten free friendly options for breakfast, plus gluten free bread available.
- McDonalds – yes that’s right, they have gluten free buns available at McDonalds in Budapest. They are prepared in a seperate area to avoid any cross contamination risk.
There are now loads of fully gluten free bakeries and restaurants in Budapest, and the following have been recommended to me by coeliac followers of my Instagram account:
- The 100% gluten free Drop Restaurant – they have gluten free EVERYTHING. Gluten free burgers, gluten free pasta, gluten free cake, gluten free brunch, hallelujah!
- Confectionary NoGlu is a 100% gluten free bakery that one of my coeliac followers recommended to me as a wonderful spot for gluten free baked goods and traditional Hungarian treats.
- Free! With two branches in the city Free! is fully gluten free and offers gluten free baked goods and lite bites.
- Refuge Bistro is a fully gluten free restaurant serving up local specialities and beer.
- Coli Bisztro is a 100% gluten free bakery and cafe in the centre, tucked away inside a shopping centre. They have a shop selling gluten free products too.
- GluteNo (see what they did there) – fully gluten free. Highlights include gluten free paninis and gluten free cake
- Kata Restaurant – a new fully gluten free spot, which is also lactose free.
- Great Bistro – fully gluten free and vegan.
- Maja GF Bistro – gluten free cafe.
- Szederinda Glutenmentes – fully gluten free cafe away from the centre.
- I was also recommended Muvesz cuckraszda as a lovely spot that serves some gluten free cakes opposite the opera house, including gluten free sacher torte.
If you enjoyed this travel guide, why not have a read of some of my other European gluten free guides:
Happy gluten free travels! x