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Hi there,

I would like to share my experience about being a vegan in Hungary. I was there for 8 days and it was a nightmare.

To be brutally honest with you, I was really dissapointed. I think Hungary is not a vegetarian or vegan friendly country. I only say this from my point of view.

Did that happen to anyone? You were going to another country and it was impossible to eat what you wanted? And you felt like you were an outcast? Please let me know!

I was in Budapest in a big shopping centre, and there was a huge food court in there with at least 50-60 restaurants (or food kiosks I would say.) Great choices from indochina food to mexican, italian, hungarian you name it, really lots of variety. Being a vegan, I though I am sure I will be able to have something nice! I've checked every single one of them, and none of them were suitable for vegans! I mean you could eat the obvious fries, rice, fruits, salad, but there was nothing there for a main course! I think that's sad! Really! I've had a soup and then rice with a tomato salad.

Then at an other time, I went to a restaurant with my parents, it was about 30 miles from the capital city, in a lovelly little town. We sat down, and I've asked the waiter about their vegan option. First of all he didn't even know what that meant, ...after I explained it to him, he said that the plain lecso (a dish made with onions, peppers and tomatoes) is my best option. So I've took it, because I knew it's a beautiful dish. So when I had my first bite, I thought to myself this is way to fatty to be a vegan dish, something was odd and tasted funny. So I've asked the waiter about what oil do they use for making my dish? Then he said to me well all our dish is made with pig fat!!!!!!!!!!!
I couldn't belive this!

So how this is a vegan dish? My mom said to me don't make a scene, but I was furious, and then the waiter said he doesn't understand why am I so upset, there was no meat in my dish!!!

Plus I've told a few people about my life choice about being a vegan, and they thought I could still eat fish!!! They couldn't belive when I said I don't have any dairy and egg products! They looked at me like I was an alien or something!

I just wanted to tell you this, in case you will travel somewhere where the counrty's attitude is "onmivore." If you know what I mean!

Plus I've witnessed a lots of animal cruelty while I was there, but that's for another forum!

So I am very sad, and dissapointed, that I had to feel odd and strange by not eating any animals!
 

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Well. I think that maybe your expectations were a little too high. Few countries are generally very easy for vegans, or even for vegetarians. Dining in a non-vegetarian restaurant can be a challenge, especially if you don't speak the language. Of course it is almost always better to hunt down the vegan or vegetarian restaurants instead, even if that involves some extra travelling.

Whenever I go somewhere, even within the UK, I do some research beforehand. happycow.net is a good resource for this. It has entries for cities all over the world. For example, Budapest has several entries that you might want to try if you go there again some time:

http://www.happycow.net/europe/hunga...est/index.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Indian Summer View Post

Well. I think that maybe your expectations were a little too high. Few countries are generally very easy for vegans, or even for vegetarians. Dining in a non-vegetarian restaurant can be a challenge, especially if you don't speak the language. Of course it is almost always better to hunt down the vegan or vegetarian restaurants instead, even if that involves some extra travelling.

Whenever I go somewhere, even within the UK, I do some research beforehand. happycow.net is a good resource for this. It has entries for cities all over the world. For example, Budapest has several entries that you might want to try if you go there again some time:

http://www.happycow.net/europe/hunga...est/index.html
Hey, THANKS!!!

 

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Just happy that I could offer some advice!

By the way, if you for some reason have to dine in a non-veg restaurant (e.g. a family gathering, invitation by friends or colleagues) and you know/suspect they don't have anything suitable on the menu, it is a good idea to contact the restaurant beforehand and find out if they know what "vegan" is (if not - try and explain it to them) and if they are willing/able to make you a special dish.
 

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I ate like a king when I was in Budapest a few years ago. Excellent falafel, a great cheeseless pizza at another place and more. Ate at a number of restaurants and never had a bad meal, all vegan. Just gotta do a little research before you go and read menus when you're walking around town. I highly recommned Budapest for vegans.
 

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Personally, I'd opt for accommodation that allows self-catering if need be and bring a few items along.

Frankly, I'm not exactly shocked about your experience in the small town, given the geographical location. My family's from rural Southeastern Europe and up until the mid-seventies (if not longer), they simply had to eat what was available, whether they liked it or not. Meat was a tiny-piece-once-a-week thing and every little scrap of what they did have was used, hence the lard in dishes that don't contain meat per se.

The availability of different foods may have changed, but people's attitudes take a while to catch up. I haven't been to Hungary since the early 90's, but when I was last in Croatia (about three years ago), the range of foods in the supermarket was still quite limited compared to Western European countries.
 

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Hee. Every time I see the title of this thread I think it says "Vegan is Hungry" and I'm like "oh man, get this girl some edamame, stat!"
 

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I was in Budapest last year and ordered a broccolli stew (only veg thing on the menu).

When it came it was one huge head of boiled broccolli with cheese melted over the top.
 

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I agree with Indian Summer. I think your expectations were too high, and you didn't do your research ahead of time.

Even here in a large veg-friendly city in the US, I can go to a shopping mall with a large food court and find NOTHING vegan except for salad and fruit - you were lucky to find what you did.

While you shouldn't have to eat something non-vegan, there's also no need to be furious with a business when they think they are offering you something to fit your requirements. Reacting this way (anywhere!) only shows childishness, selfishness and immaturity - qualities that will NOT help your cause, or get you a good meal.

Remember, there is a language barrier, no matter how clearly it seems you've communicated, even in other English-speaking countries, and it's likely you may not get exactly what you wanted.
 
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