If you are going on holiday to Greece this year, you must read this guide! And I can please you with the information that there is plenty of vegan food in Greece and it is more than excellent! I can say this with certainty for Athens, where it is very easy to get vegan dishes in restaurants and there are also many completely vegan and vegetarian restaurants.
What I liked most was that it was possible to get traditional Greek dishes in a vegan version. I’ve tried quite a few of their dishes, and I’ve been impressed by each and every one of them! One of the most famous dishes is souvlaki, which in the original is baked meat, but they have vegan versions that contain a soy-based alternative. It can be eaten alone or as a filling in a wrap. It is usually served with their traditional tzatziki dressing, which is usually made from yogurt, cucumber, garlic, olive oil and spices, including dill. Other traditional savory dishes include gyros, feta cheese and Greek salad, all of which are very easy to find in vegan versions. Various pies which are made from pulled dough and are also common.
The Greeks are also true masters in the field of desserts. Two of the most famous Greek desserts are certainly halva and baklava. In addition, the Greeks have many other desserts. A very interesting and tasty desserts are kormos and loukoumades. Kormos is a chocolate pastry with pieces of biscuits, and loukoumades are small fried balls of dough, usually filled with various fillings. In addition, it is of course very easy to find vegan ice cream, pancakes, pastries and other desserts.
So let’s stop just talking about all the delicious food, now it’s time for me to share photos and the exact locations of the restaurants where you can get these dishes! Below are also some ideas of what to see in Athens and Greece.
Veganaki is a completely vegan restaurant located in the city centre, close to the Parthenon and other main attractions. They offer breakfast, lunch, desserts and coffee with various plant-based drinks. They serve many traditional Greek dishes: souvlaki, omelettes, falafel, moussaka, salads…
The restaurant is nicely decorated, with a relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff. I went to this restaurant twice in one week because all the food I tried was extremely delicious! I even got one dessert for free, because they were currently trying a new recipe and they just wanted an opinion on how I liked the dessert. Definitely one of the best vegan restaurants in Athens!
2. Happy Blender
Happy Blender is also a vegan restaurant located in a pleasant street in the old town. They offer a huge variety of healthy dishes and drinks. For breakfast, you can get amazing acai bowls, smoothies, fresh juices, sandwiches and pastries. For main dishes they offer a variety of salads, veggie bowls, burgers, wraps and pizzas. In addition, they also have excellent desserts: pancakes, pastries, raw desserts and ice cream. And, of course, coffee with various plant-based drinks. At this restaurant, in addition to the delicious food, I really liked the vibe of the restaurant which is very nicely decorated, in pleasant happy colours and with a lot of tropical decoration.
3. The Vegan Vandal
The Vegan Vandal is also a 100% vegan restaurant. They mainly offer burgers, hot dogs, salads, pies and desserts. The atmosphere is very pleasant, they have tables and benches outside, directly on the street, so you can enjoy your food with a view of the street, where even in the summer the trees were decorated with lights.
Lukumades is also located in the very center of the city, on one of the liveliest streets. Here you can try lukumades – a traditional Greek delicacy. Lukumades are small fried balls that are similar to fritters and are basically vegan. They can be eaten on their own or with various fillings or toppings that you can choose yourself, many of which are vegan: dark chocolate, maple syrup, powdered sugar, vegan chocolate filling and apples with cinnamon. It is also possible to choose toppings such as walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios.
I myself tried the lukumades with chocolate filling and they were truly divine and very generously filled! The portions are also quite large, so one is quite enough for two people.
Groceristas is a small shop with an excellent vegan offer. Here you can get various vegan and organic products, such as plant-based drinks, cheeses, creams, seitan… In addition, they also offer fresh food: various juices, smoothies, sandwiches and even vegan ice cream. The ice cream is very tasty and creamy. They have both fruit and other flavors available (chocolate, hazelnut, pistachio, vanilla).
It’s not hard to get vegan food in stores. In my opinion, Lidl has the best offer, since they have many different plant-based drinks, yogurts, cheese and meat substitutes. In addition, they also have lasagna in the refrigerator, which only needs to be baked in the oven. As for bakery products, in addition to various types of bread and rolls, they also have a vegan spinach pie.
Above are listed only a few of the huge number of restaurants with a vegan offer in Athens, because of course I didn’t manage to visit all of them in the short week I was there. But I will definitely come back and try the rest of the offer, which is really great.
What to see in Athens
Now I’m sharing with you my favorite locations from the trip and tips for day trips to places that are definitely worth seeing.
1. Acropolis, Parthenon and Theater of Dionysus
The Acropolis, the Parthenon and the Theater of Dionysus are, of course, the most recognizable sights of Athens. They are located on a small hill, slightly elevated above Athens. They offer a wonderful insight into Greek history.
2. Lycabettus Hill
Lycabettus is the highest hill located in the very center of the city. At the top of the hill there is a small church and a restaurant that offers an amazing view over the whole city. In my opinion, this is one of the best locations to watch the sunrise and sunset in Athens. The path to the top is also very nice and not demanding.
Meteora is a rocky landscape located in the north of Greece and is a 4-hour train ride from Athens, but it is definitely worth a visit because it is so unique and has an extremely interesting history! Meteora is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Meteora consists of 6 monasteries, which are built on mighty hills high above the city. In addition to monasteries, there are also caves that were inhabited since prehistoric times.
Delphi is another historically important place in Greece, located about two hours from Athens in the Parnassus Mountains. The remains of the Temple of Apollo, the Treasury of Athena and the Tolos (Sanctuary of Athena) are located there.
5. Island of Aegina
Greece is known for its huge number of beautiful islands that make for an excellent holiday destination. In addition to all the famous islands that are quite far from Athens, there are also many smaller islands near Athens that are just as beautiful and can be reached by ferry in 1 or 2 hours. I myself visited the island of Aegina, which is only one hour away with a ferry. The island has a lot of restaurants (where vegan dishes are easy to find), beaches, small shops and stalls. The island is known for pistachios, which are the main crop there, so you can get a lot of pistachio products and, of course, pistachios themselves (salted, unsalted, caramelized…).