View Full Version : Vegan Greece

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Apr 23rd, 2004, 08:44 PM
This site as a great overall explanation of the islands and food habits - I would call ahead on the restaurants listed here, to make sure before setting my travel plans.


Oct 16th, 2004, 09:39 PM
"Vegan Travel in the Greek Islands" is HERE. (http://www.rhizomatics.co.uk/gvn/greekvegan.html)

Jun 25th, 2005, 01:56 AM
I have been on Zakynthos, a greek island. I loved it there..turtles!
They got italian restaurants there and I explained it and they made something for me. I was a new vegan at that time. I don't know more about greek.

Apr 18th, 2006, 12:10 PM
I'm going on holiday to Athens for a week at the start of June (hooray!) but i'm a bit worried about the food side of things (this will be the first time i've gone abroad since becoming a Vegan).
Does anyone know how easy it is to be vegan out there? Are there shops that sell soy milk/cheese etc? I'm definatly not going to go back to being vege for a week like some people have suggested to me :mad: but i'd like to eat something with a little more substanence than just salad everyday. I'm not staying in a catered hotel by the way and i'm going with my bloke who is an omni (but i'm working on that... :D ) so i guess i'm going to have to eat at a few meaty resturants while i'm there too :s

Apr 18th, 2006, 04:44 PM
Too late you weren't going now! It's still the Lenten season for Orthodox Christians and there would be more vegan options (during the Lenten season, you aren't suppose to have any animal product).

Apr 18th, 2006, 05:31 PM
Oh no! Really? I wish i had known that, i would have persuaded my boyfriend to bring our holiday closer (not that he would have needed persuading anyway i think, it is a holiday after all!)

Apr 18th, 2006, 06:07 PM
Yeah, :(. Sorry, I don't know any more than that. I'm sure they'll have a lot of fresh produce there, so you can survive on that if you need to. Bring lots of Luna Bars, Cliff bars, etc, in case you can't find anything else.

Apr 18th, 2006, 06:17 PM
Enjoy your vacation Ara! :D

I don't know about vegan options there, but here are some tips:

If you can bring food (b/c sometimes they don't let you go past customs with food), bring:

Clif/Luna bars, individually packed soymilk (e.g. Edensoy, not sure if you have this brand in the UK), nuts, dried fruit, Amy's canned soup, etc

Also, if your hotel has a microwave or kitchenette, you can bring rice, pilaf, quinoa, couscous, etc that are in those packets that already have all the spices in them, so all you have to do is add water and just cook them for 15 minutes.

If there's no microwave, ask if they have coffee makers in each room. You can boil water in it, then take it off the hotplate and pour in the cous-cous and let it sit for 5 minutes, and voila! it should be ready! I know it's a bit bizarre, but I had to get creative when I was staying at this one hotel that had no microwave, and I needed some way to make something vegan :)

Apr 18th, 2006, 06:55 PM
I went to Turkey about 4 years ago and we also spent a day on the island of Kos.

One of the things we found really useful food wise was that there were loads of mezze style foods around, especially in the hotels we stayed at. I suspect that this will be the same in Greece cos I think the food styles are quite similar. A lot of the shops sold canned varieties which were made in Greece.

Eating out was difficult in some restaurants (both in Turkey and on Kos) because they simply didn't understand about even vegetarianism never mind veganism. My girlfriend at the time asked for a pizza (on Kos) which only had bacon as the only meat listed on it so she asked for it without the bacon (she was a veggie) and it arrived with bits of ham and sausage on it.

I bought this stew at another restaurant (in Turkey) and the waiter swore it was all vegetable but when I tasted it tasted weird. My girlfriend tasted it and nearly puked, saying she recognised the taste of lamb stock cos she had really hated lamb when she was a young omni.

The Vegan Society publishes something caled the Vegan passport which explains veganism in lots of different languages, he idea being that you show it to waiters and hotel staff etc and hopefully avoid misunderstandings and they can sort something out.

Apr 18th, 2006, 06:58 PM
Dancingwillow - Thankyou! I'm sure i will enjoy it! I've already planned out all the places and museums we're going to see (to the probable bemusement of the bf) but i've never really been one for beach holidays, i love exploring! :D

The cous-cous idea sounds great, i was thinking about taking pot noodles/rice (blergh) as a last resort if i was desperate for something, but i'll definatly be taking cous-cous instead! Mmmm i could just eat that stuff forever hehe. Hopefully there won't be customs problems either :/

Veggiesosage - thanks for the headsup on the resturants, i think if i eat out i'll definatly stick to salads...although i shall definatly look into the vegan passport thing, thanks!

Apr 18th, 2006, 07:06 PM
Oh yeah, and I'd strongly recommend getting a 'Rough Guide' as well.

Apr 18th, 2006, 07:09 PM
Where can you get that from? The vegan society website?

Apr 18th, 2006, 07:15 PM
No Rough Guides are the rival to the Lonely Planet series of travel books so you can get them from any bookshop. Whenever I've travelled anywhere I've found them invaluable.


While you're on the Vegan Soc website you might also want to have a look at the 'Vegetarian Europe' book, although I've no idea how much info there is on Greece in it.



Apr 18th, 2006, 07:24 PM
Ah i see, thanks! I shall have a nosey on those sites.

Apr 18th, 2006, 08:08 PM
There's a nice vegetarian restaurant in Athens called Eden - it's in the Plaka, the old area on the lower slopes of the Acropolis. They do have vegan dishes there, can't remember if they're identified on the menu but people in Athens usually speak English. Here's their web site http://www.edenvegetarian.gr/profile-en.html

Really, though, you shouldn't have too much of a problem as ordinary restaurants in Greece usually have a wide range of veg. dishes cooked in olive oil. You may have to stick to starters but that's acceptable there - just go in and order a few starters and no main course. Just have a look at the menu before you go in because there are a few touristy places that only serve souvlaki and chips :( Not so many of those in Athens though.

Not sure about soy milk etc as I didn't look for them, but there is plenty of other stuff. There are little shops that sell dried fruit and nuts and the fresh fruit is lovely.

I wish I were going to Athens :D

Apr 18th, 2006, 09:11 PM
I shall definatly be checking that resturant out, it looks good! (and the bf can like it or lump it, i don't care! hehe). I have a feeling i might live on hummous and fresh veggies :D mmmmm.

Apr 18th, 2006, 10:14 PM
Contrary to popular belief I'm afraid they don't actually have hummus much in Greece - though they do in Cyprus if I remember correctly. In Greece they sometimes have something very similar called fava (a garlicky puree made of lentils I think). Then there's yiyantes (like giant baked beans), skordhalia (a vegan "mayonnaise" with walnuts), stuffed peppers, stuffed vineleaves (though ask for them without avgolimono sauce which has egg in it and watch out for large ones (dolmades) which sometimes contain meat - the small ones (dolmadakia) are usually OK)...

You should have plenty of choice, really. Just ask questions if you're not sure. Some places let you go out to the kitchen to see what's cooking but that's more common in the country.

May 15th, 2006, 08:00 PM
I'm going to the Greek Island Kefalonia in September. I would be interested if anyone on here has been on holiday to the Islands and could share their experiences here. Including the obvious things such as availability of vegan food and asking for suitable food, as well as the Greek experience in general.

May 16th, 2006, 12:42 PM
I haven't been to Kefalonia but I've been to a few islands and different parts of mainland Greece and found it relatively vegan-friendly - not to the concept, they'd probably think we were mad, but they just happen to have quite a lot of vegan food in their traditional cuisine :D

Things like fruit and nuts are usually in generous supply too. You won't starve.

Aug 19th, 2006, 01:54 AM
Hello there,
Kefallonia is a great island, very green with golden beaches and the largest of the Ionian Islands. So you definitely will have a lot to see!
Here is a Travel Guide of Kefalonia (http://www.travel-guide-greece.com/greece-guide/Kefalonia/Cephalonia.asp) for you to visit.

During religious holidays (such as Christmas, Easter,15th of August) most people keep a fast and strictly dont eat meat. Unfortunately this is not the case in September. But still, there is so much fruit and vegetables available everywhere, so you wont face any problems
Have a nice stay!

Oct 23rd, 2007, 03:51 PM
Has anyone been to Athens recently? We're going soon and I'm dismayed to see that the vegetarian restaurant Eden, which we've been to often over the years, seems to have disappeared. Out of the ones currently listed on Happycow I've only been to Panepistemiou, which is only open lunchtime AFAICR. Can anyone who's been there recently recommend anywhere else, please?

I know you can get vegan food in omnivorous restaurants there, but we like to go to veggie ones when available.

Nov 21st, 2007, 02:46 PM
We went, so I may as well list where we ate in case anyone else goes there.

The places are all fairly central, and reasonably inexpensive. The only one that appears to be completely vegetarian - and I'm not 100% sure about that - is the unnamed lunch caff at 57 Panepistemiou. The others all managed to produce apparently-vegan food, although in some cases we had to ask them to change a dish (e.g. in the noodle bar we had to ask them to use rice noodles instead of egg). Virtually everyone speaks English so it's not too hard to explain what you want.


O Tzitzikas ki o Mermigas* (12-14 Mitropoleos, near Sintagma - I believe they have a couple of other branches)

Oikeio (15 Ploutarhou, near Likavettos funicular)

Noodle Bar (11 Apollonos - near Sintagma)

Cookou (66 Themistokleous, not far from Omonia).


57 Panepistemiou* (closes early so more suitable for lunch or perhaps tea than dinner)

coffee shop in (main) Benaki museum

*these were the ones that had the nicest food, I thought.

Apr 19th, 2008, 05:04 PM
I know this is a little late but for the sake of contributing to our group's knowledge of places far away...

There is a health food store in Athens with some choices for vegans (tho I was only veggie when I visited so be warned) I vaguely remember seeing tofu, etc.
If you stand in front of the Electra Palace Hotel in Plaka and go to your left, take a left at the first corner, and on your lefthand side 2 shops down the street you'll find it! I have no idea what it's name is...but it's a one minute walk from the Electra Palace (great hotel by the way).
I think they have a pretty interesting stock of organic foods and snacks, as well as the potential for tofu ;)

Otherwise Greece is a tough one. ;)
"You are vegetarian? It's okay, I make you lamb."

Jun 17th, 2008, 03:46 PM
Just got back from two weeks in Greece... one week in Rhodes and one week in Athens. Mostly we ate at random cafes and I ordered stuffed vegetables or dolmades (I tried to communicate that I didn't want them with egg, but I don't know if it worked) or gigantes and greek salad without feta. I also managed to find hummus at a few places. I wanted to eat Greek food the whole time, but my options were so limited that I burned out at the end and we ate at a bunch of ethnic places instead.

It was kind of stressful, and I was not as "good" about things as I am at home. At home, I usually eat in or eat at restaurants I *know* have vegan food, because I dislike discussing my food needs with waiters... having to discuss my food needs with people who didn't necessarily speak English was stressful. I tended to assume bread was vegan. A few times I asked if pasta didn't have egg in it, and they would say "You want egg in your pasta?" so I'm not sure if they understood that I was asking about the dough. Some animal broth may have found it's way into some of my food. In the US I am very good about asking after every non-vegan ingredient, but doing so meal after meal was tiring, and a few times I forgot to ask about something specific that might have been in the food (or the waiter just didn't understand me). I didn't eat anything obviously non vegan, so that's something. It's good to be home and feel "safe" foodwise! I will say that overall, your chances of walking into a random restaurant in Greece and being able to eat a nutrtionally-balanced vegan meal are WAY better than your chances in the US (which would just be crappy salad and french fries).

Here's info on the individual places we ate at:

In Athens we ate twice at Diavlos (listed on Happy Cow) near the Sigrou Fix station. It's all vegetarian, with some vegan options (though you may have to alter stuff). First time I had soy "souvlaki" minus the tzaziki (yogurt sauce), and the second time I had falafel with tahini sauce that I pray was vegan (the waiter's English was not so good, and I'd forgotten my vegan passport).

We also ate at Golden Chopsticks (near Syntagma? they were listed in one of the tourist mags) which has Chinese, Indian, and Thai food with a vegetarian menu. The waitress assured me it was all totally vegetarian (no cheese or egg), but who knows.

There was a pasta chain we ate at (Pastaria?) that had several vegan options.

In the Psiri area, we ate at a lovely Indian restaurant called Pak India (or Pak Indian) that we found in a tourist guide. The neighborhood was pretty sketchy (though that could be my suburban background speaking) but the restaurant was quite nice. Our waiter spoke flawless English and chatted with us about vegetarianism and politics (American) before our food arrived.

In the main square of the flea market, there's a restaurant called Abyssinia or maybe Avyssinia that has French/Arab type food. We had the most amazing split pea dip as an appetizer (with capers and onions... mmm), then shared vegetable couscous and a dish with mushrooms, onions, and peppers. The latter dish was pretty basic (just seasoned with salt and pepper, I think), but very tasty... I think they use very good quality produce. The couscous came with a lovely spicy/sweet/fruity garnish. They appeared to have several other vegan options, but not a ton.

In Rhodes in the old town we ate at Romeo's. They have a vegetarian menu and a few things can be made vegan. That's were I found hummus (some of the best I've ever had), and some uninspired fried vegetables.

In Rhodes we also ate at the Kon Tiki Floating restaurant. I wanted to eat at a "nice" restaurant (something I've kind of missed since being vegan...). Nothing on the menu was vegan, and the one vegetarian thing was truffle risotto. I asked if they could make it without butter or cream or cheese and they said "all things are possible!" They precook the mushrooms in butter or something, so they made the dish completely from scratch for me. My husband had the dish as it was meant to be (he's a vegetarian, not vegan), and we both loved our food. Also had a fan-freaking-tabulous bottle of wine (don't really know if it was vegan, though). It was overall one of the best meals I've eaten in ages. On the downside, they automatically bring you cucumber soup with salmon bits on top as one of the starters. Husband ate it even though it had fish, but I just left mine. The view was beautiful. Quite expensive.

ETA: I brought my vegan passport and used it a few times with good success. The main problem is that I feel very dopey handing it over to anyone who speaks even a little English and then sitting there watching them read it. It's a bit odd that the entries start with an explanation of why people are vegan (which I don't really want to discuss at every meal) though I think the idea is to keep people from getting scared that you have crazy allergies... and/or so that they will understand that any animal product will not be acceptable due to the general philosophy. I also don't like the bit that says that pastries made without animal fat are okay, as I think many people will interpret animal fat as lard/shortening and not think of butter (could easily happen in the US, anyway... not sure about other places).

Jun 17th, 2008, 04:00 PM
Wow, you did very well to sample all those different places, Alex!

It was clever of you to have hummus, I don't think I ever have in Greece, only in Cyprus. The dip called fava (which may be the one you had at Abyssinia/Avyssinia) is a good substitute though.

I feel they don't dump meat stock in everything because a lot of vegetarian foods there are traditionally Lenten dishes, but that could be wishful thinking on my part.

ETA food apart, did you enjoy your trip?