On my 16 day trip abroad to Lisbon, Portugal, Athens, Greece and the Greek Islands of Mykonos, Ios, and Santorini, I think I spent half of my time sightseeing and the other half searching for ‘vegan options’ on Yelp or Google. Sometimes my digging brought some treasures to the surface and sometimes not so much. I did find that I had to compromise my values a decent amount of the time over there (mostly on the islands).
I believe in any city you have the chance to dig up some vegan gold. However as I said, the islands really posed the majority of the challenge. Of course there are classic Greek and Mediterranean dishes that are naturally vegan if they are prepared as such; such as stuffed tomatoes, eggplant, or peppers or grape leaves. If you’re anything like me and LOVE grape leaves, you’re seriously appeased when you come across a place that makes their grape leaves (aka vine leaves) without meat or other animal products. (Side note: Grape leaves are actually called Vine Leaves in Greece. They looked at me sideways when I tried to order ‘grape leaves’. Tell me: Where does that cross-cultural cuisine breakdown happen? It was also really funny when my hiking & yoga experience guide referred to the granola bars she bought us as ‘flapjacks’. lol.)
Banter aside, I came across some amaaaazing healthy, vegan + GF options over there. I searched far and wide and sough out some recommendations for these places, so I assure you they are absolutely worth the visit! (Luckily our hiking & yoga guide in Athens was vegan so we hit the jackpot there!)
On this post, I will spotlight the awesome vegan options we discovered during our short stint in Athens!
First stop in Athens: Cookoomella Grill
This place was the freaking bomb. Cookomella Grill is your spot if you are looking to grub out on a typical Greek/Mediterranean cuisine but in a completely vegan-friendly fashion. Our pictures for this one sort of match the vibe: Gritty, off-the-beaten path feel that looks like an average street-like food vendor, but oh my gawd….. amazzzzing food! Unbelievable.
They offer three main options, Yellow and Red Gyros both with mushrooms as the foundation and then an organic lentil Kebob. Their vegan mayonnaise was so dope. We
We got all three of their main options: The Yellow Gyro which is a Mushroom gyro with avocado, homemade vegan mayo, mustard, salad, homemade potatoes. The Red Gyro is a mushroom gyro with avocado, homemade vegan mayo, homemade tomato sauce, salad, homemade potatoes.
We also got the Organic Lentil Kabob with homemade tomato sauce, almond cream cheese, salad, potatoes.
And be sure to try their homemade potato skins with a side of the vegan mayonnaise. 🤤
Our last stop on the trip when we were back in Athens to fly back home was Vegan Nation. Vegan Nation is 100% vegan friendly offering a variety of foods like tacos and burgers, rice bowls, and vegan dessert options. It is a menu with a a significant amount of options and ways of pairing and creating. It is not a sit-down-serve restaurant but is a walkup with seating options which makes it nice for on-the-go vegans.
We devoured two of the taco options. Taco #1 was marinated jackfruit cooked in adobo, aoli, coconut milk, jalapeño topped with lime, guacamole, COCONUT MILK PARMESAN!, and coriander.
Taco #2 was marinated jackfruit cooked in thai peanut butter sauce topped with fresh ginger, orange, cashew no cheese sauce, coconut milk parmesan (#drool), and peppers.
We also got the American style BBQ Jackfruit burger, the vegan cheesecake which was made out of coconut cream cheese, and an espresso milkshake with vegan ice cream if course.
We were so hungry we didn’t even remember to get food pictures….
Happy hunting vegans! Be sure to let me know about any other dope vegan/healthy food joints you come across on your journey in Athens!!