Vegan gyros, no sugar Mediterranean treats, local food inspired vegan/vegetarian dishes.
One could witness a tremendous increase in the number of vegan/vegetarian places in the Greek capital in the past couple of years.
We are sharing our favourite places around the center of Athens and in the northern suburbs.
Vegan Beat (V)
Located near the Monastiraki square, it is an easily accessible spot for tourists who crave some veganized local street food. Vegan Beat always attracts a large crowd therefore you might have to wait a couple of minutes to get a table. Their always friendly and cheerful stuff will instantly put a smile on your face. You definitely should not miss out on the Space Gyros stuffed with mushrooms, veggies and rich tzatziki sauce. In case you are looking for a lighter dish chose the Cretan Dakos salad with fresh tomatoes, olives, plant-based feta cheese and crunchy barley rusks. If you still have some space left in your belly for dessert, you can take a delicious banoffee slice or a Wicked lime pie. They also deserve extra credit for their conscious measures regarding sustainability since only filtered water is offered in the store to avoid plastic waste. Reasonable prices: 3,5€ for a gyros and 5€ for a salad.
Perikleous 56, Athina 105 60
If you are looking for a hip bistro for brunch in Pagkrati area with a cool atmosphere and delicious pastries, you have just found the right spot. Ohh Boy is a top favorite gathering spot for Athenians who live in the neighborhood. Even though it is not a vegan place, they have an exceptionally large variety of meat and dairy-free choices. You can chose from superb salads, sandwiches, wraps and different kind of cakes. Either you pick the Black Bean burger with Greek eggplant salad and pickles or the beyond meat hotdog, you will definitely in for a treat! Two other popular choices include the handmade granola and the choco chia pudding. Our favourite savory dish is the tortilla with avocado, pesto, chickpeas and tahini. The mocha pie and the snickers bites are a must as well for people with a sweet tooth. For a full nourishing experience take a large cup of cappuccino with plant based milk. Almond, coconut, oat, pea, soya? You name it, they have it! Within minutes there will be delivered a delicious hot cup of coffee to your table by one of their friendly ever-smiling waiters.
Two pieces of tortilla cost 7,5€ and the prices of the cakes vary between 2,80 – 5,50€.
Tips from the editors:
If you go around noon, you may have to wait some time.
The bistro is also pet-friendly.
Amazingly, they also have an organic food store near the coffee shop, Ohh Boy “The Market”
Wandering on the streets of Monastiraki along the leather vendors and numerous other shops offering traditional handmade Greeks goods, this place stands out with its lively colorful look which instantly invites you to come in for a coffee and some small snacks. The owner and the stuff are very friendly; the place is a great example of the famous Greek hospitality. The interior radiates a happy vibe with its exotic patterns and bold colors. The comfy cushions and the cozy atmosphere helps you unwind and take a few breaths during your sightseeing tour. Happy Blender is also ideal for students or digital nomads who need a quiet place for working as the bistro is not too busy in the early hours of afternoon. In spite of being categorized as a juice and smoothie bar, they actually offer many different types of sweet and salty treats including AÇAI bowls, ice cream, veggie bowls and raw vegan bites. They have recently updated their menu by adding an entire ‘All Vegan’ section. You can opt for an avocado toast, veggie wraps, various salads or for a juicy burger made of beans and quinoa patty. The main vegan dishes cost between 6,90 – 9,90€ while you can get some yummy salty-caramel or chocolate-peanut butter bites for 3,50€ each.
Ifestou 39, Athina 105 55
Veganaki is close to two of the most famous historical attractions in the center of Athens: the Temple of Zeus and the Arch of the Roman emperor Hadrian. It is also less than half a mile away from the Acropolis. This plant-based restaurant offers veganised delicacies of the traditional Greek cuisine. There are many gluten free options as well. The staff is very attentive and eager to answer any of your questions regarding the ingredients. They are even ready to give you suggestions on where to purchase specific products in Athens if you want to prepare some vegan dish by yourself at home. They have really mastered to most iconic Greek dishes; even locals can agree that their moussaka, rich in flavor and cooked to perfection, is to die-for. Even in the case of the tzatziki, a classic dip which really stands or falls whether the right quality of yoghurt is used, Veganaki has created a perfect blend of creamy texture and fresh flavours of cucumber and mint. The maximum price for appetizers is 4€. Main courses come in the range of 7 to 12€.
Athanasiou Diakou 38, Athina 117 43
Stopping by to grab a lunch in Mama Tierra could be well incorporated into your daily sightseeing program when you are around the National Archaeological Museum. For tourists or expats who are not familiar with the neighborhood of Exarchia, the location of the restaurant may seem a bit chaotic at first and you indeed should be careful if you pass by in the late hours. On the other hand Mama Tierra is easily accessible by public transport. For the first glance, this vegan restaurant looks quite simple with minimum design; however, the quality of the food speaks for itself. They offer classic dishes in a veganised version such as burgers, tacos, burrito, paella, gyros or moussaka. Their mushroom burger which is served with sweet potato fries and BBQ sauce has been voted the ‘Best Vegan Burger in Town’ – an award by the Greek Vegan Magazine. Our tip for desert: do not miss out on the the chocolate mousse!. The restaurant has a good number of gluten free options as well for those who are sensitive to wheat products. You will definitely not leave this place hungry as each dish far exceeds the usual portion sizes. The price range of the dishes is between 5 and 10€. A rather inexpensive option compared to other vegan restaurants.
Akadimias 84, Athina 106 78
Cookoomela Grill (V)
Ten-minute walk from Omonia, this place is located in a very dense yet increasingly trendy spot of downtown Athens. Cookoomela is the first souvlaki place ever opened in Athens. Depending of the season, you may find a salad or some desserts; however, the menu is mainly focused on traditional Greek street food. Apart from the kebab, the main ingredient of the dishes is the mushroom which gives a nice and crunchy texture to the gyros. The dishes are named after colors based on which sauce each contains; mustard, tomato, mixed herb or BBQ. Fast service, pleasant atmosphere, inexpensive options. Each pita gyros costs 3,30€. Cookoomela is a great spot if you plan a night out and you want to fuel up with some juicy street food.
Themistokleous 43-45, Athina 106 83
In case you are into ethnic Lebanese flavors, look no further! Despite it is located in a northern suburb in Cholargos, once you take the first bite it will make you feel as if you travelled to some place in the Middle East. The restaurant has a vibrant art deco interior with a warm charm, which makes it an ideal first date spot as well. Arabic cuisine is widely known for its plentiful vegan and vegetarian options such as hummus, falafel, pita (disclaimer: be aware though that some Arabic pita may contain dairy) and various colorful salads. Our fav dish: the eggplant salad, which comes with a deliciously rich tomato sauce, and the crispy falafel. The hummus is right on spot as well with its mellow garlic and fresh lemon flavors. You can have a nice flavorful tabbouleh or fattoush salad for 8€, while main courses come between 10 and 15€.
Leof. Kifisias 226, Chalandri 152 31
A few steps away from Syntagma square, Avocado is a place which you just can’t miss during your Athens tour. Either when you go to visit the Acropolis or during a walk along the pedestrian shopping street of Ermou, Avocado is the right spot to take a small break and grab some delicious meal. Apart from serving wholesome vegan and vegetarian dishes in their restaurant, Avocado is also an advocate for the humane and cruelty-free way of living. Trip Advisor voted this place the top vegetarian restaurant and it surely lives up for its good reputation. The hungry visitor will face a difficult decision upon looking at the various mouth-watering dishes in the menu. People who are fond of Mexican flavors can’t go wrong with the Black Bean Caponata Wrap – a slightly spicy tortilla that is filled with rice, beans, Kalamata olives and avocado. The dish is accompanied with a lusciously creamy home-made guacamole sauce. Another authentic ethnic dish is the Om Shanti which consists of mixed vegetables and cashew nuts in yellow curry sauce over Basmati rice; mildly piquant. The costs of main dishes range between 10 and 15€.
Nikis 30, Athina 105 57
V – vegan VG – vegetarian
Written by our guest writer and content editor