By Soren Rivero
Greek cuisine takes heavy inspiration from traditional Mediterranean flavors, including plentiful use of fresh produce, hearty olive oil, soft breads, and delicious spreads. Despite many Greek dishes using meat as the focal point, it’s rather easy to find vegan food in Greece thanks to the diversity of dishes available!
If you’re wondering what to eat in this beautiful European country, here are 10 vegan Greek foods you should definitely try when you travel to Greece!
1. Pita Bread
Soft, hearty, and a great pairing to any dish, Pita Bread is an absolute staple to Greek cuisine. It’s also one of the simplest ways to make fluffy bread without using too many ingredients or waiting a long time for it to finish cooking. Traditional pitas only require flour, yeast, oil, salt, and sugar. You can find them at almost any shop, but the tastiest can be found at vegan-friendly restaurants in Greece.
Tabbouleh is another traditional Mediterranean staple that’s a popular vegan dish in Greece and other countries, such as Lebanon. This tasty salad combines bulgur, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, oil, and seasoning. It’s best paired with heavier dishes as it’s a very refreshing and healthy food item. Tabbouleh is also a naturally vegan food in Greece, so no adjustments need to be made!
If you’ve ever had Baba Ghanoush, Melitzanosalata will be a friendly reminder of those delicious Middle Eastern flavors with a slight twist. Melitzanosalata is a dip made from pureed eggplants combined with the bold flavors of lemon juice, garlic, cumin, parsley, and other ingredients depending on where you get it. Spread it on your pita bread for an amazing vegan-friendly Greek meal!
Dolmathes are an incredibly popular Mediterranean food and a must-try vegan food in Greece. These soft little morsels take some time to cook and prepare, but getting them at an authentic Greek restaurant is absolutely worth it. White rice is simmered with onions, lemon, dill, pine nuts, and olive oil then wrapped into soft grape leaves to cook. The result is a unique blend of hearty, slightly bitter, and savory goodness.
5. Greek Roasted Potatoes
Can you ever go wrong with potatoes? Unless you’re allergic, the answer is likely no. Potatoes are another staple to the cuisine and are commonly seen in many authentic Greek vegan dishes. Roasted potatoes are one of the yummiest and easiest to find. All that goes into making them are parsley, lemon, salt and pepper, oregano, and lots of love. Try this vegan Mediterranean food on your trip to Greece!
6. Kounoupidi me Patates Kapamas
Pronounced as “kou-nou-PEE-dee MEH Pah-TAH-tess Kah-pah-MASS”, this healthy stew is another naturally vegan Greek dish! Cauliflower and potatoes are cooked then doused with a thick, delicious broth. It’s traditionally served as a main dish and is a great way to fill up your belly with a hearty meal.
Want fries with your meal? Then try out gemista! Gemista is a hearty Greek dish that consists of tomatoes or red bell peppers stuffed with rice, seasoning, and herbs. This is a fantastic healthy Greek food option that’s bursting with flavor, served with a side of thick fries. Be sure to check if the restaurant adds any meat to the dish, as they occasionally do.
Spanakopita is a fast-food style savory pie. It’s flakey, filling, and made with cheese and spinach. If you ask for the "nitisimo" version, it only comes with spinach. "Nistisimo" (nee-stee-see-mo) is how to let people know you want a vegan version of a dish in Greece. English is pretty common in Greece, but knowing this word will make eating vegan in Greece easier.
Next up we have something rather simple. Gigantes are large white beans cooked to a tender consistency. They’re drowned in a Mediterranean sauce made from tomatoes, herbs, and spices. Have this as a side with some bread and it is one delicious vegan option in Greece!
Last but not least, you can’t leave Greece without trying Briam. This vegan dish in Greece might look similar to the super-popular French dish called ratatouille, as it's a simple dish made from sliced vegetables topped in sauce and herbs. Have it as a main or side dish for the ultimate vegan food experience in Greece!
Try out some of this delicious Greek food on your next trip!