Greek Vegetarian Guide – Exploring Food and Drinks in Greece

For many of us bitten by the travel bug, our food preferences, whether vegan or vegetarian, often influence our choice of destinations. These preferences may stem from personal choice, a love for animals, or religious beliefs. However, we sometimes feel apprehensive about exploring new cuisines. Our only fear is venturing into the unknown or trying dishes that may not align with our familiar cuisine. Here is our Greek vegetarian guide to food and drinks in Greece which would help you plan your meals without a speck of worry.

As we mapped out our journey to Greece, we felt a hint of apprehension, albeit not fear. Aware that, at the very least, bread, veggies, and fruits would serve as reliable staples even in the worst-case scenario, we proceeded with our plans without hesitation. Despite our vegetarian preferences and fondness for Indian cuisine, we always relish the opportunity to discover local dishes and cuisines wherever we go. This instinct remained strong upon our arrival in Greece.

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Here’s a delightful revelation: For those who have explored Southeast Asia, particularly India, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand, a plethora of amazing options awaits for vegans and vegetarians. Below, we’ve curated a list of such options. And if you’re open to experimenting with new beverages, Greece might just capture your heart. Vegetarian food is widely available across most places in Greece without any hassle. However, some lesser-known and non-touristy villages may offer limited options (For instance, we encountered few vegetarian choices in Kastraki Village during our time in Greece).

Here, we share our experiences of savoring vegetarian cuisine in Greece, accompanied by some traditional beverages. We highly recommend these culinary delights to enhance your trip and make it an unforgettable vacation with our very own Greek Vegetarian Guide.

Food (Greek vegetarian guide)

1. Greek Salads

One of the most famous Vegetarian dish in Greece
One of the most famous Vegetarian dish in Greece

In Greece, the salad scene is a true delight and tops the list of our Greek Vegetarian Guide. Bursting with vibrant leafy greens, crisp onions, an array of cheeses, and drizzled with golden olive oil, a plate of salad here transcends the ordinary, serving as a delightful prelude to any meal. Among the many varieties we sampled, the Greek salad stole our hearts with its generous portion of creamy Feta cheese and plump olives. More than just a nutritious dish, it’s an irresistible culinary experience that leaves you craving more. Yummm indeed!

2. Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms
Stuffed Mushrooms

As a mushroom lover, this dish was a delightful surprise. Its unique preparation style, featuring three generously stuffed pieces, filled with veggies, rice, and sauces, infused with a hint of honey, made for a truly delicious meal. Despite the plethora of options available, we couldn’t resist indulging in mushrooms twice during our trip.

3. Risotto

Enjoying Risotto at a Lakeside restaurant.
Enjoying Risotto at a Lakeside restaurant.

This creamy Italian dish, comprising rice, chopped veggies, and abundant cheese, is a true delight. Just two bowls of risotto were enough to satisfy our hunger. While originating from Italy, you’ll discover excellently prepared risotto dishes all across Greece. Pairing it with a glass of wine enhances the experience, making it truly enjoyable.

4. Sandwiches

Open Sandwich and French Fries
Open Sandwich and French Fries

Well, where is this dish not found on earth. Available almost everywhere but varying in taste, sandwiches can be one of the safest option if you’re reluctant to try something new. Filled with veggies and cheese, there is always room for a sandwich on your dinner table and hence on our Greek Vegetarian Guide as well. Not only that, it’s one of the best take-away food and also makes a great snack. We can’t leave this without mentioning “Souvlaki Story”. This place serves amazing sandwiches in the old Town of Mykonos. We had a club sandwich and an open sandwich with some fries by the side. A bottle of beer surely completes your meal.

5. Pizza

Being close to Italy, most of the Italian dishes can quite easily be found with that good a taste; Pizza being one of them. You can find a variety with breads, thin or thick crust, may be even a double decker loaded with cheese especially when you’re a cheese lover like me. You can go on from ordering classic Margherita to Greek styled one with some traditional toppings.

6. Greek Dolmades

This was one of the new dish that we tried, and it disappoint us. In fact we ended up ordering it 3 times during our whole trip. Dolmades is a dish make of stuffed vine leaves. The stuffing is generally of rice and veggies. It one of the best appetizers to check on. We loved the taste.

7. Gemista

Stuffed Bell Peppers
Stuffed Bell Peppers

It’s generally a stuffed tomato and a belle pepper. As usual the stuffing is of rice and veggies. This dish is also available almost throughout the Greece.

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8. Tzatziki with Bread

Greek Salad and Tzatziki with bread.
Greek Salad and Tzatziki with bread.

Tzatziki is a dip/sauce made of salted yogurt and cheese, cucumber, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and some herbs. Its tastefully sour and cherished with bread and chips. 

9. Hummus

Hummus is another dip/spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. Its creamy and a bit bland in taste. It is taken alongwith the bread. Its quite popular in South-eastern Europe.

10. Spaghetti

One of the very famous food and almost available everywhere round the globe, Spaghetti is a form of pasta served plain or with sauce. The greek version of spaghetti is cheesy and creamish. A plate of spaghetti can make a full meal.

11. Cheese – lots of it

And finally, you can have variety of cheese dishes varying from tons of Spicy Cheese dips to Cheese pouches/pockets. If you are a cheese lover, then Greek vegetarian food will be truly paradise.

12. Sweet Dishes & Desserts

A good meal is never complete without an excellent dessert. And Greece offers a variety of it from yummy gelato to famous frozen greek yogurt. Some of desserts that would satiate your sweet tooth are gelatos, ice-creams, yogurt, melomakarona (honey cookies), Diples (crispy fried pastries), Revani etc. If you are a bit reluctant to try traditional desserts, gelatos, icecreams and yogurts will always be the best options to cover your sweet cravings.

No Greek meal is truly complete without a refreshing beverage, so it’s only fitting that drinks find their place in our Greek Vegetarian Guide as well.

Fun fact – I always enjoy my dessert alongside some alcohol. 

And speaking of Drinks, be sure to try these. (Ouzo and Mastika are already my favourites)

Drinks:

1. Raki

Raki - Traditional Greek Drink.
Raki – Traditional Greek Drink.

It’s a Greek spirit made of grapes. In contrast to Turkish Raki, this one has a clear taste. It is usually served alongside food as its considered a good digestif. It can be taken as a shot or diluted with water.

One other version of Raki is called Rakomelo which is made by combining Raki with Honey, some spices and herbs. It is a Cretan drink.

2. Mastika

Mastika - Yet another traditional Greek drink
Mastika – Yet another traditional Greek drink

Majority of the drinks in Greece are consumed at the end of the meal, and so is Mastika. Native to the Greek island of Chios, Mastika is a sweet liquor flavoured with Mastik – a resin obtained from the Mastik tree. Its super sweet taste makes it not-a-preferred drink sometimes. It has a wonderfully unique and distinct flavour and if you have a sweet tooth for drinks, you might end up loving it. Mastika is a popular drink in Greece and available throughout the Greece. We had Mastika in the island of Oia.

3. Ouzo

Ouzo - A very famous greek drink
Ouzo – A very famous greek drink

One of my favourite Greek drinks. It is a bit dry to taste and anise-flavoured. It’s very similar to taste with Absinthe. There is a very small difference one can make out. Can be taken as shots or diluted with water (I prefer it diluted and like to drink it slow). Its popularly available throughout the Greece. We tried Ouzo in Chania and Athens.

4. Greek Rose Wine

Rose Wine - Famous Santorini wine.
Rose Wine – Famous Santorini wine.

It was the first time we heard about Rose Wine. Its a relatively new drink in the Greek culture but has become quite popular in the recent times – especially in Santorini

This wine is a little dry and has a green flavour quite similar to celery. You might not fall for it in the first go but slowly you might start to enjoy it. However we would still prefer authentic Red Wine.

5. Traditional Greek beer

Mythos - Greek crafted beer
Mythos – Greek crafted beer

There are many kinds of beer served in Greece with lager beer being the most famous. It does not taste bitter and is more on the sweet side but its quite strong.

6. Metaxa 

This is considered to be a greek whisky but it’s actually not. It has its own category because of the presence of Muscat wines and some herbs in it.

7. Greek Coffee

Greek Coffee
Greek Coffee

This is same as Turkish coffee. A little coarse in nature and quite strong though low in caffeine. Again this is something you will have to develop a taste for. I liked it but Suchi did not :-).

Hope you enjoy our Greek Vegetarian Guide, offering a delectable array of vegetarian-friendly options to indulge in during your exploration of Greece. Drawing from our personal experiences and insights gathered from locals throughout our journey, we’ve curated a collection of must-try dishes for you to savor. We hope you enjoy discovering these culinary delights and find them helpful as you plan your own Greek gastronomic adventure!”

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