Last month for my birthday, me and my boyfriend went on a short trip to Athens, Greece. Prior to our trip we were really nervous because we didn’t know how easy it would be to eat vegan in a foreign country. Many people have asked me if we struggled to eat whilst we we’re out there and honestly, it was so much easier than we’d ever anticipated!
When we arrived in Athens, after settling into our hotel we decided to take a stroll through the city. We were amazed by how many coffee shops and restaurants there were! Finally, after 20 minutes or so of walking, we stumbled across a beautiful looking fruit & veg shop and decided to buy some lovely fresh fruits for our stay.
Although we were tempted to buy everything in the shop, we only ended up buying 25 bananas! Our hotel served breakfast but we weren’t sure if there would be any vegan options, so we thought we’d stock up on bananas just in case.
We then came across a small Falafel shop not far from our hotel called Falafel House. We bought 2 falafel pitta’s for only €5.20! One pitta contained 3 falafels, houmous, tahini sauce, lettuce, parsley and tomatoes. It was out of this world! The falafels were the best falafels I had ever tasted in my entire life. We even went back to the shop and had a huge falafel salad for dinner! We became truly obsessed with this cute little joint.
On our next day, we were able to have breakfast in our hotel. The manager had very kindly!bought us some Alpro Soya milk because we’d told her that we were vegans the night before. There was plenty of fruit, cornflakes and fruit juices on offer! The cereal was dry and tasteless but who am I too complain.
That evening we decided take full advantage of the free WiFi in our hotel room and used the Happy Cow app to find some cool cruelty free restaurants. We came across a vegan rock bar called 500 Miles Away and decided we had to check it out! The walk there was an absolute nightmare. We got totally lost and ended up trying to find it for about 45 minutes! It was definitely worth the hassle though. I was absolutely blown away. They were playing my favorite Nirvana songs, the artwork on the walls was amazing and the staff were super friendly.
We ordered a vegan cheese burger with potato wedges and a 10 inch vegan pizza with mushrooms and peppers to share. Now let me just say, I’ve only tried a few plant-based cheeses since being vegan, but the cheese on this pizza absolutely blew my mind. When I bit into it, I felt fear in my heart. Why? Because it tasted so much like dairy cheddar! I honestly couldn’t believe how genuine it tasted. The cheese burger was equally as good. The mock meat was delicious but the cheese slice didn’t really have much flavour. Overall, we had a pretty epic meal and it was dirt cheap. Our meal came to €18.30, that included both meals, 1 beer and 1 freshly squeezed orange juice!
On our 3rd day (my birthday) we found a gorgeous little vegan friendly smoothie shop not far from the Plaka. Everything was written in English which was great, we didn’t have to struggle to make our order. They had a menu on the wall consisting of around 15 different smoothie/juices. I opted for the apple, pear and mango juice (€4) and Callum got the mango, passion fruit and banana smoothie (€5). We came here twice in the same day and got the same smoothie and juice both times!
Although they offered a fantastic menu, you can also choose your own fruits and make your own smoothie! They even had a fridge full of various Aplro soya milks! I would absolutely recommend that you check this place out if you’re ever in Athens. There are so many coffee shops in Athens and it’s hard to find places like this. Sure, there were cafes that offered fresh juices but this place is amazing because it’s completely vegetarian. It’s nice not to be surrounded by the aroma of dead cooked animals.
For my birthday meal we decided to go to a vegetarian restaurant called Avocado that served a few vegan options. We we’re really excited to try this place as we’d researched it prior to our trip. It was one of the best rated vegetarian restaurants on TripAdvisor. Out of all of the places we’d been since we’d been in Athens, this place was definitely the most disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t terrible. We we’re just expecting it to be better because of all the great reviews online. Also, the staff were a bit pushy for my liking. They asked us if we were ready to order about 3 times even though we we’re clearly still looking at the menu. On the plus side, the waiter gave us 2 complimentary glasses of water and kept filling them up every time he asked us if we were ready!
I ordered the “Viva Paella” and Callum ordered the “Vegan Jasmine”. The paella was nice but there wasn’t enough rice and there were too many different ingredients that just didn’t work together (pumpkin, haricot beans, seaweed, mushrooms, seasonal veggies). Sometimes less is definitely more! Also, there were whole roasted garlic cloves which we’re really over powering (and I’m the biggest garlic lover out there). The “Vegan Jasmine” was spaghetti in a bolognese sauce with mashed tofu, pine nuts and walnuts. He absolutely loved it! I tried some and I must admit it was really tasty, it just needed a small sprinkle of cheese and it would of been perfect! Our meal came to €22 and that doesn’t include any drinks or deserts. I would definitely visit the restaurant again if ever went back to Athens, but I’d probably order something else.
I hope this shows you how easy it is to eat vegan food abroad! Of course there were loads of places that didn’t have any vegan options, but a majority of places always had at least one option to choose from. If you’re a big fan of falafels then you would absolutely love Greece. They sell falafels practically everywhere! Also, there as so many stunning wild cats and dogs there! Athens is truly a vegans paradise! If you have any questions regarding my trip please feel free to contact me.