Apr 20, 2023
When it comes to Greek food the world mostly thinks of lamb, octopus and saganaki prawns, but what most people do not know, is that the Greek cuisine has a wide range of vegan and vegetarian dishes.
Greek food is classified as one of the healthiest in the world, and is heavily plant based.
Most tavernas will serve a mix of vegan / vegetarian food along with seafood and meat. If you get the chance, and you are staying out side of a city centre you will come across the local kuzina (kitchen). This is where you will find the best local food made most probably by a man who has been serving his local community for 30+ years.
So use our guide to help you order some delicious dishes from restaurants in Greece.
Greek vegan dishes
Fakes - Greek lentil soup
Fakes is the perfect vegan food. The soup is made from legumes that are first cooked in extra virgin olive oil to toast the legumes. Then water is added along with vegetables such as carrot, onion and potato.
Some restaurants will oven roast the vegetables and then add them to the soup. Also thyme can be used to add some extra flavour.
This soup is great with some freshly baked bread and cracked pepper.
Gemista - Stuffed tomatoes onions and peppers
Gemista is a dish of stuffed tomatoes, onions and peppers. They are stuffed with a mixture of rice, parsley, onion, garlic and then baked in a tomato puree. In some regions of Greece, sultanas / raisons are added the stuffing mixture.
These are great both hot or cold!
Oven potatoes with lemon
A simple potatoe dish that is baked with freshly squeezed lemon, salt & pepper, vegetable stock, onions and sometime oregano. Its a great dish to have with horta (village greens)
Baked Zucchini & Eggplant
A staple in any Greek kitchen. The zucchini and eggplant (aubergine for our British friends) are sliced up, placed in a baking dish and splashed with olive oil, salt & pepper. The key with this dish is when to add the garlic. When added at the right time the dish jumps up a level in taste. When on the hunt for a taverna, if this dish is not on their menu, its best to keep searching!
Revithia - Greek Chickpea Soup
Another staple in any Greeks menu, this simple soup is made from chickpeas, onion, bay leaves and vegetable stock. It is then finished off with a squeeze of fresh lemon.
It doesn't sound like much, but it is a very tasty dish.
Spanakorizo - Spinach and Rice
Spanakorizo is the Greek version of risotto. This dish is made with rice, vegetable stock, onion and garlic and of course spinach.
Skordalia is a simple yet tasty dip. It is made up from potato, garlic, salt and extra virgin olive oil. The potatoes are boiled until soft while the garlic is blended raw. The 2 ingredients are then mixed together to create a very potent but delicious dip. Its great with some crunchy bread of pita bread.
The hummus of Greece. The traditional Greek Fava is a dip that is made from split peas that are boiled in water. Onions are caramelised in olive oil. The ingredients are then mixed together to create the dip.
It is served with bread, lemon, extra virgin olive oil and raw onion. Its a staple from the island of Santorini, so if you get the chance to visit the island make sure to try this fantastic dip.
Dolmades - Stuffed grape leaves
Dolamdes to me shows the variety of Greek food. These green cigar shaped pillows contain a mixture of rice, onion, garlic, dill which is slowly cooked in vegetable stock.
The stuffing is then wrapped up in vine leaves, and are then boiled in a pot to finish off the cooking process. This is a must try dish whenever you see it on a menu.
Lahanodolmades - Stuffed cabbage leaves
This is a similar dish to the dolmades. Instead of grape leaves, cabbage leaves are used and stuffed with a rice mixture.
Horta - Spinach
Such a simple dish but when paired with Skordalia you have the ultimate tasting spinach! The spinach is lightly boiled, served with extra virgin olive oil, salt and lemon.
Greek vegetarian dishes
The famous spinach pie that every Greek will eat with their morning coffee. The pita (pie) is made from philo pastry and is stuffed with spinach. It is usually served hot, but also tastes great straight out of the fridge.
This on pie can come in so many versions, so dont be surprised if you order a spanakopita and it tastes different to yesterdays. This is because ingredients such as feta cheese, onion or leek can be added to the spinach for extra flavour.
Now is spinach is not your thing but you are wanting a pita with your freddo espresso coffee, the Greeks have you covered. Tiropita that translates to cheese pie, is you guessed it, made from philo pastry and cheese. Now it may sound a little boring, but again, like the spanakopita, the tiropita comes in many different flavours of cheeses, pastries and shapes.
Almost every restaurant and every bakery will stock this delicious pie.
I don't think this salad needs much of a write up. Cucumber, onion, tomatoes and a huge chunk of feta cheese. Drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and some vinegar.
We all know this is the king of Greek salads!
The people of Crete will have something to say about what is the king of Greek salads. The Dakos salad is a twist on a Greek salad as the ingredients are similiar but the Dakos includes rusks (they are like large croutons).
Such a great dish, its basically fried cheese. Graviera, Kefalograviera and Kefalotyri are the cheeses that can be used for this dish. When served it is usually with half a lemon.
Some restaurants have taken this dish to the next level by adding honey and sesame seeds. A classic and a favourite.
We all know tzatziki, its served with almost all meat dishes in Greece and is probably the number 1 dip everyone will order. So to spice it up a little bit, we have added Tirokafteri. Its a dip that is made from feta cheese and is mixed with chilli.
It has become a staple on restaurant menus over the years, so you should be able to find it. If not, just ask your waiter for the dip thats has feta cheese and chilli (the spicy dip!)