Click here to stay updated on the latest COVID-19 measures regarding eat & drink and entertainment spaces.
Athens is no longer just a city for meat eaters. As more people switch to plant-based diets—and countless others become “flexitarians” by consciously consuming less meat—Athens has welcomed a new wave of vegan cafés and restaurants, like Vegan Nation in Syntagma and Bamboo Vegan in Exarchia. These days, you can find meat- and dairy-free options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (we’ll even let you know where you can eat vegan for brunch). From raw vegan lunch boxes to meat-free street food, you’ll find plenty of exciting vegan options in the Greek capital.
Surely turning out croissants on a daily basis with no added animal by-products is not an easy feat. For longtime friends Erietta Kourkoulou and Kellina Dimitriadi it was, however. Holy Llama’s first opened shop in the area of Imittos, a laboratory and pick-up spot. Soon after, their downtown dine-in came near Syntagma Square. “We are very confident in what we offer, as we continuously make sure to follow seminars and master new techniques to improve our products,” they affirm. Babkas has been their star hit since day one: braided brioche pastry with chocolate and hazelnut, perfectly chewy and juicy. Another highlight is the Wonder Wheel, which is essentially a pastry delight made from croissant dough wrapped in the shape of a wheel and filled with pistachio or chocolate cream. Worry not, savoury options are available too. Go for the Puff Dog, a tofu sausage wrapped in a puffy crunchy pastry topped with caramelised onions and dijonnaise, or one of their latest handmade bao buns with soy tempeh or barbecued mushrooms.
Sunny décor (all white, pepped-up with freshly-cut sunflowers) and speedy WiFi sweeten the deal at this Pangrati hotspot that lures an arty crowd with its excellent vegan breakfasts, brunches and sweets. There’s chia porridge with almond milk, raw vegan cheesecake and guilt-free burgers with beetroot slaw, just for starters.
Ice Queen Gelato
Close to the Acropolis Museum, Ice Queen Gelato puts frozen treats back on the menu for sweet-toothed vegans. Their dairy-free ice cream range is ever-changing, but usually features four flavours (anything from pear to plum or pomegranate). Their vegan waffles with nutella and whipped “cream” earn rave reviews; and you can also keep the faith with a vegan cappuccino or sandwich. A no-frills setting—but it’s all about the sugar rush, isn’t it?
Athenians are buzzing over much more than the masterful caffeine brews at Anana Coffee Food. The handmade vegan and vegetarian treats are earning rave reviews at this friendly new pit stop on Praxitelous Street. Wait, there’s one final ace up their sleeve: the gracious old arcade that Anana fronts. Order a spinach and olive sandwich, a slice of their addictive banana bread or apple crumble and slip around to the café’s side entrance where you can snaffle one of the bright yellow tables inside the arcade. We usually team our edibles with a cold pressed juice or cappuccino made with oat milk. It’s like injecting your day with a dose of happy.
Among the hipster bars and pavement cafés in the Koukaki neighbourhood, look out for bright green Peas, a cute vegan eatery and takeaway. Try the vegan version of Greece’s ultimate street food: a souvlaki wrap with grilled tempeh, a jackfruit burger, some tofu nuggets - or their flagship treat: the deeply satisfying pea and rosemary pie. Not just healthy, it’s ethical, too: coffee is organic and fair trade, ingredients are locally sourced from small producers, and the friendly crew have a zero-waste policy.
If you’re looking to cook something yourself, or just to stock up on snacks (including tasty vegan sandwiches), check out Bamboo Vegan. It’s a lively mini-market and café that does coffee with plant-based milks, smoothies, and vegan variations of Greek traditional pies and sweets. Try the iced cocoa with hazelnut milk or dig into one of the daily salad bowls (like chickpeas, zucchini, tofu, and beetroot in a sweet red pepper dressing).
“A vibey mini-market and café that does coffee with plant-based milks.”
Greek for ‘Earth’, Yi is a plant-and-light-filled raw food café in Glyfada. The lactose-sugar- and-gluten-free fare is as pretty and polished as the décor (and the crowd). Come for chia bowls, Greek salad served with cashew feta, or an almond milk latte with a slice of their addictive carrot cake. A favourite with gym-addicts from Holmes Place nearby.
In the seaside suburb of Palio Faliro, Plant Kingdom specialises in vegan and raw cuisine. Superfood salads, hemp protein smoothies, and sugar-free desserts are so tasty you can’t believe they’re good for you. Founded by two yogis and nutritionists, they also run cooking workshops and pop-up supper clubs.
Locals love Trivoli, an unpretentious and homely “vegan kafenio” in suburban Ilioupoli (about 20 minutes from Athens city centre). Meat-free twists on classic Greek dishes—mushroom souvlaki wraps, pastitsio with quinoa, soy mince moussaka—are well-priced and well-executed.
Got a sweet tooth? Make a detour to Vegan Fairies, a raw vegan cake shop in the residential suburb of Nea Erithrea for their very moreish vegan cheesecake, sugar-free tarts, energy balls (and game changing raw chocolate cake). We’ll let you in on a secret: Vegan Fairies’ sweet temptations are also available at Ohh Boy (see above).