It is nearly impossible to have a bad meal in Greece. Feta, good olive oil, and fresh vegetables are able to turn any recipe into a delicious meal. Combine this with fresh fish or souvlaki and you have heaven on a plate. Finding Greek vegan dishes, however, can be nearly impossible.
Especially in smaller towns in Greece, it is difficult to stick to a plant-based diet. Greek main dishes at a traditional tavern often contain either fish or meat. But did you ever look at the starters? Meze’s is what they are called in Greek.
Read below to find the Greek vegan dishes that are served in almost all taverns around the country. Including their Greek name and the way to pronounce them. You should order around three to four of them to make a meal. Enjoy!
1. Grilled mushrooms
Μανιταρια πλευρώτους στο φούρνο – Manitaria plevrotous sto forno
Oyster mushrooms, grilled and served with vinegar, olive oil, and herbs. These mushrooms have an amazing texture and great taste!
2. Split pea puree
Φάβα – Fáva
Creamy and super tasty split pea puree, cooked with olive oil, garlic, onion, and lemon. Fava is a Greek hummus, perfect to eat with some bread or pita. Originally, this recipe is made with fava beans from Santorini. The volcanic soil on this island gives extra sweetness to the beans that are produced there.
3. Tomato salad
Σαλατα ντομάτα – salata tomata
Don’t be fooled by the name of this Greek vegan dish, there is more to it than just tomatoes. Tomato salad in Greece is short for the famous Greek (farmer’s) salad without the feta. Cucumber, onions, olives, and tomatoes, topped with herbs and olive oil. So simple, but so tasty.
4. Baked giant beans
Γίγαντας στο φούρνο – Gigantas sto forno
Giants from the oven is the name of this delicious traditional dish. The big beans are cooked with onion, tomatoes, olive oil, and many herbs. Sometimes carrot and celery are added as well.
5. Peppers from Florina
Πιπεριές Φλωρίνης – Pipėriés Florinies
Peppers from Florina, a region close to the border of both Albania and North Macedonia. The peppers’ taste is sweet and they are grilled and served with olive oil and vinegar.
6. Boiled wild greens
Χόρτα βραστά – Gorta Vrastá
This is a super traditional dish and not for everyone’s taste. The dish is made with a wild vegetable that does not have a translation in English. The vegetable is boiled and served with lemon and salt, super simple.
7. Beetroot salad
Παντζαροσαλάτα – Pantsarosalata
This beetroot salad is again a very simple Greek dish. The beets are cooked in foil inside the oven. Meanwhile, garlic, olive oil, and vinegar are whisked together in a salad bowl. Once the beets are done, everything is put together with some pepper and salt. Kali orexi!
8. Stuffed vine leaves
Σαρμαδακια – Sarmadakia
This dish is absolutely one of my favorite ones in Greece Tiny handmade stuffed vine leaves that come in many variations. Rice with olive oil, onions, and a variety of herbs give taste to this dish. The leaves are usually eaten with tzatziki, but don’t let traditions prevent you from trying this dish. Eat without sauce or try with fava or melitzanosalata (eggplant dip).
9. Greek bruschetta
Ντακος, χωρίς τυρί – Dakos gories tiri
Although this is officially not a vegan recipe, it is definitely worth trying. Dakos is made with barley rusks, a specialty of Crete called kritharokoula. This rusk is a hard, twice-baked bread and is topped with olive oil, tomato, and greek cheese. Some taverns add capers or olives as well. It is a traditional recipe from Crete and is perfect for warm summer days.
10. Fried zucchini
Κολοκυθάκια τηγανιτά – Kolothàkia tiganita
Last but not least. My favorite vegan traditional Greek dish. Kolothàkia are fried thin slices of zucchini covered in a dough that is made of flour with either water or beer. Eat with fava, melitzanosalata, or even just mayonnaise or ketchup. They are better than potato fries!