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binks Sep 5th, 2011 02:08 PM

Vegetarian Foods in Greece?

I will be going to Greece (Athens, Chania, Santorini, Mykonos) next week. 2 of the people with me are Vegetarian. (i am not). I am not familiar with Greek food. Can someone please tell me what kind of things that they can order that is non-mean, non-fish, and non-eggs?

thank you!

binks Sep 5th, 2011 02:09 PM

sorry, i meant Non-Meat, not non-mean!

dutyfree Sep 5th, 2011 02:50 PM

My son is a vegetarian and he never had a problem when we were in Greece.Grilled veggies,rice and various cheese dishes are everywhere. You may have to look at a few restaurants' menu as you are walking around but he never went hungry.

Christina Sep 5th, 2011 05:26 PM

One of my favorite Greek items (spanakopita) is vegetarian, it is spinach and cheese, probalby some onions, in phyllo dough. There are lots of good vegetables, salads and cheese.

Vegetarians eat eggs. This diet is unusual as it isn't vegetarian or even vegan if these people will eat dairy products but not eggs. Vegans won't eat animal products of any kind, vegetarians don't eat flesh (meat or fish or poultry).

brotherleelove2004 Sep 5th, 2011 06:37 PM

I'm a lacto-ovo vegetarian and I've never had any problem finding good food to eat in Greece. If nothing else is available-highly unlikely - as long as he eats cheese he can survive on fresh bread, olives and Feta from the markets. Yummy!

Mixed veggies roasted in olive oil: Briam
Fried Potatoes
Fried Cheese: Saganaki
Tomato Balls: Gefthedes
Spinach Pie: Spanikopita
Cheese Pie: Tiropita
Rocket Salad
Cooked Greens: Horta
Yogurt Dip: Tzatziki
Roasted Tomatoes and Green Peppers stuffed with rice
Cheese balls
Occasionally you can find veggie moussaka
Greek Salad
House specialties

flanneruk Sep 5th, 2011 07:10 PM

Eating vegetarian (abstaining from meat and fish, which is what your title asks about) in Greece is effortless.

Eating vegan (abstaining from eating or using anything, except the human placenta, derived from animals,fish, birds or insects, including milk, cheese, eggs, gelatin, and honey - which is what your question is about) is decidedly tricky. Most of brotherleelove's list, for example, is unacceptable to vegans.

Menus, by and large, are rare in Greece, but many Greeks are familiar with principles very similar to vegan eating: they'll just be puzzled to find them important to a foreigner on days the Church doesn't require it.

So if eating vegan matters to your travelling companions (and it's not remotely clear from your post whether it does or not), you really need to give us a coherent brief before wasting time and energy trying to help them communicate their needs to busy waiters who simply won't expect to find foreign customers asking for such things on days even the most devout churchgoer won't be keeping a strict fast

binks Sep 5th, 2011 09:55 PM

Hi, thank you all for your comments. brotherleelove, thank you for the food items and names! I'm going to take that list with me. my friends are vegetarian but they do not eat eggs. i dont know if there is a name for that.

clausar Sep 5th, 2011 10:11 PM

small correction...
Tomatoballs can be found mainly in Santorini
their name is : Domatokeftedes

If you order Keftedes, you will get meatballs.....

If they don't eat eggs, they should not eat tiropita either, as it contains eggs.
Spanakopita contains eggs as well, some call it spanakotiropita, which is the most comon version with feta cheese and eggs.
There is another version too, without feta cheese and eggs, called spanakopita...
Before you order, ask what kind they offer. ( usually it is the cheese-eggs version)

yiassas Sep 5th, 2011 10:17 PM

Just to refine BLL's list,
Mixed veggies roasted in olive oil: Briam (primarily courgette/zucchini, Imam (primarily aubergine/eggplant
Fried Potatoes: patates tiganites
Fried Cheese: Saganaki
Tomato Balls: Gefthedes, may simply be called this on Santorini as tomato keftedes are a speciality there, but simply ask for keftedes anywhere else & they will be meatballs! Specify tomato (domatakeftedes), cheese (tyrokeftedes), zucchini (kolokithokeftedes, my favourite!)
Spinach Pie: Spanikopita
Cheese Pie: Tiropita
Rocket Salad
Cooked Greens: Horta
Yogurt Dip: Tzatziki
Roasted Tomatoes and Green Peppers stuffed with rice: yemista
Cheese balls: see above
Greek Salad: Horaitiki
Numerous other salads.

If you see something that may be ok, but need to check if eggs are used as a binding agent just ask "horis avga?" (without egg?)
They definitely won't go hungry! I am not vegetarian, but I'm not keen on a lot of meat & frequently eat out & have a meat free meal, so easy, especially if they have several dishes to share (the Greek way) to get variety.

yiassas Sep 5th, 2011 10:19 PM

Whoops, typo!
Greek salad = horiatiki

Odin Sep 5th, 2011 11:18 PM

Fruit and vegetables are a delight in Greece.
Specialities in Santorini include fava which is yellow split peas cooked and pureed, plus the local tomatoes are very tasty. Courgettes (zucchini, round light green coloured ones) and white aubergines (eggplant- melinzanosalata or diganites melinzanes are good)are also plentiful and if you get the chance to eat artichokes they are usually very good as well, either cooked or raw. The Santorini horta are also very good, bitter and dark, capers are put on salads, not just the berries but the leaves and stalks.

Tahini is a puree made from sesame seeds which can be served on its own as a dip or mixed with mashed chickpeas to make hummus, skordalia is a dip made with garlic & bread.

This time of year is fantastic for local fruit, esp figs and grapes.

yipper Sep 7th, 2011 06:43 AM


Greece is a great place for a vegetarian. The vegetables are prepared in a very tasty manner. Eat a lot of appetizers. Crete in particular had wonderful vegetables. My memory is we ate meatless meals on more than one occasion.

Have a wonderful trip, Yipper

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