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Greek culture is renowned for its meat-centric cuisine, however within Athens vegan and vegetarian friendly dishes are becoming ever-popular.

Athens has recently experienced a surge in plant-based cuisine that capitalises on the city’s fresh local produce. Vegans and vegetarians visiting Athens can benefit from restaurants and food tours that introduce them to new dish ideas inspired by Greek culture. Some of these dishes include feta-strewn Greek salad, yoghurt-based tzatziki and onion-stuffed vegetable gemista. In this article, we explore some of the top vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants in Athens and highlight some vegetarian food tours that allow you to gain a deeper understanding of the city’s rising food scene.

Vegan and Vegetarianism in Athens

Athens has witnessed a significant increase in the popularity of vegetarianism and veganism since 2016. This has resulted in 12 completely vegan restaurants and eateries as of 2019 – with other restaurants now also offering meat-free alternatives on their menus. This surge in veganism can be seen as a response to the impact of younger generations becoming more well-travelled and well-versed in other food cultures around the world. The cultural awakening of younger generations can also be attributed to the rise in social media and food ‘vlogging.’ Although Athens has always shown some affinity for vegan dishes in the past, the newfound interest in this food trend has led to new, flavoursome creations that capitalise on traditional ethnic cuisine.

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Top five vegetarian/vegan restaurants in Athens

Here are the top vegetarian and vegan restaurants to explore whilst in Athens:

Lime Bistro

Lime Bistro is a plant-based kitchen that provides customers with a series of raw food dishes. The bistro is situated a short distance outside the centre of Athens in the Gazi district. This is a popular location for holiday goers given the vast amount of tourist experiences in the vicinity – such as the Acropolis of Athens, the Technopolis City, and the Parthenon. Lime Bistro grows its own vegetables and designs dishes that support a healthy macrobiotic-alkaline diet. This means the foods are free from animal conservatives, derivatives, and refined sugars. One of the most common dishes at this bistro is the sumo burrito bowl – packed with fresh greens and lentils.


Kiouzin is a vintage-style restaurant that focuses on turning traditional Greek recipes into meat-free alternatives. Every customer can benefit from a selection of wheat-free bread whilst they browse the meat- and gluten-free menu. The restaurant aims to promote a warm and friendly environment and is decked out in old-school wallpapers, retro prints, and artsy photographs.

Cookoomela Grill

Cookoomela Grill aims to challenge by putting a creative spin on one of Athen’s most celebrated street foods – gyros. The restaurant is named after the Morchella mushroom which features as the meat-free alternative in gyros recipes. Although their menu is relatively short and simple, non-meat eaters can create their own gyros with lentils, mushrooms, and other organic toppings. Cookoomela Grill also uses biodegradable packaging, making it a popular recommendation for eco-friendly individuals.


IT is another eco-friendly restaurant, with the whole space having been created using upcycled materials. The restaurant functions as a casual meeting and eating place with a minimalist aesthetic. Some popular dishes on the IT menu include fresh salmon served with spelt flour pasta, white mithyzra sheep’s cheese, and a steamed greens salad. Visitors can also benefit from live music on the weekends.

Roots Food and Culture

Roots Food and Culture was established after its Jamaican owner Thodoris was diagnosed with diabetes in 2002. The chef started experimenting with different vegetable combinations to create some of the most vibrant and fresh food dishes. The restaurant is in the urban Exarcheia district – otherwise known as a hub for students.

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Vegetarian food tours in Athens

With the newfound interest in vegetarianism and veganism, one can only expect Athens to grow its food-tasting experiences to cater for non-meat eaters. Some vegetarian and vegan food tours already in operation include:

The Vegetarian Food Tour of Athens

This food-tasting tour is exclusively designed for vegetarian tourists wanting to learn more about the city’s cuisine. The tour starts early so that visitors can experience a vegetarian breakfast in the Monastiraki square – featuring the classic ‘koulouri’ sesame pastry. The tour then progresses on to the district of Plaka where tourists can taste a series of vegetarian gastronomic treats that include pies and organic ice creams.

Gastronomic Vegan Group Walking Tour

The Gastronomic Vegan Group Walking Tour is similar to The Vegetarian Food Tour of Athens, only that it caters for vegans too. The tour discusses how veganism has become the latest trend on Athens’ gastronomical scene and gives tourists the opportunity to pop into some of the city’s most renowned vegan hot spots. Some of these restaurants are housed in the bohemian and off-beaten paths of Athens, allowing visitors to tour the city in an alternative style. The tour includes a visit to a traditional Greek deli where individuals can sample different types of olive oil and learn how to tell the difference between them. As a non-exclusive food tour, tourists can also benefit from some alcoholic beverages.

Athens Food and Drink Experiences

There has never been a better time for vegetarians and vegans to visit Athens. The city is forever increasing its food scene to include new vegan food experiences and restaurants. To explore vegetarian/vegan food and drink experiences in Athens, be sure to browse for a world of inspiration.

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The Influence of Ancient Athens on Greek Food Culture

Read this article The Influence of Ancient Athens on Greek Food Culture to find out how ancient Athens inspired Greek food culture, and how might you experience that today?

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