With its vegetarian-friendly diet, Greece is also one of the best countries to visit if you are a vegan foodie. In particularly vegetarian food to try in Crete is often very much based around naturally grown ingredients. As such, food tours in Crete can easily be adapted for the non-meat eater.
In fact, the term vegetarianism originally derived from the ancient Indian and Greek civilisations. As during the 186 Greek Orthodox fasting days, meat/fish and dairy products are off-limits, making room for plenty of vegetables!
It comes as no surprise that local restaurants will often focus on the vegetarian and vegan selections within their menus. However, there are also various authentic Greek dishes that are easily adapted to cater to the vegan diet.
In particular, “domladakia”, whereby fresh vine leaves are filled with flavoured rice instead of minced beef. If you are a vegan foodie, then keep an eye out for this popular take on a Greek classic, known in Crete as Dolmadakia Yalantzi.
Vegetarian Food to try in Crete
Many of the local bars and restaurants will happily point you in direction to their vegetarian options. However, it’s always good to do your research first.
That’s why we’ve taken a look at the vegetarian food to try in Crete, available during our vegetarian and vegan food experiences.
Alternatively, book one of our food tours in Crete and let your guide know any dietary requirements before you start.
Greek salad (Horiatiki)
Greek salad is always extremely popular, and a simple flavoursome dish you will find on any Greek menu. It is a delicious, fresh salad, that includes large ripe tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, red onions and feta cheese. It is well seasoned with fine salt and local oregano, olive oil, vinegar and optional lemon juice.
Horta (Cretan wild greens)
Did you know, there are over 100 types of edible wild greens on Crete island? Vegan foodies love to create the popular local dish “horta”.
Depending on the season, you will find a variety of different greens. Many of which can be eaten raw in a salad, boiled as a side dish, or used in a number of tasty recipes. The most popular wild greens include; nettle, black nightshade, sorrel, mallow, amaranth, chicory and golden thistle. As well as the native “avronies” which is similar to the asparagus.
This is a very authentic food to try in Crete, a tasty traditional pie that is crammed full of delicious ingredients. In particular a rich spinach filling, that includes feta cheese, red onions, and eggs. The fillings are then wrapped up in crispy phyllo dough (known as filo), shaped into triangles and served as a starter.
Ladera Vegetable Stew
Ladera actually means vegetables that are cooked in olive oil, and this is a traditional dish which is eaten all year round. It is very popular during the period of Lent when Greeks do not consume meat. The stew consists of artichokes, peas, carrots, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes and beans, depending on the season. It is a really delicious dish served with feta cheese and chunks of fresh bread.
This Greek salad is also known as “koukouvayia”. It is actually a thick slice of soaked barley rusk, smothered with chopped tomato, feta or mizithra cheese and olive oil. The dish is scrumptious and is also very healthy, as it is full of fibre and antioxidants.
This dish in Greek means ‘filled with’ and is a tasty meal which can be found everywhere in Greece. Large peppers or tomatoes are stuffed to the brim with a rice mixture and then baked. They can also be stuffed with zucchini flowers, making this dish absolutely mouth-watering!
Vegetarian and Vegan Food Tours in Crete
Book our popular vegetarian and vegan food tours in Crete. As well as cookery classes, wine tours and food experiences.