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A Local’s Favorite Vegan Spots in Athens

Athens is a city famous not only for its ancient ruins and cultural heritage but also for its food scene. You might have read myriads of articles about Greek and international restaurants and street food options you can find in the city.

However, not many have focused on the plant-based side of the city. Don’t forget, Greek cuisine is mainly meet-centric. In fact, even I (a local) struggled a lot when I was doing my research for this piece.

If it hasn’t been obvious yet, this article will focus on my favorite Vegan spots in Athens as a local. I believe that I have covered some of the most famous vegan places in the city, as well as a few “hidden gems”.

Is Athens a Vegan-friendly city?

It would be a lie to say that Athens has a decades-long history of a diverse vegan food scene. In the (not so) distant past, it would have been really hard to find a good vegan spot. However, that is no longer the case.

Athens is becoming increasingly vegan-friendly, with a plethora of both purely vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants scattered across the city. As time passes, more and more new vegan places are opening, each one giving its unique contribution to the city’s vegan culinary scene.

So, to answer the question, Athens nowadays absolutely is a Vegan-friendly city.

What types of vegan cuisine can I find in Athens?

In Athens, you can find a wide variety of vegan cuisine to suit every lifestyle and taste.

One of the most prominent types is obviously Greek vegan cuisine. This includes traditional Greek dishes that have been adapted to fit a vegan lifestyle, such as moussaka, skepasti, and traditional Greek pies made without any animal products.

Another type of vegan cuisine you can find in Athens is Middle Eastern and Minor Asian vegan cuisine. This includes a variety of dishes from countries, all made vegan. You can enjoy falafels, hummus, and other Middle Eastern favorites.

Vegan fast food is also very popular in Athens. This includes vegan burgers, pizzas, souvlaki, and many others. These dishes are perfect for those who want a quick and satisfying meal.

For those who prefer raw and organic food, there are also vegan spots in Athens that offer raw vegan cuisine. Salads, smoothies, raw desserts, and other dishes made from raw and unprocessed ingredients are increasingly common things to find in the city.

Finally, for those with a sweet tooth, there are several vegan bakeries and dessert shops in Athens. They offer a great selection of vegan pastries, cakes, cookies, and other sweet treats. 

A Little Bit About This Guide

This guide is a local’s effort to find some of Athens’ favorite vegan eateries. I am not a professional food critic or food specialist. I am just a travel blogger, and all the opinions are my own, honest, and personal ones. Taste is a matter of opinion, and my experiences can possibly differ from those of someone else.

This guide will continue to be updated as I visit and try new places. Don’t forget that the vegan food scene in Athens is relatively new and has been continuously expanding. 

Also, the places are listed randomly. My goal is not to classify a place as “good” or “bad”, but to provide a deep insight on my favorite vegan options available in Athens.

What different does this Guide offer?

As you might have seen from other articles in my blog, I love a good story. I firmly believe that both travel and food offer a much better experience when accompanied by a story. It can be a tale of the past, love, kindness, and struggle. I’ve had better meal experiences sitting on the floor of a home in Egypt than in high-class restaurants somewhere else.

In many of the places you’ll read about in this article, I had the chance to speak to the people who founded, own, or work there to get a better view of what each place is really about. Indeed, I can say that I met a lot of inspiring people doing what they love: Making delicious vegan dishes with love and respect for the lives of the voiceless.

I believe that this article has been one of the most fun, and exciting I have ever written. It is more like a series of love stories combined, and I hope that I will be able to transmit those feelings to you.

Finding the Best Vegan Spots in Athens

1. Falafelo str. Food

The outside of Falafelo str. food, one of my favorite vegan spots in Athens

Expectations can work in funny ways sometimes. Little did I know when I headed to Falafelo Str. Food, a vegan eatery in the heart of Exarcheia, that I would find some of the best falafel I’ve ever had in my life. Coming from someone that has traveled a lot in the Middle East, this is a big statement.

Falafelo Str. Food might have opened to the public recently (August 2023), but its story goes far beyond that date. Nitche, the owner, and his wife, have been working on the restaurant for the past 3 years.

Nitche’s story is actually a very inspiring one. He is a Kurdish man from my beloved Syria. He had to flee his country back in 2006 and moved to Canada. There, he learned the art of cooking. He was inspired by his father, who was also a chef. He worked in many renowned restaurants but decided to move to Greece to open his own eatery.

The place itself might be small, but it is beautiful. The exterior looks like a food truck, and there is a very good story behind that. Nitche’s initial dream was to open his own canteen, and work while traveling the country. However, this was not possible due to Greek regulations. 

This didn’t discourage him, though. His wife did all the painting outside, making it look like a food truck, and the final result is astonishing. You can find her Art on her Instagram!

The interior is beautiful as well. It is modern and decorated with paintings from his homeland. You can see how much this place means to him.

Let’s get to the food now. Obviously, the main thing you will find in Falafelo Str. Food is Falafel. The menu is compact, but carefully designed. You can opt for one of their 4 different wraps or get a few falafel bites combined with a spicy pepper sauce. Fries are available as well.

Nitche showed me the entire process of falafel making. What sets Falafelo Str. Food apart is how they make their pita. They are using a traditional Kurdish technique that requires no yeast. They also add black sesame that brings a bit of bitterness in the taste. I really loved this one. The falafel itself is made with the Syrian technique, that only uses chickpeas. 

A Falafel wrap, a few falafel bites, fries and dips from Falafelo Str. food

In Falafelo Str. Food they have the motto “From scratch to Street”. Everything is made from scratch every day, using the freshest ingredients available. I can safely say that this is obvious in every single thing they make.

I had the chance to try the entirety of their menu, and I loved everything! The Falafel was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. It had an aromatic taste, and that’s not a given when it comes to falafel. 

There was not a single thing on the menu that I didn’t like. Every wrap was just amazing. What I really appreciated was the fact that they were all very juicy. My favorite would be the “Zucchini Zing” wrap that combines falafel with deep fried zucchini, tomatoes, pickles, iceberg, tahini sauce, and mint. I found mint to be a great addition. Somehow, it felt so refreshing and fitted incredibly with the rest of ingredients. I also loved the “Falafel explosion” wrap, that truly stands up to it’s name. 

The Zucchini Zing wrap, one of the best things you can get in Falafelo str. food

Having tried all of them, I am not sure what I would get next time there, they were all THAT good! The fries were also very fresh, something that I have struggled to see in other street food places I have been. From the sauces, I would say that the garlic cream sauce was my favorite of all. 

One of the best things about Falafelo Str. Food is their prices. Nitche aimed to make everything big and affordable, and he actually managed it. The portions are huge, and there is nothing in the menu that costs more than 5 euros. And I believe that is awesome.

While there, we also had the chance to have a deep conversation with Nitche. We talked about life, love and spirituality. He was a very open person that wanted to know you. In conclusion, the kindness, love, and passion of everyone at Falafelo Str. Food is present everyone, from the vibes to the taste. I believe that it is one of the best falafel spots in Athens, and that’s a title well-earned. I cannot wait to be back!

2. Mama Tierra

The outside of Mama Tierra Restaurant, one of the best vegan places in Athens

It’s time to talk about one of the most famous Vegan spots in Athens. Mama Tierra, located in the city center, opened in 2015 and has since built a very good reputation among locals and tourists alike.

The name Mama Tierra originates from an old Spanish song. It means “Mother Earth” and I believe it perfectly summarizes the concept of the restaurant. Everything is made from scratch, using fresh and (whenever possible) Greek ingredients.

I had the chance to get to know Xenofon, the co-founder of this restaurant. He told me the inspiring story of how he left his job as a physicist to pursue this new and exciting career. Another one of the co-founders, Polash, an Indian Chef, learned the art of cooking in America, and has since worked in India, the middle East, and finally in Greece. This culinary journey is well reflected in the menu of Mama Tierra. You will find everything, from Greek, to Middle Eastern and Indian vegan dishes.

The place itself is beautiful. It has many tables that you can comfortably dine in. The blue elements, combined with the many amazing artifacts, create a serene atmosphere, well-preparing you for what is coming next. It’s time for the food!

The Guacamole nacho chips plate from Mama Tierra vegan restaurtant

Before starting your meal you need an appetizer, don’t you? If you answered yes to this question, then their Guacamole is for you! It comes in a platter of crunchy nachos, making it the ideal to-share plate. Honestly, the guacamole tasted so good, and you could feel the freshness of the avocado (coming from Crete!). It stroke the perfect balance between the salt and lemon, something I appreciated a lot!

Vegan Moussaka, one of the best things you can try in Mama Tierra

Now it’s time to get to the mains. As I wrote above, the good thing in Mama Tierra is that you can find dishes inspired by many international cuisines. Whether you are craving for veganized traditional Greek food, Middle Eastern or Indian food, there is always something for you.

So, if you want to try traditional Greek food, then the Vegan Moussaka would be an excellent choice. For those who don’t know, Moussaka is a staple in the Greek cuisine. Its original version includes layers of mince, eggplant, and bechamel.

In Mama Tierra they use mince made of biological black beans, and bechamel made with Coconut milk. They also add a layer of potatoes. I am not kidding when I tell you that I liked the vegan edition more than the original! The well-seasoned beans matched perfectly with the coconut cream, creating a harmonical balance.

Falafel portion from Mama Tierra

If, on the other hand, you want to try something more exotic, then you should opt for the falafel. They were very aromatic, crunchy on the outside, and soft on the inside. They are served with three different sauces, sweet potato hummus, Indian Ratta, and chipotle chili. I found every single one of them excellent. At this point, I would like to note how amazing it felt to combine the falafel with each sauce.

They all came from different cuisines (Middle Eastern, Indian, and Asian), and every bite of falafel was telling a different story. The best part? You can get falafel both as a portion and as a wrap!

Mama Tierra Bowl, a Mama Tierra Athens vegan restaurant specialty

Another amazing thing on their menu is the Mama Tierra Bowl. It is one of their specialties and includes black beans, baked tofu, greens, kinoa, avocado, green apple, and Indian Ratta made of soy yoghurt. You know it’s good when it has the name of the Restaurant. Even though I was never a fan of bowls, I very much enjoyed this one.

Vegan Baklava, a traditional greek dish

Lastly, let’s not forget the deserts. I’ll say it in a few words only: Try the baklava. This classic Greek pastry just found its vegan edition and it is a feast for the senses. While it felt a bit too sweet, I believe it was amazing.

All in all, Mama Tierra is a must for everyone who wants to try excellent vegan Greek or international dishes. Looking back, it was impossible to find a single thing that I did not enjoy. I will surely be back to try the rest of the menu!

3. Peas Vegan & Raw Food

The outside of Peas Vegan & Raw Food, another one of my favorite vegan restaurants in Athens

Are you familiar with the term “Hygge”? In Danish culture, Hygge is a word that describes a cozy mood evoked by comfort and conviviality. At least that’s what Wikipedia says. There is no real translation. Hygge is actually a feeling, a vibe. It is a moment of pure relaxation and enjoyment. But why am I telling you all this? Because it is exactly what I felt when I visited our next spot, Peas Vegan & Raw Food.

Peas is a small but mighty place located in the central area of Koukaki. In fact, it was one of the first exclusively vegan places in Athens, having opened in 2017. Their logo consists of a few pea seeds inside a pod, and there is a reason behind that! The seeds represent the different people that founded, work, or just eat there, and how they all come together as one. 

The cozy inside of Peas Vegan & raw food

Speaking to Lila, one of the two founders, she told me that they wanted to make everyone feel like home, like family. If one word could describe this place, it would be “caring”. Caring for the innocent lives, the environment, the worker, and the customer – And I truly felt that.

Firstly, food in Peas is completely Vegan and made from scratch. They don’t use any processed meat supplements, and that is something I appreciated a lot. They also try to minimize their environmental impact. In fact, they don’t use any plastic, and their offer a water refill station, that uses filters to make water cleaner. 

The place is small, but incredibly cozy. You will find indoor plants, paintings (drawn by Lila herself!), and two hammocks.

Let’s get to the food now. In Peas you will mostly find veganized editions of traditional Greek dishes. However, there are also dishes inspired by international cuisine. But what should you try in Peas?

For starters, the “Tempeh Sunshine” salad would be a great choice. On the other hand, if you would like something more traditional, you should opt for the  “Greek Me” salad.

“Two Peas in a Pod”, a vegan edition of the traditional Greek  Skepasti. Greek Quesadilla, which typically includes gyros, potatoes, sauce, and vegetables between two pitas.

Something that you should definitely try is “Two Peas in a Pod”, which is basically a vegan edition of the traditional Greek  Skepasti. Imagine Skepasti like a Greek Quesadilla, which typically includes gyros, potatoes, sauce, and vegetables between two pitas. I was always a fan of this meat-centric dish, and I had missed it a lot since going plant-based. 

In their version, they use their home-made seitan, and smoked tofu. The dish felt like it was made at home. It was very fresh and tasty. To just say I ate the entire thing would be an understatement.

“Avocado bloom”, a chocolaty vegan tart made with avocado as a basic ingredient

For dessert, I tried “Avocado bloom”, a chocolaty vegan tart made with avocado as a basic ingredient. It was the first time I had tried anything like this, and it was next-level tasty!

Lastly, in Peas they offer their own, handmade deli products that you can buy for home. You can opt from vegan fillet, sausage, and peperoni and have a healthy solution for your sandwich or vegan creations. 

Honestly, in Peas Vegan &Raw Food I felt like at home. I could easily visit for lunch, dinner or for a long study session. I felt all the good vibes and I will surely come back soon!

4. Magic Kitchen of Exarcheia

The exterior of Magic Kitchen of Exarcheia, an Asia Minor vegan place in the heart of Athens

Magic Kitchen is a co-operative, migrant run, vegan eatery located in the heart of Exarcheia. For those who don’t know, in a co-operative model, the people who work in a business make the decisions collectively, in a fair and democratic way, so that all voices are heard. I was always fascinated by this model and that’s why I was very excited to visit this place.

I had the pleasure of meeting Sanem, founder and coordinator of the co-operative. She told me about the struggles they faced being a place run by women, and how differently people perceived and treated them. 

We also talked about how difficult it can be to run a co-operative business. The human management part requires keeping a thin balance, which can sometimes be quite a challenge.

To be completely honest, I was not aware of the struggles such a business could face. However, I saw an inspiring person dedicated to the goal, doing the impossible to achieve it.

The first thing I loved about Magic Kitchen was the place itself. While it is small, the exterior is colorful and beautiful. They have an open kitchen, and it felt really inspiring to see people from all the different backgrounds harmonically working together.

Time for the food! In Magic kitchen you’ll mainly find veganized editions of traditional Minor Asian dishes. I had the chance to try quite a few of their options, so I believe that you will get a good insight.

köfte Ekmek from Magic Kitchen of Exarcheia. It includes a soy patty, green salad, tomatoes, and their special green sauce

If you are a fan of pita pockets like me, you should definitely try their köfte Ekmek. It includes a soy patty, green salad, tomatoes, and their special green sauce. To say it was delicious would be an understatement. It was very juicy, and you could really feel the freshness of the ingredients. Its size was massive, and it might have been one of the best pockets I’ve ever had!

Tantuni Salad and rice. A Soy kebab dish with rice, tomatoes, chickpeas, and greens

Another dish that I would highly recommend is their Tantuni Salad and rice. It could be best described as a Soy kebab dish with rice, tomatoes, chickpeas, and greens. Something that I would like to point out is how good their soy kebabs are. If you are someone who has experimented with soy, you will know how difficult it can be to make it correctly. Every soy-based item on their menu was exceptional. The kebabs were well-seasoned and juicy, something that I’ve not found anywhere else. 

Gözleme with greens, a Turkish, crispy, and stuffed flatbread from Magic Kitchen of Exarcheia

Lastly, if you are craving for something a bit lighter, the Gözleme with greens should be your choice. Gözleme is basically a Turkish, crispy, and stuffed flatbread. There are many different variations available in Magic Kitchen. I tried the one with greens and mushrooms, and it was delicious! You can also combine it with one of their spicy sauces! 

Something that I really appreciated in Magic Kitchen was their portions and prices. Everything was huge and very budget friendly. It is something quite hard to find nowadays, and should be credited accordingly.

I believe that Magic kitchen should be an example of how, indeed, a co-operative kitchen can work. While they have, and still face challenges, I found a place of inspiring people serving exceptional food. In the end, this is all this article is about. I cannot recommend visiting Magic kitchen enough, and I will be back very soon!

5. Bamboo Vegan

The entrance of Bamboo Vegan, a vegan sandwich shop located in the heart of Athens

Bamboo Vegan, located in the heart of Exarcheia, is a must visit for everyone who loves a good sandwich and an alternative atmosphere.

Fotis and Elisavet, the owners, have been running Bamboo Vegan for over a decade. It started as a small vegan market when veganism in Greece was on its infancy, but over the years it has evolved to an American style, Urban sandwich shop (and market).

In Bamboo Vegan, it is all about fresh quality and easy Vibes.

The walls are decorated with drawings, stickers, and prints, and there is a story behind every single thing. They come from friends, customers, or are just cool random additions. One thing is for sure: this place feels personal. 

Elisavet and Fotis wanted to create a safe space – a place where everyone feels at home and can be themselves. They welcome everyone, from vegans to meat-eaters that want to try a new, but delicious experience. It is aimed to be a no judgement zone – and I believe they have achieved it very well.

Without further ado, let’s get to the food. In Bamboo vegan you will mostly find Vegan sandwiches, traditional Greek pitas, fair trade coffee and a few deserts. In a few words, the sandwiches are awesome! But let me dive into the details. 

"New York” style sandwich. It includes tofu ham, vegan cheddar, homemade mayo, tomato and cucumber.

One thing you should definitely try is the “New York” style sandwich. It includes tofu ham, vegan cheddar, homemade mayo, tomato and cucumber. It is one of the best-sellers, and I can easily spot the reason why. It felt both fresh and delicious. It might as well be one of the best vegan sandwiches I’ve tried! From the freshness of the bread and vegetables to the tofu itself, everything was a 10/10!

“No-Chick’n Nugget” sandwich from Bamboo Vegan

We also got the chance to try the “No-Chick’n Nugget” sandwich. It was very tasty as well, and the addition of vegan “parm” fitted in very well. Lastly, I would suggest you try the “Tofu Scramble” sandwich, which includes a scrumble recipe designed by Elisavet herself!

A vegan cheeseburger that We had In Bamboo Vegan. Every friday they host a special pop-up event

Every Friday, Bamboo Vegan hosts a special pop-up event. They offer a limited edition menu item that is not available on other days, and they accompany it with a list of alcoholic beverages to choose from. I had a vegan cheeseburger and a Paloma and, oh boy, it was a feast for the senses! 

I believe that the vibes, the people, and the food in Bamboo Vegan create an excellent atmosphere. I loved how the owners interacted with everyone that came into the shop. They really wanted to get to know you. I think I have found my go-to place for Friday nights!

6. Mama Tierra Acropolis

The outside of Mama Tierra Acropolis, one of the most famous vegan spots in Athens

“Wait, didn’t you write about Mama Tierra above?”, I hear you asking. What if I told you that there is a second place, with (almost) the same name, but with different menu options? I know, I was surprised to find out, too!

Mama Tierra Acropolis is the little (but not twin) sibling to the original Mama Tierra. While the original could be best described as a restaurant, the Acropolis branch is more like a street food spot. It opened in 2022, and it is located right next to the Acropolis Museum. The space is small, but again, very well decorated. 

In Mama Tierra Acropolis you will find street food dishes inspired by Greek, Middle Eastern, and Asian cuisines. You will find some of the classics from the original (and vice-versa), but there are many exclusive menu items available. Everything is made from the same fresh (and predominantly Greek), ingredients and is prepared from scratch. 

Vegan Caesars Salad, one of my favorite dishes from Mama Tierra-Acropolis

Let’s start with the salads! If you are a fan of a good Caesar’s salad, but have struggled to locate a vegan edition, you have found the place for you. The salad is made from vegan “chicken nuggets” and “parm”. It had an amazing cheesy taste, and it felt very fresh and tender. I would highly recommend it to anyone grabbing a bite there!

But what is a Greek Street food place without Souvlaki? In Mama Tierra Acropolis you will find Vegan souvlaki made with mushroom gyros and vegan tzatziki sauce. I am brutally honest when I say that it was some of the best mushroom gyros I have ever had! The ingredients were fresh, and very well-seasoned.

Continuing with our Greek street food spree, if you love burgers you HAVE to try the Greek Burger. It is made with a patty that uses olives (!) as a main ingredient. They are specially made by Kousoulas Family (check them out!). The taste was unlike anything I’ve ever had. As someone who loves olives, I was pretty fascinated by the taste, and I will surely have it again next time.

Pulled Jackfruit Bao Buns from Mama Tierra Acropolis

I saved my absolute favorite for last. If you ask me, you cannot visit Mama Tierra Acropolis and not try their Pulled Jackfruit Bao Buns. They were very juicy, and created an explosion of taste in your mouth! It was, again, unlike anything I’ve had before, an honest 10/10.

At this point, I would love to give a shoutout to Nick, the cook. He was a very kind and friendly person, who made all this exceptional food. 

Finally, I would say that the experience in Mama Tierra Acropolis was different than the original one. Everything was again delicious, but the vibes created a more “familiar” vibe. I’ll surely be back very soon!

7. Holy Llama

Before I start, I’d like to thank an amazing creator and fellow Travel Vibe Member, Eleni, for those amazing photos. Eleni is a Greek content creator who makes incredible content about Greece. You should definitely check her out!

Holy Llama is a delightful vegan pastry shop located near Syntagma Square. It is famous for its selection of vegan pastries, sandwiches, bowls, and desserts. The place itself is small but well-decorated and very cozy.

I have visited it plenty of times, and their mushroom steak open sandwich has to be one of my favorites. I have also tried a lot of their vegan pastries, and there has not been a single thing that I have not enjoyed. When it comes to their beverages, if you are someone who loves matcha, their Matcha Latte should be the one of your choice.

Holy Llama is one of the most famous vegan places in Athens and for a good reason. Everything is made from scratch, and you can really feel it in the taste. However, I wouldn’t exactly say that it is the most budget-friendly one.

8. Vegan Vandal

This one is another personal favorite. Vegan Vandal is a vegan street food spot in Pagkrati. It was one of the first spots I discovered when I first went plant-based, and I have since tried many different menu items.

One of the things I believe you should definitely try is their Crispy Cauli Sandwich. It includes their famous cauliflower nuggets that I personally love so much. Their Vandal Burger, which is made out of lentils, is another good option. 

The food at Vegan Vandal is not only delicious but also visually appealing. The chefs pay great attention to detail, ensuring that each dish is a feast for both the eyes and the palate. Overall, Vegan Vandal in Pagkrati is a must-visit for anyone looking for a big, juicy and tasty vegan experience. 

Final Thoughts

At this point, I would love to stress again how amazing of an experience writing this guide has been. I met a lot of amazing people and tried some of the best vegan food of my life.

Every spot had something different to offer, and I firmly believe that the Athenian Vegan food scene can only get better. I hope that you have found your much-needed inspiration and that you’ll visit at least some of those places. You won’t regret it!

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