Vegan in Santorini, Greece

June 23, 2016 in Travel

If you are worried about finding vegan food in Santorini, don’t be! Even though there isn’t a vegan or vegetarian restaurant on the island everyplace we went to had something delicious and vegan to eat, even traditional cuisine! Below are all the places my boyfriend and I ate, the experiences we had and the hotels we stayed at during out 5-night trip in May to Santorini. If you are also visiting Athens while in Greece check out my last post here!

Mama’s House in Fira

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This restaurant is located right in the city of Fira and was recommended by our hotel, but funny enough it was already on our list of places to eat! One item you will be able to find at every restaurant is fava and it is almost always vegan. It’s a dip made of fava beans and Mama’s House made the best one I tried (and I tried a quite a few), it was so delicious that I had it twice. We went here on our first night and I enjoyed the fava with bread and the fennel pie (good but too oily for me). Our waiter was very accommodating and the prices were great. My boyfriend, whom eats meat, really liked this place so we came back another day for lunch, not being very hungry I gladly just ordered fava with bread. There aren’t many options for vegans, but order any two appetizers and they will definitely fill you up!

Tranquila Bar in Perissa

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We spent the next afternoon at Perissa beach where I had heard there were many vegan and vegetarian options at a few restaurants, one being Tranquilo Bar. Now there were quite a few vegetarian options but none vegan, our waiter was very helpful and suggested which items could be altered for me. I opted for the lentil salad and boy was the portion huge! It was simple but delicious and I had enough for two meals. Relaxed atmosphere, lots of smoothies and we got to use their beach chairs and umbrellas afterwards (all the restaurants offered this).

Santo Wines Winery in Prygos

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I’m realizing now that I never asked if the wines were vegan, but considering most usually are I’m not too worried. After the beach we came here to watch the sunset and enjoy a wine tasting. We chose a tasting of 12 that came with snacks such as bread sticks, fava, tomato, olives and the dreaded cheese (my boyfriend ate it). We were a bit early for the sunset so we were there for a while slowly drinking our wine and enjoying the view. It was funny to see that most tables left without drinking all their wine, I mean it is a tasting but our 12 glasses were less than a bottle of wine. Overall the wines were just ok, whites were much better than the reds (with Greek wines I typically prefer white). It’s located in Prygos and has a view of the caldera, a nice place to go if you’re looking for a more private romantic setting during sunset because Oia becomes very crowded and swarmed with tourists during that time.

Panorama Restaurant in Thirasia

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We booked an excursion to see the volcano, swim in the hot springs and visit the small Island Thirasia on our third day. When we arrived at Thirasia we passed all the restaurants that line the bottom of the island and walked up the enormous flight of stairs to the top of Thirasia. When you reach the top utterly exhausted (please do not ride the poor donkeys) there will be the Panorama Restaurant. We walked around the top of the Island but realized there was nothing else up there except for run down homes and one other café. We were not expecting what we saw and don’t believe many people actually lived there. If you can book an excursion that does not go to this Island that is what I would do unless you just want to go and support the restaurants and people there. We decided to go to the Panorama Restaurant only because it had the best view; we had 2 hours to kill and were a little hungry. The family that runs this place was very sweet and happily figured out something for me to eat (I claimed to be allergic to all animal products, sometimes it’s just easier that way). My meal was simply rice stuffed tomatoes with potatoes, lots of carbs but tasted like a delicious home cooked meal. If you end up on this Island during your stay in Santorini you can happily know you have a place to enjoy a vegan meal!

Lolita’s Gelato in Oia

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If you’re looking for a nice cold treat in Oia this place is located right at the bus station! They always carry a few vegan sorbets and the two I tried, chocolate and lemon, were delicious. Not the best I’ve had, but a nice option if you have a craving some cold ice cream on a hot day.

Karma in Oia

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This was my favourite restaurant in Santorini, but also a bit more expensive than the rest (although still reasonable). Oia in general is more expensive than the other parts of the Island, but that is were you can see the iconic white cave buildings and famous sunset view. This place has many vegetarian options and the staff informed me that many could be made vegan. I chose a chickpea stew as well as a cold eggplant dip with bread and I highly recommend both! Karma does not have a sea view but does have a beautiful patio that felt very romantic after we had just watched the sunset over by the caldera.

Taverna Tasos in Imerovigli

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The last night I ended up with terrible cramps from it being that time of the month, and I just could not move! A few hours were spent hunched over crying in our hotel room, thankfully our hotel In Imerovigli was right beside a restaurant. My boyfriend was so sweet and went to order us food to eat in our room. He said the place was busy and the staff did not speak much English so it took a while to figure out what was vegan. We shared the fried zucchini fritters, stuffed vine leaves and fava with bread, my boyfriend also had some cheese dip. Now I’m not sure if everything (specifically the fritters) was truly vegan due to the language barrier, but I’m hoping it was. Overall delicious and satisfying (Mama’s House fava was much better), but not the best service and I’m so thankful for my boyfriend organizing that for us.

Skiza Café in Oia

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On our last day I wanted to spend a few hours in Oia before we had to catch our flight back to Athens in the late afternoon. We decided to enjoy the caldera view from this Cafe that my boyfriend found online which had good reviews. I had a fruit tea and a lemon sorbet (it was the only vegan one) and my boyfriend had a milkshake and ice cream. We had a good experience and took an awesome time lapse of the caldera but at the end they over charged us for the sorbets by just a couple EURs so we decided to not leave a tip instead of arguing.

Hotel Villa Soula in Fira

Being on a budget we decided to spend 3 nights at Villa Soula for 30 EUR a night, and I’m sorry but I forgot to take photos of the room. Tim and I are use to staying in pretty nice hotels, so this was definitely a different experience for us. Staff was fantastic and our room was kept clean, which is very important to me. Our room was very small, especially the bathroom where you would soak everything while you showered! It was very basic, but clean and had a great central location (5 – 10 minute walk to the bus station) also a pool that we did not use. If you wanted to explore the entire Island using the buses and on a budget, Fira is where you’ll want to stay. All local buses stop in Fira and each bus ride is/will cost you a separate ticket (that you purchase while on the bus around 2 EUR).

Gizis Hotel in Imerovigli

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We treated ourselves to a room with a caldera view and private Jacuzzi for our last two nights for 150 EUR a night. The hotel is located in Imerovigli, which lies between Fira and Oia. I highly recommend checking out hotels in this area if you are looking for a great view and privacy. The hotels in Oia are not only more expensive but many rooms with private outdoor Jacuzzis are not very private, because everyone can overlook you. This room was a great deal and I would definitely stay here again even if we had to pay more during a busier season (we went in May). Our room included breakfast and the hotel was very accommodating and specially ordered soymilk for me to have with my breakfast at no extra charge. We were given complimentary wine and fruit in our room when we arrived and for an extra 2 EUR you can have your breakfast brought to your room (which we did and enjoyed it in our hot tub on our last day). Our room was very clean and there is a lovely bar and outdoor pool with a great caldera view in the hotel. Staff overall were very helpful and I recommend staying here!

Santorini was always a placed I dreamed of visiting, but for some reason I didn’t realize how tourist based it would be. We did not visit every town in Santorini but we did experience quite a bit and everything felt like it was set up for tourists. All the souvenir shops and restaurant hosts trying to get you to eat at their restaurants, it wasn’t as fairytale-esque as I had imagined. That being said, I think many people hype up the places they dream of seeing and end up disappointed. I still loved Santorini and would love to visit again in the future; the beaches are relaxing, the white buildings are beautiful and the views are breathtaking. I can’t wait to visit the other Greek Islands one day. I hope this post helps you on your trip, even if you are not vegan I’m sure you will enjoy some of the places mentioned above (all names are linked to their restaurant/hotel websites)!

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