Santorini Vegan Eats Part 2
June 22nd, 2018 | 6 minutes to read
In part 1 I wrote a few places to eat vegan dishes in town Fira, in this post I will tip you on where to eat when you visit Red Beach and another one when you visit Black Beach. If you're heading to Oia, don't forget to check my part 3.
After you get off from a bus from Fira to Akrotiri, by the beach, Melina’s Tavern would be the first restaurant you see.
The restaurant is rather big, having both roofed outdoor dining area overlooking the sea, as well as indoor dining area that are nicely decorated with white table cloth, couches with cozy cushions, and green plants hanging from the walls. This is not only a restaurant but also a gallery. From the middle of the room you can enter into a small cave-like space, where paintings and sculptures are displayed. All artworks are created by the talented family who runs the restaurant.
We were so glad to find a restaurant that serves vegan options. Largely due to the owner’s daughter, Melina, whose name is honored as the restaurant’s name, is vegan, so they completely understand what vegan food means. Such a relief! Here are the things you can order from the menu which are vegan or can be made vegan upon request: local fava beans; tomato balls; zucchini balls; stuffed vine leaves with rice, grilled potato salad; grilled eggplant (also the specialty of the restaurant!); fresh hand cut fried potatoes; spaghetti with tomato sauce and vegetables; vegan salads; fried eggplant pieces. Besides those they also offer “dish of the day” which can be vegan sometimes, such as oven baked tomato or bell peppers stuffed with rice, falafel or risottos. However, you need to ask as every day there is something different. All the dishes were prepared with locally grown vegetables, as they want to support local farmers, not to mention they tend to be fresher as well.
We ordered tomato and zucchini balls as appetizers. They were really crispy and tasted very good. Although they were more like patties to me than balls, lol. The platter were nicely decorated with tomato and green pepper wedges and sprinkled mint. Honey particularly like the zucchini ones. I like both and can’t decide a favorite.
The grilled potato salads were big potato wedges lightly grilled, then mixed with green peppers, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, capers and olives. It’s lightly seasoned with local olive oil. This is a filling dish.
Our favorite of protein dish is this gorgeous mashed fava beans with olives, onions and olive oil sprinkled on the top. I’ve eaten some fava beans in the can, and am not so impressed, but I would never thought it could be prepared this way and it tasted simply delicious! I love how creamy and rich it is. And the olives here come in so many varieties, they don’t look or taste like the pickled ones we got in the jar in Sweden. I highly recommend anyone visiting Santorini try this dish, as it’s something really “Greek”, an original local dish that happens to be vegan.
The grilled eggplants were whole eggplants grilled slowly, dressed with olive oil, vinegar and some garlic. It is soft, simple yet tasty. We absolutely loved it! I only wish I have more space in my stomach, lol! We were also offered fresh bread, although we were getting really really full from all the good food we ate.
In the end we got a small plate of fresh fruits, apples, oranges, and kiwi wedges, sprinkled with chopped walnuts and cinnamon powder, as a healthy dessert.
We were very happy to find such a nice restaurant by the sea, that is serious about offering amazing, healthy and tasty vegan dishes. If you ever visit Akrotiri’s ruin museum or red beach, do stop here for lunch or dinner. I’m sure you will be warmly welcomed and well served. Let me know your favorite dish!
- Address: Παραλία Ακρωτηρίου, Akrotiri 847 00, Greece
- Website: http://www.melinastavernsantorini.gr/index.php/en/
Navy's Green Kitchen
Navy’s Green Kitchen, a part of Navy’s Restaurant and Cocktail Bar, is located right closenext to the Kamari black beach. The main indoor part is along the main road, while the outdoor part with the roof is just across the street. You can certainly enjoy a nice view when you sit here. The decoration theme is mainly black and green.
We tried the the Avocado Mushroom as side dish. It was made with avocado cubes and mushrooms pieces, lightly sauteed, then immersed in soy cream sauce with garlic and peppers. It was good although with a slight bitter after taste which I’m not so used to.
For main course I ordered Pumpkin and Tofu pasta. It’s a homemade tortellini with pumpkin cubes, cherry tomatoes with tofu cream sauce. The dish tasted amazingly cheesy, to the point that I doubted if it was truly vegan, although Honey, who eats dairy products occasionally, said it was an imitation of dairy cheese. I think probably the pumpkin added the additional flavor to it. We had this incredible dish in Chongqing last year, which also featured pumpkin in the sauce, that made us question whether they used egg yolk but the waiter told us it was made of pumpkin and chestnut.
Honey tried the Earthy Burger, which is a platter of burger, vegetables and sauce. The vegetables were boiled broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini and shredded carrots, with the sauce in a small avocado shell. The burger sat on a layer of lettuce, bread, a patty made of kidney beans, red beets, red onion, then topped with some sauce. So, in a way, it resembles the open sandwich. Although this dish was rather healthy, and taste was a little bland. We were not very impressed and expected more for its price.
In a word I would say Navy’s is a nice (or perhaps the only?) option for vegans who visit black beach in Kamari. The outdoor sitting is very pleasant overlooking the sea. However, the vegan food surely needs improvement given the price. I think it’s nice for ordinary restaurant to be considerate to give us options, but we as vegans certainly demand equally delicious dishes as non-vegans. Anyway, since there aren’t many places to choose from yet, I still suggest that you give it a try.
- Address: Kamari Beach, Kamari 847 00, Greece
- Website: http://santorini-restaurant.com/