When visiting a new city, my husband and I always take a quick look at the vegan and vegetarian restaurant scene before we book our accommodation so that we’ll have at least a few dining options nearby. However, for Athens, since were only had about 36 hours to visit the major sites, our priority was to stay in a convenient, central location near the Acropolis. We later discovered that a vegetarian restaurant was located right around the corner from our hotel…literally right around the corner!
Avocado, the only full-service vegan and vegetarian restaurant in Athens, is perfect in so many ways. The menu is varied, the service is friendly and efficient, and the ingredients are incredibly fresh. The owners and staff take great pride in serving creatively-prepared, delicious vegan, and vegetarian food. The café is warm and welcoming, with well-lit indoor seating and comfortable outdoor seating.
In the course of our 36-hour visit to Athens, we enjoyed both lunch and dinner at Avocado along with a tasty afternoon snack. Had we stayed in Athens longer, we would have returned to Avocado without a doubt. It was simply that good.
The menu might seem a little overwhelming at first, but you’ll quickly notice there is an array of options that are vegan, gluten-free, and wheat-free. Whatever your dietary needs may be, Avocado has you covered. Aside from catering to dietary preferences, Avocado also prides itself on serving food without artificial ingredients or preservatives. As you might expect, a number of items on the menu incorporate avocado. A big win for all the avocado lovers out there.
The “Signature Avocado Burger” (below) came highly recommended so it was an easy decision. I’m usually not such a huge fan of fried veggie burgers, but this particular burger, served on a wheat-free oat and amaranth flour bun, was excellent. Check out this list of ingredients for the burger: sweet potato, chickpeas, garlic, ginger, coriander, sesame oil and tamari sauce. It gets better. As you might expect, the burger came with a heaping topping of smashed avocado, but the best part for me was the spicy peanut-tomato dipping sauce.
We also tried the “Atma Hari,” a stir-fry of long beans, peppers, baby corn, carrots, Chinese cabbage, chestnuts, bamboo, ginger, roasted almonds, and peanuts on a bed of organic black rice noodles. I loved the array of fresh vegetables; however, the nutty sauce and organic black rice noodles really made this dish shine.
We couldn’t help but return to Avocado for a smoothie later in the afternoon. The “Fig Tree Smoothie” we drank was so simple, yet such a refreshing change from the smoothies I am used to finding and making myself back at home. Perhaps it had a little something to do with the deliciously fresh figs?! This smoothie had four simple ingredients: fresh royal figs, organic almond milk, banana and freshly squeezed orange juice. Perfection in a glass!
We made our third and final trip to Avocado for dinner that same evening. My husband opted for the “Zen Tempeh” and I went for the “Gratitude” salad. Although this salad consisted of a simple set of ingredients (avocado, parsley, coriander, fresh mint, scallions and walnuts on a bed of couscous), the homemade lemon-orange dressing brought everything together harmoniously. We took our food to-go and ate it in a nearby park where we had a beautiful view of the Acropolis at night — a perfect end to our quick visit to Athens!