First of all, let me give my most sincere apologies to all our readers for the huge delay in posting. If you’ve been following us on Instagram (@littlegreenkettle), where we do most of our social networking, you probably know that I was on a little adventure. It involved unbelievable vegan meals, relaxing time by the bluest ocean, dipping my toes and everything else in freezing cold waters, and taking lots of photos of incredible places. Not to mention lots of family time and fun in the sun.
We went on a vegan Greek adventure! Since we love sharing everything that goes on at the kettle with you, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to start a brand new series in the blog for all you dreamy travelers out there, in the hopes that I make finding vegan friendly places easier for you if you ever get the chance to go where I’ve been lucky enough to travel to. Oh yeah, and I can’t wait to show you all the pictures I took! I’m also starting to experiment with Greek recipes based on the scrumptious goodies I had during our trip, and soon you’ll have those up on the blog too, so that you can indulge in Greek delights even from home. Are you ready to come with me on our Greek vegan adventure?
Beloved Santorini (Part 1)
The first thing I can tell you is we picked a superb hotel in Santorini in the part of the island called Oia (pronounce it /ia/ or the locals will get very angry at you!). After visiting the whole island, this was definitely hitting the nail on the head since it really was the most beautiful part of Santorini, and the location of our hotel was smack in the middle of all the wonderful hustle and bustle, and still so peaceful and quiet. The rooms are enormous and have a kitchen, so this made breakfasts so easy for us. We bought delicious Greek bread, orange and berry jams, green and black olive tapenade, orange juice and the works and had a total feast in the morning! Breakfast is the only moment of the day where you might find it a bit more difficult as a vegan in Greece. They have a lot of pastries and cakes for breakfast but they’re not vegan. It was hard to just find some toasted bread and preserves like you can here in Spain, and soy milk is a concept completely alien to them. So keep this in mind when you travel and either bring some breakfast items with you or buy them at the local markets (you’ll find hundreds and they’re all prepared for tourists with tiny jars of jam and tapenades, yummy breads, teas and the like). Don’t count on finding soy milk, so bring some non dairy creamer for your coffee or do what I did (and couldn’t get enough of) have some of their espresso which is to die for.
Here’s Mr. hubby at our hotel (also shown in the picture above).
Here’s the whole traveling team, from right to left, my father in law Carlos, my mother in law Maria Teresa, my hubby Carlos and yours truly. Except for my mother in law, we are all vegan, but she was such a trooper throughout the trip and had so many vegan options with us!
Ok… ready for the magic that is Santorini? It was my absolute favorite part of the entire trip and unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
This gorgeous little doggie seemed to be the king of Oia. We ran into him almost every day in completely different places. He loved tourists and always seemed to know where the next big moment in this part of the island would be. You can’t tell from here, but there’s a very deep ravine on the other side of his spot there. He was standing right next to us and he suddenly jumped really high to get the best spot of the view. Everyone freaked out thinking he was going to fall, but he looked at us like we were the crazy ones.
The cutest little bookstore in Oia has this little cat as a pet, and he or she seems to love this spot by the entrance. I’m guessing they made the sign as a joke and placed it right by his resting grounds. The cat of course being completely unaware of why everyone keeps taking his picture! Not that he isn’t adorable.
Now this sign was real and a big no – no as far as we’re concerned!
Time for lunch! This was the first restaurant we went to, in the little tiny streets of Oia right over the water. Will you look at that view?!
Don’t say I didn’t warn you. You are about to witness my absolute favorite dish of the entire trip (which we had many times but this was our first taste of it), the utterly delicious, and completely vegan “fava”. Fava is a traditional dish in Santorini and here they served it in the most delicious of ways, topped with sun dried tomatoes, fried capers and olive oil. They serve it with bread, and the breads of Greece deserve a post of their own let me tell you! We ate fava almost every day in Santorini, and all it is, is a very simple puree of yellow split peas with some sort of Mediterranean vegetable topping. As a main course I had an amazing pasta with olive oil, garlic, cherry tomatoes, herbs and spices. It looks quite simple but trust me, it was bursting with flavor! For dessert, we all shared the beautiful fruit salad you see below. Might I add that everything we ate today was already vegan when ordering? Lucky vegan travelers! Santorini was the most vegan friendly place out of the ones we visited. Much more vegan friendly than our dear Madrid, at least where non-vegan restaurants are concerned.
Spanish siesta in the sun by the pool, and then we headed out again for one of Santorini’s signature moments, the sunset in Oia.
Everyone in Santorini gathers in a little castle in Oia for the sunset. Lucky for us we were staying in Oia itself! Here we are waiting for the sun to start coming down. A few minutes later we saw a very strange and funny sight…
This woman took her time getting the perfect selfie. In a bright pink ball gown.
She had two adorable daughters. One of them was dressed as a bride! Hmm…
Ok… time for the sunset.
I love this photo my hubby took where it seems like there are some giants on that mountain taking pictures. That’s the little castle I was telling you about. Look at those pink clouds!
Later that night we were looking for a nice place to have dinner, and I suggested a little secluded restaurant I had seen when we were walking that morning. It wasn’t in the most touristy streets nor did it have a view, but there was something about it that caught my eye. Out of the entire trip including Athens, the rest of Santorini and Mykonos, for me, this was the best meal we had during our travels.
At this restaurant we were introduced to the magic that is “mezze” which are basically the Greek equivalent to Spanish tapas, and almost all of them are vegan! You choose from the menu and they bring you bread and all sorts of small dishes with the different Greek yummies and it’s just a party in your mouth. Everything’s so fresh and those Mediterranean flavors just pop!
Sorry the picture looks so dark, but I didn’t want to use a flash and kill that candlelight vibe that was so special about this place. Our mezze plates included: Fried capers, sun dried tomatoes, fava with capers and onions (the split pea puree I mentioned before), olives and eggplant salad, another piece of Greek fabulousness. Make sure to ask if they serve the version with vinegar and not mayonnaise as there are two ways of preparing the dish (most restaurants have both so just ask). We had delicious Greek bread of course and some white wine, and then came the last two goodies of our mezze platter, roasted beets with herbs and basmati rice with lemon, garlic and parsley. What can I say about these two dishes… my mouth is watering just by thinking of them!
One more great thing about this restaurant is that it was one of the very few places that kind of understood what vegan was, even if not by name. When the waiter came and suggested their specialty, lamb, we told them we were vegetarian (the word vegan is completely alien in Greece), and he immediately asked us if we could eat cheese or milk, and we all smiled out of excitement. We knew we had come to the right place. After we answered, he grabbed a menu and began explaining all the dishes that were vegetarian and that could be made without cheese, and my hubby and father in law went for one of the pastas he recommended, which meant my mother in law and I were left with that amazing and already vegan mezze platter (or table in our case!) all to ourselves. Soon after, everyone was digging into everyone’s dishes as they were so incredibly delicious. It was a party! A little cat joined us for the entire meal, so what could be better?! The staff at this place gets extra points for being so accommodating to vegans. We all gave this place 5 stars. Don’t miss it when you go to Santorini.
I’m not going to finish part 1 without giving you a photo of the magical Oia at night. Wow!
That’s a wrap for part one! Part two will be here sooner than you think, and I have one word for you: beaches! (Sorry, no Bette Midler I’m afraid…).
Hotel and restaurants
Oia’s Sunset Apartments (2 stars, great price, but was absolutely wonderful and with great service. I would stay here again no question!)
Pelekanos Restaurant in Oia (Where we had the amazing fava dish and pasta)
Candouni Restaurant in Oia (My favorite restaurant during our trip, here we had the amazing mezze plates)
UPDATE AND NEWS!
After several years blogging here at Little Green Kettle, we’ve made the blog bigger and better! Meet our new blog everyone!: www.brownble.com