Crete, part II – The Restaurants

Better late than never. Part one can be found here.

So, obviously, sleeping and eating at a place that’s pretty much vegan rocks. But that definitely wasn’t the only wonderful part of the holiday. Though it wasn’t as imaginative as in the B&B, it was quite easy to find vegan food everywhere we went. There were usually things on the menu that were vegan or at least vegetarian, and they were always willing to leave the cheese or cream off and make me just the vegetables.

We had lunch in taverns, where the easiest option was to take a Greek salad without the feta cheese. It’s so fresh and delicious, especially with extra olives, because I love those. I’m not going to post pictures of every salad that I had – though I did take them – but I did choose this dish a lot. Just look at these:



Perfect for the warm weather. But there were other things I had for lunch too:

Grilled Vegetables

Roasted vegetables! Courgette, aubergine, potato, tomato in olive oil. Quite yummy. And more veggies:

Grilled aubergine at a taverna

Grilled Courgette

Chips with oregano at a taverna

These don’t look that special, as they’re just french fries, really.

Then there are a couple of restaurants that I’d like to talk about a bit more specifically. The first one is a vegetarian restaurant called The Third Eye. Now the restaurant isn’t completely vegetarian, but apart from that, it’s a nice place. It’s in Palaiochora, near the beach, and I liked the decorations. Here’s some pictures of the place:

The Third Eye, 'vegetarian' restaurant in Palaiochora

The Third Eye, 'vegetarian' restaurant in Palaiochora

The Third Eye, 'vegetarian' restaurant in Palaiochora

It looks very cheerful, I think. I read there’s live music there regularly and it’s very busy in the evenings, but when we went there for lunch it was quiet and there weren’t many people at all. This was the menu that day:

The Third Eye, 'vegetarian' restaurant in Palaiochora

It wasn’t expensive at all and I really enjoyed eating at this place. I tried half portions of the following:

The Third Eye, 'vegetarian' restaurant in Palaiochora

Thai curry of the day.

The Third Eye, 'vegetarian' restaurant in Palaiochora

Artichoke, potato and carrot. All in all, I had a lovely lunch. But I ate at some other, non-vegetarian places too and had great meals there.

One of them was Tamam, in Chania, a tavern in a beautiful old building. I loved the atmosphere there. I didn’t take any pictures for some reason, but if you want you can learn a bit more about the restaurant here. The meal I had here was simple, but quite delicious.

Tamam Tavern, Chiania, Crete

Different kinds of olives as a starter.

Tamam Tavern, Chania, Crete

Stuffed vegetables (a tomato and a bell pepper, and that’s a potato on the side).

Then there’s Avli restaurant in Rethymno. The place is huge and I only saw a small part of it, but that was enough to convince me of how beautiful it was. Again, have a look at other people’s pictures: here and here (bottom of the page). There was at least one dish on the menu that was completely vegan, so I chose that. It was courgette and aubergine in a tomato sauce with soured wheat. Simple, but surprisingly delicious again.

Aubergine and Courgette in a tomato sauce with soured wheat at Avli restaurant in Rethymno, Crete

My mother had the same and loved it as well. As a starter they served us a big plate full of all kinds of appetizers, which also contained stuffed vine leaves and some roasted vegetables that were vegan.

The last restaurant we visited was in Chania again and I just discovered they have their own website, so if you want you can read more about them there.

The Well of the Turk - Restaurant in Chania, Crete

It really is a lovely place, I think you can already tell from the picture :). I could find nothing vegan on the menu right away, but it was no problem at all for them to make this lovely dish without cheese for me:

The Well of The Turk, Restaurant in Chania, Crete

It’s bread filled with spinach, walnuts and raisins. The food here was different from the more typically Greek things we found in other restaurants, you could definitely see the Middle-Eastern influences. A great place, where I would love to go again. And that goes for every restaurant in this post…

If you’re eating out in Crete, you’ll quickly notice that you’re never alone at your table. There are usually a couple of (stray) cats walking around the terrace and sometimes in the restaurant, looking out for the people who are willing to give them a bit of their food. It’s very endearing and worrying at the same time, but luckily most of the cats I saw there didn’t look underfed. From what I understand, there are some people who feed them during winter and I read about an organisation there that takes care of the stray cats. In any case, walking around the city, there were cats everywhere you looked and I loved taking as many pictures of them as I could. I’ll end this post with the ones I found most adorable, found fast-asleep in a planter in the middle of a city:



9 thoughts on “Crete, part II – The Restaurants

  1. I still wish I had been there, the food looks so delicious and appetizying. It’s great to learn that Greece can in fact be vegan friendly. Hopefully in the future I’ll be able to visit – that would be my dream :)

  2. Well, at least, Im not vegetarian at all- but staying in Paleochora just included vegetarian meals at the third eye. Beside the nice atmosphere of this spot, kitchen is really tasty and varies each day.
    I `d never been fond of eating vegetables- but after this experience, I was surprised about the variety of tastes that were offered there. I didn`t miss eating meat.
    Great experience for me and my kids, Thanks to Eftychi and Carline

  3. I would like to share for all the interested public the awful experience we had in so-called ‘exclusive Avli Restaurant’ in Rethymo, Crete on 19th of September 2008.

    Although the Hotel Manager has strongly suggested not to go to that restaurant; trusting all the positive comments we have read in various publications, hoping to have memorable last night in Crete, my husband and I have arrived at the restaurant.

    I have to admit that one of the very few Professional approach was the greeting at the door upon our arrival. (And the only other was the waitress who was serving the drinks and water)

    After we have been seated, the waiter has brought us the menu and we have given our order. My husband has asked for the calamari as starter and ‘dorado’ as the main course and I have asked for pork as starter and ‘baby veal cutlets as the main course.

    As soon as the starters arrived, I have realised that the portion of the starter was too big, so I have asked the waiter to cancel the main course, if possible. As he did not understand English, he has answered yes, but neither returned back with an answer nor referred to another waiter who can speak English in order to assist us. 10 minutes later I was able to ‘literally’ catch up a waiter and he said it was too late. When I mentioned that I have voiced this request approximately 10-15 minutes ago he told me that that specific waiter did not understand English so he could not understand what we have said, we should have found an English speaking waiter. At this point, I would like to ask if this is an answer one should expect at an international – again so-called – ‘top of the lists’ restaurant. The least we would expect was some training about how to treat to the guests at this type of a restaurant.

    Unfortunately this was not the end of the ‘horrifying’ experience. The calamari my husband was so chewy – not marinated enough – that it was unedible. Even in the small ‘village restaurant’ in Loutro, we had way beter quality then this. He has ordered ‘dorado’ as the main course and what we have received was a bream – to be more precise ‘a gilt head bream’. My husband has special interest in fish, so he can name any fish on the spot and when we asked about this, the answer we have received was ‘this is what we call Dorado here’ and without saying any other word, the waiter disappeared.

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