Oh yum! The Greek cuisine is delicious! By Greek cuisine we think mainly of olive oil, feta and meat. Lots of meat. Gyros, souvlaki, bifteki you name it! I hear you think, that must be a huge challenge as a vegetarian or with an allergy go travel to Greece. Well, it’s not that bad! We will tell you everything about vega(n) food on Karpathos in this blog.
This vacation we went to Karpathos with two friends Alwin and Renee. Renee does eat fish, but not meat (she does it animal products such as cheese). We noticed that this was never a problem. Well that is of course a bit ‘easier’ than eating full vega or even vegan food, but that is why we paid more attention to the menus and we can tell you: there are really many options possible 🙂 You notice that over the years it becomes more normal vega(n) food and you can see this now on Karpathos too. There are several restaurants that indicate per dish whether or not it is vegetarian or is ok when you have an allergy.
Vega(n) food on Karpathos
Karpathos is very different from the mainland and therefore also compared to the Netherlands. With us, it is already quite normal that a menu has standard options for vegetarian, gluten-free or lactose-free food. On Karpathos, they are still a bit behind in this area. However, that does not mean that it is difficult to find dishes without meat, fish, animal products, gluten or lactose on Karpathos. Greece has a very healthy kitchen that consists of a lot of fresh basic products. So you can find great dishes here that you are allowed to eat. However, what you do not yet see on the island are the new products especially for allergies or when you want to eat vegetarian. Think for example of falafel or tofu (coincidentally we saw this at one place on Karpathos: En Plo).
Vega(n) in the supermarket
Of course, you can go to any supermarket for vega(n) products. Think of products such as salad, fruit, rice and if you are only vegetarian enough dairy products. It is different than in the Netherlands where nowadays we have entire product lines of, among others, Zonnatura that are gluten-free. This does not apply to Karpathos, so you will mainly need ‘normal’ products. Still, if you search well, you will sometimes find a lost product that is specifically vegetarian or gluten-free 😉
Lactose and gluten-free
Lactose and gluten-free dishes are a lot harder to find in Greece than in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, it is already used that it is indicated on many menus on the menu whether it is lactose or gluten-free and most employees are also aware of the allergies. In Greece, it is slightly different. However, since this year there have been restaurants that have taken this into account more. For example, Poseidon restaurant has indicated on the menu with icons whether something is lactose-free, gluten-free or vegetarian.
Of course, it also depends on how allergic you are. I know people with couliaki who just eat gluten and only have to be careful with food, while others are not allowed to eat it. Lactose intolerance is also often easier to explain than a gluten allergy. This easy card from Celiactravel can help you with that. Here it is stated exactly in Greek what gluten-free food means.
What you can eat well anyway? Souvlaki, stifado and dolmades are gluten-free for example!
Do you have allergies or do you choose to eat vega(n)?