About a month ago, I received a call asking me to go to Greece for 23 days for work. Great, yeah? Small catch is that I would be leaving the next morning. Cue the minor panic attack and packing frenzy. Greece is one of my absolute favorite countries so I was very excited, although I will guiltily admit I had planned for the next couple weeks to be super healthy so I was (slightly) nervous to go to the land of pita & feta cheese. I ran to Trader Joe’s and grabbed a bunch of Quest bars to serve as a cheap and healthy snack but the truth is I barely even ate them. Athens surprised me by how many healthy and cheap options there were. I mean I found an ACAI BOWL, which I cannot even find in some cities back in the States. Here are 5 of my favorite healthy and cheap eats I found during my long stint in Athens, Greece.
Getting lost is wonderful sometimes, especially when you stumble upon a place such as this one. The decor and outdoor patio are adorable, there are many non-Greek options (although I am not hating on the Greek food at all), and the prices are very affordable. I opted for the Chicken Caesar Salad (5.50 euro), but dressed in their homemade honey vinaigrette instead. The dressing is fresh and delicious but the little bits of bacon steal the show. They also have a quinoa salad with cranberries (5.70 euro), a veal burger with jalapenos, blue cheese and an egg (7.30 euro), and I also had a very good broccoli and goat cheese quiche (3.5 euro).
Evaggelistrias 33 Athens 105 60
Another little gem I found while getting lost is Fontana Living Well. Located on one of the cutest food alleys, this place serves up salads, smoothies, juices and more. Try the Mocca Protein Smoothie loaded with cacao, coffee, and more. YUM!
Ermou & Aiolou 17 Athens 105 63
2 weeks into my stay, I was craving an acai bowl. I don’t even eat acai bowls regularly at home so why I would have a sudden insane hunger for it I don’t understand. A Google search later and I was at Pure Juice Bar. It is located not in the touristy Plaka neighborhood but instead in the upscale neighborhood of Kolonaki just a 15 minute walk away. They offer a variety of smoothies and juices and list the calorie content for each. They also had my beloved acai bowl. The acai portion was pre-made that morning (kind of weird) and their version was different as it was blended with avocado and cacao. It definitely did not taste like my typical acai bowl but for 5.50 euro, it was a darn good healthy option.
Sina 21 Kolonaki Athens 106 80
Frozen Greek yogurt…. seriously my favorite thing I may have had in Greece (okay maybe my favorite somewhat healthy thing). My favorite is at Yiaourtaki located right on Monastiraki Square. A small is 2.70 euro plus .50 for each topping. I always got mine with raspberries and butter cookies!
Ermou 82 Monastiraki Square Athens 105 54
Okay, maybe not the healthiest but they’re cheap, good, and can be somewhat healthy if you so choose. Gyros are basically meat (chicken, lamb, or pork), veggies (tomatoes, onion, lettuce), sometimes french fries, and tzatziki sauce wrapped in a pita. The food is so fresh and free of preservatives in Greece so I say go and eat that pita. If you are trying to cut out carbs though, eat everything inside the pita or just rip half of the pita off. You cannot go to Greece without having a gyro! My favorite was at Bairaktaris for only 2 euro, although they are everywhere.
Bairaktaris: 88 Mitropoleos Athens 105 55
Safe travels y’all!
Chelsea Rose Martin