Very often, as Muslims, when we travel, one of the very first questions we ask about any potential destination is: Is there halal food? As someone who has travelled a considerable amount, I can guarantee that. I have visited Greece more times than I can remember and plan to revisit a few more times. Although there has been an increase in Muslims travelling to Greece and the locals have become more at ease with the evidently Muslim traveller – aka hijabis there is still a lack of halal food options available. The country as a whole is working on this and although there are a few halal eateries the choice is few and far between at the moment.
Muslims make up 24.1% of the global population – that is a whopping 1.8 billion Muslims! With that being said, many Muslims have different preferences and understandings of what halal food means to them. There are Muslims who are OK with eating chicken from certain countries and others who won’t touch it.
Although halal meat may be difficult to find, Greece has a great Mediterranean diet which is full of fresh and delicious vegetable dishes. When travelling to Greece for a week or two, vegetarian and fresh fish options are the way to go!
If on your trip you were staying somewhere local, head to the farmers market. Greek tradition is that at least once a week, there will be a fresh market for those wishing to buy fresh produce. Below are some of my favourite dishes to try when I’m in Greece – and they’re delicious even if they aren’t meaty:
Fresh fish – it is typically grilled.
Calamari – fresh calamari from the sea and not the frozen option, they are much larger and delicious
Spanakopita – This is
a Spinach pie great for breakfast or with a salad for Tzatziki, Tyrokafteri, Taramosalata are my favourite sauces and are extremely flavourful
Veggie pizza options
Spanakorizo – spinach rice dish which is wonderful with some yoghurt on the side.
Vine leaves – Be sure you ask for the veggie option.
I am definitely not a fussy eater; I can assure you that! So personally, do not mind not eating meat or trying new dishes. I guess you’re all wondering what my go-to dish is and I’ll let you know…it is most definitely the calamari!
Now please, for the love of god, don’t let the lack of halal meat options stop you from visiting Greece. It would actually be a better idea to keep travelling there to show there is a demand from Muslim visitors which in turn will hopefully get the people of Greece to have more options available.
The destination you visit is never a place, but a new experience that is full of surprises, which is why I love travelling so much. My parents instilled a love of travel in me since I was very young. My father was always taking us somewhere new in the holidays. Now that I have my own family, with two young children, I am doing the same. Although it takes a little more organisation to travel with young kids, it really is worth the effort. I am passionate about having as many adventures as possible because after all, life is short.