Cookoomela Grill, a.k.a. Amanita Grill (what they used to be called) has made a splash as the first exclusively vegan souvlatzidiko (souvlaki place) in the world and certainly in Athens.
Having opened in April 2018, brothers Antonis and Vasilis, with decades of experience in gastronomy, decided they’d had enough cooking animal parts and utilising animal products, so they started their own business making souvlaki with mushroom gyros and lentil kebab. They use 4 to 6 different kinds of mushrooms, depending on the season, have a zero-waste philosophy and only use organic products (except for the pitas).
They told me that, even though vegan is an accurate description of what they do, they prefer using ‘plant-based Mediterranean’ as a descriptor for their food, for they believe everyone should feel welcome to enjoy their delicacies — vegans and, erm, omnivores alike.
I tried the “yellow” mushroom souvlaki with avocado, vegan mayo, salad and of course vegan gyros — chopped grilled mushrooms. It tasted amazing; a wholesome substitute for the “real” gyros, perhaps even better than it (!), and good for you! I recommend you order two for the full experience — why not a yellow one and a “red” one with tomato sauce instead of mayo?
Feeling hungry while exploring Exarchia? These guys will get you going in no time!