Kountouriotiko in Koukaki might not seem like much from the outside — from an aesthetics and design point of view, it is more or less interchangeable with any other traditional souvlaki place that’s trying to appeal to mainstream crowds. Nevertheless, it has distinguished itself as my favorite in the area because they respect non-meat eaters.
In most other places, ordering a vegetarian souvlaki is a more or less humiliating process, especially if you happen to venture outside Athens. You’re basically telling people whose job is to grill flesh all day that the “meat and potatoes” of their business is unethical, wrong etc. and then you have to deal with the more or less disapproving looks that ensue. How sensitive you are to this kind of thing is a purely personal matter.
Some places do make ‘veggie burgers’, of course, but let’s not go there.
Amusingly enough, souvlaki without meat is called “ecological” or “orphan” souvlaki in Greek — you can tell a lot about our culture by the fact that we kind of invite comparison between the horror of having lost your parents and the tragedy of… respecting nature.
Anywho, back to Kountouriotiko. These guys offer souvlaki with either halloumi, grilled mushrooms or both (dubbed an “ecological mix”) slathered with an awesome mustard sauce. For a spell they also had tomato patties but they seem to have dropped those, although you can always ask.
Get an extra-sized “giga” pita filled with their “ecological mix” and you’ll be set for the night.