Allison van Tilborgh
Zorba's Greek Restaurant Sanford (Vegan Guide)
Zorba's—winner of a Top 10 Best of Sanford award —is located on 1st Street in Historic Downtown Sanford. From Spanakopita to classic Gyros, Zorbas has you covered–specializing in Sanford’s freshest, most authentic Greek cuisine. “What makes us unique is our healthy, unique style of cooking, as well-trained staff and an immaculately clean place to enjoy,” owners Tony and Nancy Paitaris share.
Born in the ouzo capital of the world, Lesvos, Greece, Chef Tony came to the United States as a pre-teen, where the “food industry bug bit him.” “Although I have many trades under my belt,” Tony tells us, meditating on his immigration journey, “the cooking opportunity is what I enjoy the best.”
Zorbas originally opened in 2010 in Debary, but when an opportunity to move to Sanford opened up, they jumped on it. “The aesthetics drove us to Sanford, and it's only gotten better every year,” Chef Tony shared. Zorbas grows by 20% each year, and for a good reason. Their robust menu covers classic Greek appetizers, including a vast array of spreads (such as their famous Whole Roasted Garlic Spread) and vegan appetizers (like their salads and dolmathes), but also modern twists on favorites such as garlic linguini. “Our food is non-processed, wholesome, and/or made in-house,” Tony shares with us. There is something for everyone to enjoy.
Read below for our vegan guide to eating at Zorbas:
MEZETHAKIA (GREEK APPETIZER)
Horiatiki Salata (Village Greek Salad)
- Tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, scallions, red cabbage, parsley, Greek olives, carrots, onions, and feta tossed in our house dressing [ORDER WITHOUT FETA]
Whole Roasted Garlic Spread
- Served with toasted homemade bread drizzled with EVOO and oregano [ORDER PITA INSTEAD OF HOMEMADE BREAD]
Dolmathes [TSV Pick!]
- Rolled grape leaves seasoned and stuffed with rice, served with pita [ORDER WITHOUT FETA]
NOTE: The dolmathes are why I keep coming back! They are the best!
Eggplant Garlic Spread
- Creamy and savory spread
- Fresh garlic spread
NOTE: This is one of those special things you can only get at a place like Zorbas.
- Chickpea spread, red roasted peppers, fresh garlic with a slight kick!
Sauteed Mushroom Caps
- Fresh mushrooms sauteed in wine, melted Mozzarella Cheese and olive oil served with our fresh homemade bread [ORDER WITHOUT CHEESE, SUBSTITUTE BREAD FOR PITA]
SANDWICHES AND PITA
- Served with tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce [ORDER WITHOUT FETA, SUBSTITUTE TZATZIKI FOR HUMMUS OR EGGPLANT SPREAD]
House Greek Salad
- Fresh mix of lettuce, onions, bell peppers, cucumbers, shredded red cabbage & carrots, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and feta cheese [ORDER WITHOUT FETA]
Play it safe and ask them to be prepared in a vegan way:
Veggie Sides Rice Pilaf
Dill Seasoned Lima Beans
Lemon Roasted Potatoes
Linguine, Broccoli, and Garlic Pasta
- Fresh broccoli and our own roasted garlic sauteed to perfection in a EVOO and wine served over linguine, sprinkled with pecorino Parmesan cheese [ORDER WITHOUT BUTTER AND CHEESE]
NOTE: This pasta is HUGE. If you are visiting with other vegan or veg-curious folks, I'd recommend ordering this and sharing it with your party along with some spreads and pita.
Linguine with Our Own Whole Roasted Garlic
- Served with EVOO and sprinkled with pecorino parmesan cheese. [ORDER WITHOUT CHEESE AND BUTTER]
There's no doubt that Zorba's has many veganizable options, but they lack vegan-by-default entrees. The best way to eat vegan at Zorbas is to order several items family style and share between a few folks. For a group of 2-3, I'd order:
- one of the pastas (will come with one small salad)
- the dolmathes (will come with pita)
- hummus (will come with pita)
- garlic spread or eggplant spread (will come with pita)
- MAYBE the Horiatiki Salata too if you're super hungry
The biggest win for Zorba's is their clean ingredients and philosophy about food. They are the real deal and committed to good, clean, authentic Greek food.