Gastronomy Between East and West

Top Places to Eat in Thessaloniki

The international gastro-bistro trend gains ground around Greece and of course also in Thessaloniki. The menu in this kind of restaurants focuses on the modern Greek cuisine giving it creative dashes. Mavri Hina, Haroupi and Nama are some perfect examples of what can be created when an inspired chef meets a nice place, inviting us to dine in a romantic setting in a comfort-oriented style. Small dishes, ideal for sharing are amazing for group of friends that want to have fun and eat deliciously at affordable prices.

Emerging is also the city’s brunch scene in relaxing, pleasant spaces to combine breakfast and lunch at weekends. For example, Koukou, serve egg-based street food with many sweet and savoury French toast selections.

Another trend in Thessaloniki as well as in whole Greece is healthy eating with gluten-free dishes and offerings with no added sugar or preservatives. In a super retro décor, Exereton is a top choice to eat healthy and enjoy its innovative touches proving that healthy can also be delicious.

Thessaloniki is a seaside town, and thus, seafood is its specialty. Coquille Seafood is located on the waterfront and has a magnificent view of Thermaic Gulf. Ouzeri Arodo serves seafood mezedes ideally accompanied by ouzo, and emphasises in low-fat creations and fresh ingredients.

Ladadika was always the best district to visit and understand the culinary culture of Thessaloniki. The area near the port is a famous nightlife spot full of small, local taverns where you can taste the cuisine of Thessaloniki and relax drinking wine or ouzo. Ano Ladadika was until recently a lesser-known part of Ladadika, but nowadays Verias Street is the new talk of the town, being established in the drink- and dining map. Maitr and Margarita is one of the leading bistros of Thessaloniki that transformed this neighbourhood. This transformation was followed by the opening of cocktail bar Gorillas, which stocks more than 200 labels, as well as Mahalo with street food, such as Hawaiian burger with grilled beef, pineapple and caramel sauce.

For the meat lovers, there are many meat-focused restaurants and taverns in the city, such as Brizola or Tzaki ‘Ho, which is located in a formet industrial space. What you have to keep in mind is that in Thessaloniki, you can eat either fresh fish or quality meat that will make you understand why Thessaloniki is considered the food capital of Greece.

The cuisine of Thessaloniki, the culinary capital of Greece

If you have booked your stay in Thessaloniki, be prepared to live an abundant culinary experience and enjoy Greek cuisine at its best. Thessaloniki is considered as the culinary capital of Greece thanks to its traditional cuisine that combines Eastern and Western elements and has strong influences from the Turkish cuisine due to the refugees that came from Minor Asia in the city in 1922 bringing their secrets of a delicious gastronomy. Thessaloniki was the first place in Greece that brought the traditional taverns with the various mezedes where people can eat many different dishes and feel like being in a gastronomic paradise.

The best district to visit and understand the culinary culture of Thessaloniki is Ladadika, the area near the port, which is now a famous nightlife spot full of small, local taverns where you can taste the cuisine of Thessaloniki and relax drinking wine or ouzo. However, the whole city is a heaven for food lovers. As you walk around Thessaloniki, you are pulled in every direction by the smells of the bakeries, pastry shops and restaurants that prepare dishes and delicacies, which come directly from Turkey, Istanbul, Pontus and Asia Minor. The culinary repertoire is great, the local wine delicious and the desserts one of a kind.

Modiano Market is a complex of five arcades with a façade and a glass roof, which houses small eateries and shops selling spices, vegetables, fruit, meat and fish. Time has stopped in this traditional market that reminds of the oriental bazaar, and the variety of culinary temptations is just amazing.

Soutzoukakia is a famous dish from Smyrna that came in Thessaloniki and then became part of the Greek cuisine. Meat balls with various spices, tomato sauce, souvlaki pita and yoghourt dip create the perfect nutritious plate, while Tirokafteri is also a starter that now is part of every Greek menu. It is a creative combination of feta cheese, olive oil, paprika and spicy peppers. Generally, the cuisine of Thessaloniki is characterised by many spices and herbs that give its dishes a unique aroma and taste.

Thessaloniki is also famous for its sweets that are popular all over Greece. Tsoureki is a kind of sweet bread with aromatic spices, mastic and mahlab, but in Thessaloniki, you can find various versions of tsoureki with chocolate, vanilla, chestnut and other ingredients that give it a special taste. Bougatsa is made with filo pastry and filled with sweet cream and cinnamon comes from Istanbul, but today, Thessaloniki is considered its hometown. The first thing you should do when you visit Thessaloniki is to taste bougatsa and get lost in its delicious world. Trigona Panoramatos are filo triangle pastries, whose preparation began decades ago in the district Panorama of Thessaloniki Town. They are soaked in syrup and filled with rich and creamy custard. You just can’t stop eating them!

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