Ruta 8
Umbrella Zongopoulos and man jumping to catch one of the umbrellas

Where to eat
in Thessaloniki?

Thessaloniki is the biggest city in Greece after Athens but when it comes to food is second to none. Influenced by different civilizations and being an important trade-hub for many years, the city`s cuisine was enriched becoming Greece´s gastronomic capital.

Our focus here was to taste Greek food in affordable places, with good ambience and friendly service. It feels a bit unfair to narrow down our list as we soon discovered that many places check these boxes. But this guide gives you an idea about what the city has to offer and the must haves in Thess.
  • 1. Start your day at a Bakery

    We tend to think of France when we talk about bakeries but here too they are a big part of the local food culture.

    As we rented a place to stay, our first breakfast had some of the must-try pastries from the nearest bakery: Koulouri (a circular bread with sesame seeds) píta (triangle filo pastry with cheese or spinach) and the famous Bougatsa filled with custard or cheese. Remember these names.

    As there are so many in the city, it would be unfair to just pick one. Al mentioned that they reminded him of the great bakeries in São Paulo. So true!

    Pastries from Bakery Thessaloniki
  • 2. Gyros or Souvlaki ?

    We generally eat a vegan diet three times a week but during our trip in Greece we had to put that on hold.
    We came to O Gyros Tis Ellados to try the famous Gyro and seemed to have chosen the right place. The Gyro here has plenty of meat to please a carnivore´s wildest dreams and the waiter didn’t seem to bother about some special requests I made about my order.

    What surprised us is that we tend to picture these places as very tiny with few stools but at Tis Ellados there is a big sitting area open to the street, which certainly makes the whole experience more enjoyable.

    Gyros tis Ellados restaurant front entrance
    two Gyros one with pork and one with chicken Chicken meat on Spit, very big

    Did you know? The main difference between Souvlaki and Gyros is that the former comes with pieces of meat on a skewer and the latter with sliced meat grilled on a vertical spit.

  • 3. Life is short, start with the dessert

    Or so I heard once. Trigona Panaromatos or Panorama Triangles is a filo pastry filled with creamy custard that´s very traditional here. Thessalonians eat this at any time of the day and after having ours we thought it was a bit too sweet for us, but we ended up coming back for more.

    The place we chose is Trigona Elenidi (where it was first created) and what we especially liked about it was the chilled custard. Is it the same in other places? Don´t miss it.

    Front entrance bakery Ellenidis
    Me holding a Trigona Panaromatos
  • 4. Cafe Mitsos

    This place is probably our fave in Thess.
    Mitsou café is an unpretentious restaurant situated in a corner, inside Kopani Market.

    With a compact menu, serving meals with ingredients sourced directly from their doorstep, our tuna was cooked to perfection and I think I could have their Cretan salad many times a week!

    We liked it so much we came here twice, for lunch and for dinner. Expect a more relaxed ambience for dinner as the market is closed.

    Vegetarians options available on the menu.

    Cretan Salada, Tuna with boiled greens and Lentils salad: €22 Cretan salad; cherry tomatoes and feta cheese
  • 5. Anopolis

    Since starting this blog, a lot more planning goes into our trips. So, whenever good and spontaneous experiences happen; yeah! Why not share it too?

    We found this little intersection with a few restaurants by chance off the main touristy area in Anopolis. We chose Ouzeri Tsinari (Ουζερί Τσινάρι) taverna to try some delicious Greek food in a chilled vibe.

    Restaurants in Greece generally serve a small dessert on the house but we had to cancel ours here because we were quite replete after our meal.

    View to the restaurant Ouzeri Tsinari and the street at night

  • 6. Kanoula

    Located in the same area of Anopolis, this little restaurant serves Greek food with an international twist. We arrived just in time to get the last table and wanted to come back to try more things on the menu but unfortunately, it´s got to be on our next visit.

    The smoked goat cheese with rose chutney and the grilled pleurotus mushrooms are already a reason to repeat. No wonder they rank high on Tripadvisor!

    front entrance Kanoula restaurant
  • 7. Coffee culture

    When it comes to coffee, Greeks take it seriously or at least more than our Spanish friends. It also seems that there´s a culture of going for a coffee around 11am as all the cafes in Thess were generally packed at this time.

    To try another must have in Thess, Frappé (Iced Coffee & evaporated milk or without) we chose Menta Café Bar , just next to Ladadika. Cocktails & food are also available on their menu.

    Coffee at Menta cafe Bar

    More info for foodies: The coffee here is 80% Arabica 20% Robusta. They also serve Decaf coffee. If it´s your first-time ordering coffee in Greece, note that ´Greek coffee´ is the same as Turkish coffee. So, if you don´t like having fine grinds of coffee in the cup, stick to the names in Italian.

    Tip: Every cafe & restaurant in Greece serve water upon arrival but some unfortunately still serve it in plastic bottles. To avoid plastic, check the tables beforehand.
  • 8. MeZen

    Ah, we loved this place.
    Some local friends said we shouldn´t leave without having a Tsipouro or Ouzo experience with Mezedes (Tapas in Greek).

    Here is roughly how it works: You have a selection of Ouzo or Tsipouro drinks (spirits mainly produced from grapes, hovering around 40% alcohol) to choose from and the price of the bottle includes 5 different tapas matched by the chef depending on the type of drink you order.

    Mezen Bar sign on the wall
    Tsipouro with 5 mezedes: €22 Mezen Bar Thessaloniki table with three mezedes and bread and tsipouro

    Our first thought was that we wouldn´t manage to drink much considering the high alcohol content. Forget all about that! Having it slowly with ice, and the tapas…
    The small meze dishes here were delicious and two of them had smoked items.

    As they put in their special article on Culture trip: "The golden rule is one sip, one bite, talk – and repeat". Here, we fully experienced the Greek spirit!

  • 9. Fish and Chips

    I sometimes tell Al that one of my favourite English men after him is Rick Stein, a famous chef who presents cooking/travel programs on the BBC. So, we had to check this place recommended by him in his programme Long Weekends.

    This fish and chip place serves deep fried fish in a thick batter. Al decided he prefers it from here than back home, especially because of the saltiness (English words, not mine).

    Mpakaliarakia Tou Aristou combines tradition and pride for their business. They´ve been open since 1940 and it’s in the hands of the third generation. It can´t get more traditional than that!

    For all you can see in this pic: €15 Fish and chips, cabbage salad, garlic sauce and bread served on a tray Front entrance to the restaurant and two men at a table having fish and chips
  • 10. Cocktails & Chill out

    For drinks & cocktails we chose Whope, right in Ladadika neighbourhood. A place with a beach feeling décor and house music.

    Having a cocktail here was a perfect way to bid farewell, experiencing the chilled vibe and vibrancy of Thessaloniki! And we hope it won´t be long until our next visit.

    Whope bar and people chilling out in an open space

Where to stay

Airbnb - Astor’s Liza’s Home