Thessaloniki’s vibrant food scene: One of Greece’s hidden secrets

Thessaloniki’s vibrant food scene: One of Greece’s hidden secrets

Thessaloniki is the second-largest city in Greece. Located in the northern part of the country, it is closer to its Balkan neighbourhood than the capital. Although the region was never a paradise of cooperation and friendship, there is a strong connection between the city and its influences.

Thessaloniki — A unique culinary experience! Photo by GetYourGuide.

Food is one of the most striking examples of this historical dialogue between the Balkans, Greece and Turkey; Thessaloniki is the best place to enjoy the best of it! Follow us in a journey to one of the best cities in the world for bon viveurs (or, as they’re called in Greek, meraklides)!

A few words about the town

The city was founded in 315 BC byCassander, a former general of Alexander the Great during his Persian campaign. In its almost 2000-year history, the event that marked the Thessaloniki’s character once and for all was the settlement of 15,000 Spanish Jews ousted by Queen Isabella in 1492. Under the Ottoman rule, Thessaloniki became a flourishing multicultural city. In its streets, foreign travellers could hear Greek, Turkish, Spanish and Armenian dialects been spoken by the locals. However, most of Thessaloniki was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1917 that left more than 75,000 people homeless, while World War II and Nazi occupation completely changed the face of the city.

Thessaloniki, Greece. Photo by VisitGreece.com

Modern Thessaloniki is significantly less diverse. Nevertheless, its international character remains visible. In 2013, National Geographic included it in itstop tourist destinations, while the Financial Times declared it as thebest mid-sized city in terms of lifestyle. Also, the city boasts a vibrant nightlife and, of course, some of the best culinary experiences you will encounter in the whole Balkan area.

What kind of food you will find in Thessaloniki

Typical Greek food. Photo by Newsfish

What would a foodie’s paradise be unless you could find something for every taste? You may have tried standard Greek delicacies gyros (pork meat served in pita or bread with tzatziki) or bougatsa (pastries filled with cheese or cream) before, but in Thessaloniki, you will find them at their best. However, you really should leave these options until last, as the city offers many brunch, lunch and dining options for all types of travellers.

Photo by Parallaximag

Below we will see some of the best places to eat around Thessaloniki. Stroll through the city’s busy street markets and enjoy authentic recipes from Asia Minor or choose one of the new-age restaurants that combine new trends with traditional ingredients. Whether it is vegan, fish or meat options, Thessaloniki has got it all!

Best places to eat in Thessaloniki

Below I have listed some of the best places to eat in Thessaloniki, along with useful information about what to try and how to find them. Let’s go! Sempriko — Local cuisine with a twist

Local cuisine with a modern twist. Photo by Greek Gastronomy Guide.

Located on the hip part of town, behind the Thessaloniki Courthouse,Sempriko was one of the first fusion Greek taverns in the city. By using local organic products (which you can find for sale in the store), they create dishes that pay homage to Greek cuisine, with a modern twist. Upon ordering, you will be served their home-baked bread and a choice of dips to work up an appetite! What to eat: The day menu is always full of exciting options, however the potato salad, the honey mustard pancetta and risotto with cuttlefish ink are ones to go for if available. Location: Clickhere to see Sempriko on the map! Contact and bookings: Fragkon 2, Thessaloniki 546 26, Greece, +30 231 055 7513 Roots- the vegan option

Roots — the vegan option. Photo by Biscotto.gr

Roots was the first strictly vegan restaurant to appear in the streets of Thessaloniki, opening in 2014. Just five years ago, opening a no-meat restaurant in a meat-loving city was considered a bold move. However, the culinary work of vegan chef Nikos Gaitanos won over the hearts of locals. Eat your way through a wide range of vegetarian delicacies such as delicious risottos with avocado and homemade falafels. Roots is open until late in the evening, offering amazing cocktails. What to eat: Definitely try the mushroom burger and the fava bean hot dog. Don’t forget to wash it down with some of their delicious house sangria! Location: Clickhere to see Roots on the map! Contact and bookings: Mpalanou 4, Thessaloniki 546 23, Greece, +30 231 026 8063 7 Thalasses — The best seafood in town

217 Thalasses has an ample selection of seafood. Photo by Moco-Choco.com

The name translates to “Seven Seas”, and as you might have guessed, this is the city’s seafood hotspot. Located in one of the most high-end pedestrian streets, this restaurant is often considered to be among the most luxurious in Thessaloniki, mentioned even by National Geographic. Visit7 Thalasses for their unique Mediterranean cuisine dishes made with fresh fish and shellfish. There is also an extensive wine list to accompany your dinner. What to eat: Try out the smoked salmon rolls, stuffed mushrooms with cheese and prawns and grilled squid. Location: Clickhere to see 7 Thalasses on the map! Contact and bookings: Kalapothaki 10, Thessaloniki 546 24, Greece, +30 231 023 3173 ERGON Agora — The best choice for a hearty brunch

Ergon agora — our restaurant. Photo courtesy of ERGON Agora.

The perfect way to start a lazy Sunday in Thessaloniki is having a brunch at the indoor marketplace of ERGON Agora. There you will find many egg-based dishes, as well as crochets and croissants made with local products. On your way out, browse the deli next to the restaurant for a vast selection of locally sourced produce, meat and cheese.What to eat: Don’t hesitate to go for toasted bread with avocado and bacon. If you’re feeling hungry, go for some puffy pancakes too. You won’t regret it. Location: Click here to see ERGON Agora on the map! Contact and bookings: P. Mela 42, Thessaloniki 546 22, Greece, +30 231 028 8008 Vomvidia — Feel like a local at the heart of the market

Vomvidia is the classic street food option. Photo by redman5314.

The Kapani market is where the heart of the city beats. There you will find all sorts of organic products and household items. Somewhere around this little slice of Istanbul in Thessaloniki, you will find the small restaurant ofVomvidia. Forget luxurious and sophisticated options, as this is a street food restaurant for the locals. Apart from the different salads, there is only one thing on the menu: soutzoukakia (tiny kebab meatballs). Try it to get a taste of the authentic Thessaloniki. What to eat: Get soutzoukakia (six are good for each person), bread, a Greek salad and some retsina. Don’t forget to add ample crushed red pepper! Location: Click here to see Vomvidia on the map! Contact and bookings: Vassileos Irakliou 35 37, Thessaloniki 546 24, Greece, +30 231 028 1939

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