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Eating in Thessaloniki

What and where eat in Thessaloniki: a real city-food!

Thessaloniki is the first city in Greece to be recognized for its rich culinary tradition and to join the Unesco Network of Gastronomy. You will find unique dishes that will amaze! Taverns, bakeries and pastry shops are everywhere and open until late at night. The Greeks usually have an early breakfast, a coffee at noon and lunch from 14-15 onwards...for this reason the restaurants are open from 12 until midnight.

Breakfast and sweets

Salt, Sweet and Brunch

must#1 Bougatsa: pastry stuffed with meat or spinach or cheese or sweet with cream. It is found in specialized bakery (usually open morning until 15), the best and most famous is Bougatsa Iannis which is located near the White Tower and is also open at night.

must#2 Trigona Panoramatos: a bomb of happiness that drives you away from the diet in a second! The best you can eat is at Trigona Elenidi between the White Tower and the Rotonda.. If you take the big version, you won’t need food for many, many hours.

Koulouri: typical for breakfast is a bread with sesame seeds, often with creamy cheese inside.

Crepes: (here called Crepa κρέπα) and brunches are very trendy in the city and among the best places we tried there are Ergon Agora and Donkey Garden.

Other typical sweets include the famous: baklava, kataifi, galaktoboureko (semolina cake) and chocolates with various fillings such as wafers and dried fruit that are usually wrapped with drawn foil.

During Christmas there are delicious honey cookies called melomakarono.

Lunch and Dinner

Starters, Cheese, Pasta and Vegetables

Bougiourdi (Μπουγιουρντι): feta together with another cheese coocked in hoven in a bowl, usually there are also sliced tomatoes and green peppers.

Tzatziki: the famous yoghurt sauce .

Smoked Eggplant cut in half and seasoned with garlic, oil, tomato or cherry tomatoes and feta cheesea.

Feta (ΦΕΤΑ) fried with honey and sesame

Zucchini balls or fried

Talagani (Ταλαγάνι): grilled cheese served with tomato jam.

Salads: in Thessaloniki you will find in every tavern the famous Greek salad but also many other types of delicious and creative salads.

Dakos (Ντάκος): it is a specialty of Crete, a dry bread seasoned with oil, tomatoes and feta.

Dolmadakia (Ντολμαδάκια): rolls of vine leaves filled with rice.

Orzotto, risotti, pasta in Thessaloniki are incredibly good and tasty.

Perek: a large puff pastry cake filled with cheese that is hardly found in the city. We always go to eat it at the tavern Greek flavor in Mesimeri because there is delicious.

In addition there are many Cretan taverns where you can eat the delicious potatoes with staka (a buttery cream and cheese) and sfakianopita, ie a cake of dough similar to crepes filled with cheese and covered with honey.


Pita Gyros: pita (bread) with pork or chicken and salad, tomatoes, sauces

must# Souvlaki (Σουβλάκι): pork or chicken skewers

Panseta (Πανσέτα): slices of grilled or baked bacon

Loukaniko (Λουκάνικο): sausages

Soutzoukakia (Σουτζουκάκια): meatballs, usually grilled

Bifteki (βιφτέκι): grilled hamburger

Kreatopita: pies of various kinds with meat and vegetables.


Thessaloniki is on the seaside and every day fishermen bring fresh fish to the tables, restaurants and local markets. Just ask what is the fish of the day and the cost per kilo.

Octopus (Χταπόδι) grilled or marinated which is usually served as one or two long tentacles

Squid (καλαμάρι kalamari) fried or grilled

Grilled sardines (σαρδέλες sardeles) and marinated anchovies (Γαύρος μαρινάτος)

#must fish and mussels in Saganaki, a sauce made of oil, lemon and feta and sometimes tomato. The shrimps (γαρίδα garida) are delicious in saganaki.

Wine, Beer, Retsina, Tsipouro, Ouzo, Mastiha

Retsina, just try because it has a unique taste

White, rose and red wines, among red wines there is Naoussa’s Xinomavro

Beers: Mithos, Alpha e Nymfi.

Tsipouro (brandy with or without anise), ouzo and raki (coming from Crete) are brothers and are usually used for eating; there are in fact Ouzerie where you can just order to drink ouzo or tsipouro and receive complimentary food.

Our favorite is rakomelo: raki with honey that you drink hot in winter but that is also good cold in the summer.

Among the liqueurs at the end of the meal the best is Mastiha, a sweet liqueur that leaves a good taste in the mouth and it helps digestion; this is flavored with mastic resin, which is produced only in the island of Chios in Greece.



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