Thessaloniki is a paradise for gourmets

Walking around the city you will notice many different restaurants, fast food kiosks, bakeries, pastry shops. You will surely wonder where to stop first and what to try, as irresistible smells of delicious food spread through the city and entice passers-by.
In our opinion, it’s best to always go where the locals go.  It’s not always easy to get a good recommendation because the reviews on the platforms are mostly left by tourists and usually right after the first visit to the restaurant.
Given that we lived in Thessaloniki for a while and still spend part of the year here, we have first-hand recommendations.
We would like to point out that our restaurant recommendations in this text are suitable for those who prioritize quality food, not attractive and fancy places. About attractive places we will for sure write next time.
You should also know that the majority of Greek taverns or uzeri, tsipouradika… prepare food called “meze”. These are a smaller portion that goes with ouzo, tsipouro, brandy. When Greeks visit restaurants, they usually do not order separate portions for each person, but rather several smaller portions that are placed in the middle of the table for everyone in the group.

Practice this while in Greece and you will try a lot more variety of food and enjoy fantastic flavors.

While tourists will always suggest one of the restaurants in Ladadika first, we will advise you to definitely visit Ladadika, take a walk, maybe have a drink or have lunch if you are in Thessaloniki for a longer time, because, Ladadika is really wonderful. But if you are in Thessaloniki only for a short visit then choose other restaurants in the city for lunch.
The food in the restaurants in Ladadika is good, but Ladadika is too touristy to try authentic Greek cuisine and feel the local atmosphere. The only exception for restaurants in Ladadaka is Harupi, which we mentioned at the end of the text.

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1. Sempriko Meze Tavern

At the back of the courthouse in Thessaloniki is Sempriko Meze Tavern, which is one of the most popular places to eat in Thessaloniki. Here you will enjoy incredible flavors and combinations of quality products from all over Greece. The environment and ambiance are pleasant, especially during the summer because there is a lot of greenery.
The dishes are simple; the portions are medium in size.
Within the tavern there is also an excellent grocery store of small producers from different parts of the country.
The very nice decoration of the shop combined with the Byzantine walls next door, really leaves an impression on the visitors.
What to try?
The tavern is best known for its steak (rib steak) and it is the absolute star of the tavern, but also pasta made from Greek, home-made pasta (hilopita) with kavurma, then risotto with mushrooms and truffles, different types of cheese. Try the seafood and fish, salads, but also check what dishes they have on the daily menu, because pearls are often hidden among them.
In this tavern, everything is simply delicious, so whatever you try according to the foods you like, you will definitely not leave disappointed.
You can also consult with the waiters.
Address: Fragon 2
Phone number: +302310557513
Opening hours: every day from  09:00 to 01:00 (after midnight)

2. Maitr&Margarita

In a small and beautiful street in the center of Thessaloniki, there is a Maitr&Margarita restaurant, labeled as a bistro. The industrial design is something that makes it different from other restaurants in that part of town.
Wine is at the core of this bistro’s concept, but the wine is accompanied by fantastic food. They also have fresh homemade beer that also tastes interesting.
This restaurant is frequented by both young and old, hipsters, middle-aged couples…
What to try?
The menu is diverse, unusual and very creative.
Of course, there is a large selection of different cheeses to pair with the wine (if you so choose). Try arsenic, for example. As in almost all Greek restaurants and taverns, the most delicious are the appetizers, and here you have a variety of mixes of Mediterranean appetizers and several main dishes with an accent on local tastes.
If you like meat, try pork neck chops, as well as one Cretan dish, i.e. pasta with krita and lean pork (skioufichta with apaki). Also, the Maitr&Margarita version of the Greek salad is excellent. The salads are colorful and tasty, and some are also fruity, and the ingredients are fresh and of high quality. Strawberry and mango salads are also very interesting.
The restaurant is also veggie friendly.  
We recommend it to those who like to try modern cuisine with traditional ingredients.
Dessert is also a must, so leave some room for that too. We recommend the oriental specialty kunefa if you like this type of cake (with sugar syrup - like baklava, but with different pasta and with vanilla cream).
The service is also excellent, the waiters are patient, so you can consult them on the spot regarding the choice of food.
The prices are slightly higher than average.
This restaurant is very popular and not big, so maybe it’s better to make a reservation for the evening hours.
Address: Veroias 2, Thessaloniki
Phone number:  +302314007586
Opening hours:  Tuesday to Sunday  14:00 - 01:00
Mondays is closed.

3. Stou Mitsou Tavern

Stou Mitsou Tavern within Kapani Market in the center of Thessaloniki (near Aristotle Square) is very dear to us and we visit it often. This is a small tavern or uzeri as the Greeks call that type of tavern  which mean “food that goes with ouzo”. 
The place looks a bit spooky in the evening, when the stalls are removed and all the shops are closed and the Kapana market is empty. But as you walk through those half-dark alleys, you will hear the murmurs coming from this tavern.
The tavern is small, but the waiters take the tables outside and set them up as needed, so sometimes the whole street is full of tables.
The tavern is full of retro and ethnic details and is very interesting and authentic.
The star of the tavern is the large, stone oven in which fantastic dishes are prepared, mostly “meze”, which is the best in Greece. We recommend that you visit this tavern in the evening.
Portions are smaller, very tasty, and the atmosphere is more than excellent. Given that it is crowded and the tables are quite densely distributed, we would not recommend this tavern to families with small children who would walk around the tavern, as is the case with us :)
What we like most about the tavern is that its guests are exclusively locals, a nice and authentic ambience (inside) and an authentic atmosphere.
It is a wonderful feeling to be in Greece, among Greeks.
What to try?
In this tavern, you can try a variety of craft beers from different Greek islands, and you can also buy Greek cheeses with a protected geographical origin.

The prices of specialties from the large brick wood-fired oven range from €5.5 to €10, appetizers from €6 to €8, meat portions from €6 to €7, seafood around €7-8, cheeses around €7-8, salads around €7.
Portion size: medium to small because the portions are like appetizers. Suggested dishes: wreaths of vine leaves (without meat), salad with cherry tomatoes, some of the different meatballs they have or more of them (tomato ones are great, but also zucchini ones).
We recommend you to visit it in the evening if you like a livelier atmosphere or during the day if you like peace.
Address: Vlali 11
Phone number:  +30 231 551 5504
Opening hours:  10.00 – 24.00 , except Sunday when the tavern is closed.

4. Deka Trapezia

If you want to try modern cuisine, yet Greek, we recommend you to visit the tavern Deka Trapezia. It is located near the White Tower.
It is a tavern with the concept of smaller meze portions. An amazing combination of flavors and ingredients and really something to try.
If you are not ready to spend a little more money to really fill up, we recommend that you stop by when you are not very hungry.
The restaurant is more expensive than average, and the portions are small, but they are worth every euro.  To note, in order to enjoy the food in this restaurant, you need to be completely open to new flavors and combinations.  If so, you will surely be delighted.
The restaurant also has an impressive wine list.
We recommend visiting it in the evening, if you like a livelier atmosphere or during the day if you want to try the specialties in peace.
The prices of most specialties are from 7 to 9€, but there are a few exceptional ones whose prices are 12 to 17€ Portion size: small.
What to try?
It is difficult to recommend something from a restaurant where everything is excellent and where the taste is so specific that it may not appeal to everyone.
But what are some of our favorites are the Croustades, shrimp in puff rice, believe it or not grilled green beans that are fantastic. But really literally everything is great.
Croustade and shrimp were also eaten by our two-year-old child.
Address: Str. Kallari 4
Phone number:+30 231 025 1010
Opening hours: every day from 13h-01 after midnight

5. Uzeri Lola

Uzeri Lola is one of the best choices of taverns if you want to try fresh fish and seafood at average prices. It is located near the center, near the Rotonda, in a side street. When you come across the tavern, you will see that it is full of guests, and the part next to the walls of the old church is especially interesting if the weather is warm.
The tavern is more than 30 years old and the locals love it, because it has good food and more affordable prices compared to other taverns in the city center.
What to try?
If you can, try several different appetizers and dishes. A popular appetizer is the thin spinach pie. This tavern also has a large selection of Greek brandies, ouzo and bream (cipuro).
Address: Agapinou 10
Phone number +3812310 276201
Opening hours: on weekdays from 12 noon to midnight, and on Sundays from 12 noon to 6 pm.

Here are a few more places to eat that you can’t go wrong with:
  • To Elliniko. Near the White Tower. Mediterranean cuisine. Starters, bread, wine and meat. Nice ambience, good atmosphere.
  • Diavasi,  also located near the White Tower. It is famous for kebabs (like our meatballs) and according to many, it has the best homemade gyros in town.
  • O Psaras. Plateia Athōnos. Fish tavern, excellent dishes and fresh fish.
  • Harupi, Ladadika. Cretan cuisine. Lots of exotic appetizers to try in one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Thessaloniki

Which exclusive places to visit in Thessaloniki?

Our recommendations are

  • One of the most exclusive fish restaurants in Thessaloniki that really has top specialties with fish and seafood is To Marea.
  • Clochard is a restaurant that has been considered one of the most elite restaurants (gourmet) in Thessaloniki for more than 4 decades. In this restaurant you can enjoy haute gastronomy and special snacks. If you like luxurious places and the same kind of food, we recommend visiting this restaurant.
  • Elite and good restaurants in the city are**: Epta Thalasses**, Opsopoion Maganeiai, L’albero.

What you must visit in Thessaloniki and other interesting suggestions for this city can be read in our guide by clicking HERE.

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