From Greek micro-brewed beers to tiki cocktails, these bars serve up the best drinking experiences in Thessaloniki.
As a port city, Thessaloniki has a long history of visitors. Perhaps that’s why the city does bars so well. From traditional Greek watering holes, populated by old guys sipping ouzo on shaded outdoor tables, to young trendy joints stocked with craft beers and artisan spirits and those thumping with live music until the early hours of the morning, there’s a drinking spot for everyone. We’ve experienced the hangovers so you can save yourself the headache of choosing – these are our favourite bars in Thessaloniki.
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Dentro Sto Bar
In the scalding heat of a Greek summer, the shade provided by the massive ash tree in Dentro’s front garden is usually enough to lure thirsty passers-by. Once seated (and beginning to cool off), the huge selection of European beers, as well as original fruit-based cocktails made with Greek spirits will keep you seated until sundown, when you might find yourself being lured further in, like the Argonauts, by the thrum of live music.
One glance at Kafodero Ellinko’s back bar, and you’ll know you’re in good hands. This is a serious drinker’s church, with bottles of spirits, liqueurs and tinctures from every corner of Greece and beyond. Just a heads-up, however: some of the rarer tipples come with a princely price tag, so it’s worth enquiring before you start racking up the shot glasses. A little live music in the evenings helps things along, but it never gets too loud to have a conversation, which is just how we like it.
On cooler nights, there are few cosier places to hunker down in than this quirky cafe-cum-bar. Exposed air ducts, bare brick walls and polished concrete floors form a familiarly trendy canvas, but it’s the proliferation of fairy lights, squiggly tree branches and dangling bulbs that add warmth and personality. Come in the morning for an eggy brunch and a creamy flat white, or turn up later for adventurous signature cocktails under the twinkling lights.
For Brits abroad, the red phone box and Guinness signs nailed to every square inch of wall space might give you the impression you’re walking into an immigrant refuge, but that couldn’t be further from the case. Ironically, this feels like a proper neighbourhood hangout, with its namesake owner, Avgoustos, propped up by the beer pumps most nights to welcome newcomers. And beers, by the way, are the bar’s speciality – mostly from local microbreweries, and robust enough to put hairs on your chest.
Le Coq Tail Mix Bar
Le Coq Tail Mix boasts the best cocktails in town, and they’re pretty good – served in cool ceramic tiki mugs. Fancy freestyling it and making up your own concoction? The staff actively encourage it. But, for us, it wasn’t the drinks that sold it for us as much as the views from the terrace – looking south, over the rooftops, towards the sea. Even at night, with the city lights twinkling below like a computer circuit board, that’s where you’d find us.
Thessaloniki doesn’t really do pubs, so Pulp pretty much has the market cornered. This hugely popular neighbourhood bar has craft beers coming out of its ears – from American IPAs to Belgian blondes – and crowd-pleasing music blaring from its speakers. What really sets it apart from the other watering holes in Thessaloniki is the knowledgeability and enthusiasm of its staff for recommending drinks based on what your favourite tipple is.
For when you’re feeling a bit bougie, this sophisticated cocktail and wine bar – with acres of parasol-shaded outdoor seating – is the place to pull up at. If you suffer from numb-bum syndrome from sitting on those stainless-steel bar chairs, you’ll sigh with relief at the sight of squishy sofas – both outside, with views of the Aristotelous Square, and inside, where stylish black and white floor tiles lead you to the neon-lit bar.
We love the eccentric decor of this place, where old bikes hang from the walls, a vintage piano is set up on a stage like something from a wild west saloon and trees seemingly sprout up from the middle of circular tables. But it’s the menu of microbrewed beers that clinches it as one of our favourite drinking spots in the city. The food’s not bad either – particularly the totally OTT pancake stacks, drizzled in chocolate sauce and shavings.
Not sorted your stay yet? Bag the best hotels in the second-largest city in Greece by booking now with Culture Trip. While you’re here, explore the top things to see and do and hit up one of the nearby beaches before relaxing with a well-deserved delicious dinner in one of the best local dining spots. Fancy exploring another nearby city? We recommend taking a trip to Halkidiki. Stay in one of the beautiful boutique hotels in the area, and discover the best things to do across its three peninsulas.
This article is an update of one originally by Leah Mizas.
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