Often called the ‘Bride of the North,’ Thessaloniki is a vibrant, young, and multicultural city, where good food is easy to find. It was recently picked by The Guardian as one of the ‘Top 10 alternative city breaks in Europe’ for its brilliant restaurant and nightlife scene along with its rich cultural heritage. Discover these ten favorite local picks, from casual bistros to elegant dining, for a genuine culinary and cultural experience in Greece’s second largest city.
Mageires, which simply means ‘cooks,’ is rather new in town, but is steadily winning people’s hearts with its warm atmosphere and homemade food. This traditional cook-house offers a typical but wealthy choice of vegetable and pulse-based Greek dishes, which are made exclusively from Greek products. Healthy, fresh, and in generous portions, the food also comes at a very affordable price. If confused by any particular menu items, the staff are more than happy to give advice, and are happy to explain the menu choices and prices. What’s more, Mageires stands out due to its strong social responsibility management, either by hiring staff from vulnerable groups or cooperating with charity organizations for food rations. One thing is certain – you’ll eat well and feel good about it!
Mageires, Vassileos Herakleiou 42, Thessaloniki, Greece +30 231 027 2379
Ouzeri Lola is a traditional tavern, owned and run by the same family since 1990. Here, good old-fashioned ouzo and raki, or local favorite tsipouro, a Greek version of eau-de-vie, are served with a rich variety of mezze and – mainly – fish and seafood dishes. Lola is always full of loyal regulars who enjoy the hospitable environment and great quality, fresh food. Amongst its delicacies, enjoy the salad with fried salmon and fig and Mrs. Lola’s legendary shrimp pasta with garlic and tomato sauce. For the indecisive, all dishes come in small and big portions so that you can choose more than one.
Ouzeri Lola, Agapinou 10, Thessaloniki, Greece +30 231 027 6201
Nea Folia is a lovely Greek tavern located in a small alley on the north side of the city center, not far from the Ancient Agora of Thessaloniki. It is an old-fashioned haunt, very popular among locals, who come here for the relaxing, alternative atmosphere and the gorgeous food. The decor is reminiscent of the 1960s, with a characteristic jukebox next to the entrance and a few traditional cooking utensils hanging from the walls. The menu successfully marries Greek regional cuisine with modern influences, such as the veal with caramelized pears and the grilled chicken chops with honey and thyme. The food comes in generous portions at affordable prices. There is also a large selection of cheese and delicatessen products from all over Greece, as well as some excellent wine and raki from small distilleries.
Nea Folia, Aristomenous 4,Thessaloniki, Greece +30 231 096 0383