The Best Local Dining Spots in Thessaloniki, Greece

You'll love the dining experience in Thessaloniki
You'll love the dining experience in Thessaloniki | © Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Margarita Akritidou
25 February 2021

Often called the Bride of the North, Thessaloniki is a vibrant and multicultural city, where good food is easy to find. You’ll discover a brilliant restaurant scene here, along with a rich cultural heritage. From your breakfast bougatsa, or traditional flaky pie, to your evening meal of freshly caught fish and delicious mezze, here are our picks for the best dining spots in Greece’s second city.

Omilos The Beach Club

Restaurant, Greek, $$$
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Courtesy of Omilos The Beach Club

At this beautiful spot by the Aegean Sea, quality cuisine and traditional entertainment are merged to create a unique experience. The restaurant at Omilos serves up an excellent range of dishes, specialising in seafood that brings the taste of the ocean to your plate. Start with the sea bass tartare with green apple and wasabi mayonnaise, before ordering cod with zucchini cream and salmon roe. Accompany your food with the best varieties of Greek wines for a perfect meal. Service is polite and friendly, and adds a personal touch to your night.

Kritikos

Restaurant, Greek
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With a focus on traditional Mediterranean recipes and dishes, the kitchen at Kritikos uses the best herbs and spices to reflect their love of and respect for local flavour. Located in the affluent suburb of Panorama, this restaurant is perfect for an extended lunch in the sunshine. Choose from the traditional salads, or push the boat out and order a whole Greek lobster or king crab. A luxury atmosphere with impeccable service.

Grada Nuevo

Restaurant, Greek, $$$
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The chefs at Grada Nuevo choose only the best produce for their dishes, combining them in inspired ways and offering a modern take on traditional Greek cuisine. Haute cuisine plays a central role in this restaurant, serving complex fusions of flavours alongside a more traditional oyster bar. A delicious experience in a friendly atmosphere, it’s clear why this Thessaloniki spot continues to impress.

Marea

Restaurant, Greek, $$$
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With a focus on impeccable service, the elegant space at Marea is an ideal spot if you’re looking to host lunch meetings, business dinners or private events with aplomb. The menu here is a mix of creative combinations that will satisfy even the most demanding foodie. Guests should try the carpaccio and sea bream tartare with black truffle, gnocchi with crayfish tails and shi drum baked in parchment with vegetables. To accompany your meal, the restaurant has an up-to-date list of top-quality wines.

Mavri Thalassa

Restaurant, Greek, $$$
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Mavri Thalassa is one of the best places to eat fresh fish in Thessaloniki. Guests here are taken on a culinary journey of the North Aegean Sea. The menu is flavoursome and healthy, with a large variety of vegetables and salads on offer. We suggest ordering a simple sole fillet with oil and lemon, and let the freshness of the food speak for itself. The staff are polite, fast and professional.

Negroponte

Building, $$$
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Negroponte, in the heart of the Ladadika district, is a historical neighbourhood by the port that once accommodated olive-oil traders and brothels. The restaurant, in a charming 1880s building, offers two lovely, decorated rooms and a terrace on the street. The chefs here pick fresh ingredients every morning and prepare an original daily menu for a more diverse experience. The fried-pork with yoghurt and zucchini cakes are delicious, and the tahini cream yoghurt dessert is the perfect end to a great meal.

Molyvos

Bar, Restaurant, Greek, $$$
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Molyvos restaurant and mezze bar brings the flavours of Lesbos, an island in northeast Greece, to Thessaloniki. Situated on the first floor of a handsome neoclassical building, its warm and cozy decor is reminiscent of a 1900s Greek nobility house. Lesbos cuisine is influenced by delicious oriental flavors that find their way into your dish. The bejendi, small pieces of veal on a bed of aubergine purée, and the stuffed onions are favourites. The menu offers a huge selection of island cuisine specialities and a few ethnic food choices. Do not miss the dessert, as Molyvos serves what are probably the city’s best honey beignets with sesame.

Sempriko

Restaurant, Greek, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
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If you wish to immerse yourself in a traditional Greek setting, Sempriko, founded as a co-operative restaurant and grocery shop, occupies a beautiful space by Thessaloniki’s old Byzantine walls. There is a heavy focus on island specialities, especially cheese and delicatessen products, and it offers a selection of local craft beers and wine from small, local producers. The concept of the menu is based on original mezze plates, including some not-so-mainstream choices such as the smoked eggplant salad with tahini and the old-fashioned manti dumplings with lamb meat and yoghurt, a dish with intense flavour. All of the ingredients can be purchased at the little store that is attached to the restaurant.

Mageires

Restaurant, Greek
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Mageires, which simply means “cooks”, will win your heart with its warm atmosphere and homemade food. This traditional cook-house offers a typical, yet wide, choice of vegetable and pulse-based dishes, made exclusively from Greek products. It’s healthy, fresh, served in generous portions – and at affordable prices. The staff are happy to give any advice on 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 co-operating with charity organisations for food rations.

Mia Feta

Bar, Restaurant, Mediterranean, Greek, $$$
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Mia Feta Bar is a unique establishment: half restaurant and half grocery store. It was opened in 2013 by the Kourellas family, who also run a dairy and farming business. The restaurant is a modern, minimally decorated space with window displays of traditional dairy products and a central, communal bar-cum-table. Most of the dishes are based on feta cheese, and there is a comprehensive wine list that comes with suggestions from the friendly staff. Expect creative culinary surprises, such as the gorgeous feta with wild black truffle and the homemade bread with zea, or emmer wheat.

Ouzeri Lola

Restaurant, Greek, $$$
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Ouzeri Lola is a traditional tavern, owned and run by the same family since 1990. Here, good old-fashioned ouzo and raki, or local favourite 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. Among 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 various sizes so you can choose more than one.

Diavasi

Restaurant, Greek, Mediterranean, $$$
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Thessaloniki is known for its pita gyro sandwich, so this list couldn’t be complete without a restaurant that serves spectacular gyro. Diavasi, or “crossing” in Greek, has made a name for itself thanks to its juicy gyro and flavoursome soutzoukakia, beef meatballs, which are among the best in town. They are served with crisp salads and handmade fries. Service is quick and the staff pleasant, despite the crowds, and the setting is modern and clean.

Agioli

Bistro, Brasserie, Restaurant, Seafood, Mediterranean, European, $$$
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© Per Karlsson, BKWine 2 / Alamy Stock Photo
Right on the waterfront, next to the Aristotle Square, Agioli is an excellent choice for a midday break or a romantic dinner. This simply decorated but elegant brasserie-bistro has won many gourmet awards since its opening in 2007, but its prices remain truly competitive without compromising on quality or variety. Famous chefs have visited Agioli and left their mark on its menu. In addition to the fine restaurant on the first floor with splendid sea views, the ground floor hosts a brasserie that serves craft beer from small Greek breweries.

Nea Folia

Restaurant, Greek, $$$
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© Emma Wood / Alamy Stock Photo
Nea Folia, a lovely Greek taverna – up a small alley north of the city centre, not far from the Ancient Agora of Thessaloniki – is an old-fashioned haunt that’s popular among locals, who come here for the relaxed atmosphere and the gorgeous food. The decor is 1960s, with a jukebox next to the entrance and cooking utensils hanging on the walls. The menu successfully marries regional cuisine with modern influences, such as veal with caramelised pears and 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.

Additional reporting by Didier Stoessel

These recommendations were updated on February 25, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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