Thessaloniki’s cuisine is widely known for its quality and variety. As the formation of the overall culture of the city came under many influences, Thessaloniki’s cuisine is one of the richest in Greece. Traditional recipes as well as modern trends have created a wide range of choices.
Professionals in Thessaloniki are renowned for their courtesy and hospitality. Whether one chooses a restaurant with many stars or a traditional little taverna, or whether one wants a snack whilst enjoying a walk, they are sure to be completely satisfied.
Tavernas, both large and small, whether in the city centre or in the surrounding districts, offer incomparable delights. Traditional, authentic flavours from Pontus, Asia Minor, Constantinople, excite the senses. Arab and Armenian corners enhance the culinary map with unusual tastes.
The city’s many restaurants create original tastes against the canvas of Mediterranean cuisine. Excellent fish and seafood dishes are accompanied by the strongly-flavoured Macedonian wines. Succulent salads and imaginative desserts complete a perfect meal.
The small shops selling pies, the famous Thessaloniki cream-filled bougatsas, are very popular. Nobody can resist these sweet and savoury provocations. The famous Trigona Panoramatos, custard cream filled pastries, have become Thessaloniki’s trademark. Special reference must be made to tripe and the restaurants that cleverly prepare it. A healthful dish, it helps to moderate the effects of staying up all night. So every night, and particularly at weekends, tripe-lovers finish up at one of the specialized restaurants. It is a ritualistic habit into which the people of Thessaloniki love to initiate travellers.
Corners full of tastes and aromas
One does not need to strive to find a good taverna or restaurant in Thessaloniki. Throughout the city there are plenty of areas well known as hubs of taste and recreation. Let us introduce you to two of those:
Modiano market – the Paris of Thessaloniki
The market takes its name from the inspired architect Eli Modiano. It was built in 1922, with obvious architectural references to the corresponding covered markets in Paris. It lies within the block bordered by Aristotelous, Ermou, Komninon and Vasileos Irakleiou Streets. It is a complex of five arcades with a pedimented facade and a glass roof. It houses small shops selling mainly food, as well as ouzeries offering countless tastes.
There is probably no description that can portray the colour, the stunned feeling that time has stopped dead and the quaintness of this ‘world’ that is the Modiano market. It must be noted that whilst it is a working market where one can find fish, meat, fresh vegetables and fruit, spices and herbs, it is included in tourist guides as one of Thessaloniki’s sights. This is the heart of the old city which though is still beating strongly.
Ladadika – eternal Thessaloniki
The Ladadika quarter was one of the most important commercial districts in Thessaloniki. For many decades the quarter housed food stores mainly selling wholesale goods. The area was unharmed by the famous fire of 1917. It resembles a small state within the city with a Byzantine stamp. Small, cobbled alleys, mysterious dead-end streets and charming facades make up one of the most picturesque neighbourhoods in the city.
The area was restored at the end of the 1970s. The old shops were turned into tavernas, restaurants and bars. Every night the quarter is inundated with people who love good food and the feel of old Thessaloniki.
For more information please visit Thessaloniki’s official site.