Identifying the best restaurants in Thessaloniki is somewhat subjective. However, one thing is for sure: Greece’s second city is much more of a gourmand than Athens.
A number of excellent restaurants have opened up in Thessaloniki in recent years. This has really helped to put the city on the map for foodie travellers.
Typical Greek food is all about tradition and following age-old recipes just like Yia Yia. However, the culinary movers and shakers of Thessaloniki are mixing things up.
You can expect to find everything here – from fusion cuisine to timeless classics infused with a contemporary twist. Exploring the city’s dining scene is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Thessaloniki.
- 1 The Best Restaurants in Thessaloniki
The Best Restaurants in Thessaloniki
The best restaurants in Thessaloniki are a diverse mix. They range from the classic to the innovative.
However, one thing to admire about the Thessaloniki food scene is that regardless of how elegant and high-quality the eatery, there is never any air of pretension. In Northern Greece, there is just good food and good vibes.
Μαιτρ & Μαργαρίτα
Where: Verias 2, Thessaloniki 546 25
Μαιτρ & Μαργαρίτα is a Thessaloniki eatery that has gained something of a cult following over the last few years. If you want to stop by for dinner during the evenings and weekends, be sure to reserve a table. This is the go-to choice for many Thessalonikians.
Μαιτρ & Μαργαρίτα sits on the corner of Leontos Sofou and Fragkon. This is an up and coming creative district.
Historically, this area was filled with warehouses and industrial buildings. However, since these industrial facilities have closed down and become derelict, numerous creative and quirky businesses have opened in their place.
This part of town is bursting with personality and flair. You can expect to see eclectic coffee shops housed in former factories, barbershops that are set up like London pubs, etc. There is a strong Bohemian vibe in this area.
The Μαιτρ & Μαργαρίτα Menu
Μαιτρ & Μαργαρίτα’s menu focuses on Mediterranean food that uses ingredients of the highest quality. Meats, cheeses, and vegetables are all sourced locally. The wine exquisite wine list features choices from local Greek wineries, and the menu changes frequently depending upon what is in season.
Where: Episkopou Amvrosiou 8, Thessaloniki 546 30
Extravaganza is an unusual restaurant in central Thessaloniki. Their menu offers contemporary classics with an eccentric twist
You should expect a queue for a table if you plan on visiting in the evening. However, rest assured, the food will be worth the wait.
The food at Extravaganza is like something that may be dreamed up by Heston Blumenthal. Obscure ingredient pairings have been used in the dishes here.
You would not usually use these items together. However, somehow they just work.
Extravaganza also boasts dishes that combine different global cuisines together. Chinese-style bao buns filled with sumptuous, Greek-style marinated meats are one popular example.
You can opt to order a starter and a main dish, or you can choose to indulge in meze platters instead. This way you can enjoy a variety of unusual treats. I ordered bucatini pasta infused with a rich pistachio sauce, chopped pears, crispy prosciutto, and nuts.
The portions at Extravaganza are very generous. Furthermore, the table service here has to be among the best in Thessaloniki.
Where: P. Mela 14, Thessaloniki 546 22
Mia Feta is a cheese bar that pays homage to a quintessential Greek delicacy: feta cheese! This place doubles as a lunch spot and a delicatessen.
You can opt to order a tasting platter of Greek cheeses served with local wines and cold cuts. Mia Feta is situated in the heart of Thessaloniki’s trendy Ladadika district. This is a great place to go for a light bite before heading onwards to the bars and nightlife scene of Ladadika.
The Mia Feta store stocks a variety of deli products sourced from artisanal producers from across Greece. What better gift to send to your friends and family back home than a hamper made up of various cheeses, olive oils and baked goods?
Where: P. Mela 42, Thessaloniki 546 22, Greece
Ergon Agora is one of the most personable and quirky eateries in Thessaloniki. The word “Agora” means market in modern Greek. This is a fitting title for Ergon Agora which has been designed as a closed contemporary food market.
Ergon Agora is one of the best restaurants in Thessaloniki as far as the farm to table concept is concerned. A greengrocer, butcher, bakery, fishmonger, and delicatessen are all housed under the same roof as the restaurant. This means that you can both sample the products during brunch, and buy the things that you love to take home.
The setting is just as contemporary as the menu. Ergon Agora is set inside a former industrial building. Its high ceilings, exposed pipes, brick walls, and unique interiors all contribute to the atmosphere of the place.
Dishes served here range from traditional Greek recipes to modern spins on old classics. Reservations are recommended.
Where: Stergiou Polidorou 1, Thessaloniki 546 34
Traditional Greek cuisine and taverna food is something that you absolutely must try during your Greece travel itinerary. Toixo Toixo in Ano Poli is one Thessaloniki eatery that stands out above the rest.
The restaurant’s name translates to “behind the wall”. This is a fitting description of the place. It is hidden behind the old Byzantine walls in Ano Poli.
This is the most historic part of town. Ano Poli consists of narrow cobbled streets, and pastel-coloured Ottoman houses.
The charming space has been designed in a manner that is so quintessentially Greek. Walls have been painted in delicate shades of blue and white, rooms are decorated with shabby chic wooden furnishings, and the speakers play out old bouzouki music.
You can find all of your favourite Greek dishes here. The menu boasts Greek salads, yellow split pea puree, and spanakopita pies made of delicious feta wrapped in a warm filo pastry.
You can also find regional specialties from various regions of Greece, and wine sourced from nearby Macedonian wineries. I highly recommend the hilopites metsovou. This is handmade pasta from the village of Metsovo.
Toixo Toixo is a popular eatery. However, it is located off the beaten track.
As such, it doesn’t see the same crowds or tourist hordes as the tavernas in Ladadika or Aristotelous square. Only those in the know come here.
Where: Doxis 4, Thessaloniki 546 25
Charoupi has been a much-loved haunt on the Thessaloniki food scene for a few years now. The restaurant combines Cretan cuisine with a fine-dining ambiance.
Each region of Greece has its own specialty dishes to offer. Charoupi is a nice place to try in Thessaloniki as the food here is different from that which features on the menus of most local establishments.
Charoupi’s menu showcases a blend of classic Cretan dishes and dishes which have been modified to add a modern twist. A curated wine-list sits alongside the food offering.
The in-house sommeliers can offer you wine suggestions tailored to your personal preference. They can also suggest wines and beverages that best compliment your meal.
A complimentary dessert is provided after your meal at Charoupi. Free desserts and aperitifs are something that you will come to get used to after spending a little time in Thessaloniki. Wash everything down with a strong glass of Cretan raki.
Where: Ioannou Delliou 9, Thessaloniki 546 21
Different areas of Greece have their own regional delicacies.You will soon discover that Greek food is far more than just moussaka, souvlaki and gyros.
To Tarti specialises in recipes and delicacies from Lesvos island. Ideally, you would sample these dishes in a sleepy beach town in Lesvos. However, if your schedule does not permit this, To Tarti is the next best thing.
The restaurant is particularly pleasant during the summer months. At this time, you can tuck into your meze dishes as you dine al-fresco style on the sidewalks of Thessaloniki.
You can ask the waiters for their recommendations if you are not familiar with Lesvos cuisine. Kolios is a popular favourite. This dish is made up of grilled mackerel topped with herbs and lemon juice. Kolokitholoulouda (squash blossoms) are a good vegetarian choice.
You should be prepared to arrive early or reserve a table.
Where: Rogkoti 3, Thessaloniki 546 24
Mezen Salonica is a popular mezedopoleio place that brings the best of Volos’ seafood and tsipouro culture to Thessaloniki. The restaurant works with small producers around Mount Pelion and Volos – thus replicating the culture of eateries in eastern Greece.
Mezen is a small chain of restaurants. There are also Mezen eateries in Larissa and Athens. However, the staff at each restaurant manage them in a way that makes it seem homely and intimate.
The menu focuses on small seafood dishes. However you will find plenty of fish-free alternatives.
There is a vast selection of tsipouras to choose from. Don’t hesitate to ask for a recommendation if you want to be sure that you are ordering the very best.
Where: Leof. Nikis 9, Thessaloniki 546 24
BLANC Gastrobar is one of the best restaurants in Thessaloniki for brunch. This chic spot sits on Leof. Nikis – a stone’s throw away from Aristotelous Square where it overlooks the Thermaic Gulf.
By day, Blanc is a trendy rendezvous point among young Thessalonikians. It is the perfect place to stop by for a portion of pancakes or avocado toast washed down with a strong Greek coffee.
By night, Blanc’s expert mixologists serve up an array of innovative cocktails. The stunning space has been designed by Greek Architect Panteloukas Giorgos.
The interiors ooze elegance at every turn. Here, marble floors perfectly accommodate the high ceilings, atmospheric lighting, and handmade wooden furnishings.
Where: Fragkon 2, Thessaloniki 546 26
Sempriko is an excellent mezedopoleio restaurant in Thessaloniki’s Ladadika district. Mezedopoleio restaurants are, as the name suggests, places that specialise in serving meze (small plates). Mezes are the Greek answer to Spanish tapas.
You can find mezedopoleio places all over Greece. However, Thessaloniki is particularly renowned for them. Here you can find plenty of mezedopoleio spots with great reputations.
The Greek social scene once revolved a lot around mezedopoleio places. Local men would meet here to black backgammon and talk over small plates dishes.
Today, the establishments have become more “mainstream”. Mezedopoleio places are loved by people of all ages. It is customary to order a carafe of strong Greek alcohol like tsipouro and ouzo to wash your dinner down with.
Consider ordering a plate of kavourma. This is essentially the Greek answer to salami. Alternatively, treat yourself to ladotyri cheese preserved in olive oil.
Sempriko has a quaint homely vibe. Its blue and white tables are reminiscent of a Greek island village. The restaurant also has its own on-site delicatessen where you can buy excellent edible Greek produce to take home with you.
Where: Panagias Faneromenis 33, Thessaloniki 546 32
Bantis is not a restaurant per se, but a bougatsa specialist. Bougatsa is a Greek pastry that originated here in Thessaloniki. Locals will tell you that Bantis is one of the best places in town to try it.
While there is no such thing as a bad Greek bougatsa, no-one can dispute the culinary magic of the pastries prepared in the Bantis kitchen.
Bougatsa is a filo pastry that is filled with semolina custard, cheese, or minced meat. The sweet semolina bougatsa is the most popular version. It is usually served warm with a sprinkling of icing sugar and cinnamon.
Phillipos Bantis is the current owner of the Bantis family bougatsa place (est. 1969). He prepares all of the pastries by hand. There are many Thessalonikians that will come here, and only here, for their pastry fix.
Roots Food and Culture
Where: Kapodistriou 2, Athina 106 82
Meat is a prominent part of Greek food culture. Consequently, vegetarians and vegans may feel that their options are limited. Rest assured, this is not the case.
Even the most traditional Greek tavernas sell excellent veggie dishes like fasolakia, and fava beans. However, for a dedicated spot in Thessaloniki, consider stopping by the centrally-located ROOTS vegan restaurant.
ROOTS is casual and non-pretentious. The menu contains a mixture of Meditteranean, and Middle Eastern style foods.
You can find everything from falafel pittas to veggie burgers and innovative vegan dishes. The menu changes every six months. The offerings make use of the best seasonal ingredients and flavours.
This is, without a doubt, one of the best restaurants in Thessaloniki for vegetarians and vegans.
There are no bad places to eat here in Thessaly. Greeks take great pride in their food preparation and presentation. Additionally, the city is still relatively off-the-beaten-path. Thessaloniki does not get a ton of tourists so you have no risk of falling into a tourist trap while in town.
Where: Agapinou 10, Thessaloniki 546 21
Ouzeri Lola is a popular local haunt. You will always find this place crowded with Thessalonikians and for good reason.
The ambiance here is reminiscent of having dinner at your grandparents house or similar. This is such a cosy establishment.
Since Ouzeri Lola is an ouzeria, you will find a plethora of ouzos and tsipouras listed on the menu. Your waiter can recommend one that perfectly brings out the flavours of your food.
This ouzeria specialises in small plates of seafood. Delicious mezes such as squid, taramasalata, mussels, and smoked fish are a perfect treat. You can also order fresh fish and have them pan-fried or grilled.
Where: Agiou Mina 8, Thessaloniki 546 25
Phanós is a quaint, homely restaurant in the centre of Thessaloniki. This local favourite has one of the most charming settings in the city. Housed inside of a tiny stone house, dining in the little rooms of Phanós feels like you are having lunch in someone’s living room.
The food served here is a mixture of quintessential Greek classics, Greek street food favourites, and new modern recipes. The portions are small but delicious.
One of the best things about Phanós is how well the restaurant accommodates people with dietary restrictions. A variety of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free recipes can be found here.
Where: Str. Kallari 9, Thessaloniki 546 22
To Elliniko is a casual Greek eatery and meze bar with an interesting claim to fame. This restaurant was featured on Rick Stein’s travel documentary!
Zucchini fritters served with mouthwatering tzatziki, stuffed vine leaves, saganaki, fasolakia, marinated meats, and Cretan salads are just a handful of To Elliniko’s highly recommended menu options. This is a favourite haunt among locals and tourists alike.
Do you have any additional Thessaloniki restaurants that you would like to contribute to? What do you consider to be the best restaurants in Thessaloniki?
I have lived in Greece for the last three years. I’m happy to assist with any queries you may have. Safe travels! Geia sou! Melissa xo