What to eat while you are in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Article by Giorgos, the creator of Thessaloniki Free Walks

The most people that come to Greece know unfortunately only the basic dishes of the Greek cuisine like gyros, mousaka and the greek salad and miss other equally or more fascinating dishes that of course are also difficult to pronounce. Dishes that are especially tasty in Thessaloniki that is considered the gastronomical capital of Greece.

Before to get started, a basic info! What is the difference between a restaurant and tavern? Because abroad they are considered the same but not in Greece!

In a taverna you'll find usually grilled or fried food while in a restaurant you'll find usually food cooked in the oven. So don´t be surprised if you don´t find a mousaka in a taverna. Of course there are always exceptions.

So let’s get started!

  1. A typical dish of the region of Macedonia, north Greece  for breakfast especially is bougatsa. Bougatsa is a pastry that is filled with cheese or meat or cream with ponder sugar and cinnamon if you want. You can find it in places where they sell mainly bougatsa. Don’t worry, they are everywhere!
  2. One of my favorite dishes is grilled mushrooms plevrotous! You can find them in many tavernas and trust me, prepare for an orgasm even if you don’t like mushrooms!
  3. Now the difficult word! Kolokithokeftedes! This means literally zucchini balls! You can find them in tavernas. Simple and perfect!
  4. Any pie! Usually our pies, like spinach pie (spanakopita), are found in bakeries. The bakeries in Greece are small magical places where you can find the most fresh and tasty things you have imagined. Close your eyes and pick one!
  5. It sounds Italian, it looks like mousaka but it is neither. Its name, Pastitsio! It is officially my favorite Greek dish. It is made by layers of beshamel, cheese, macaroni, tomato sauce and mixed meat pork and beef. Not the lightest dish but you won’t regret it! It can be found in restaurants no tavernas.
  6. Any kind of cheese! Go to a taverna and make a blind choice, you won’t regret it. Or better, pick them all! My favorites, manouri, mastelo Chiou, bantzo, ladotiri Mitilinis!
  7. Last but not least, xtipiti or tirokafteri! Everybody knows tzatziki as tasty deep but I prefer xtipiti. It is a mixture of yogurt, smashed cheese feta, pepper and other herbs. Try it with fried potatoes. Orgasm no. 2.

Extra suggestion. Trigona panoramatos.  This is a sweet you can find only in Thessaloniki! It is basically a pastry in the shape of a triangle filled with fresh cream and syrup. Warning, the greek sweets, usually they are too sweet!

Of course the list of dishes you can eat in Thessaloniki doesn’t end here but you have an idea! Only have an empty stomach and big appetite and you'll be paid off well!

A last tip for vegans and vegetarians! Even though in Greece, unfortunately, we consume a lot of meat  this doesn’t mean we don’t have vegan or vegetarian dishes. Quite the opposite! Many main dishes in the restaurants are vegan or vegetarian and many appetizers in the tavernas also, in a very decent portion!

Bon appetite!!

Giorgos

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