For the Cosy Eaters
To Kourbeti via Facebook
Tucked in a corner of picturesque Ladadika, To Kourbeti is a quaint little joint where we suspect you will spend hours. The sesame-crusted goat cheese with tomato marmalade is to die for, and the fried zucchini with tzatziki dip is a must-try. Wash it all down with an ample portion of Cretan raki and your evening will be complete. With its warm atmosphere, retro decor and flavorful menu, there is no question as to why To Kourbeti is a major player in Thessaloniki’s food scene.
Where: Vaiou 2 & Likourgou, Thessaloniki
When: Mon.-Fri. & Sun., 11 a.m.-4 a.m.; Fri. & Sat., 11 a.m.-6 a.m.
More info: +30 231 052 0631; Facebook
For a true local gastronomic experience, head to Nea Folia, which has been in business since 1966. Located in the small pedestrian area of Aristomenous, Nea Folia has a wide range of gourmet Mediterranean and Greek dishes that employ local products. The pork neck chops melt in your mouth, and the fava is a standout. For a Michelin-quality experience on the cheap, Nea Folia delivers.
Where: Aristomenous 4, Thessaloniki
When: Mon.-Fri. & Sun., 1-11 p.m.; Sat., 1 p.m.-midnight
+30 231 096 0383; Facebook
For the Brunch Addicts
Ergon Agora via Facebook
The star of the menu at Estrella is probably chef Dimitris Koparanis’ bougatsan, a mix between bougatsa (Thessaloniki’s signature
custard cream phyllo pie) and a croissant. But there is more to Estrella than this creative dessert. The global street-food restaurant serves up omelets, bagels, breakfast pizzas, burgers and even éclairs. The restaurant is open from morning till well past midnight, so brunch junkies can rejoice any time of day.
Where: Pavlou Mela 48, Thessaloniki
When: Mon.-Sat., 8 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun., 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
+30 231 027 2045; Facebook
The butcher shop, seafood counter, deli, bakery and restaurant known as Ergon Agora has a well-earned reputation as a food hotspot. Venture inside this hybrid space from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. any day of the week for brunch
— a selection that includes poached eggs, salmon-and-cream-cheese tartines, pancakes, croissants and more to satisfy any morning craving. Should you drop by later, rest assured the regular menu offers a wide variety of dishes to savor all day long.
Where: Pavlou Mela 42, Thessaloniki
When: Daily, 9 a.m.-1 a.m.
+30 231 028 8008; Facebook
For the Gourmet Foodies
Maitr&Margarita via Facebook. Photo by George Gkiatas
Maitr & Margarita
Down the small alley of Verias stands a charming bistro called Maitr & Margarita. The industrial-chic decor, long wine list and intriguing cheese selection attract an eclectic crowd. Mingle with them as you peruse a menu that includes a variety of Mediterranean starters and mains
— the pork neck chops and the Greek salad are winners
— plated elegantly.
Where: Verias 2, Thessaloniki
When: Tues.-Sun., 2 p.m.-1 a.m.
+30 231 400 7586; Facebook
For the Herbivores
rOOTS via Facebook
In an area overflowing with meat tavernas, a small vegetarian restaurant took a bold chance. And it paid off. rOOTS has an extensive menu of tasty and filling dishes like zucchini balls with haloumi and eggplant, a sublime veggie burger and other crowd-pleasers. If you want to venture off the tried-and-true plant-based path, try options like penne pasta with vegetarian mincemeat and coconut cream sauce. On the cocktail menu, mastiha takes center stage.
Where: Mpalanou 4-6, Thessaloniki
When: Daily, 10 a.m.-2 a.m.
+30 231 026 8063; Facebook
For the Culinary Travelers
El Burrito via Facebook
At the Mexican cantina and "cocktaileria" El Burrito
, the menu is as vibrant as the decor. Start with the fruity white wine sangria and a shareable appetizer of chips and guacamole. For a quick, satisfying bite, you can't beat the quesadilla con carne. If you’re looking for something more substantial, go for the Pibil-style chicken. Once you've polished off that sangria, a tequila cocktail is in order.
Where: Chrissostomou Smirnis 5, Thessaloniki
When: Daily, 10 a.m.-3 a.m.
+30 231 022 0622; Facebook
Massaya is your gateway to Middle Eastern cuisine. This family-run business is warm and welcoming, with husband-and-wife team Maryam and Giannis preparing fresh dishes with far-flung flavors. Classics like fattoush, falafel, baba ghanouj and shish kebab will transport you to the eastern Mediterannean with each bite.
Where: Cheimarras 22, Thessaloniki
When: Mon., Weds., Thurs. & Sun., 2-11 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 2 p.m.-midnight
+30 231 090 4202; Facebook