March 12

Thessaloniki…Newest Greek envy

Greeks do understand the joy of living…good food, good mood. I already know that. Yet, I am still surprised (positively) every time I go to a new Greek town. This time it was Thessaloniki. Maybe it is because my grandparents are from the town before they migrated to Turkey, maybe because  it is by the sea… I loved Thessaloniki at first sight.

Stay where we stayed. At The Excelsior. A member of Small Luxury Hotels of  the World chain with stylish rooms but most importantly just in the middle of everything. Get a room with a view and admire the ever vibrant town from your window.

Eat  where we eat and at everywhere else. I am not kidding.  This is what makes Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki.  The city is just like a giant food market. Many many cafes, tavernas, restaurants… some  more innovative, some more traditional, but all tasty. Yum.

Breakfast is lovely at the Excelsior so you can have one day checked. Then for lunch head to “Ouzeri Aristotelaous” A lovely,lovely Greek taverna hidden in a passage. Lovely food, lovely people. It is meze style. So go there and share as mush as you can with friends. I am not an ouzo person (a traditional, annis based alcoholic drink) so I  went for house wine and it was good. Not french good but good. But the thing what you will be amazed is also the atmosphere. my photos may not do the justice.

Then stroll a while, head to the shops if you can and again find yourself an excuse to stop at Cafe Ble. What can I say? Apparently Greeks are as good As french when it comes to desserts and cakes. Oh mi  god. It was impossible to  choose between varieties. Life is hard sometimes! Cafe Ble is also a roastery so expect nothing less from your espresso.

Then for drinks our pick was Sinatra just across our Hotel. Lovely place  full of young Greeks. Good cocktails and decent nibbles.

For dinner we head to  Full Thou  Meze but I am less impressed. I didn’t even take any photos.It is high on Trip Advisor though.

For breakfast or a Sunday Brunch you have to go to Esterella. You may face a long waiting list but it is “the place”. Go there and enjoy your bougatsan…The owners put their signature to the most traditional dessert and turned this lovely cafe into a world phenomenon.

Then make another stroll, this time to the beach…You have to burn those carbs after all. we  were lucky with the weather and I enjoyed every second of the walk.

Then we come to my top choice for lunch/dinner place in Thessaloniki  “Toip toip Meze”. It is not fancy, it is not posh but I loved it. Again hidden in a passage (this looks like the thing in Thessaloniki) owned by lovely people. Great mezes, great seafood and cute atmosphere. Loved every bit of it. Very local, very authentic food in an authentic atmosphere. Cool.

If you still room for early drinks head to Butler Thessaloniki. Again an aperitivo/ bar type of place where young and lively people hang out. Cocktails were ok but mood was invigorating. Worth a try.

Thessaloniki top places list can go on an go on since the city offers endless choices for places to hang out/drink/eat. Go and surprise yourself…

Cool factor: Joie de vivre in Thessaloniki