The Eastern side of the centre: From the Town Hall and the White Tower until Iktinou Street. It comprises the Town Hall and the White Tower, which means a lot in its own right.

Here, you will also find the most important museums of the city, like the Archaeological Museum, which is housed in a building, designed by the renowned Greek architect Patroklos Karantinos and has been registered as a listed monument of modern heritage and a work of art, as it is a fine example of the Modernist Movement in Greece. Its collections include artifacts and assemblages from excavations conducted since 1912 by the Greek Antiquities Service throughout Macedonia. Its exhibitions are organized and presented in a completely human-centric way, representing –to the extent allowed by the findings and scientific research– the everyday lives of the people that used to inhabit this region of Greece.

The Museum of Byzantine Culture is also located in this area. Designed by the Greek architect Kyriakos Krokos, it has been characterized as “exemplary in its kind and a worthy example of public building, in the Public Works category”. It has been awarded the Council of Europe’s Museum Prize for the year 2005. The Museum of Byzantine Culture aims in presenting various aspects of life during the byzantine and post-byzantine periods: art, ideology, social structure and religion, as well as how historical changes and the political situation were affecting people’s everyday life.

Here, you will also find the YMCA (HANTh), the International Fair of Thessaloniki (TIF), the Royal Theatre of Northern Greece and the State Theatre of Greece, all of which are institutions that play a vital role in the life of the city.

This part of the centre is otherwise residential with low profile commercial activity, and it offers great options as to where to eat or drink and spend your free time…

© 2018 | Maria Papadopoulou |

Shortlisted Choices

In case you do not have enough time to go to all these fine establishments let’s cut the list short:

  • For coffee: Théatro Café or Local;
  • for lunch or dinner: Doré-Zythos or Diagonios; and
  • for a drink: Don’t tell Mama or The Residents.

To get a real feel of the town, location + quality is what matters!

A culinary –and more– tour of the city centre, with a local as your guide!

A guide to the flavours you can taste in our city,
based on our personal preferences!

We recommend these places for their style, the quality of the services they offer and their special atmosphere. They are top choices for the locals and add something to the physiognomy of the city. They set high standards for their competitors, and despite the financial straits the country is in, they will still be there for years to come. They are the places we choose to go to, each for its kind and style, depending on the occasion, the people we are with, the mood and of course …how much we want to spend.

Hidden inside the Museum of Byzantine Culture, quite an architectural jewel. Further up from the Town Hall, in the Museum District.

La Place Mignonne
Going up from the White Tower into Ethnikis Amynis Str. on the right in the pretty square next to Aristotelion Theatre. Elegant ambience, elaborate cuisine.

In one of the most central corners, Stratigou Kalari and Dimitriou Gounari Str., it has a reputation for its brunch.

It is called a beer bar, but it is much more than that. In Tsirogianni Str, right opposite the White Tower, its location is unbeatable and its ambience cozy and open-hearted. It has a long menu, frequently renewed and a wide variety of beers and wines. A classic.

The Saints Stores
The vegan choice. You choose what you like from the daily buffet, they weigh it and you pay accordingly. In Pavlou Mela Str.

By the Cook
A cozy little restaurant in Skra Str. just over Alexandrou Svolou Str., with interesting versions of Mediterranean cuisine.

Ergon Agora
The former theatre Rivoli is now a real market selling delicacies from all over Greece and a restaurant too. If you are not in eating mood, just go and have a look. Pavlou Mela Str.

New Galerios
Stylish and original in its culinary proposals. Open kitchen, you can see it all happening. Sometimes it may get noisy. In Apelou Str, the small alley leading from Navarinou Square to Alexandrou Svolou Str.

Chin Chin 
A restaurant that keeps changing hands. This time, with the tables with a view of the pretty gardens of St. John the Baptist, it seems to have come to stay. In Iktinou Str.

Going up Paleon Patron Germanou a little bit over Pavlou Mela Str. there is a small place serving small portions-meze for tsipouro or wine. Everything is fresh and well-cooked.

A fine meze place, strictly non-smoking. In Manousogiannaki Str, first vertical to Ethnikis Amynis over Tsimiski Str.

An ambient choice to have a coffee or tsipouro or a snack. In Ethnikis Amynis Str, over Aristotelion Theatre.

Pyrgos (Tower)
A traditional kafenion with elderly men playing backgammon and cards, it also serves the wider public. In Tsirogianni Str, opposite the White Tower.

In the breezy pedestrian Iktinou street you can sit and have something to eat or drink and watch the people passing by.

Ta Olympia
A cookhouse. I remember it always being there, in Chrysostomou Smyrnis, under Mitropoleos Str, every afternoon, with a wide variety of freshly-cooked dishes.

Tris Mazi (Three Together / Τρεις Μαζί)
Morkentaou Str, as you go towards the sea. Homely food. Stuffed potatoes and peppers, pastichio, mousaka etc. You can have lunch on the spot, take away or have it delivered.

In Thessaloniki, they are a special category in their own right. The specialists of the genre, all three of them close to one another, compete for excellence. And the locals’ opinions on the matter are divided. Diagonios, Diavasi and Ariston are the contenders for the title of the best.

Now, if you are a fan of the American version, a little bit higher in Pavlou Mela Str. you will find the best burger in town, in Brothers in Law.

De Facto Café
A classic bar since the eighties. In Pavlou Mela Str.

In the corner of Pavlou Mela and Paleon Patron Germanou Str, the most central crossroads. Elaborate atmosphere, food and service. It’s trendy to eat here, so book a table.

Tea, coffee, drinks and snacks with a view of St. Sofia, at the beginning of Alexandrou Svolou Str.

Théatro Café (Royal Theatre)
If you want to drink your coffee at a comfortable sitting area with a view of both the White Tower and Thermaikos bay, go to Théatro the café of the Royal Theatre.

Tea, coffee, drinks and snacks with a view of the archaeological site of Navarinou Square (Gallerius complex). Going up Dimitriou Gounari pedestrian Str. from Tsimiski, take a left just before the archaeological site (hidden).

Mia Feta – Feta Bar
Also a grocery store, selling their own produce from Grevena (an area in NW Greece). They use them as ingredients for the breakfast, lunch and dinner they serve.

In Vogatsikou Str, opposite Metropolis, where it’s always breezy in the summer. For coffee with cheese pies and koulouri (a special kind of bread with sesame all over it) of Thessaloniki.

A tobacco and liquor store on the ground floor, it has an unexpected seating area upstairs that looks like a private living room where you can enjoy your wine with a platter of cheeses and meat products. You can select your own variety or let them select for you, or you may choose to try the culinary suggestions of their menu. The store has won a distinction in the FLN awards in the category Modern Brasserie. In Pavlou Mela Str.

You can have a drink in a lot of places. But do go to Flou in Nikiforou Foka Str, Don’t Tell Mama in Stratigou Kallari Str, The Residents exactly opposite and To Nero pou Kéï (Firewater), because these bars tell something of the story of the city. Realy close to Rooster Apartment, in Grigoriou Palama Str. the L’ Autre Café with the most appealing presences; and to Alea for jazz and wine. In Isavron Str. (Navarinou Square area).

Thessaloniki has a long tradition in the field.

Famous for its kariókes and pourákia, it also has fine bread. In Pavlou Mela Str.

Well-known for its rodínia, it’s an old, traditional confectionery store. Patriarchou Ioakim Str.

Famous for its Trigona Panorámatos. In Dimitriou Gounari, between Pavlou Mela and Tsimiski Str.

An old, traditional confectionery store. Mitropoleos and Mitropolitou Iosif Str.

Bakolas Bakery
If you want to get your koulouri or pie from the oldest bakery of the centre, Bakolas is the place. Chrysostomou Smyrnis Str.


Apart from the above, all-time-classics, there are new entries, dynamic and cutting-edge that survived the competition.

Estia Bakery
A chain of stores. The store on the corner of Pavlou Mela and Dimitriou Gounari Str. has a sitting area for coffee and a sweet.

Specialized in choux and profiteroles. Really divine! Paleon Patron Germanou Str.

Kids’ birthday cakes, famous melomakárona (Christmas time pastry), pure ingredients, homely care. In Nikiforou Foka Str.

Confectionery Laboratory. In Vyronos Str, the alley leading from Tsimiski to Navarinou Square.

Falafel Taste Middle-East
Falafel has gained ground with two stores, one in Alexandrou Svolou (between Ethnikis Amynis and Angelaki Str.) and another, –with more oriental taste– in Mitropoleos (between Pavlou Mela and Ethnikis Amynis Str.)

Odontoglyfída (Toothpick)
Pita Gyros and the rest. Pavlou Mela Str.

Souvláki, beefsteak in a variety of wraps and the famous dikávalo (Arabian wrap with two souvlaki and sauce). Delicious! In Ioanni Kouskoura Str.

To Etsi (Το Έτση)
Souvlaki, beefsteak in a Cypriot wrap and a variety of fresh vegetables. Just wonderful! In Nikiforou Foka Str.

The Last Slice II
After the big success of their first store in Proxenou Koromila, this is the second one. Really tasty pizzas by the slice. At Stratigou Kallari Str. Home delivery available!

You can get yourself all kinds of pies from the above confectionery stores. Recently we have seen “Pie Laboratories” make their appearance, where pies are prepared in front of your eyes, like Voula’s Pies (Οι Πίτες της Βούλας) in Pavlou Mela Str., before you reach St Sofia.


You will find the best ice-cream in town in Alexandrou Svolou Str. between Ethnikis Amynis and Ippodromiou at Gelati e Amore with flavours like tiramisou or millefeuilles, real confectionery-ice-creams!

A Culinary Tour

A few words about the centre of Thessaloniki
The centre of Thessaloniki is small and compact. You can walk from its East-End to its West-End in 30 minutes (walking fast – no window shopping). We can say, however, that it comprises four distinct zones that differ from one another in style, atmosphere, as well as the functions they serve:

A: White Tower and its environs

B: Marketplace & Nikis Av.

C: Limáni & the Ladádika

D: Above Egnatia

Everything Starts Here!

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