Σάββατο, 3 Οκτωβρίου 2009

WHERE TO EAT IN THESSALONIKI






Where to eat and play in Thessaloniki
Apart from the many elegant restaurants in the city and the suburbs, there are also numerous "ouzeries" and taverns. Excellent grilled meat and chicken are served at the popular shops along the coast on the outskirts of town Check out the newly renovated Ladadikia district near Aristolelous square where there are a number of traditional restaurants and ouzeries on Odos Katouni. This is a working class area similar to Psiri in Athens which has been developed into an area of eating and entertainment. Frommers and Lonely Planet raved about Zythos, Frommers about the food and LP because you can get a pint of Murphy's for not much more than the price of an Amstel. This was one of the first restaurants to open in Ladadikia, way back in 1990. They have another restaurant by the White Tower. I ate at Foul Tou Meze which had a Greek grocery store motif and a large menu, good service, great food and a nice selection of ouzo and tsipuro. Palati has live Greek music as does Vyzantino II. Try also Ta Spata on Aristoleous square, Ta Nicia at 13 Koromila for seafood, Stratis on Nikis street and Rogotis on Venizelou street. Lonely Planet likes O Loutros Fish Taverna on Kominon street and Aderfia tis Pyxarias at 9 Platia Navarino. But of all the recommendations the one that looks most enticing to me is the Aristotelous Ouzerie in an arcade off the left of Aristotelous a block from the waterfront. I ate here with my cousin George, a monk on Mount Athos, many years ago and apparently it has only gotten better. LP also recommends Kokoretsina in Ladadikia, which combines two of my favorite Greek words, Retsina (resinated Greek wine) and Kokoretsi (livers, spleens, hearts and whatever else comes out of a sheep, stuffed into a large intestine and grilled). Check out a restaurant called The Kitchen Bar in the port in one of the old customs buildings for its indoor decor or to sit by the sea. Its similar to TGI Fridays or one of those mainstream shopping center bistros though in a much more dramatic setting and better food. Or take a taxi to Kalamaria and try To Taxidi which we just stumbled upon and loved. Its a clean, upscale-looking fish taverna with a large and interesting menu which also features some beautiful salads. The prices are reasonable too.
Music Halls, night clubs, discotheques are open till late at night, whereas those who prefer the bouzouki music can choose from a range of special tavernas in the area near the Airport. There are a number of bars and clubs near the White Tower. Discos are generally on the outskirts of town near the airport where the noise is less likely to bother people. Traffic on 3rd of September street and L 'Apogee are in town but probably not open in the summer. Avantaz is a Greek Music club at 156 Agia Demitriou. Mylos is a large entertainment complex in the warehouse district of the port. There you will find bars, galleries, restaurants, cafes, theatres and plenty of varieties of live music but difficult to get to without a taxi. Lido has its winter club in the Fix area, but the summer club is near the Macedonia airport. Also, Colonial is located on Aristotelous square in downtown, and the summer club is also near the airport. Art-House is a club-gallery that has exhibitions and parties as well as dance nights by known DJs including tribute nights to bands like The Cure and Depeche Mode. Look for their posters around town to see whats going on. Its at Boyatzikou #4 just off Leofors Nikis between Aristotelous Square and the White Tower. The Fix Community has clubs with live shows by known Greek artists like Glykeria and Giannis Kotsiras as well as DJs.
Many people do the Volta(evening stroll) along the harbor from Aristotelis Square all the way beyond the White Tower where it gets quieter and more romantic. You will certainly find somewhere to sit that interests you on the way there or back.
There are a number of movie theatres almost all showing English language films with Greek subtitles. Some are indoor and some are outdoor which are generally open only in the summer.
But like anywhere in Greece sometimes the best idea is to wander around and peer into the various ouzeries, cafeneons and restaurants until you find something special.

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