Thessaloniki’s Cool New Spanish Inspired Bar-Restaurant

Set down on Papadopoulou Street, in a single-story building that resembles a warm and inviting Spanish home, this cool and casual all-day bar and restaurant in Thessaloniki has become a favourite local hangout.

Having quietly opened its doors in the middle of last year (by the talented team from Cin Cin) Mariél has now become a popular spot in the city thanks to its amazing brunch menu, fine meats, signature cocktails, and its overall enticing Mediterranean vibe that’s best experienced in the amazing courtyard out the back.

The high-quality meat cuts feature a combination of juicy and delicious options that are cooked to satisfy each taste, and all the dishes on the menu are designed to be enjoyed with the impressive list of wines that come from Greece, Spain, Italy and other parts of the world.

If you happen to be in Thessaloniki on a Thursday evening, we highly recommend you head here for Tapas Thursdays, where you can enjoy the creative chef’s suggestions, and taste the mini bites that pair perfectly with the Spanish wines. We love the tacos with chili con Carne and the bruschetta with chorizo, sour cream and fig paste!

The weekend brunch menu is also delightful. It features Fried Eggs on porcini and guanciale cream, accompanied by fresh salad and toasted bread, as well as Tortita Legendaria with mascarpone, fresh fruit and raspberry sauce.

For lunch, you can try the light pasta dishes, which include the Fresh Stringoloni in goat trunk sauce and fresh truffle carpaccio, or the Egg Fusilli with juicy cherry tomatoes, Feta and salami.

Or, if it’s just a drink (or 2, or 3) that you’re after, behind Mariél’s bar you will find the creative and talented mixologists serving unique cocktails such as the Greek Ramos with vanilla-scented tones and fresh lemon juice, gin and Mastiha, and the Nectar, a vodka-based cocktail enriched with lime aromas. 

A: Papadopoulou 16, Panorama

Thessaloniki Becomes Greece’s First UNESCO City of Gastronomy

Thessaloniki has proudly become Greece’s first city to join the UNESCO Network of Gastronomy- recognised for its rich culinary traditions, vibrant gastronomic community, and delightful local delicacies. 

The city’s municipality shared that it had prepared and submitted a complete file highlighting its centuries-old gastronomic traditions and was ecstatic to learn it had been welcomed as one of the city’s to be joining UNESCO’s network of gastronomy.

Insights Greece - Thessaloniki Becomes Greece’s First UNESCO City of Gastronomy
Thessaloniki’s famous Koulouri

 “Gastronomy is an important comparative advantage of Thessaloniki. Our city is now a UNESCO-stamped crossroads of taste and culture. Delicious regional cuisine is the backbone of our gastronomy offerings, which enhances the travel experience,” announced Thessaloniki’s Mayor Konstantinos Zervas. 

By joining the network, cities commit to collaborating and developing partnerships that allow the promotion of creativity and cultural industries; to share best practices, to strengthen participation in cultural life, and to integrate culture in economic and social development plans.

Thessaloniki has always been referred to as the gastronomic capital of Greece, based on its diverse culinary traditions and the delightful flavours that it offers. As the formation of the overall culture of the city came under many influences, Thessaloniki’s cuisine is one of the richest in Greece. Traditional recipes, as well as modern creations, have allowed a wide range of food choices for both locals and international visitors. 

Insights Greece - Thessaloniki Becomes Greece’s First UNESCO City of Gastronomy
Pita Souvlaki

The result is a famously diverse and welcoming city, with food that draws on ingredients, recipes, and influences going back centuries. Here you will find traditional tavernas serving authentic dishes alongside modern bistros offering contemporary twists on century-old recipes. 

Some of Thessaloniki’s most famous foods include: 

Koulouri – Bagel like bread topped with sesame seeds

Bougatsa- Cream-filled pastry

Patsas- Tripe soup

Bakaliaro- Fried salt cod

Pites – Pies such as Spanakopita (spinach pie) and Tiropita (cheese pie) 

Bouliourdi – Baked Feta topped with tomatoes, green peppers, chilli flakes, and oregano

Pita Souvlaki/Gyros- Pita bread filled with grilled meat, tomato, onion, tzatziki and homemade fries   

Soutzoukakia- Spicy handmade sausages

Trigona- Triangle pastries filled with custard

Tsoureki- Sweet brioche-style bread

Kazan Dipi- Milk pudding

Thessaloniki truly is a food lovers paradise; with plenty of local dishes and delicacies to satisfy all tastes! 

Thessaloniki, Home to World’s First Feta Bar

Thessaloniki is known as Greece’s city of gastronomy, so it comes as no surprise that it’s also home to the world’s first Feta Bar, a place dedicated to the country’s most famous cheese.

Located on Pavlou Mela Street, Mia Feta – Feta Bar is exactly what its name reveals: a modern bar that offers visitors a range of Feta and a variety of other Greek cheeses that can be sampled on their own, or within dishes that have been carefully created by the chef to highlight the unique flavours of each cheese. 

The idea behind this concept store- that also stocks a wide range of other locally made delicacies from all over the country- lies in offering people the best dairy products Greece has to offer- along with other exclusively selected Greek products- in the one spot!

Mia Feta operates as a deli store, where you can purchase gourmet products made by small producers all around Greece- including cold-pressed olive oil, hand-made pasta, honey, jams, and wild herbs; as well as dairy products made from the owners themselves- the Kourellas family- who have been producing Feta, other Greek cheese, organic milk, yogurt, and kefir since 1960. And you can take home some internationally recognised Feta, Moschotyri cheese, smoked Feta, and Feta cheese with black wild truffle from the area of Grevena. 

Otherwise, sit down at the communal table (the heart of Feta Bar) and enjoy the range of options from the restaurant’s delightful menu, which is based entirely on the ingredients found in the store. If you are only after something light, you can choose from the tapas menu and wine list- as the knowledgeable sommelier gives insights into a wide range of homemade PDO cheeses- that can be paired with some exceptional wines from various parts of Greece.

And on the mezzanine floor, the open kitchen area allows visitors to watch the chef prepare their creative dishes on offer, including Greek-style fondue and Feta gnocchi, smoked Feta cheese tarts, as well as grilled Manouri, moussaka and other Greek dishes.

Tip: Keep some room for dessert, such as the orange and pistachio rice pudding, and a yogurt mousse with strawberries, forest fruits, and honeycomb biscuit. 

A: 14 Pavlou Mela Street, Thessaloniki 

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