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

Great New Restaurant in Downtown Thessaloniki

L’Albero is a great new restaurant in downtown Thessaloniki, offering a gourmet menu filled with fresh quality ingredients, authentic flavours, and reasonable prices. 

With a refined-yet-traditional feel, the decor at L’Albero is warm, with earthy tones. And the charming courtyard with pops of greenery is ever-so-inviting. 

The small menu boasts a great collection of authentic dishes including the roasted sweet potato with a tarmac of black-eyed peas and a handmade country sausage with mustard seed. For starters, you can also choose from potatoes fried in smoked pancetta, Burrata with tomatoes and basil, as well as fava with Guanciale and caramelised onions. For a hint of Italian influence check out the light pasta with mussels or the fresh handmade Gnocchi with sage cream and beef cheeks.

For a unique culinary experience, order from the special cuts meat selection- such as the bottom sirloin, rump cap Picanha, butchers steak, and tri-tip- all from premium beef that is cooked at the table right in front of you on special cast iron pans.

Everything you taste at L’Albero is made with the finest ingredients, using the freshest and most seasonal produce that is carefully selected from local producers. 

And we suggest you also take a look at the dessert menu (the pavlova is a stand-out) and the wonderfully curated wine list, which compliments the menu. 

A: Filippou 17, Thessaloniki 

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 

Main images courtesy of 157 + 173 designers 

Thessaloniki’s 6 Most Stylish Cafes

You’ll find a coffee shop on almost every corner of Thessaloniki, Greece’s co-capital, which is said to have the most cafes per capita of any European city!

Thessaloniki has a buzzing cafe scene with several fantastic coffee shops serving up a good hit of caffeine in aesthetically pleasing stores. To help you explore some of the most stylish cafes in town, check out our roundup! 


Minimalist Ypsilon is an all-day cultural space, set within a historical building. Divided into two large areas, it’s an ideal spot for a catch-up with friends or some quiet reading time. Serving coffee, drinks, and a short menu of (mostly) sandwich bites all day long, this has become a local favourite! 

A: Edessis 5, Thessaloniki 

Insights Greece - Thessaloniki's 6 Most Stylish Cafes


Located in the heart of the city, at the entrance of “Kapani” Food Market, Hozeva is a chic cafe with a very sleek design. Traditional kitchenware and utensils are used as display items, while natural materials and earthy colours add freshness and warmth. Come here for a  perfectly done Greek coffee and make sure you sit by the wood heater on cool days! 

A: Spandoni 5, Thessaloniki

Insights Greece - Thessaloniki's 6 Most Stylish Cafes


This stylish cafe has a very modern Parisian feel. Located on buzzing Mitropoleos Street, Nooon is a very popular spot that draws in a trendy crowd thanks to its chic design and decor. Special espresso blends are served in pretty cups and their Mediterranean-inspired menu includes flavours from France and Italy.

A: Mitropoleos 51, Thessaloniki 

Insights Greece - Thessaloniki's 6 Most Stylish Cafes


One of the newest cafes in Thessaloniki, Valenio is a cool little spot with a Scandinavian feel that is modern and sleek; plus a great menu to match. This specialty coffee shop was opened by coffee connoisseur and internationally-awarded barista Valantis Lambrianidis, so if you are serious about your coffee this is the place to visit!  

A: Iktinou 6, Thessaloniki

Insights Greece - Thessaloniki's 6 Most Stylish Cafes


Another trendy little spot in the heart of the city that opened up last year is Dekaepta, another specialty coffee store with a rustic look and cozy vibe. Step through the bright yellow doors and be greeted by warm, earthy, and pastel-toned decor that’s very inviting. Serving a strong espresso, here you can also grab a bagel, homemade sweets, yogurts, and other snacks. 

A: Al. Svolou 24, Thessaloniki

Insights Greece - Thessaloniki's 6 Most Stylish Cafes


Mob Cafe is located downtown and is a great spot for coffee and drinks. Set on the first floor of the preserved building on Ionos Dragoumi & Papadopoulou, this industrial-like space promotes creativity and elegance. With the attention focused on quality, from the excellent coffee to the vast variety of desserts, “mob” is open from morning until evening. 

A: Papadopoulou 2, Thessaloniki

Insights Greece - Thessaloniki's 6 Most Stylish Cafes


Why Visiting Thessaloniki is a Must

I suggest you take a few days out of your trip to Greece and visit Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in the country that will most certainly impress you with its beauty and distinct identity!

By Maria Athanasopoulou

Also called the co-capital, this beautiful destination is bathed by the Thermaikos Bay. It has a long and interesting history, which is evident through its rich monuments.

Thessaloniki’s geographical position has made it a place many nationalities have called home and even though it has a multicultural soul, Thessaloniki has maintained a strong Greek identity. It’s known as the Greeks’ favourite city and considered to be a place of love, fun, and tasty food!

Insights Greece - Why Visiting Thessaloniki is a Must

Some well known spots include the White Tower (a landmark), the Arch of Galerius, the Castle Wall Remains, the Rotonda, the Roman Forum, many Byzantine churches, and other holy sites.

One of the most beautiful corners is Aristotelous Square, which is where locals and visitors enjoy taking a stroll. The city is embraced by the Gulf of Thermaikos and the harbor serves as the gateway to maritime transport- one of the most stunning corners in town.

It would be an unforgivable mistake not to mention the local cuisine. Greek and foreign visitors agree that Thessaloniki is the queen of Greek gastronomy- with magnificent local dishes and delicacies. The food options offered here are endless and perfect for all budgets. The town is flooded with good restaurants and all you need to do is walk around and discover eatery after eatery- you will be spoilt for choice! 

Insights Greece - Why Visiting Thessaloniki is a Must

Those with a sweet tooth won’t be disappointed by local desserts; especially the famous Bougatsa, which you will find in every bakery.  All this great variety of local cuisine has given Thessaloniki the title “Gourmand city of Greece,” which locals are proud to carry and share with every single visitor. 

Maria Athanasopoulou is the founder of the tourism marketing company Respond On-Demand, co-founder of the non-profit company Top Tourism, Chairwoman of the World Food Travel Association, Ambassador in Greece of Evintra and Ambassador in Greece and Cyprus of World Gourmet Society. She likes exploring new places and cultures and loves discovering unexplored tourism destinations. During her trips, she does her best to find out and present the most interesting aspects of the destination she has just visited.