What Locals Eat in Thessaloniki: Top 4 Street Foods You Should Try

Thessaloniki

(Photo byDragos Gontariu onUnsplash)


Greece's second-largest city and its co-capital, Thessaloniki, has been home to many diverse cultures and their unique cuisines. Remaining under the Ottomans rule for nearly 500 years (100 years more than southern Greece), Thessaloniki cuisine perfectly combines eastern and western elements. As the culinary capital of Greece, many famous Greek foods originated in Thessaloniki.

You can easily find delicious Thessaloniki foods, from traditional signatures to savory street foods, in Ladadika district or Bit bazaar.

Today we will get to know some of the traditional street foods you need to try while visiting Thessaloniki.


Bougatsa

Bougatsa is a crispy pie with fillings of semolina custard, wrapped in many layers of dough, topped with powdered sugar and cinnamon, and served hot and into bite-size pieces. It is a favorite Thessaloniki breakfast that you can find as early as 6 am when locals head to their works.

Bougatsa history begins as a Byzantine-era pie, consisting of many layers of dough stuffed with a mixture of cheese and honey and flavored by bay leaves. In the early 20th century, as a population exchange happened between Greece and Constantinople(today's Turkey), and many refugees settled in northern greek, Bougastsa evolved in its today's form and became a specialty of Thessaloniki and Serres.

Bougatsa tastes vary in different regions of Greece. Thessaloniki's Bougatsa is crunchy and a little sweet. Nowadays, many versions of this delicious pastry are made using different fillings of minced meat, cheese, or even spinach.

Bougatsa

(Photo byHotel & Food Photography onFlickr)



Koulouri Thessalonikis

This Sesame covered bread ring is another traditional Thessaloniki food that locals love for breakfasts and snacking at any time of the day. It has a slightly sweet taste and high nutritional value.

Koulouri can be found very easily at every bakery and countless street vendors and stalls, where it usually costs around half a euro.

Traditionally Koulouri was a crunchy lean bread ring made out of white flour. However, today you can find it in any shape or taste, including fluffy braided versions made of whole-wheat and multi-grains, topped with cheese or stuffed with chocolate.

Koulouri Thessalonikis

(Photos by@nutritionn.health on Instagram)



Gyros

Gyros is a traditional vertically rotisserie meat served as wrapped sandwiches or stuffed pita. It is very similar to doner kebab, but in contrast, it is usually made out of pork or chicken. Gyros is often served with fries as a side and Tzatziki, a dip made out of salted yogurt mixed with cucumbers, garlic, and olive oil, as a mezze(appetizer).

By the way, did you know September 1st is Gyros national day!

Gyros

(Photo bySyed Hussaini onUnsplash)



Frappé coffee

In 1975, in a crowded Nestle booth at the Thessaloniki International Fair, a Nestle representative invented a new coffee, mixing his instant coffee with cold water and ice in a shaker. This coffee quickly grew popular and is now known as greek frappé.

Frappé is usually served in tall glasses with drinking straws and a thick foam on top. Frappé coffee can be sweetened however you like it. However, traditionally there are three degrees of sweetness:

  • No sugar(skétos)
  • Medium sweetness (métrios)
  • Sweet (glykós), consist of four teaspoons of sugar

It is generally not served with milk, but If you like your Frappé with milk, you can ask your server using the phrase me gála (with milk)!

Frappé coffee

(Photo by@miakouppa on Instagram)

To explore Thessaloniki's food and culture like a local, book your trip with Lokafy and let our knowledgeable Lokafyers take you on a journey to the city's hidden gems.

Have a nice trip!