Nestled next to the Aegean Sea in the northeast of Greece is Thessaloniki, a cultural melting pot of a city fusing people and flavours together. With a rich tapestry of history, where old and new sit side by side, where byzantine buildings rub shoulders with new, old fashioned “ouzerias” sit comfortably next to contemporary restaurants and where “sharing” remains at the heart of authentic dining experiences.
Mavri Thalass, a destination seafood restaurant on Thessaloniki’s high street, at #21 on Greece’s 100 Best Restaurant list, is one such example of the city’s re-invention, capturing the evolving spirit of Thessaloniki’s multicultural dining ambitions and palates. Chef-patron Alekos and partner Sonia’s historical restaurant was first opened by Alekas’ great grandparents (Greek Minor Asia refugees) as a traditional coffee shop post WW1 in 1926, before being transformed into the contemporary seafood hotspot it has since become in the 21st Century.
Featuring in the top 10 Seafood restaurants in Greece, this two-storey restaurant with stunning sea views reflects Thessaloniki’s culture, as the owners describe “Sharing brings people together and creates a social culture that fine dining is desperate for”. Simplicity and authenticity are the defining characteristics of this dining hotspot, from the simple yet comfortable and elegant interiors to the modern spin on locally sourced seafood.
In true Thessaloniki spirit dishes are designed to share, with fresh seafood naturally taking centre stage. “Sea foodies” can take their pick of fresh and raw shellfish starters or the must try “ white taramasalata” , a tangy, fish roe explosion, paired with Kalamata olive oil. The restaurant works with a a big network of local fishermen offering catch of the day as well as prawns, langoustines and lobsters cooked upon customer request. Steamed and filleted lemon sole in a zesty, lemony jus is also a firm favourite. All dishes are perfectly paired with a generous wine list, championing many Greek whites. #
Take a look at the dishes: