A short, but completely useful guide of some pretty good restaurants in Palermo, which I’ve (fearlessly) tried out while visiting Sicilia during summer.
If you plan to travel to Palermo in the nearby future, you should know that one of the most popular touristy things to do in this part of the world, except wandering around on the old streets of the awfully charming city, is tasting over and over the Sicilian food.
The city of Istanbul is one of the most colorful and vivid cities I’ve ever seen. There are lots and lots of fun things to do in Istanbul apart from the usual activity of exploring cultural attractions. Due to Romania’s close location to Turkey, traveling to Istanbul has always been accessible for me. I went numerous times for sightseeing, to study, to draw, for business, while visiting some Turkish friends. And it never ceases to amaze me.
When I was a little girl, my few ways of traveling to Greece were some old books and a bit of imagination. I used to read again and again a big, brown-reddish book called the Legends of Olympus, a re-writing for children of the charming Greek myths about the fearless adventures of the Olympian Gods. If you like reading, I would recommend a lovely book to get you into the mood before traveling to Greece and that would be Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes.
From the ambrosia, the source of eternal youth and beauty and the lavish feasts held in the unreachable Utopian heaven located above the peaks of the Mount Olympus to the countless animal sacrifices done by humans in search for their Gods’ benevolence, food has its special part in those legends.
Demeter was the goddess of cereals providing grain for bread.
Dionysus was the god of wine.
Priapus was protector of livestock, fruit plants & gardens.
Greek delicacies surrounded by myths and mystery, coming out of a fertile land blessed by Gods and risen to the surface from the deep of the Aegean Sea. Who would dare not to be at least curious?
With so many beaches you might think Greeks eat only fish. But not!
Greek people have this talent of combining kindness, hospitality, humor and unexpected tastes in lovely, simple restaurants that bring together the city panorama with a good roasted steak and the sea waves with a chocolate lava cake on the house.
I’ve located all the visited restaurants on Google map, so you can easily get to the them, if you’re already in Greece.
Εκτός των τειχών / Outside the Walls Restaurant, Thessaloniki
Going down from Heptapyrgion of Thessalonica (the remains of the Byzantine / Ottoman-era fortress) or climbing up from the sea level along the old city walls, this restaurant is a middle way stop to enjoy a beautiful panorama of Thessaloniki and the Gulf, while having a taste of the traditional Greek cuisine.
The service in the restaurant was flawless, and the view is spectacular. We visited when the sun was setting down and made a stop because our feet hurt from so much walking. It was a randomly chosen restaurant.
We were not so hungry and took just some appetizers and a salad. But, even so, we received a front seat for the view and a homemade desert on the house! Yummy!
This is where I tasted for he first time the Greek style dish, baked feta with sesame crust and honey, a meze with origins in Cretan cuisine, truly mastering the craft of combining salty cheese with sweet ingredients.
Kitchen Bar, Thessaloniki
A very popular and well rated Mediterranean restaurant, with prices rather higher than others, but extremely fancy and with a lovely view of the Aegean Sea / Thermaic Gulf. It is located in the old Port of Salonic and it is great for a late night dining experience. Still, I was there during the day and the view was magnificent.
Me and my boyfriend did not search for reviews before going there, we just saw the Kitchenbar luminous sign the previous evening, while on half hour cruise on a Greek war themed boat touring the Gulf. And thought we should try that restaurant too!!!
The food and drinks were a dream!! We ordered a nice Mango Mule cocktail, some beer, a mixed meat plate and an Asian Basket – Sushi maki with shrimps and salmon, some chicken meat, spring rolls and dumplings.
And I must say that their lemon pie looks fabulous:
H 𝒍𝒆𝒎𝒐𝒏 𝒑𝒊𝒆 🍋 που τα σπάει! Δροσερή κρέμα λεμονιού, με πλούσια αφράτη μαρέγκα και τραγανή crumble βάση. Το απόλυτο καλοκαιρινό γλυκό που θα σε ξεσηκώσει με την ακαταμάχητη γεύση του! 😋 ______________________________________ #kitchenbar #thessaloniki #bar #restaurant #summerinthecity #summeratkitchenbar #lemonpie #dessert #yummy
You can find them here, but it’s hard to miss them if you get to the Gulf:
Just another homey way of outdoor sitting. An eclectic restaurant with tiny, tiny balconies, cute and romantic, hiding one table and two chairs sheltered by small olive trees, thyme and basil, fit for just two people, watching the city at night from above. We saw this pretty restaurant one evening when we were going back to our hotel and fell in love with it instantly. So we were back there next day.
Local people often recommended us to go to some roof top bars which seem to be plenty in Thessaloniki, but with this one, we chose something in between: not too high to feel dizzy, but high enough to feel the whispers of the streets immersed in the darkness.
On the first floor of a building on Ionos Dragoumi street, this cute and cozy restaurant recreates the charm of the island of Mytilene: handmade wooden furniture, a traditional cuisine bringing together many different parts of Greece, local wines and homemade pickles.
The atmosphere is quite elegant and you get plenty of tasty food for the money you pay. We wanted to try the titbits dish from different parts of Greece. And ordered two: Macedonia and Crete, thinking we will get two plates with five small bites each. But in fact there were FIVE!!! Five different plates for each of us with so many different Greek cheese specialties, pickles, salads, meatballs, seafood and more.
At Molyvos life flows slowly. And tastes great.
The desert was on the house: a big plate with Loukoumades, Greek donuts, and icecream!! ♡
Ktima Gerovassiliou Bistro, Epanomi
This is one of those less traveled places in Greece, recommended by locals and hard to describe because it’s so charming and complex that one doesn’t know what to start with. So I made a whole post about it here:
The short version is that this pretty Greek wonder, blessed by Gods and only 30 minute away from Thessaloniki, in Epanomi, brings together various functionalities connected to wine and wine making: a museum, a winery and a beautiful vineyard overlooked by a small restaurant.
Hidden behind a bunch of trees that separates it from the private parking, this luminous bistro, with windows from top to bottom on the perimeter, immersed in nature and art, is a welcoming space with wine tasting and pretty good appetizers. After a visit into the amazing corkscrew museum, you can taste here, I think, up to 5 different wines French and Greek ones, among which the famous, local one prepared from saved-from-extinction Malagousia grapes. Goes well with seafood, poultry, pasta dishes with light sauces fresh vegetable salads, Mediterranean and Asian cuisine. We did not do the tasting part as we were driving. Their specialty is white wine.
But! At the entrance of the bistro there is a small store which I did not left unchecked. I took two bottles of traditional wine (one white Malagousia and one deep-red Avaton that goes perfectly with red meat stews in spicy sauces) and a book that brings together agriculture and architecture.
Aristos Fish, Ormos Panagias
This sea-side restaurant, one of the famous Halkidiki taverns, came as a recommendation from a local guy and it was a beautiful surprise. At the entrace, a blackboard awaits its clients: Aristos – The original fish-sea food restaurant. Since 1971.
Despite the fact the prices are a bit higher than in the other restaurants around, this one is always filled with people and the service is above any expectations. They go pay attention to every details like cleaning the fish bones in front of you, small things on the house. Tastyfood on your plate and sea at your feet.
Even here, in a fish tavern, I could not resist the temptation of trying again the feta cheesed dressed in honey and sesame. But the sea bass was excellent too!
And, as almost always, the desert was on the house: LAVA CAKE!!
That’s it for today!! If getting to Greece is out of your reach for now or if you want to try some fine recipes before going there and read a bit about the lifestyle…