It is not an exaggeration to say that Thessaloniki is the "Mecca" of food at least when it comes to Greek food and restaurants. Being for centuries a crossroad of civilizations and hosting so many different cultures, its cuisine involves an extraordinary mixture of tastes that fit influences of the Balkans, the Asia Minor, the Black Sea area, the Greek mainland, and Europe.
Food was always playing a significant role in the everyday lives of the inhabitants of Thessaloniki. The immigrant populations from Constantinople, Pontos, and Asia Minor considered the meal as a means of communication that affected every single perspective of life such as family, business, religion, and entertainment. This approach together with a series of new tastes were merged with the local cuisine and with other influences constructed an extraordinary mosaic of tastes.
Food for Greeks has still a broader social meaning. It is ideal for all the family members to meet around the table at least during the weekends, while relatives and friends relate a meal to entertainment more than alcohol drinking. The general population eats a lot out of the house so tavernas, restaurants, even the "Greek fast foods" keep the quality at quite high levels.
It is really very interesting to explore the tastes and the dishes of Greek cuisine in Thessaloniki a city where food is always "more than food". Here is definitely a place of taste acceptance and integration, but it shouldn't be a coincidence that Mc Donalds had left the city many years ago. So be prepared for everything but with a Greek perspective.
The visitor of Thessaloniki today has the opportunity to go through a unique food experience at the numerous restaurants, tavernas, and local "fast food" spots of the city. For example, starting the day with a "koulouri Thessalonikis" or the famous "mpougatsa" is almost a must. Then, someone can continue with "gyro" the famous Greek fast food, or visit a taverna in Ladadika, Bit Pazar, and Athonos square. All those are just some of the countless choices at this trip of taste that everyone should make by visiting the city of Thessaloniki.