Back in business
The Modiano Market, a historic landmark, was closed for about six years. Today, it᾿s open again, brighter than ever, with brand new shops and restaurant services. The original Modiano Market was built in the 1920s and, for more than half a century, was an important culinary hub for Thessaloniki and the nearby cities. People used to come here to do their daily shopping for items such as seasonal fruit from the Macedonian plains, various vegetables, the freshest fish from the Thermaikos Gulf and the Northern Aegean Sea, and meat from animals raised at local mountain farms.
They also came for rare imported delicacies, ranging from liqueurs and canned fish to expensive spices. In addition to its grocery stores, butcher shops and delicatessens, the market was also home to tavernas and grill houses. People from all walks of life frequented the market not only for the delicious food, made with the freshest ingredients from the neighboring shops, but also for the party atmosphere; street musicians often serenaded the tables, and the fun began as early as 11:00 and continued well after dark. Today, the new Modiano Market boasts around 70 shops, where you can buy Greek products – from halva and nut butters to fine olive oils and wine – and eateries serving everything from ceviche to street food favorites.
33 Vasileos Irakleiou. Restaurants open daily 11:00-02:00, stores open Mon-Sat 08:00-20:00, Sun 11:00-19:00
Coffee and more
Beetroot is a café-gallery founded by the team from the design firm Beetroot. Housed in a building that dates from the early 20th century, the café operates on the ground floor, together with an exhibition space showcasing items that the Beetroot design team have created. Their new restaurant, named Poster, will be opening any day now across the street, helmed by the talented young chef Vasilis Hamam, whose background includes experience in some of London’s most demanding kitchens.
1 Paikou, Tel. (+30) 2310.274.545
Located in the city’s heart, the new five-star hotel MOnAsty is a proud member of Marriott᾿s Autograph Collection. Its name comes from its proximity to an old monastery, and there᾿s a monastic element to the hotel’s clean, auster lines and uncluttered common spaces. The décor of the 100 rooms and suites, on the other hand, draws inspiration from the grandeur of the city᾿s rich Byzantine heritage.
45 VasileosIrakliou, Tel. (+30) 2310.274.545
From €146 for a double room without breakfast
Operating since summer 2022 in a neighborhood known for its buzzing nightlife, Teight Hotel is super modern, and its interior spaces are adorned with photographs selected by celebrated Greek photographer Yannis Bournias. Cutting-edge technology means guests can control room services via the hotel’s web app. Moldee, the ground-floor restaurant presents an interesting menu created by talented local chefs Vassilis Mouratidis and SofoklisMaragoudakis.
From €99 for a double room with breakfast.
The cozy Signora Trattoria opened last winter in the city center and offers everything you’d expect of a traditional Italian eatery, which isn᾿t surpsiring, since the ingredients used are mostly imported from Italy. The menu features a classic Italian selection of antipasti, primi, and secondi. Particularly impressive are the Caprese salad with fresh buffalo mozzarella, carob powder, and delicious basil pesto; the Bucatini all’Amatriciana with sauce from San Marzano tomatoes and Tuscan pancetta; and the Rigatoni Cacio e Peppe. There is a wide variety of Italian and Greek wines, spirits and cocktails, although the choice of beers is limited.
38 Pavlou Mela, Tel. (+30) 2310.238.233, open: Mon-Sat 13:00-23:00, Sun 13:00-20:00
Class from the past
Built in 1926, this Eclectic-style building on Nikis Avenue has been classified as a historic landmark. It initially housed the Naoussa brewery and the offices of the Olympos ice-making company. Its new life as ON Residence, a 60-bed boutique hotel, began last year following extensive renovation.
Its ground-floor bar, Tiger Loop, is staffed by the award-winning team of Achilleas Plakidas, an entrepreneur with many successful bar projects in the city. Inspired by the Far East and by Chinese astrology, the team serves 12 signature cocktails named after Chinese zodiac animals. The Dragon, for instance, is made with white tequila and pineapple juice spiced with curry and ginger.
The hotel’s restaurant, Olympos Naoussa, harks back to the original establishment of that name, which operated here from 1935 until it closed in 1994. That classic eatery was a staple on the fashionable social scene in the city; it᾿s this glamorous 1930s ambiance that the present owners of the restaurant have rekindled. From the chairs and lighting to the art de la table, everything contributes to reproducing a glorious past, and the same journey through history has been taken by chef Dimitris Tasioulas, who creates nostalgic Greek dishes using modern techniques. The menu features pan-fried octopus marinated in vinegar; steamed fennel and fish roe cream with cuttlefish ink; lamb fricassée; and Athinaiki, a cold fish salad made with grouper. Desserts include Armenonville ice cream, a local treat made with meringue, and an almond dessert.
ON Residence, 5 Nikis, From €158 for a double room with breakfast
Tiger Loop, open: Sun-Thu 09:00-01:00, Fri & Sat 09.00-03.00
Olympos Naoussa, olymposnaoussa.gr, open daily 13:00-23:30
Cup of joe
Shed, a tiny coffee shop, is located in a quiet pedestrian zone perpendicular to Aghias Sofias Street. The decor style is called Japandi; it᾿s a minimalist mix of Japanese and Scandinavian elements. Shed is self-service and ideal for a quick coffee, but only either while standing or to go, as there᾿s no room in the 9-sq.m interior for tables. It offers specialty coffee prepared with single-origin beans from Kenya, Ethiopia and elsewhere. You᾿ll also find a variety of matcha options.
11 Patriarchou Dionysiou, open daily 08:00-23:30
The city has acquired a new hangout for restless musical spirits. Ydro, opposite the waterfront, has already become the talk of the town thanks to its exciting live evenings featuring local artists, experimental electronic music from DJs, and a fun crowd. The spot takes its name from the legendary Greek indie pop group “Kore. Ydro” formed in 1993 in Corfu.
11 Navarchou Kountouriotou, open daily 09:00-03:00