Virgin olive oil, healthy vegetables, wholesome cereals and fresh Aegean Sea fish are the ingredients of the Mediterranean diet and the recipes of Central Macedonia. In Thessaloniki, at the small taverns on the shores of Thermaikos Gulf, visitors can enjoy mussel pilaf, fried calamari and grilled sardines, or tzigerosarmas and gardoumba, local delicacies made with offal meat. After all night clubbing and dancing at the local bouzouki places, you can taste the famous ‘patsa’ soup made with pig’s trotters and tripe at the all night restaurants, specifically for those who stay up late.
In Thessaloniki, Imathia, Pella and Kilkis, there are also delicacies of Pontos cuisine [Black Sea refugees’ dishes], such as pirozhki, peynirli, sorva yoghurt soup, and otia [ear-shaped doughnuts]. In the mountainous areas of Central Macedonia visitors enjoy meat barbecued over charcoal and you can try game, goat kid, wild boar and buffalo meat served with vegetables and rice. Halkidiki is also a place to enjoy lobster pasta dishes, sword fish and golden sea bream. You can also ask for ‘liokafta’ [sunburnt) fish, which has been cured in the sun covered in salt and pepper.
Climbing Mt. Olympus or trekking in the Enipeus’ River Gorge works up visitors’ appetites and that is why the restaurants and tsipouro-serving taverns of Pieria are a stone’s throw away from the foot of the mountain.
Try local pies made with wholesome ingredients and hand-made phyllo pastry, organic meat from local animal farmers, cooked expertly at traditional grill houses or fish and tsipouro (distilled spirit) at the fish taverns on Katerini and Litochoro shores.