Foodie things to do in Thessaloniki – Must-visit food markets
Food holds a long tradition in Thessaloniki, which makes it a paradise for foodies. Except for the restaurants, the taverns and the tasty street food, one should seek for the food markets. The locals love to shop fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables from producers and traders. So, if you are looking for things to do in Thessaloniki, visiting one of these food markets is a must.
This historic market stands in the city center since the times of the Ottoman Empire. Flour traders used to sell their products here, along with small animals like chicken and lamb. In order to be protected from the weather conditions, most of the alleys with the shops used to be covered. After the big fire in 1917, the market was rebuilt with one or two storey shops for the merchants.
Walking in the paving alleys of the market today is a unique experience for the visitor. Trade is still being done conventionally. You will hear the stallholders shouting about how good their produce is, οne of the oldest tactics in bazaars. Some will offer you a taste of their lovely olives or some delicious goat cheese. The market gets packed with people before Christmas and Easter Holidays, especially the alleys with fresh meat and fish. People are trying to get the best piece at the best price.
Apart from food, at Kapani you will find spices, clothes and kitchenware. Want to take an unconventional souvenir back home? Here is the place to buy a traditional copper “briki” (small coffee pot), to prepare your Greek coffee!
Except permanent markets, in Greece you can come across the moving food markets. Some producers and traders of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, nuts, spices and meat set their stalls to a different neighborhood every day. This way, all areas have their food market, while the stallholders have direct access to a large clientele every day.
Martiou market is one of the most famous and largest food markets in Thessaloniki. It takes place every Saturday at Martiou, a neighborhood at the eastern part of the city. If you love food markets, visiting this one is a must-do in Thessaloniki. Many locals come here from other parts of the city for the great variety of products. Fishermen sell fresh fish from the Northern Aegean and the area of Chalkidiki. From big fish to bait, mussels and octopuses, at these stalls you find the best catch. And if you arrive late, just before they pack up, you can get even half price bargains.
Except for the usual fruits and vegetables though, you can find some special varieties as well. Wild mushrooms and herbs from the area, different types of cherry tomatoes and delicious berries.
Another treasure spot is the Kodra Bio Market, which also takes place every Saturday. Situated in the entrance of the old Kodra Military Camp in Kalamaria suburb, it provides a fine excuse to enjoy the eastern seafront of Thessaloniki. The stalls here are not so many, but they all have nice and special products. The market operates from about 8 in the morning until 1pm.
Here you can buy organic goods directly from the producers. The fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs come in small quantities, so make sure you don’t get here too late. You will also find eggs, cheeses, pasta, bread, nuts, honey, wine and homemade marmalades, all delicious and 100% organic.
Getting to know this city through its food culture is in the list of the best things to do in Thessaloniki.
Take time to acquaint yourself with the flavors and the people behind them. Once you reach a food market, don’t hesitate to talk to the stall holders. They love boasting about their fine products and their challenging job!