To Ellinikon (in Greek “Το Ελληνικόν”) is a modern upscale meze restaurant (“Mezedopolio”) in the heart of Thessaloniki attracting trendy crowd of all ages. It offers meat and seafood based traditional Thessalonian meze dishes in an ambience combining traditional and modern elements evoking an old fashioned Greek grocery store. Main dishes are divided into meat based and seafood ones. Focusing on seafood, highlights were the well balanced Thessalonian mussels “saganaki” and the succulent grilled smoked mackerel (“skoumpri kapnisto”). The grilled sardine fillets (“sardeles pantremenes”) with bulgur were also well prepared and tasted good. The dessert comprising the typical Greek “samali” and “kormos” was also surprising good. Although prices are more than average, taking account of the quality of what you get and the nice ambience, the price is reasonable for the standards of Thessaloniki. It is recommended for a night out where you immerse yourself into authentic tastes of Thessaloniki while you dine in style.
To Ellinikon is located in the eastern part of the centre of Thessaloniki, next to the city’s landmark, the famous White Tower (“Lefkos Pirgos”). It is therefore easily accessible by any means and the location score is 3 out of 3 (🗺️🗺️🗺️) whereas the car parking score is 1 out of 3 (🅿️), as it is almost impossible to find parking space near the restaurant.
Ambience, comfort, decor
The restaurant offers a cozy ambience. The decor is made of old Greek grocery products and a great variation of Ouzo and Tsipouro. Furthermore, the dips and pickled delicacies are openly displayed as if in a food specialist shop. It gives the impression of eating in an old grocery store. The seating area is comfortable and suitable for children. It receives a 3 out of 3 ambience score (💺💺💺) and a 2 out of 3 kids score (👦👦). Beware that in cold days it gets pretty cold if you sit near the windows. In summer months the restaurants also serves outdoors in a terrace which is nothing special (it is on the street). Therefore, it receives a 1 out of 3 outdoor score (⛱️).
Food, quality, quantity
The restaurant offers a wide range of Thessalonian style Greek dishes, both seafood and meat based. Food portions are average and food quality is very good for some dishes and average for some others; therefore receiving a 2 out of 2 for both quantity and quality (🥣🥣, ✅✅). To Ellinikon is not the ideal restaurant for vegetarians, however lacto ovo vegetarians and vegans could find things to eat. For pescatarians there are plenty of options, justifying a 2 out of 3 vegetarian score (🌱🌱).
As seafood lovers, we focused on this type of food. The highlights were the Thessalonian mussels “saganaki”, a very balanced taste, and the grilled smoked mackerel (“skoumpri kapnisto”), which was very smooth and succulent. The grilled sardine fillets (“sardeles pantremenes”) with bulgur were also well prepared and tasted good. What we liked the least was the fried battered cod (salted cod) in garlic sauce (“mpakaliaros skordalia”). The garlic sauce was good, but there was too much batter on the cod for my taste. We also tried the “Politiki” salad, made of cabbage, carrot, peppers and pickled vegetables, which I found great. Although white wine matches better with seafood, we were there on a very cold night, so we tried the warming dry red house wine made of “Agiorgitiko” grape which we found exceptional. It therefore receives a well deserved 3 out of 3 housewine score (🍷🍷🍷).
The service was good, fast and polite. We asked to move to a different table and our request was immediately granted without a problem. It receives a 3 out of 3 service score (💁💁💁).
Treats at no extra charge
A very nice Greek dessert, “samali”, made of semolina, and “kormos”, made of biscuits, butter and chocolate, topped with coconut ice cream.
The restaurant does not accept reservations.
Price and overall score
The restaurant is fairly upscale, so the price is more than average. For a full meal including drinks prepare to pay around € 25,00 per person (price level: €€). Taking account of the quality of what you get and the nice ambience, the price is reasonable for the standards of Thessaloniki. It receives a 2 out of 3 overall score (⭐⭐).
Review last edited: 27/01/2019
© Review and photos by Agisilaos Papadogiannis