Ouzeri Tsinari, Thessaloniki

THESSALONIKI | The taverna is an integral part of Greek culture, and one of the best ways to become acquainted with Greek cuisine. They’re unfussy spots, with simple décor and extensive menus featuring all the classic Greek dishes. Thessaloniki is full of great tavernas, and one of the best is Ouzeri Tsinari.

Tsinari, located in the upper part of Thessaloniki, has been around since 1865, and provides visitors a window into Ottoman Greece. It was opened as a cafe by a Turkish man named Köse, doubling as a barber shop courtesy of Köse’s friend Ismail who was set up in a corner. The combined cafe, barber, and even dentist was actually quite common during that time.

In the 1920s, with the great population exchange between Greece and Türkiye, the area became predominantly Greek Orthodox, and Tsinari became an Ouzeri. It’s been run by the same family since 1990, who have done a great job preserving the building’s interior and exterior, virtually unchanged since the days when Köse owned it, The original wood-fired oven is still used, and there are plenty of paintings and photos lining the walls, providing a further glimpse into the venue’s history.

As for the food, it’s top quality versions of classic taverna fare. Things like Greek salad, pan fried halloumi, dolmadakia, souvlaki, and charcoal grilled seafood, all grilled to order over charcoal. One dish you must try is the tzigerosarmas. It’s an oven-baked dish of Thracian origin, consisting of lamb’s liver, rice, and herbs, wrapped into a ball with caul/membrane fat. The filling juicy, wonderfully flavoured, balanced and not at all overpowering.

Wash it down with some Greek coffee, and a shot of tsipouro. The latter is a strong alcoholic spirit that’s similar to ouzo, but with more of the flavour of the pomace (grape residue from wine making) retained. You can get it plain, with aniseed, or even barrel-aged.


Ouzeri Tsinari

Alexandras Papadopoulou 72
Thessaloniki 546 33
Greece

Telephone: 2310 284 028
E-mail: n/a
Website

Open
Mon – Sun: 1:00pm to 12:00am

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