February 2023.

I can’t profess much enthusiasm for this post, but as this site is legally tagged “Beer and Pubs” (which stops me accessing my own blog on train journeys with wowser Trans Pennine) I ought to mention the bars.

There aren’t a lot of them in Thessaloniki, unless they’re all in the suburbs. In the centre it’s virtually all coffee shops; smart independent ones. At the train station the next day the Old Boys sitting at the bar were ALL drinking their 12th espresso of the day.

But there IS beer. I looked on Rate Beer and found this league table of craft bars;

Those are the sort of bars with taps, fridges and young folk who arrive about 10pm. As it happened, we didn’t do ANY of those on the list, which is equivalent to arriving in Sheffield and failing to get a GBG tick.

We arrived at the Hoppy Pub (100/100) 2 hours too early, which makes a change from arriving at a Lincolnshire gastro to find it closed at 5pm.

The most colourful area, the streets with umbrellas and Guinness, is near the port. You could be in Liverpool.

Mrs RM, being Mrs RM, picked the unattractive one at the foot of a tower block.

Embeeri All Day Cafe is apparently open from 08:00 to 23:30, which is better than Spoons, if not quite All Day.

I’ll be honest, I was tempted in by the Schlenkerla…

But at the bar, the charming lady encouraged us to try the local beers, and I put my anti-bottle prejudices on hold.

Quirky little place,

reminiscent of the cluttered Kelham Island bars like Alder,

with a banging trance soundtrack competing with a budgie. An actual budgie, not the band.

The beers weren’t a lot cheaper than you’d pay in Sheffield, but they were very good, and you get a few quid worth of complimentary peppers and olives and peanuts.

Shame it was so quiet. I think the Greek youth spend their afternoons reading Aristotle (or Yanis).

That evening we ventured out near the hotel. Elefantas had been heaving at 10pm on Thursday,

but rather quieter at 7pm so we sat on a table watching scooters whizz past, and really enjoyed a local 5 Hops Lager beer called Nimfi.

It’s Heineken, warns Rate Beer, in case you’re fooled by the loose fitting paper label. But I liked it.

We liked the Utopia Tap a few streets away even more,

mainly because everything was priced at 5 euros and you got slightly smaller pours (ugh) of the really strong stouts.

And more free snackage. You could live on free pub snacks.

Look, it was all a little bit dull. Hardly any customers, no banter we could eavesdrop on, no duff cask to take back. But undeniably good beer, in modern bars, served by nice people. If you do Untappd, you’ll love it.

Unwisely, we then did Sofi’s House, the traditional family canteen next to our hotel, and shared a half litre of wine in one of those tin containers we used to drink water out of in primary school.

The food was a bit better than school lunches in Milton or Tunbridge Wells, to be fair.

Greek salad, calamari and chips, “Grandma’s meatballs” and pasta, half litre of wine, free puddings. All for £20.



  1. Depending on how savory were the beers, that you would hang around for a second, I would have pulled out my laptop computer and asked for the wifi password. Hopefully the bar had a network, and the password did not use any Greek letters. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m pretty sure we got the WiFi passwords fairly easily, Steve, but as folk here will know I can never sit still for long ! We did spend over an hour and a half in Barbary’s in Mytholmroyd on Saturday (excellent company) though.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s