You certainly don’t expect to see much greenery in Thessaloniki, especially not in its most central part. If you are not told about Ouzerie Aristotelous, you will most possibly pass it by while walking on Aristotelous square, since it is set in a beautiful, yet secret courtyard of a historical building. Well-known to the locals, this lovely ouzerie (i.e. a place where ouzo is served) prepares traditional Greek food, especially seafood which is the most appropriate meze (i.e. small-portion appetizer) for ouzo, tsipouro and all the common Greek spirits.
When I discovered this place by chance, I was struck by the thick vegetation, the flowers and the fountain, which made me think I’d found Eden’s garden right under my nose. The rest of the place is divided into two distinct rooms with high-ceilings and a chess floor, fitted with marble tables and wooden chairs. Even the waiters look old-fashioned in their white shirts. The music is wisely selected, though different every time, ranging from Greek music of the 60’s to international jazz tunes.
Even though I have tried many good dishes, the menu’s specialty in my opinion is the grilled octopus and the mussels with rice. You should definitely pay a visit if you are around, though the best time would be right after lunchtime, when it is less crowded and the sunlight still fills the yard.