first day in Thessaloniki: Byzantine church, Ta Koumparakia restaurant

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Views from our room…

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Yesterday after arriving in Thessaloniki (and after a nice two-hour nap) we decided to try to find a certain restaurant. EM looked up the directions and we headed out…not realizing, for a very long time, the street signs are actually on the sides of buildings rather than, you know, on the STREET.

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So. We got a little lost. We wandered through a park…

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where art was displayed –

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lots of art!

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music played and people danced, and there were tons of interesting things for sale. Local organic products, like honey & olive oil,

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salsa, hot sauce & spicy chutneys (what is considered hot in Greece isn’t so spicy to us Americans), handmade soaps. We saw lots of produce, spices, and pottery. All kinds of cool stuff.

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We saw the Thessalonians are still celebrating Christmas.

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We found this neat, but poorly functioning, fountain…

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and wound up in the middle of some weird collaborative hippie/punk bicycle rally. Gotta love the European short shorts.

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We found the White Tower,

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explored random side streets,

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of course I had to stop at any and every shrine/chapel/church we passed,

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like this one.

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And especially this one.

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We’re definitely not in Grand Rapids anymore (although Grand Rapids certainly does seem to have a church on every corner). By this time, hours had passed by and we were very hungry. We never did find the place we were looking for, but as we wandered past the little Byzantine church, we noticed something…

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a restaurant!

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This seemed like some kind of sign, so we sat down to eat.

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Fresh bread with a roasted red pepper spread,

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potato salad that was very nearly like Tete’s, a sweet red pepper stuffed with cabbage,

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rocket salad & fried summer squash (they call it summer squash, but I think it’s actually cusa), and my new favorite…

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gigantes, aka Giant Beans. When they’re cooked properly, they have a lovely creamy texture. I love it when there are tons of onions and lots of fresh dill in the tomato sauce (these didn’t have dill, but still managed to be awesome anyway).

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We sat outside, so close to the church we could probably lean over and touch it, but ran in to pay our bill when it started to rain.

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Inside we found it was charming and cozy. Oh, and I forgot to mention they gave us a free dessert (two little bowls of ice cream, EM ate them both) and for no reason whatsoever waived the cost of EM’s coffee. We ended up taking leftovers with us because the portion sizes were so big. Definitely worth checking out if you’re ever in Thessaloniki, it was the best food we’ve had so far since leaving Tinos.

0 thoughts on “first day in Thessaloniki: Byzantine church, Ta Koumparakia restaurant

    • Nooooo, you should move back home and we can all have family dinner together. The fried cusa isn’t like hers because they batter it, but it’s still really good. Just more fattening.

  1. Or she could move here. She’d love sharing a room & bunk bed with Z. Yeah, I noticed the batter…thought Tete used a non-vegan batter and stopped when you became vegan. Or maybe that was just for the cauliflower.

    • Yes, she never used a batter for the cusa. On the cauliflower she used some kind of egg wash, but now she just fries it plain.

      Dad will never let her leave. I’ll have to become rich so you can move here and we’ll all never have to work again. Help me invent something.

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