The city of Thessaloniki constitutes an up and coming fine drinking destination. Downtown, where the city’s beating heart resides, is the site of a “Big-Bang” that has occurred during the past few years. Only in a few cities around the world, including thriving metropolises you will find so many major bars within only a few meters of each other. The initiation of the city’s public into the culture of Fine Drinking has served as a catalyst of sorts over these last few years. This international trend has already gained recognition and counts many fans among the Greek people. The culture of Fine Drinking has been elevated to a cultural expression of the city itself, a fact which often brings Thessaloniki close to the epicenter of drinking trends.

In the city’s hottest bars, where members of every social class meet, perpetually carried by the city’s underlying social currents, a major shift has occurred. The public’s initiation to premium drinks that require skill and knowledge to create, in addition to top-shelf ingredients and time, has served as the catalyst for this cultural shift. It is widely understood now that the ingredients which synthesize a top notch drink have the ability to awaken the senses. They are multidimensional, complex, with a number of different textures and can harmoniously combine many different taste experiences. Thus, no one ever needs to travel any further than the city’s vibrant heart in order to indulge in the Fine Drinking experience. There, where everyone loves to wander the city’s alleys in search of new drink experiences.

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This cultural shift however would have never come about if it wasn’t for the contribution of a few, now internationally recognized, Greek bartenders. The members of this charismatic armada, whose creativity and dedication to the evolution of Fine Drinking into a profound experience, continue to attain international awards for themselves but also for their bars. The beginning was made in Athens, the site of two of the fifty best bars in the world as of 2016, with “The Clumsies” conquering the amazing 9th place and “Baba Au Rum” coming in hot at 40th! Granted, Thessaloniki’s bar scene has also earned important distinctions in respective national competitions and it won’t be long before the city finds itself in the international spotlight.

Beyond the award winning bars, there are still many things to discover. The aforementioned quality upgrade has played a major role in the city’s bar scene. The drinks and the service have evolved, the respective level of the services has risen in addition to the bars overall aesthetic feel. Nowadays, Thessaloniki’s bar scene is without a doubt on par with that of Athens as well as the major bar scenes found abroad. If you haven’t been given the opportunity to experience it yet, here are a few suggestions so you can get started right away!

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Vogatsikou 3

📍 Vogatsikou 3 , Thessaloniki | vogatsikou3.gr

Having opened its doors on the 13th of March 2014, at a location where we would have found the famous Bel Air during the 80’s and 90’s, we find a bar whose menu is just as impressive as its decorum, reminiscent of a modern high-end urban bar. This is definitely the place for cocktail aficionados, with more that seventy combinations to choose from. Every night the music plays on soulful, funk and disco notes, with the occasional dash of pop, whilst smoking indoors is strictly forbidden! All of the aforementioned combined with the unrivaled hospitality of the owner, as well as the Head bartender Gianni Kede and his team; create all the necessary conditions in order for someone to have one of the greatest Fine Drinking experiences in the city. For this reason Vogatsikou 3 is one of our top recommendations! As for those of you who happen to be early birds, you can always drop by in the morning to enjoy a specialty coffee or get an interesting bite to eat and get your day started on the right track.

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Gorilas (Γορίλας)

📍 Verias 3, Ano Ladadika, Thessaloniki | facebook.com/gorillabarskg

Gorilas is not just your run of the mill bar, probably due to the fact that its dedicated team’s bond is one that’s made out of some bizarre mixture of iron and steel, which has undoubtedly contributed enormously to the bars success. The establishment itself came into existence just a few months ago after “The Bar Testament” and “Pig Nose”, where joined in holy matrimony. Hosted in an industrial-minimal style space its menu consists of spirits and signature cocktails that promise to satisfy even the most demanding of customers, always in service to the bars motto: “Fine Drinking & Fun”. Gorilas is a product of love, devotion and a killer work ethic, all of which combine to create an easy going hospitable atmosphere where loads of quality fun is bound to be had, and it shows!

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Spinte The Whisky Bar

📍 Aristotle Square 5, Thessaloniki | facebook.com/SpinteWhiskyBar

For all you whisky lovers out there, I cannot stress this enough, but this place is heaven! Here, you’ll find nearly 350 different options to choose from including all the classics and your personal favorites, and perhaps you’ll discover some you didn’t know existed, including bourbon, Japanese, Irish, Scottish and more from all over the world. Nikos Xatziandreas, the man behind Spinte, has dedicated his whole life to tracking down and discovering rare whiskies so they’ll be served for your enjoyment. If you happen to not be a fan of whisky, fret not, for the bar is equipped with one of the most up to date list of drinks in Greece, as well as Alexander Sourbati, one of the most talented bartenders in the country, who is going to be tending to the cocktail list.

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Hostel 9

📍 Leoforos Nikis 9B, Thessaloniki | facebook.com/Hostel9CocktailBar

We are talking about a different kind of Hostel, the kind that serves exquisite drinks of course! Who needs fancy room service anyway when the menu is made by Dimitris Dafopoulos, co-founder of “Three Cents”, and Konstantinos Papakostantinou. We were first introduced to the power duo at “The Clumsies”, but their collaboration here carries their personal signature. You can find Hostel 9 by the seaside where you can enjoy the view and the passersby, whilst indulging in an excellent single origin coffee if it happens to be morning.

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