Seven must-try dishes in Thessaloniki, Greece: David Tsirekas, executive chef

Australian born but with a strong Greek heritage, David's parents are from Kozani in northern Greece, with his aunty and cousins living in Thessaloniki making it a frequent destination whenever he visits Greece. universalhotels.com.au/1821restaurant

1. BOUGATSA, ESTRELLA WORLD STREET FOOD

Thessaloniki is well known for its pastries and one in particular it made famous is the semolina custard pastry, bougatsa. You can find these on every street corner, but at Estrella they do things a little differently. They serve the custard with light, flaky, buttery hand-rolled croissants lovingly made by the head chef and part-owner, Dimitris Koparanis.

Address: Pavlou Mela 48.

2. TSOUREKI, BLE

You can find everything delectably sweet and savoury that fits your palate in Thessaloniki's flagship patisserie. Its interior and architecture make it one of the most beautiful bakeries in the city. A must-have is its signature tsoureki (plaited brioche bread) covered in Greek hazelnut chocolate ganache. See ble.com.gr

3. LOCAL WINE, PORTOGALO

One of the city's finest wine bars, Portogalo does it better than anyone else. Great atmosphere and an incredible selection of local Greek wines and a good international selection all with different sized pours.

Address: Komninon 7.

4. PORK SOUVLAKI, DERLICATESSAN

Hidden in the heart of the city is this superb gem of a souvlaki bar. Small and always full, and full of character, you don't get better souvlaki than anywhere else in this city. Go for the pork souvlaki and order the baked jacket potato with paprika-spiked yoghurt.

Address: John Kouskoura 7.

5. CHEESE, NEA FOLIA

Tradition with a touch of the experimental. A bustling hidden gem with an interior right out of history, in the old part of the city in Kastra. Will feel like you've stepped into your local tavern. Go there for the wide selection of delicacies from all over Greece, especially if you love cheeses.

Address: 4 Aristomenous.

6. KAZAN DIBI, CHATZIS

A classic dessert from the Byzantine ages and Constantinople is Kazan Dibi – a burnt-milk pudding. You can also find buffalo milk ice-cream called Kamaki here. Come here for old world charm, pastries and desserts.

Address: El. Venizelou 50.

7. RAVIOLI, CLOCHARD

Clochard is a gastronomic experience that has been setting the bar high for fine dining in Greece using traditional techniques and matching them with new world finesse. One of the greatest Greek wine lists in Greece and host Georgios Vasiloglou has been serving his warm Thessalian philotimo since 1979. The ravioli is a classic.

See clochard.gr

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