Sometimes all you need is a casual, familial vibe and some elegant seafood treats for a perfect weekend lunch out. When you’re next in Thessaloniki, make sure you visit Kritamos.
It’s a downtempo Saturday morning as we take on the hill up Toumba to find a much promising casual taverna joint recommended by a friend. It’s still early in the afternoon so we’re lucky to find the last table available inside this small local taverna.
George, Sampson and Stavros are the ones behind this lovely idea of a gourmet taverna in this rather quiet and off the beaten path location of the town. They opened Kritamos, named after the elegant treat of Greek seaweed, in May 2021 and ever since that day more and more foodies of the town (and from elsewhere) discover this hidden gem.
We sit down and are greeted by the owner who comes with two options: one of the a la carte menu and another one where they serve what you think is best on the day… similar to the renown custom of the tsipouro tavernas in Volos. Of course we opt for the latter and ready we are to start digging in.
George serves a great few appetizers like the seabass carpaccio, the marinated anchovies and the fried mackerel. We’re tempted to ask for something extra and along they oblige serving a hot off the grill spicy pepper lushed in virgin olive oil, vinegar and oregano.
Tsipouro has started flowing plenty in our glasses and along comes our main course, a hearty linguine pasta with clams. We’re taken by the freshness of the ingredients that the chef uses that is especially evident in the fresh seaweed salad, after which the place is named.
It’s a little after 4pm now and the place is full. The owners take turns round the tables, serving dishes to patrons whilst making jokes. A nice familial vibe is what makes this place special, besides the tasty and elegant treats that the kitchen serves. We’re certain we’ll be back real soon so as we exit we don’t say goodbye to the owners, rather say pleased to meet you.
What a great place!