The story of “Olympus Naoussa” can be compared to that of the Titanic, but with a very different, happy ending. The historic restaurant of Thessaloniki, which reopened its doors in 2022 after being closed for 28 years, has made one of the “strongest” entrances to the city’s culinary scene and is a choice for a wide range of its people: both his old patrons, who see a favorite meeting and tasting spot come to life again, as well as his younger customers, who enter for the first time, in his impressive space.
Its history is long and the menu has been shaped with respect to the restaurant’s past which is now part of a suite of amenities: the luxurious hotel that spans the floors, the cocktail bar “Tiger Loop” and the beautifully landscaped garden in the background – an ideal spot for summer evenings and for cocktail lovers, who can have a truly unique experience.
The preserved building at 5 Nikis Avenue, overlooking Thermaikos, which was closed for years, has been brought back to life for some time now. “Olympos Naoussa” was built in 1926, opened in 1927 and operated continuously until 1994, when it closed and was the restaurant distinguished as one of the best in the world.
During the years of its glory, it welcomed personalities who wrote history, while creating an aesthetic establishment, which defined the modern history of Greece. Today, it came to remind us of the importance of haute cuisine and its direct relationship with tradition and excellent raw materials, marrying cultures through culinary encounters, inspired by the historical events of Thessaloniki and traveling the world, through an open look and the knowledge of its distinguished Executive Chef, Dimitris Tasioulas.
The latter, with many awards to his credit in Greece and abroad, approaches gastronomy through the prism of culture, highlighting stories from Greece, the Balkans and the world in every dish and is an ideal representative of the modern generation of creators, composing a new gastronomic feast in the city’s culinary scene.
The historicity of the menu
Combining ingredients and traditions from the Mediterranean in a unique encounter with innovative techniques and bold compositions, the Chef, also the owner of the restaurant “Thria”, creates specialties that star every day in the kitchen of the restaurant “Olympos Naoussa”, bringing back memories of the past, but also an aftertaste from the future.
The menu maintains the philosophy of the old “Olympos Naoussa”. Greek urban cuisine, with techniques coming from abroad, mainly with French touches, revive the flavors of the old restaurant, whose dishes have been preserved in today’s menu, with notes of modernity, as he decided to make, after extensive research and many tests .
These tests also included old patrons of the restaurant, who contributed in their own way to the current interpretation of the “Olympos Naoussa” menu, by Chef Dimitris Tassiola.
Thus, on the menu you can find the dish “Olympos Naoussa 1967 – 2022”, which is none other than the Hoffman schnitzel, which was also on the old menu. The “Spanaki tou Olympos Naoussa”, the pureed spinach with gnocchi, which is offered as a welcome to the patrons, as well as the hunkiar beyendi, which is here prepared with veal cheeks, stand out. You will also find the classic lamb fricassee, and Sporades tuna.
In addition to the abundant appetizers – culinary “jewels”, many local beers are also included, bringing back memories from the time when “Olympos Naoussa” functioned as a beer tasting room.
The customers and space
Among the most interesting points, too, are the people you will meet at the tables of the renovated restaurant. Here you will still see old patrons of “Olympos Naoussa”, reviving their own memories of their favorite restaurant and sometimes hurrying to try the whole menu.
All this in a space, during the renovation of which the decoration of the past was taken into account. Leather chairs with brass details and the general “air” that exudes, travel the patrons back in time, to the time of the Occupation when, ordered by the Germans, it was turned into a cabaret – music hall, with a live orchestra and later when, as an urban restaurant, awarded in 1961 by the Union of Gourmets of Paris.
It was, for all these decades, a destination for politicians and people of the intellect and the arts, a history that is honored in the new, designed area of the restaurant, in a building that has been classified as a “work of art” by the Museum of Culture.
The hotel and the courtyard with the waterfall
The luxurious, five-star boutique hotel “On Residence”, owned by “Olympos Naoussa”, is operating today for the first time, after it was foreseen in the old license of the building, but never actually opened. It includes a total of 60 rooms. On the first two floors are the hotel suites and on the sixth is the special “Olympus” suite, with a more modern character.
In the urban garden behind the restaurant, specially designed by architects Prodromos Nikiforidis and Bernard Cuomo, suggestions based on classic cocktails are served, with a small twist by bartender Achilleas Plakidas and his team, made especially for “Olympos Naoussa”, accompanied by small dishes , which guarantee you the ultimate enjoyment of tastes, under the sounds of the artificial waterfall of the place. Sounds that are the only ones you will hear, since it is an extremely quiet courtyard even though it is located in one of the busiest parts of the city.
The new “Olympus Naoussa”, does not need many other words to introduce itself. It is a place where you have to pass by at least once and which, as everything seems, will welcome the residents of Thessaloniki for many years to come.