Secret Greece: The gourmet surprises of Western Macedonia

Are you in the mood for a culinary discovery journey off the beaten track? The area of Florina may not be a destination for most foreign visitors of Greece, but there you’ll find some of the best winter restaurants in the whole country, which have repeatedly won the “Greek Cuisine Award” in the context of the “Toques d’Or” for their modern “look” into the local cuisine and the iconic products of the region. In “Naoumidis” restaurant (23860/61238) in Agios Panteleimonas, the deep red Florina pepper becomes the perfect base for an entire line of deli products, while Lake Vegoritida, on the shore of which it is located, generously offers its goodies that are then masterfully cooked. Xino Nero is famous for its water and also for “Kontosoros” restaurant (23860/81256), where classic dishes of the local cuisine (taltsenes, sout makalo, aivar) are side by side with suggestions of a more contemporary concept, such as pork in red pepper crust and sweet potato purée, or veal cheeks with mashed potatoes. “Thomas” (23860/31206) in Sklithro also serves excellent wintry dishes – all you need to face the bitter cold –, such as veal with grape-juice syrup and quince purée. In all 3 restaurants you will have the opportunity to taste delicious PDO cheeses of the region and the famous wines from the vineyards of Amyntaio and Naoussa, many of which are open to visitors.