Greek food is prepared mainly with fresh local ingredients such as olive oil, lemon juice, various types of fish and meat and a lot of vegetables packed with fresh or fried vegetables.
Restaurants in Halkidiki are still largely affordable and the best strategy to enjoy the real greek food is to go where Greeks are eating, often less obvious and hidden in small streets places.
Usually, those kind of tavernas have a very limited menu, but the atmosphere is always relaxed and informal. The most common food to start with is tzatziki (cucumber, youghurt and garcil dip), melitzanosaláta (aubergine/eggplant dip) fried zucchini or aubergine slices, tyropitákia and octopus salad. Meats are wide choice, between pansétta (spare ribs), souvláki or rib chops (païdhákia). Ofcourse fish remains the highlight of Greek kitchen - grilled or fried bakaliáros, red mullet, tsipoúra, seabass or fagrí as well as thalassiná (seafood) such as fried baby squid and octopus are summer delights.
Don't forget that in Greece, starters, main dishes and salads arrive toghether unless you request otherwise, so it's better to order a selection of mezédhes and salads to share and the bread comes in every cases, even if you don't eat any.
All tavernas and restaurants offer a wide choice of good and inexpensive Greek bottled white and red wine as well as variety of house wines sold in bulk by the quarter-, half- or full litre. Famos wine of the region of Thessaloniki is Retsina - pine-resinated wine.
Menu prices are inclusive of all taxes and service, but an extra tip of around ten percent or simple rounding up of the bill is in order.
During summer, greeks eat very late in the evening, after 9pm, thus more restaurants operate flexible hours, especially on weekends.