Karypi 21, 27, 29 (in the Ermion Arcade, enter from Ionos Dragoumi)
546 24 Thessaloniki, Greece
(last visit November 2001)
http://www.ouzoumleathron.gr (flash animation)
Ouzou Melathron has been so successful since its launch in 1993 that the three mathematicians who own it are turning the tavern into a franchise, with branches in Lamia and Larissa. Perhaps it's gotten a little too successful, because lines can be long at peak hours.
It's a casual, almost raucous place. The decor is old-fashioned Greek, and the wooden tables and chairs spill out into the street. There's a large wooden sign hanging outside which says "Ouzou Melathron" (in Greek) and 1993, but quite frankly once you get to the arcade you won't have trouble finding it; the place has expanded to take up most of the available storefront.
I don't remember what I ate there except for one quite exceptional shrimp dish: a baked shrimp plate topped with bread crumbs, in butter and lots of garlic. Excellent. The rest of the food was really quite good, and I wish I could remember, but it was over three years ago and memory blurs. Some dishes have quite amusing names, like "The Prince’s Saganaki" (which ketzl has called "exploding cheese"), and "Miaouli’s Bombs". Most are explained on the English menu, but if you can't figure out what something is, feel free to ask your waiter. The service was very friendly, and reasonably efficient given the crowds. My waiter chatted with me in quite good English about where I was from, and proffered the expected comment about having relatives in the States.
You should be able to have dinner for € 15 to 20, not including wine.
They have plans to open franchises in Athens and New York. I worry about standards slipping, but I suppose all you can really do is wait and hope.