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Description de la collection, parce que c'est important de contextualiser ces collections, ça permet de mettre des mots clefs et plus tard des tags ;) !
North Abraxas is, a priori, one of those ultra-exciting places, for which we are willing to cross the city and arrive at 06:45 pm, to ensure that we get a seat at the counter. The predominantly vegetarian menu promises simple, uncomplicated ingredients, served at their best, and a few raw or cooked meat dishes. We are also enticed by the concept of serving the food directly on paper mats instead of dishes (except when there’s sauce!), along with the house cocktails, and the joyful neighborhood bar atmosphere.
Eyal Shani, the trailblazing inventor of roasted whole cauliflower, which has been copied thousands of times since, will delight those who love boiled, roasted and grilled vegetables. However, for those who like their meat the menu offers shawarma, beef carpaccio, and generously topped pizza.
We love the upbeat cheerful ambiance, especially at the counter where you can chat with your neighbor while watching the show in the kitchen. We also like the plate-less concept, which is fun for all ages. Eyal SHANI has got the award of the best entrepreneur and culinary trendsetter.
A LA RAMPA is an atypical place located in a semi-industrial neighborhood in southern Tel-Aviv increasingly home to many high-tech startups. With its shabby, chic feel, this restaurant is clearly designed to please this type of clientele. The friendly but somewhat amateur service suits the informal spirit of the restaurant. The ingredients are excellent quality, the dishes are well thought out, the tastes are distinctive, and the flavors are subtle. This is an excellent, very creative vegetarian restaurant with dishes such as simple asparagus and beet served with a lovely parmesan cream sauce or the very tasty lentil Msabbaha, and for dessert, a banana with caramelized date honey. A la Rampa has oodles of character thanks to its surprising location, young, creative clientele, slightly hippie service and staff, and excellent food.
Just ten meters away from the hustle and bustle of the main alley of Souk Hacarmel lies a small U shaped counter around a kitchen in which four or five people are busy at work. Ladies hang your handbags from the hooks in front of your legs! It is impossible not to enjoy the simplicity and freshness of the meal: fattouche salad, grilled vegetables, fried fish, and sukshuka. Here you are pampered with a wonderful smile, and without any fuss. Shukshuka offers a warm, generous welcome with delicious pickled vegetables and tasty tehina.
Schwartzman Dairy is a place not easily forgotten, and usually discovered through word-of-mouth. It offers a lovely experience and a trip back in time to the world of the pioneers of Zionism. Most of all, it is a rare opportunity to enjoy authentic, good quality products, in a charming, friendly setting. Their specialty is cheese, along with all the things that go with it: olives, honey, bread, salads and wine…
Take a seat in the garden of the one hundred year old Schwartzman’s house and try a tasting plate composed of fresh or patiently ripened cheeses, made from cow, goat or sheep milk. All labneh, camemberts, tomes, and cheddars come from the family farm and exude their more or less powerful flavors. The olives grow nearby, at the foot of mount Chorshan, the delicious lafah, a kind of pita with herbs, are served warm from the taboon (oven). And the salads and lemonades, prepared on the premises, are a refreshing addition to the meal. Or perhaps try one of the wines selected by Ruby and Ziv.
To end on a sweet note, try their creamy malabi made with goat milk and carobhoney, served with coffee or fresh mint infusion.
Finally, don’t forget to stop off at the shop. All the products tasted during the meal as well as others can be purchased there, prolonging the pleasure of this utterly enjoyable outing!
Some may argue that Abu Hassan’s “Msabacha” is the best dish in Israel in term of value for money. 18 NIS, that’s all, for a hearty dish of warm chickpea kernels doused in runny Tahini and heavily seasoned with chilly, cumin, lemon and parsley. It comes as no surprise then that from the early morning hours until closing time (usually around 2-3pm) there is a que of people waiting to get their hummus fix here. Abu Hassan’s, officially named “Ali Karawan” is a family establishment with a reputation of over 60 years. Even in a place like Israel, where hummus arguments are rather common, the places are considered a near consensus. The tiny menu historically consisted of only four items: Msabacha, hummus, Ful – a warm fava bean porridge, and Labane cheese, all served with warm pita, fresh onion and some lemony hot sauce. Today you can also have some falafel, French fries or chopped salad with your plate, but there’s no real reason to do so. Come here to really eat like the locals do, preferably for an early breakfast or early lunch. There are now 3 branches to this hummus empire, all in the heart of Jaffa. The one on Dolphin Street is the original one, where you can enjoy your hummus while overlooking Jaffa’s old port and the Mediterranean. The 2 other branches stand opposite of each other on ShivteiYisrael Street, and are both more modern and spacious. In all three the service is extremely rapid and the atmosphere less than casual – this is not a place to linger over coffee or tea after your meal, as probably there will be people waiting in line for your chair. Come, eat, enjoy and leave.
On the walls of this long-standing establishment in the Machane Yehuda Market hangs a letter of appreciation from the founder of the “Slow Food” movement. That is pretty much all you need to know about “Azura”. Few would dare challenge the fact that Azura is the best place in Jerusalem for sampling true local soul food at its best. For more than 50 years the Shrepler family (Azura is the nickname of Ezra, the father of the family) is cooking here, over kerosene burners, some of the dishes that have become Synonymous with the Jerusalem: Sofrito – fried potatoes and meat cooked together, Kubbeh Hemo – a huge kubbeh doused in a spicy chickpea soup, Kima – lamb kebabs slowly cooked with spinach and eggplants, Hamusta – the tangy, sour Kubbeh and much more. Even the more mundane dishes, like hummus or rice with beans have a distinct flavor that is nearly impossible to reproduce. The place, which started out as a tiny restaurant in the Iraqi market now spans over 2 spacious locations in one of the Market’s main squares. Some argue that a part of the authenticity had been lost in the process. And indeed the place tends to be very very busy, especially on Fridays, leading to sometimes sketchy service. The prices have also gone up the past few years – it’s by no means an expensive fancy place now, but some Jerusalemites frown upon the change. And the food? The food remains extraordinary and is still cooked fresh everyday by the same people who have been making it for the past five decades. In brief? It’s more than worth the wait.
According to the vegan community in Israel, the country has the highest ratio of vegans per capita in the western world. Having being given that fact, it comes as no surprise that Tel Aviv has become quite the vegan’s paradise over that past few years. However, restaurants like “Bana” are still quite unique, as the kitchen here chooses not to use any of the common substitutes for meat or dairy products. Tofu, Seitan, Tempeh or soy cheese – all are missing from the menu here, which focuses instead on the plethora of great fruits and vegetables Israel has to offer. Roast mushrooms wrapped in crispy potatoes with hot pepper cream, A warm salad of roast potato and zucchini or the house’s take on a “Sloppy Joe” (which here consists of cooked lima beans and some burnt beetroot on a spelt bun) – these are just a few of the dishes here that are 100% vegan yet will probably satisfy even the most avid carnivores. Even the desert menu here, a part which is never simple without dairy, manages to be innovative yet approachable. Unlike many other vegan oriented places, Bana is a proper restaurant by all means – the service is very attentive and professional and you’ll find an extensive wine list along some interesting cocktails. This, of course comes at a price, and Bana is by no means a cheap experience, especially not for dinner. But if you are looking for a proper place to spend a proper evening without hurting even the tiniest of living creatures, this is probably your best pick in the city.
A longtime favorite with local foodies and wine lovers, Brut, situated in the corner of Montefiore and Nachalat Binyamin, is an establishment that’s rather hard to define. The menu features dishes like seared salmon tartar, Marcella hazan’s tomato pasta, calamari with chickpeas cooked in lamb broth or a funky little burger with fried egg and Kimchi. Add to that a rather extensive and constantly changing specials menu, and you’ll come to the conclusions that this place is probably best referred to as an Indie restaurant / local chefs wine Bistro. The kitchen is run by a small group of local chefs and is engaged in a constant dialogue with the adjacent Carmel market, seasonal products and local traditional techniques. Prices are on the higher end of the local average scale, with plates ranging from around 50 NIS (rump steak tartare) up to around 150 (Seared grouped fillet with yogurt cooked autumn greens), and the place is rather small, so reservations are advised. Try snagging a seat on the bar, where you can witness for yourself how the tiniest of kitchen produces such varied and delicious food. The only thing here more interesting than the food is probably the wine list, which holds some unique labels, some are made especially for the restaurant. Whether you are a Bourgogne purist, an Orange wine enthusiast or an admirer of local flavors – the chefs and waiters here will love to help you find the perfect bottle (or glass).
Aptly taglined as “Gourmet street food”, Crave is the kind of place you can probably find only in a city like Jerusalem. Religious families with countless children, ultra-orthodox men, hipster students and teenage girls all cram together in the less-then-big space in order to indulge in the unique culinary creations of chef Todd Aarons – sleazy, greasy and absolutely delicious American street food made 100% kosher. Most of the time making a dish kosher requires some form of compromise. Here the comprise goes almost unnoticed, and even the most experienced and pessimistic eaters would have to admit that the food is just, as Americans would. There’s a breakfast burrito and a crispy chicken slider, there’s an amazing Reuben sandwich on toasted rye bread (with a soy substitution for cheese) and classic west coast style fish tacos. There’s bacon (made from lamb) and there’s a chilly dog. There are also real good crispy chicken wings, minus the blue cheese, and even descent French fries. There’s some nice local craft IPA beer to wash it all down and some burbon, Tequila and Gin if you must. And there’s also a nice touch to the service, as crave is the first (and so far also the only) place in Jerusalem to embrace the no-tipping policy that’s becoming more and more popular in America. When you add all these together, the line at the door – almost constantly present – comes as no surprise.
“Off the beaten path” doesn’t even come close to describing the location of this place. But also “worth the trip” doesn’t even come close to describing just how good and unique it is. The Margilan family came to Israel from Fergana in Uzbekistan and have been making Bukharan food since in their restaurant in the Shapira neighborhood in the deep south of Tel Aviv. Their establishment has become a destination for foodie pilgrimages from all over the city and country, as Bukharan restaurants aren’t easy to find in Israel, let alone restaurants who serve such a fascinating variety from the Bukharan culinary arsenal. You are more than advised to skip most of the opening salads, as most of them are generic. Start your meal with either the Dushpara soup, with tiny meat dumplings, or with Lagman – a meat soup with hand pulled Chinese style noodles. After that, it’s time for the pastry section – Baked Guzgiza, fried Chebureki or steamd Manti, all stuffed with some version of beef, lamb fat and onion, all delightful. Rice dishes are up next – Bakhsh (green rice with liver and meat) or Plov (rice with carrots and beef). And that is not all – make sure you leave enough room in your stomachs for the grilled meats, and especially for the house specialty of skewered veal’s liver. Cubes of liver and thin sheets of lamb fat are cooked together and are served alongside some fresh onion and vinegar. Your bite should consist of all four ingredients, and if you are not sure as to how to exactly do it, don’t hesitate to ask, and usually receive a very practical demonstration.
Tiny, smokey, constantly packed with people and utterly delicious – It only takes four adjectives to properly describe “Jasmino”, a whole in the wall kiosk in the middle of one of the busiest (and least appealing) streets of Tel Aviv. It seems only appropriate to use four adjectives where the menu consists of only four items (Kebab, chicken thighs, Spicy sausages and ox heart) and where each Pita is carefully stuffed with only four basic ingredients (except for the meat): fresh salad, roast vegetables, Tahini and Amba (a tangy sauce made from mangoes and fenugreek). There are basically no seats here except for 2-3 stools, so you will have to either carry you Pita across the street and sit on the stairs leading to the city’s main synagogue (as most people here do), or you can try and act like a local and devour you meal standing up, slightly leaning forward as to prevent any drops of Tahini and delicious meat juices from staining your clothes. Don’t forget to ask if there are any “off the menu” specials, such as lamb sweetbreads, flank steak or “Jerusalem style” mix of lamb offal, and be prepared to wait your turn patiently. The place is conveniently located close to many of the Tel Aviv’s hippest night life spots, which makes it perfect for either a quick, satisfying pre-drinking meal or for a light night snack. The only question you are bound to encounter here is can you hold back after your first pita and not order another – A dilemma that can be solved by knowing you can also ask for a half portion.
The Minzar (hebrew for “the monastery”) is as close as Tel Aviv gets to a proper pub, or actually a Gastro-pub. The place is open around the clock, and at any given hour you’ll find here somebody with a beer in his hands. Yes even a 7 am. Drinking holes usually don’t make for great culinary destinations, but the Minzar is different. The place’s tiny kitchen executes a daily changing menu that can be roughly divided into two categories. First, traditional dishes for accompanying alcohol, such as Pulled pork sandwich, Shepherd’s pie, chilly dogs, steak sandwich, chopped liver and herring. Second comes the more adventurous part, with modern innovative dishes that can range from Thai style seared grey mullet, fresh local calamari with black tahini and yogurt, octopus and chorizo with baby potatoes or pasta with fresh artichokes, tomatoes and white wine. The Minzar’s location, in the heart of Allenby street, makes it easily accessible from most parts of the city – before or after the beach, before or after a long night of clubbing, or even in the early morning hours. And even if you are a complete stranger, the laid back vibes of the place will make you feel instantly at your favourite bar back home.
Chef Eyal Shani’s Pita Empire now spans 4 continents and many branches, and it all started in Tel Aviv. Shani, a judge on the Israeli “Master Chef” and a rather poetic / extrovert personality was one of the first chefs to take the humble pita a step forward and into the gourmet street food era. Miznon (Hebrew for “Canteen”) now has three different locations in Tel Aviv. The basic principle remains the same in all of them – a vegetable heavy menu of Pita stuffings, alongside some meat and some of the branches also seafood (Ever had Shrimp in pita? If not, it’s a must try). The whole roasted cauliflower, another of Shani’s signature dishes, will always be present, as well as a little self-service stand where you can gorge you face in free pita ends with Tahini, crème fraiche, hot green peppers and pickles. Another common denominator for all Miznon’s branches is the rather loose service and hipster-ish vibe – you order and pay at the cashier and wait for your name to be called – it can take 2-3 minutes, it can take 10 and it can take even more. In any case, the end result is worth the wait. The Pitas themselves are always super fresh, fluffy and warm as they are baked in-house, and the different fillings, always oozing with local goodness, demonstrate the simple power of the new Israeli cuisine – Tahini or sour cream, crushed tomatoes, hot peppers and a stew of meat, chicken livers or a dollop of ratatouille, and that’s it. Eyal SHANI has got the award for the best entrepreneur and culinary trendsetter.
The Hansen house, formerly a leper colony situated in the heart of Jerusalem, used to be one the scariest places in the city. Today the Beautiful compound has been meticulously renovated, and now it serves as a bustling local arts and culture center. The place’s café and restaurant is run by “Ofaimme farm” for sustainable agriculture – a small family owned farm from the Arava producing top notch organic goats cheese, olive oil, honey, spices and spreads. The menu is dairy and carb heavy, making it naturally vegetarian friendly, but vegans and gluten-free advocates are also easily catered for here. The signature dish is the “Burekason” a hybrid of a French croissant and Jerusalem style Burek – a shell of flaky, crispy, buttery dough stuffed with savory treats like warm chard with goats’ cheese or burnt pepper salad with a runny egg. Other staple dishes are the white Shakshuka, consisting of goats’ yogurt and sweet onions, or the local “Bitron” cheese baked in a case of puff pastry with honey and cracked black pepper. The café spreads across several rooms, all packed to the brim with history – don’t miss admiring the original artifacts left here from the times when the place served as a leper colony, such as travel boxes, medicine bottles or the doctors’ typewriter. Be it for breakfast, brunch or lunch the place tends to be packed with a mixture of students, artists, families and couples all seeking the rare combination of great food and a great location. Reservations, therefor, are recommended (especially on Fridays), though not mandatory.
If you are Neapolitan pizza purist, this might not be the place for you. But if you are hungry for some really good pizza in Jerusalem, look no further than P², nestled in between the German colony and the city center, in a location making it ideal for concluding (or starting) a tour of Yemin Moshe. Freshness is a core value here, as every pizza and every plate of pasta are made to order – yes, including the actual rolling and cutting of the noodles. The local pizza style is paper thin crust with gentle tomato sauce and an accurate amount of mozzarella. Toppings include usual suspects such as olives, onions or mushrooms alongside Italian artichokes, huge caper berries and a wide range of charcuterie. The pastas come with either tomatoes or crema di funghi, and besides that you can also have what many locals consider the best Panzanella salad in the city – needless to say, all the vegetables are cut to order. The Tiramisu makes for a descent dessert, though the complementary homemade chocolate truffles might suffice. The vibe is very casual and unassuming and service tends to be on the slower side. Luckily the Peroni beer tap and constant supply of Campari & Soda tend to make the waiting time – be it for your food or just for your seat at the bar - into a rather enjoyable experience. As one of the only pizza places in Jerusalem that’s not Kosher, P² are open on Saturday, but closed on Friday (and they also have a kosher branch, called K2, on Azza Street).
Like all the other assets which comprise chef Eyal Shani’s empire, Port Said has a groove and atmosphere that are hard to surpass. More and outdoors bar than a proper restaurant, the staff here is comprised of some of the coolest people of Tel Aviv. The music, accordingly, comes from Vinyl records only and the service can feel slightly inattentive at best. But this is also why so many people love this place, which since its opening in 2012 manages to stay packed every night – a fact that cannot be taken lightly in a frenetic city like Tel Aviv. The fact that food is really good probably helps as well. Shani is considered to be one of the founding fathers of the new Israeli cuisine, and his menus are always vegetable heavy, consisting of only local ingredients and served in a rather sloppy yet charming manner. Some of the best sellers / must try dishes are the Lima bean Mesabacha, the Ratatouille, The “intimate” beef cuts cooked for 7 hours, the chicken sandwich and the bread salad. When fresh seafood (Calamari or local shrimp) are in the house, don’t skip them, as well as the baby zucchini or the buttered spinach. The menu is very long and parts of it are always missing, but don’t worry – pretty much everything you can order here will bear the marks of one of Israel’s true culinary legends. Another thing that tends to be long here is the cue – they don’t take reservations here, and on busy night (Thursday especially) you might find yourself having to wait for a table for quite some time. If you are not up for it, try to come here off the peak hours, when also the service tends to be better.
Eyal SHANI has got the award of the best entrepreneur and culinary trendsetter.
When Jerusalemites go out to restaurants they care about the food, obviously, but sometimes it seems that they care even more about the hospitality. Yes, the people of Jerusalem like to feel that they are being taken care of, that they are pampered by their hosts, that they get their money’s well worth – And it is hard to think of better hosts than chef Ilan Garousi, the head chef and owner at “Satya”. It’s a place that’s hard to define – not exactly a chef’s restaurant, not exactly a Bistro – the menu changes often and will always feature some local classics, such as the chopped liver, the spicy Tuna tartar or the short ribs and eggplant Bruschetta or the Veal Schnitzel. But there will always be some modern takes as well – Thai lettuce wrappers with a spicy, citrusy raw fish salad, a local take on “Jerusalem mix grill” (made here with seafood instead of chicken parts) or a fried fish sandwich that echoes the “Balikekmek” stands of Istanbul. Most importantly, there will always be something extra here, be it a bread basket with some small “meze” plates, a round of chasers for the table or a small dessert. Satya is only open for dinner (and for lunch on Saturdays) and reservation are a near must, as the place is extremely popular with the local.
Located in what is essentially the parking lot of a private home in the village of Rameh, this place barely qualifies as a proper restaurant. But the food, served from the morning hours until the early afternoon (or until they sell out, which usually happens earlier, especially on weekends) will make you instantly forget where you are. Yacoub Hayat, the owner and cook of Sharabic, sets out every morning to pick and forage wild herbs and flowers. Later, in his kitchen, he transforms them into traditional Palestinian delicacies: Wild spinach stuffed pastries, wild rocket leaves salad with sumac, fried eggplants with wild raspberries and fried cauliflower with Tahini and heirloom tangerine juice. Don’t miss the fried eggs with Ful – a warm porridge like delight made from fava beans and topped with a crispy fried egg seasoned with Cumin. And if you must have some meat (though the main deal here really are the vegetables) try the homemade sausages - delicately seasoned with red wine, they truly are exceptional. Nothing about Sharabic – named after a barren plot of land in Hayat’s abandoned home village of Ikrit - is fancy or complicated. All there is here is just plain home style cooking at ridiculously low prices. Most of the times you really don’t need anything else.
This duo is comprised of Vicky, a tapas restaurant, and Christina, a wine bar, which together share a large, exceptional garden terrace under the trees. Note that the wine bar is open only in the evening. The place is chic with a menu featuring a few good ideas such as local takes on specialties from further afield including fried cauliflower with aioli. The sauce is generous, light and prepared instantly. It’s also a nice break from the ubiquitous tehina. The meat plate, pork spare ribs in citrus, chipotle and date sauce, is appetizing. The meat is perfectly grilled and tender, while the sweet date sauce is nice and tangy with preserved lemon and Mexican pimento peppers, putting a new spin on barbecue sauce. It’s a shame that the fries are not inspiring: they’re lackluster and not crispy enough. The concept, inspired from the Woody Allen film, is well thought out. The service is a bit casual.
For those who find it difficult to get excited about burgers and who are fed up with hot dogs, Vitrina Lili sheds new light on the genre. First, there are the tasty buns and unusual fellow travelers such as arugula, Roquefort, or onion jam. Then there are the surprising, crazy good sauces including beet ketchup and aioli, not to mention the generous portions. The fries, made from regular and sweet potatoes, are nice and crispy with an original lemon zest twist. Cocktails are served in large jars for a touch of well-thought out fantasy. Needless to say, this gourmet fast-food burger and hotdog place is always full. The mood is very lively with loud music regularly drowned out by the shouts of the waiters when the orders are ready.
Located in the marvelous LEVINSKI neighborhood, in the midst of spices and olives, Yom Tov is a very pleasant Déli, which serves wonderful sandwiches and dishes. Play the game and order a surprise sandwich or plate, with a choice of meat, fish or cheese, and you won’t be disappointed, no matter what it comes with: artichokes, preserved garlic, pesto, mustard, hibiscus, Kalamata olives, capers, peppers, and pickles, to name a few. It’s never the same, but never disappointing. The hazelnut bread is delicious, and the giant camembert boxes that serve as plates are splendid. Fridays are even more fun and very crowded, but eating elbow to elbow only enhances the pleasure.
The originality of this place’s name goes back to the legendary generosity of the owner who offered a pita that the customer could fill as much as he wanted at the family run falafel business. As a result, Customers christened the shop, Halev Harachav, or “big heart”. Today, his kids have taken over, expanding and renovating, while maintaining a traditional, rustic décor in Jerusalem stone.
The menu includes a wide choice of all-you-can-eat homemade Israeli salads, both cooked and uncooked, for 25 ILS per person. That way you can nibble or fill up, depending on your appetite, while waiting to order your meat. You are also served with hot lafas and zartar as soon as they are eaten.
The meat is cooked over a closed or open wood burning fire, for a more smoky taste. The portions are large, honoring the memory of the patriarch and the meat is well cooked and served with simple sides (rice or potatoes).
This is a good chipude, in a lively, bustling atmosphere with many waiters ready to replace the small salad plates as soon as they are empty, and lots of customers.
Israelis take their grilled meats very, very seriously, and going out for “Shipudim” – the Hebrew word for “Skewers” is a very popular way to spend an evening (or lunch) with friends. The machne Yehuda market in Jerusalem offers more than a few places which specialize in grilling, and the most complete place of all is Fortuna. With a solid background in fine dining, chef Eyal Vaknin managed to crack to very elusive combination – a grilled meat restaurant that manages to be simple and basic yet extremely professional on every level. The salads (Salatim) here are not the mundane selection you may have encountered in other places – everything is homemade, fresh and vibrant. The French fries are probably the best ones you can find in Jerusalem, hand-cut and double-fried as they should be. And the meats? The vicinity to the market and its butchers allows for a steady flow of only the freshest cuts – from more accessible hits like Kebab, Merguez sausages, Entrecote or Beef fillet, to rather exotic offal parts like spinal-chords or sweetbreads. This is also a good place to try what is perhaps the most iconic dish of Jerusalem – “Meorav” – mixed grill – a mixture of chicken parts all roasted together and heavily seasoned with a secret mix. Be it on a plate or in a Pita, and addition of Amba, the orange, tangy Mango sauce, is a must.
Roughly translated as “The Beer Fountain”, this Haifa establishment is a clear case of a place with a rather unrevealing name. Yes, there’s beer here, and lots of it (about 30 beer taps), there’s Vodka and there’s a great selection of whisky and Cognac. But this is no ordinary port side drinking hole, but rather a restaurant that serves as a living relic to simpler, less apologetic times. Staple dishes here include “Kostiza” – A fat-rich chunk of smoked pork ribs meat, homemade smoked Pastrami, Romanian garlic-heavy kebab, Kreplach stuffed with potatoes or meat and served under a small mountain of fried onions. There are also a few legendary salads – eggplants, taramosalata (known here as “Ikra”), chopped liver and house pickles. As you would expect from a place first opened in 1950, the walls serve as a living museum, the service tends to be somewhat formal (yet swift) and the atmosphere unique. No visit to Haifa can be considered complete without a meal here, just keep in mind that after a hefty serving of Kostiza and a couple of beers, you’ll probably prefer a long nap over a hike to the Bahai Gardens.
Situated in a meticulously renovated building in the “old city” of Tel Aviv, Herzl 16 is one of those rare places that you can visit almost any time of the day, and get a different experience each hour. You can start your day here with coffee, pastries and a few more decadent breakfast options (or, on weekends, a classic brunch). You can come for a quick business oriented lunch, European bistro style with a Japanese accent (Ramen, Katsu, Yakitori and more are on the menu). You can come in the early evening for a happy hour drink and a small bite, or you can come late at night to hit the well-stocked bar and enjoy a live music show. Any given time you can be sure that you will feel like you are in one of the most updated, cool and vibrant places in the city. Such are most of the places of R2M group (which also operates the restaurants “Hotel Montefiore”, “Brasserie” and “Coffee Bar”), but somehow Herzl 16, the modest of them all, manages to also be the coolest. Therefor, and as reservations are unfortunately not an option here, be advised that a short wait for a table or a seat at the bar is almost mandatory. However, the rather large size of the place and the very efficient and professional service usually mean a high turnover rate which result in descent waiting times at the door.
Herzl16 has been elected the "POP" of the year 2018.
Despite being a part of the “Machneyuda” group, Talbiye (which takes its name from the neighborhood in which it operates) is anything but a bustling happy and wild new Israeli restaurant. In fact, it is perhaps the closest Jerusalem gets to a proper classic French bistro. Situated under the Jerusalem Theater, Talbiye offers a great experience in any given hour of the day – not only before or after shows. In the morning hours there’s great coffee and even better warm buttery baked goods alongside some eggs benedict or homemade Gravlax. The lunch menu features a wide selection of timeless classics like a proper Schnitzel (made from veal, not the prevalent chicken), Beef Bourguignon, Club Sandwich or Sausages with Spaetzle. In the evening and night hours you’ll feel almost obligated to pamper yourself with a glass (or even better, a bottle) of either local or imported wines, or perhaps a classic cocktail. Bistros like this – operating almost 24 hours, open 7 days a week, are a rather common sight in any given global city. In Jerusalem, however, they are much rarer. In fact, Talbiye is perhaps the only place in Jerusalem where you can have a proper brunch on Saturday, when most of the city’s restaurants and cafes are closed (as they are Kosher).
If you never heard or never had Yemenite food before, it’s ok. Even Yemenites would admit you probably haven’t missed too much. The somewhat poor selection of raw products and other resources turned the Jewish Yemenite cooks into masters of flour and fat, and the Saluf&sons, situated in the heart of the trendy Levinsky market, is a place to admire all the different baked goods. Behind rather cryptic names like Malawach, Kubaneh, Jachnun, Lahuh and Saluf lies a world of exciting new flavors and textures – just ask your server for a short description (or just order everything, prices are rather low). Homemade hummus is also served here, alongside some cooked simple cooked dishes and a few basic salads. Almost everything here is eaten with hot Zhug and some Hilbe – a slimey looking dip made from fenugreek seeds that has a very distinct aroma. Be advised that the aroma will probably accompany you for a couple of days after your Yemenite feast, as the fenugreek is secreted through your sweat. So the Saluf offers a rare opportunity not to only eat like a local – but also to smell like one.
Despite the rather recent change of location, from the city’s center to the pot area, Rola maintains its status as one of Haifa’s most unique culinary establishments – perhaps also one of Israel’s. Rola, named after the Chef’s life partner (and one of the owners), is defined as a Levantine restaurant, serving food from the Historic region of greater Syria (also known as “Bilad al Sham”). This means the food here will remind you of flavors and dishes you may have encountered in Lebanese, Palestinian and also Turkish restaurants –but somehow almost everything will feel and taste slightly different. The meat of choice is lamb, the dominant vegetables are the tomatoes and the eggplants, either yogurt or tahini are found in most plates, and nearly every dish has a subtle, spot-on sour tone. Not to miss dishes include the “Fatteh” – a porridge like concoction of hummus, yogurt, crispy pita shreds and fried eggplants, the “Shishbarak”, which resemble meat tortellini cooked in warm yogurt, and the different kebabs. Unlike many other Arab restaurant Rola offers a wide selection on alcoholic drinks. There’s wine and there’s beer, but nothing pairs better with the food here then Arak, the local anise flavored drink, served with a little cold water and ice.
Though Falafel still reigns supreme as the undisputed ruler of the Israeli street food scene, in recent years it is often challenged by Sabich – A warm pita stuffed with fried eggplants, an egg, fresh vegetables, tahini or hummus and sauces. The dish that was originally the Saturday breakfast of choice for Iraqi Jews in their homeland can now be found in most street food stands, but real good Sabich is found in designated small places serving, usually, this delicacy alone. It might seem simple, but great thought and technique are put into a proper Sabich – the eggplants most be fried fresh, absorbing as little oil as possible. The egg should be brown and warm. The salad should be fresh, the hot sauce should have a kick, and the Amba – an orange tangy spread made from mango and fenugreek – should be fragrant. Not only the ingredients matter, but the layering and dispersing of the different flavors inside the pita. So Sabich is not something to be lightheaded about, and very few places take their Sabich more seriously than the one on Tchernichovsky Street in Tel Aviv. Each pita here takes a few good minutes to assemble, resulting in an always present que of hungry locals, willing to wait for their fix. The wait will allow you to admire the place and its unique pace, but also to see how each costumer has his own way with the pita. Come your turn just ask for “Everything”, and be rewarded with a truly divine bite.
Lorenz&Mintz, located in the very charming Neve Tsedek neighborhood, far from the tourist route, is a refreshingly tranquil place for a coffee, breakfast, lunch or a snack.
The lovely courtyard overflows with bougainvillea and the terrace is deliciously shady. Here you are served copious Israeli breakfasts, good coffee or a quick lunch. The homemade bread with dried fruit and seeds is not to be missed. Neither a bread nor cake, it doesn’t need any butter or jam and is made for nibbling.
The eggs Benedict, the shukshuka with herbs and eggs, the vegan shukshuka, and the fried apples with smoked salmon are all served with small salads, a basket of bread and a drink.
This is a great place to stop while exploring this ravishing neighborhood.
Beit Romano is another establishment created by Eyal Shani, the genius of the Israeli culinary scene. Like all of his “babies”, this one is atypical in terms of its environment-one floor of an old building on a Tel Aviv shopping street, its menu, which is fairly limited including simple dishes highlighting the quality of the products, including what are known as the best fries in Tel-Aviv, and in terms of the trendy, relaxed, bohemian vibe.
The Master knows how to please and to keep people coming back, creating a genuine community of afficionados. For Romano, like for his other creations, the wager is won: the lines are as long as ever and you’ll be delighted by your experience when you know what to expect.
Eyal SHANI has got the award of the best entrepreneur and culinary trendsetter of the year 2018.
It's Friday, a busy day at the Hacarmel market, where crowds may jostle but nevertheless take the time to stop off for a gourmet break at the Pita Panda stand, located in the very heart of the bustling hub. To order your pita, take your place in the long line of people waiting their turn. Here, there are three options: meat, fish and vegetarian. Try and get close to the preparation area to have the pleasure of anticipation and enjoy the show. The pita is filled methodologically and accurately with layers of sauces, vegetables, herbs, meat or fish, whatever your fancy. The result: a farandole of perfectly organized delicacies neatly contained in a pita that you pick up when your name is called. If you're lucky, you might get a seat on one of the two benches near the stand, or find a corner nearby. And if you can't wait, eat standing up amid the throngs of happy, excited shoppers. We eat quickly without wasting a single crumb. And the experience begs the question of how such a rudimentary stand can produce something so infinitely enjoyable! This is an ephemeral pop-up spot, but try it once and you won't forget the experience!
Nadi is ideally located with a large terrace on a pedestrian street. The vibe is cosmopolitan drawing students from the Betsalel Beaux-Arts school, families and lots of regulars. The juices are delicious, the crusty bread ( from Maison Teller) is served with pesto, tapenade, tehina, lemon achards, harissa or squash jam, among other things. Everything is homemade and the portions are generous. The café menu features large salads, quiches, house soups, and pasta. This is one of the most pleasant, authentic cafés in downtown Jerusalem. Friday morning brunch is ultra-popular and busy.