Log in with Facebook
No account ?
I forgot my password
I did not receive account confirmation instructions
A UFO in the Israeli culinary landscape, Alabama is situated right in the middle of an industrial zone. It’s decidedly unconventional with its cafeteria-style, minimal decoration and unusual setup. Here the waitresses handle the starters, dessert and the dishes, while grilled meat specialists take the orders and handle the service.
There is no wine menu-it’s BYOB. The starters, including perfectly dressed salad, tajine-style white beans, and baked potatoes, accompany the meat.
The only special here is of course meat. We choose a tasting menu of 7 kinds of meat, all wood grilled in an oven that resembles a massive antique armoire, which gives the meat an intense smoky flavor.
With its novel, no-frills concept, this restaurant focuses entirely on the meat and how it’s cooked. It is best to reserve a long time in advance. Alabama is so successful that the waiting list is two months long!
Fifi, a small, sparkling colorful restaurant in the Levinsky neighborhood, is like a box of delightful surprises. While it identifies as Asian, Fifi has a special talent for breaking away from culinary borders. The evening we ate there, the chef offered an Asian version of Mexican cuisine that blends her love of Far Eastern and especially Vietnamese spices with classic Mexican dishes such as quesadillas or slow cooked pork. The dishes are always flavorful and intensely colorful while the Margaritas are lovingly prepared. In everything they do, Fifi is unusually creative, while using consistently high quality products. Drop by: you might have to wait on line but it is definitely worth the wait.
The DOKTOR brothers juggle with different types of restaurants in Tel-Aviv, but their Mediterranean version is undoubtedly the most successful. Whether you choose spicy fish pancakes at the excellent lunch or one of the many meat dishes, the salads will spread generously around you, colorfully, with lots of variety and attractively presented. On Fridays, they serve one of the best brunches in the city. Whatever time you come here, you will appreciate the freshness of the food. In addition, the owners are very committed to using local products which makes the meal even more exceptional.
In a small street perpendicular to the main alley of Souk Hacarmel, this restaurant kiosque, with its decoration and music, stylishly blends in with this old, authentic, charming neighborhood. The setting: mosaic tiles on the bar, large inviting industrial stools, and a blackboard on which the specials of the day are written. The menu includes dishes from around the Mediterranean basin such as Fatoush salad, shakshuka, fish or meat cigars, tzatziki, chicken shawarma, or fish balls. Some are prepared fusion style such as the Greek take on shushuka with large pieces of vegetables and feta. You come here for the simplicity, freshness and perfection of the food, and the incredible vibe stimulated by the joyous hustle and bustle of Souk Hacarmel.
Azura can be found the middle of Machane Yehuda, in a lively courtyard, right next to a café where seniors play backgammon every day. A real neighborhood eatery, Azura is noisy and colorful. You will be simply greeted in a room with tables covered in red and black checked tablecloths, carefully covered in plastic, with an open kitchen separated by the many stovetops on which enormous pots are sitting. This place serves now-legendary Jerusalem style and Iraqi cuisine featuring only home-made stewed dishes. Before tackling the heart of the subject, try the delicious, very creamy, authentic hummus, served with an excellent olive oil. Or have the moussaka, made with chopped herb-seasoned beef and a spicy tomato sauce. Continue with the beef Sofrito, a typical Jerusalem dish, a beef stew with pre-fried potatoes, which maintain their shape while being deliciously tender. And above all, make sure to try the beef tail with peppers and chili . The meat melts in your mouth and the velvety red sauce is fragrant and delicious with superb flavors of cumin, and chili for some real comfort food. Azura, like all of Shuk Machane Yehuda, has been somewhat impacted by the gentrification of the area and the transformation has made it the trendiest spot in Jerusalem. But it remains a genuine institution, which has managed to preserve the essential: authentic, delicious cuisine, served generously in a popular, joyous atmosphere.
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.
In this secret place, it is better not to ask for a menu-just trust the waiters. Located on south Tel Aviv and not so easy to access this Bukharin restaurant is a family business and the owners take their work very seriously. The menu includes all the traditional dishes such as oshpolov (rice with carrot slices and beef), really good sambusak and lagman soup that will warm your heart on a cold day. From the homemade meat classic dishes, don’t miss the amazing kabab with fresh roughly cut vegetables. At lunch, you will find day workers sitting side by side with hipsters, while in the evening the veteran residents of the old Shapira neighborhood will come for a beer.
Sometimes heaven is a place with nylon maps and impatient waiters.
Jasmino is a small kiosque with barely room for four people to sit. The line is very long for takeout orders. Waiting customers have a view of the grill and the food preparation area where the incredibly busy and fast staff manages to keep on smiling and joking. You come here to eat their precious pita, which is simple-sounding when you order it but superb when you get it. Ours came with grilled onions, juicy chicken, salad, amba and tehina. This is a pretty, lively place for a quick, inexpensive lunch or late night snack.
If you want to talk about legends in Tel Aviv, this is the place. Located just outside the Carmel market, this place was one of the first in Tel Aviv to open 24/7. Although lots of things have changed in the city since then, Ha Minzar is still one of the most successful gastro-pubs around. While one comes here primarily for a drink, the food is always a great addition: chopped liver, the homemade sausage or the nice pork pita are just the thing after a long evening of drinking in the old Tel Aviv scene. If you have just one day to visit the place, it should be Friday at noon- take a Seat outside and enjoy the magical hours just before the weekend.
Miznon serves up street food from Eyal Shani, one of the most popular chefs in Israel and now an internationally renowned household name. The simplest dish, which attracts people like a magnet is his famous whole roasted cauliflower, served in paper, with a delicious homemade tehina sauce. Also don’t miss the whole sweet potatoes, served in a paper cone. You have to delicately tear off a piece to appreciate their tender, sweetness. And be sure to eat slowly to make the most out of each mouthful. If you like contrasts, dip them in one of the sauces. The generous pita should be savored, while doing your best to take a bite at the right place without losing a drop of the meat-vegetable mixture. This is no-fuss, simple eating with no dishware. Your tasty order will be served in paper, another trend started by the trailblazer, Eyal Shani.
Located in the middle of Katamon, Hansen House, a former leprosy hospital, is light-filled and tastefully decorated by the students of the school of art and design which is also housed here. The place is young, cheerful and simple with an atmosphere typical of Jerusalem. It is very popular for Friday brunch which features a quite successful rustic menu. Everything is based on OFFAIM organic or sustainable farmed seasonal products. The salads are fresh and crisp, the traditional bowls of labaneh, cottage, homemade herb pesto, and zaatar are served with fried eggs and cheese. Here the boure-croissant is a hybrid between borekas and croissant, a salty savory pastry stuffed with a tasty mechouia salad (made from grilled peppers and tomatos). It comes with a poached egg and goat cheese, cucumber sticks and labaneh. The flaky pastry is pleasant and the overall dish is tasty. You might also like the traditional chakchouka or the very good creamy cheese cake made with fresh farm-produced cheese or the nearly too large raspberry and almond pudding. This establishment is full of charm featuring the very fashionable farm-to-table concept with an ambitious menu that fulfils its promise of very pleasant dishes thanks to the quality of the products.
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.
With its outdoor bodega vibe, located on a lovely terrace sheltered by trees, Vicky Cristina is at once a wine bar and tapas. For a dish to nibble while sipping a glass of wine have the traditional pan con tomate served with pimientos del pedron, which can’t be found in markets, or patatas bravas. There is also a wide choice of more filling dishes including many plancha offerings such as Pescado, with its deliciously crispy skin and tender flesh, the pleasantly lemony Chipirones, or try paella with squid ink, generously garnished with seafood. And finish with a very delicious Ensalada verde with roasted camembert and a crunchy perfectly seasoned mix of salad, red endive and radishes. Those with a sweet tooth will end with old-fashioned churros, or a creamy vanilla ice cream with a very sweet hazelnut sauce with caramelized cashew nuts. It is very sweet and very comforting. We applaud the service which was perfect that evening.
VITRINA , initially known for its homemade sausage hot dogs, is now more popular for its burgers. The music is loud as one would expect in this type of American diner style restaurant. The menu is surprising and very far from classic burgers. The garnishes and seasoning are tasty including brie, blue cheese, hazelnuts, aioli, onion jam, arugula, chimichurri sauce and even a vegetarian option made from quinoa, mushrooms and lentils. The buns are delicious, the fries are crispy, and the lemon zest and chopped parsley give an exciting twist to this original burger. When you forget the ketchup to devour your hamburger or munch on your fries it is a sign of excellent quality !
If you come here for breakfast or for lunch you will probably wait at least ten minutes for a table. This might be because this place was one of the first to offer a vegan, raw and gluten-free menu, in the city that never sleeps. We had the cooked tomato shakshuka with garlic, spinach, polenta balls and bread. We came back for lunch and tried the pappardelle which was as always, very fresh and healthy. If you were to come here only for the excellent smoothies, I would recommend you go for the extreme ones- yes, I'm referring to the green specials! This place is indeed full of tourists due to its prime location, and you seldom hear Hebrew around the tables. Anastasia is very good and rather expensive, but as vegans I assume you've already guessed as much.
Harvey’s keeps its promises and lives up to its claim: an American grill in the purest tex-mex tradition, with a short, clear menu. Here you can indulge in chicken wings with a spicy buffalo sauce, for hardy palates, as well as tacos, or the house specialty, smoked meats. And they tell you the smoking time: one hour for sausage and 18 hours for the beef shoulder. The result: tasty homemade sausages, a very well cooked shredded beef shoulder, served by weight. The menu also includes a few specials such as Chimichanga. And of course, delicious crispy fried onion rings, and a full choice of sauces including ketchup, barbecue, ranch sauce or the delicious house sauce, in which you should feel free to dip each mouthful.
Ezba is a lovely, authentic place with a pretty garden where you are made to feel at home. The vibe is casual, nearly spartan with wood tables, paper clothes and simple dishware. The food, presented very simply, is homestyle and upfront with a few pleasant discoveries. We really liked the mauve salad (hubeza) mixed with fresh onions, bulgur and plenty of lemon juice. It’s a very original, tasty version of tabouli. The Shish barak, a meat pocket pie cooked in goat’s milk, is astonishing: the balance between the tender meat and tart goat’s milk is very interesting and delicious.
This is the perfect spot to discover genuine Arab cuisine: rich, generous and ideal for sharing. Here it is available in all of its facets with a very varied menu.
This canteen is located in one of the streets near Machane Yehuda. The only decoration is a wall covered with the hand of Fatima, which is thought to bring good fortune. The service is a bit mechanical, and the grill specialist helps to welcome customers by giving nods. You can only order the assortment of salads if you order a main dish. They arrive in succession. Everything is homemade, and may change depending on the chef’s mood. The selection of salads includes Tehina, very fresh and very well seasoned coleslaw, a surprising egg salad made with original herbs, tomato and raw chilli salad, a delicious zucchini salad, avocado salad, and baba ganoush. The dishes are fresh and well prepared. The chicken livers are excellent, served pink and piping hot. The kebab and the steak is juicy, flavorful and served with onions and herbs. We were slightly disappointed with the Meorav Yerushalmi, which traditionally is a mix of giblets (liver, gizzard, heart…). The chef’s very personal version is made with chicken breast and liver seasoned with curcuma and curry. We would have liked to taste the authentic dish.
Maayan Habeera (the Springtime of Beer), is an oddity among Israeli restaurants in that it has more than held its ground for over fifty years, without reinventing itself much, while becoming more and more popular. The common tables are full on a Friday afternoon, both in the two comfortable inside areas and on the terrace. The secret of their popularity: authentic remarkably executed Eastern European cuisine. Classics such as chopped liver with onions are served very simply without any effort in terms of presentation, but this doesn’t matter at all when you taste the dish. Order the potato dumplings, and you will be overjoyed with the perfectly sized Pierogis covered in a mountain of golden onions, which you won’t find anywhere else. And don’t miss the Romanian kebab, and the star of the restaurant: smoked meats such as Costita and Ossobucu which arrive fragrant and delicious, served with minced garlic. You will be filled with sweet rapture.
Located in the lively LEVINSKY neighborhood, the second generation family-run restaurant SALUF is committed to preserving its authenticity and serving traditional Yemenite cuisine along with other Israeli specialities. The many kinds of breads are served with hummus and spicy sauces. Be warned that some of the sauces are very spicy indeed. The menu includes the now ubiquitous roasted cauliflower, comforting roasted chicken served with a delicious couscous, meat balls in tomato sauce with rice and chickpeas. The dishes are all very simple and seem to come out of your grandmother's kitchen, unostentatiously served by several members of the family in a joyous disorder but with lots of good intentions and smiles. Be sure to try the delicious delicately flavored and perfectly executed vegetarian Malabi.
Enjoying the vegitrend, the sabih is probably the most popular dish in a pita for Tel-Aviv locals. SABIH, the Israeli-Iraqi who invented the dish, always puts a nice amount of fresh eggplant inside. His legacy is written on a big sign in the middle of this small place: "we are not selling sabih without eggplants". Today, the preparation of the pita is still state of the art: fresh vegetables, hard-boiled egg and plenty of tahini on top, all for only 22 shekels. It is well worth the long line that forms daily from noon until the place is closed.
Located the superb Neve Tsedek neighborhood, one of the calmest areas in Tel-Aviv, Lorenz and Mintz serves fresh pastries, sourdough bread, dessert, and large breakfasts, from 8am to 4pm. Have a seat on the shady terrace, surrounded by bougainvillea, and enjoy a coffee. Continue with the “Parisian style dishes with a touch of Galilee”, which is how Lorenz and Mintz describe their cuisine. Ask the waitress for their specials and if she pronounces the word, croque monsieur, go for it to savor an enormous slice of toasted bread with mushrooms in a truffle béchamel sauce, parmesan, and gouda, with a green salad. If you would prefer a more Israeli dish, choose the green Shakshuka with Spinach, chards and cream, and two eggs with parmesan. If you are addicted to glucides, you are in the right place: all breakfasts are served with a basket of fresh bread baked that day. And if you still have a little room left over, try the pain perdu, or go to the counter and choose what tempts you.
In a slightly run-down building in a street that is deserted in the evening, Beit Romano has managed to create a hub with a young, relaxed vibe and a deliberately “shabby chic” style. The menu includes a selection of sharing dishes which whenever possible are served on paper. Choices include the not to be missed invention of Chef Eyal Shani, the legendary roasted cauliflower, which looks easy to make but which requires real skill to achieve perfection, pasta with black pepper that does not aggress your palate, an ambitious shawarma fish and to finish a chocolate mousse served on gold cardboard. Beit Romano is a unique, informal place and an original way to get to know the Chef’s cuisine. It is a first stop in one of his many restaurants.
Could this be the best pita in Tel-Aviv in 2019? If you judge by the never ending line in the heart of ShukHaCarmel, the answer must be yes. What started as a pop up place with a hot Instagram page, has turned into one of the trendiest spots in the city that never sleeps. The Steamed Pitas are filled with “eggplant fillet” (caramelized eggplant), “sloppy panda” (a chunk of lamb flank) or Ceviche (Tunisian style). There are two size options: "Mama Pita" (27-39 shekels) or "baby panda" (19-29 shekels) ions, and even the smaller option sent me home very full
Located right next to the Betsalel Beaux-arts school, this legendary cafe is a genuine institution in Jerusalem. It is frequented by a very mixed crowd of people of all ages including students, business people, religious and laic people. The vibe is friendly and down-to-earth. Nadi is perfect for any time with a menu including Israeli and simple breakfasts, coffee, and large snacks, fruit or vegetable juices, delicious bread and salads, pasta, tarts, and sandwiches. The portions are generous and while the cooking is simple, it is tasty, made with high quality exceptionally fresh products for a filling delicious meal.
Incarnated by the jolly silhouette of its owner, BINO is located on the very busy Boulevard Rothschild. You have to wait your turn in line to place your order which will then be served to you on a platter: delicious falafel, soft pita stuffed with chicken, tasty lamb shawarma, crunchy condiments, and even shakshuka, which inspired BINO in its first establishment in Yaffo. The portions are generous, the seasoning is well thought out, and the wooden tables are much appreciated to enjoy your meal on the spot under the glass roof.
Is this the best pizza in Tel Aviv? If you ask the young Tel avivin's on their way to the beach or after a long night of clubbing in the port area, the answer is definitly yes. Oversized slices of pizza — 50 cm each, with a large collection of toppings such as pineapple, artichokes, zucchini, pepperoni and many more, will take you back in time to old Brooklyn in the 50's. Yariv Adaro that already have two other pizza joints across Tel Aviv gave his new place an American twist with large sized milkshakes and ice creams. Prices are 16 shekels for a slice of Margarita and 19 shekels for a slice with a variety of 13 toppings to choose from. It seems that the old north of Tel Aviv found the new successor to the famous bakery that used to be on the same location until 10 years ago.
There is a huge battle between the Bulgarian and the Turkish descendants in Israel about the best Bourkas in the country. In Lewinsky market, the fight is still on. Here we ate the Turkish version in a family business of Turkish immigrants, that's passed hands through three generations and has survived 20 years in the southern market of Tel Aviv. Spinach and cheese is the "specialite de la maison“. They use oil instead of margarine and every boureka is handmade and the taste is great. It's also one of the few places that sell try ayran, the traditional sweet and sour Turkish yogurt drink.
The BUSHWICK motto is « coffee till cocktail »; which couldn’t be clearer. You can come here at any time to have a coffee, enjoy a dessert, nibble on a sandwich, a burger or pasta, or sip one of their astonishing, delicious cocktails such as the “Here Comes the Tiger”, with a Mezcal base or the less risky Virgin Mary in the Mocktail category. Bushwick has somewhat of a soothing lounge vibe with a corner reserved for reading including a few books on a shelf. This is a nice calm spot in the clothing district which is very lively all day long.
It’s a bit of an adventure to find your way to Gatsby, which has no visible sign outside. But then this establishment is carrying on the tradition of the American speakeasy, drawing you back to the days of Prohibition and the delicious excitement of transgression. The friendly, polite waiters here clearly know their stuff and are genuinely skilled mixologists. The cocktails, served in magnificent glasses, are exquisitely prepared from the glass right down to the ice cubes, which contribute to the spectacular visual effect, and best of all, the contents. The intelligent mixes are made with well thought out, original excellent quality combinations of ingredients including herbs, spices, exotic fruit, and rare spirits for an exceptional tasting experience. The food, not the main focus here, features tapas-like main dishes and a few salads the purpose of which are to fill you up enough to continue to enjoy the delightful cocktails made with very high quality spirits.
Ish Tabach is a small restaurant with a café atmosphere, located near the famous Machane Yehuda. It serves only one specialty, Shamburak, prepared and cooked to order. While you are waiting you can nibble on a few simple salad appetizers: olives, carrots, pickles and a matbucha. The Shamburak is a Kurdish turnover made with homemade dough, baked in the taboun and stuffed with diverse meat specialties all of which are long simmered. Menu options include Shamburak with veal cheek, crusty dough, and melt in your mouth burning hot meat, ideally seasoned with a delicate layer of potatoes, or brisket Shamburak, with meat that is slightly drier, beef tongue or chicken Shamburak, smoked beef, or vegetarian Shamburak. This delicious Kurdish-Syrian street food specialty is a complete meal served with a house wine or one of the several beers on the menu.
PICCOLINO is located on the very busy place de la musique, where concerts are held every evening in summer. They serve simple, Italian inspired cuisine along with a house wine, a delicious Recanati merlot. The menu includes a generous panzanella salad, artichoke ravioli, pasta in all forms, focaccia, and pizza. We recommend coming here in summer to enjoy the patio and the music.
The people of Israel are simply in love with Greek culture. So it was clearly just a matter of time before we would see Gyros and Souvlaki on the street food scene. Rabin square has become one of the most interesting spots for different kinds of tastes, and Pitos is one of the best options when it comes to authentic popular food. Either in a plate full of fresh vegetables or in a homemade pita you can choose between: chicken, lamb or vegetarian zucchini balls. The home made Tizikki is surprisingly good and with the Greek music playing in the background you feel for a moment that with a 50 shekels worth meal you have bought yourself a ticket to an isolated Greek island. The lunch deal includes homemade fries and a soft drink.
This burger Joint, opened by Tom Aviv - a celebrity chef who won the Israeli "master Chef" reality show, has their own butchery, like some other recently opened restaurants. This is probably the reason why the meat here gets center stage, and the rest of the menu is minimal. The standard burger is 220g and includes a very generous serving of French fries, and drinks for 65 shekels. You will not find any greens or veggies here, but only a high-quality cut of meat greasy in just the right way. Enjoy the classic sauces: Heinz Ketschup, Hellmans Mayo and tabasco by sriracha – not very common in other similar places. The atmosphere is a slightly confusing cross between a heavy metal concert and a kitchy lounge, with a very fun, pleasant vibe. When it comes to the quality of meat, this place is top league and provides a healthy challenge to more famous, established burger places in the city.
In one of the upcoming neighborhoods near "GanHahashmal" ,this French- owned burger joint is trying to do things completely differently: the concept includes a burger made from a combo of 3 selected cuts of beef, imported cheese from France and Italy, fries that are cut every morning, homemade sauces and a homemade brioche bun. These burgers have conquered young people, and that’s how you only see them eating blue cheese fries in the middle of the night (no counting calories needed). The best option is to come here for the business menu which makes things much more reasonable.For 59 shekels you get a classic 200 gr burger with bacon and emmental cheese, onion confit, fries, barbecue sauce and iced tea.
America, located on the very busy boulevard Allenby, offers a limited burger menu in a verywell-done American diner style setting. It is often full up so you might have to wait out side with a drink to get a table. Instead of classic onion rings you get an entire onion carved into a flower and lightly sprinkled with chimichurri. The fried cheese sticks are deliciously old fashioned and the burgers are served with very good quality soft toasted rolls. The meat is tasty and cooked just right and the fries are crispy on the outside and tender inside. And don’t forget to finish with the vanilla hazelnut ice cream and caramel sauce.
As Chef Rima Olvera decreed that there were no authentic Mexican restaurants in Tel Aviv, she decided to transform her restaurant OASIS into GATO AZUL at lunch time only, with a menu featuring tacos and tostadas just like in Mexico. As always in Israel, the food is fresh. The check is on the high side. Try the three types of homemade corn tortillas: Carne Asade, Ceviche Sea Fish and Salpikon (salad of shredded beef with a mild Ancho pepper, coriander, red onions, and sour cream). Finally, a genuine Mexican option in Tel Aviv!
Near the bustling Machane Yehuda market, HACHAPURIA offers a Georgian specialty, hachapuri, or bread dough generally moulded in the shape of an eye, stuffed with cow’s milk cheese and either spinach, fried onions, potatoes or red beans, and crowned with a fried egg. The hachapuri are made to order and served burning hot right from the oven. A small salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions and coriander adds a refreshing touch to this large tasty pocket.
What has made this legendary Italian – coffee place such a huge success for so many years? Maybe it's the beautiful people that sit here all day long? Maybe the amazing pizza or the nice lunch deal that includes meat and fish and also a soft drink? Probably there is no one good answer but a combination of them all. During lunch the service is very slow and, on the weekends, trying to get a table is mission impossible without making a reservation in advance. Go there even for a cup of coffee and you can see the people that make Tel Aviv what it is.
Agatha is the trendiest delicatessen in northern Tel-Aviv. Hundreds of cheeses from all over the world await you in this temple of taste. This fine grocery store has answered the wishes of its clients by adding several tables, all grabbed up on weekends. Order a glass of wine and dare to try the incredible Smadar sandwich, a hot baguette, vegetables, and flavorful Italian ham. If you are hesitating about a salad, we recommend the Israeli version of hot goat cheese. And if you prefer a charcuterie plate, try the one that includes procsciutto di parma, salami san venadito, spiced salami feline, prosciutto Cotto, ItalianHungarza, and many others. And then order another glass of wine !
Montana is the new star of the huge Pita scene, which has reinvested street food since last year. And the conductors are the talented David and Yossef, Chefs of the famous Down Town, who have joined forces with the butcher, Udi Gindi, renowned for his premium meat. The long line that stretches out in front of this stand all evening long attests speaks louder than words. And the dishes on the menu are indeed extremely tempting: “brochettes wrapped in love”, chicken of the world, or perfect pita. We decided to taste our meat in the plate and as a result, we had all we needed to make us want to come back including kebab, chicken, liver, heart, merguez, and chicken wings served on a platter, generously accompanied by pickles, onions and a pita cut into hot, tender triangles, which won’t be enough to finish up these delicacies .
In recent years, dozens of pastry shops have opened in Tel Aviv but Boulangerie 96 has set a new standard in terms of the quality and variety of flavours. Here you’ll find the traditional chocolate croissant but also a fruit croissant, or a perfectly flaky golden brown croissant overflowing with Nutella, and white chocolate. They serve all the traditional pastries along with a wide range of bread and superb cakes such as the Saint-Honoré, the fruit millefeuille, the caramelized éclair, or the strawberry macaron cake. They also have savory pastries such as the tempting burekas filled with local cheese and olives or the giant salmon focaccia.
An emanation of Taizu, created by Chef Yuval Ben Neriah, MIAZAKI offers an excellent opportunity to enjoy authentic, high quality Japanese cooking. The ramen is especially good with an explosion of flavors: richly flavored, perfectly seasoned broth, tender noodles, still slightly crisp mushrooms, interesting textured seaweed, chewy chicken breast and tender poached egg for a fairly sophisticated, very balanced dish. This is a great address in the ShukTzafon neighborhood in northern Tel Aviv.
This attractive place feels like an American diner with a few pink neon lights, a pretty pink colored brick wall, black metal barrels in front of the counter and the street and an immense luminous menu overlooking the control post. We tried the burger with shrimps and lemon butter. Here everything is served in a perfectly soft fried brioche. Ours is filled with butter. No worries as we have no issue with dirty dining and these burgers are definitely exciting. Nununu Dirty Dining marks a turning point in street food, with a head-on challenge to the healthy eating trend. And it would seem that Chef Guy Gamzo has met the challenge victoriously.
Café Levinsky has reinvented « Gazoz », an Israeli favorite and originally a sweet bubbly drink. The different ingredients are mixed on the spot using concoctions Benny has prepared and stored in lots of glass jars. Using his own secret recipes, he creates clever mixes with watermelon, apples, Nashi pears, limes, apricots, guava, grapes and lots of other ingredients that he flavors with sage, lavender, zaatar or some other aromatic herb. The very healthy result is a glass of Gazoz with fresh-cut fruit, and an enormous bunch of herbs, which varies depending on Benny’s mood. There is also a limited choice of home-made cookies or chocolate cake to accompany it. Café Levinsky is the first stop on many gastronomic tours and there are always crowds of tourists waiting to get in.
There is no lack of burgers in Israel, but we have found one of the year’s surprises in a quiet neighborhood in Hertzliya. The Chef, Ido Feiner has fulfilled his dream of creating an American style small diner with a limited menu including a classic burger, a cheese burger, a burger with aioli and lamb, a burger with sausage and sauerkraut, and a vegetarian burger, among others. And in spite of the American style decor, the place stands out thanks to the singularity and quality of the meat, and the homemade sauces. It is not surprising that this place is very crowded and it is so difficult to get a table. Roberta’s serves really good street food and is proof that Tel-Aviv does not have the monopoly on quality burgers.
On one of the main streets in Tel Aviv filled with coffee shops, there is only one place that specializes in vegan cuisine like Alegria. While the owners know this sector very well thanks to their many vegan establishments and their long experience in the field, they remain curious and continue to try to make ever-more creative dishes. In this small, inexpensive place, you can try some very personal interpretations of classic Israeli dishes such as the croissant fricassee filled with salad, pickles, potatoes, tomatoes and onions or the famous Fattuch salad deliciously seasoned with olive oil, lemon, zaatar and sumac, and filled with cheese with roasted almonds and cashew nuts. For dessert, we brought our box of chocolate truffles with us to enjoy them on a bench nearby on the boulevard. Alegra is one of the most pleasant surprises on the vegan scene. It also offers a choice of takeaway dishes.
Hamaashena, the Hebrew term for meat smoke house, perfectly defines this country restaurant located in the village of Yanuv, near Netanya. Nearly everything that you will be served is prepared at Maashena in the smokehouse which dominates the restaurant’s small dining room. During the hottest summer months, take advantage of the outdoor tables in the immense courtyard surrounded by immense trees. The meat comes to the table pre-cut, on a hot plate to prevent it from getting cold as you eat it. The cuts of meat change often but you will always find the most popular cuts such as beefsteak, beef brisket or pastrami. Here you are sure to eat good quality meat, smoked just enough to concentrate the flavors, without losing its tenderness or the juice, served with equally tasty sides.
As surprising as it may seem, there are hardly any fish and chip places in Israel. The British mandate has left almost no culinary trace and Joseph’n’sons fills the void perfectly. The short menu offers several varieties of fried fish. The products are very fresh, and the portions are generous. We had the cod with seafood, shrimps, and calamari. They were all nicely browned, crispy and without too much oil. Add to this the excellent sweet potato chips along with a well-seasoned, crispy green salad and you understand why this place is full all day long.
You can find these thin slices of meat stacked on the stake of a vertical rotisserie everywhere in Israel, from Metula to Eilat. With Falafel and Sabich, it makes up the Israel street food triumvirate. But few shawarmas are as famous as Emil’s. Located in the middle of Haifa, this tiny shop, with a few outdoor chairs and a small counter, is one of the oldest shawarmas in the country. What is their secret? Simplicity and quality. Unlike other similar establishments, which offer several types of meat, with lots of salads and spices, Emil only roasts one skewer a day. When it is finished, it’s simple, they close and everyone goes home. But what is the skewer made of? High quality lamb and mutton, with the perfect amount of mutton fat. And when the ingredients are so good, you don’t need anything else. Emil will serve you shawarma in pita or on a plate, with some tomato, onion and parsley. Tahina and amba in bottles are available for those who want additional flavor, but we recommend you enjoy it on its own.
Award 2020 for the best street food
In one of the sleepy neighborhoods of Tel-Aviv, a long line forms every evening, in summer and in winter. Young clubbers, soldiers on their way back to their base, and locals, all come here to finish the evening with the best Belgium waffle in Israel, at least according to waffle aficionados. The owner, Nili, does not smile much, but she is fully in command of her kitchen, which is entirely devoted to one product: Belgium waffles with different fillings: vanilla, chocolate, chestnut, whipped cream, and if you they don’t give you enough sugar, there is no reason why you shouldn’t go ahead and order the homemade chocolate drink. The place is fairly small, and it is so successful that now Nili also offers savory waffles. But if you plan on taking in a surplus of calories we recommend the sweet version, which is deliciously old-fashioned.
In the depths of the« hatikva » market, which is perhaps one of the most underestimated markets in Israel, is a small restaurant the cuisine of which is a vibrant homage to the market. The dishes are named after places at the market and are marvelously executed. The kebab here is like nowhere else. It is enormous and accompanied with generous toppings. But the real magic of the place lies in its signature dish from Jerusalem, Meorav, a mix of chicken innards, including a mix of hearts and livers, wrapped in tehina, chick peas and hummus, served on a bid of pita, in the middle of a creamy sauce; it is an exceedingly simple and incredibly pleasurable dish. As it is a market restaurant, their products change often and certain dishes may not be on the menu when you eat there. No matter, this restaurant makes a real effort and it is definitely worth stopping here before or after you go to the market.
Sometimes, you find the best food in the most unexpected places. BATUMI, which undoubtedly serves the best Georgian food in Israel, is located on the 2nd floor of a not especially promising-looking shopping center in Netanya, opposite the noisy, busy bus station, at the top of stairs that you will have to climb since the escalator has been broken for ages. The décor is very simple with impressively high ceilings. The menu is huge and varied, with a special focus on traditional Georgian dishes such as khinkali, ajaruli, khracho and others: if there is something that is part of the basic Georgian cooking repertoire, you will find it on the menu. The dishes are perfectly executed, with fresh ingredients, and accurate seasonings. You can also expect welcoming, personal service and it is very likely that you might find yourself sitting next to a table of diners speaking Georgian, which is generally a good recommendation.
Since 1965, visitors and locals in Netanya have been enjoying traditional Libyan Jewish cuisine at Chacho, one of the most well-known Tripolitanian restaurants in the country. While it began as a simple stand on the lively Netanya market, Chacho has been extended to a trendy shopping center in the industrial area in the southern section of the city. Located between a high-end Asian restaurant and a hamburger chain, the new Chacho has the same excellent food, along with better accessibility and a more relaxed vibe. You come here for the very good meat brochettes and steaks, but instead, you should try one of the dishes that have made the place famous. Try mafrum, the spicy chopped beef stuffed in a potato, or the beans with chard, and don’t forget the couscous which will absorb the sauces. None of these dishes is especially complex but they are simple and copious, consistently tasty and enjoyable.
This very small, unpretentious bar, originally a student hangout, has maintained an informal relaxed vibe. They have a good selection of wines with a few bottles under 100 NIS. Here the food is not essential, but they have a few dishes to pleasantly accompany your wine including a nice plate of cheese and charcuterie, focaccia or a prosciutto sandwich, and for dessert, cheese cake served in a glass jar. Today, this place is very trendy and frequented mostly by young people who appreciate the genuine concept of combining a bar and simple, fresh, good quality, affordably priced food.