Tel Aviv Foodie Guide- Summer 2012

foodie guide

 

About a month ago, Danya and I participated in something really cool. The Israeli “social-start-up” Kinetis, organized a group of five amazing international food bloggers to come to Israel. The purpose of the trip, and of the organization Kinetis itself, was to expose the “creative-energy” Israel has to offer, and in this case specifically, it’s food. The girls of Kinetis put together an incredible whirlwind tour of the country’s culinary finest (and there are plenty). The bloggers who participated (Erin from Serious Eats, Cambria from TheKitchn, David Lebowitz, Kerstin from The English Can Cook, and Pille from Nami Nami) were each paired with local Israeli bloggers for one day. We hung out with the lovely Cambria, and taught her how to make stuffed grape leaves (post coming soon).

When I saw their itinerary, something in my head clicked. I get asked at least once a week, by friends, friends of friends, the aunt of a friend visiting Israel, etc., where to eat. This is something we’ve been planning on doing for some time now, but it wasn’t until the Kinetis blogging tour, that we realized that Israel is on the culinary world map, and that foodies worldwide need a guide.

There are tons of great places to eat in Israel and in Tel Aviv especially. We can’t cover everything, and this is the low down of places we would want to eat at if we were tourists.

 

Tel Aviv Foodies Guide- Summer 2012

Best Breakfast:

La Repubblica di Ronimotti

Better known as just Ronitmotti, this newly relocated Italian spot has a breakfast which can’t be found on any other menu in the city; soft boiled eggs, frittatas, and a nice selection of charcuterie.

3 Mazeh Street

Tel Aviv

T: +972 (0)3 6470247

Opening Hours:
Sunday – Friday 8:30-24:00
Saturday 9:30-24:00

Manta Ray

This place is more about location than it is the food, with its outdoor patio literally on the beach. The best way to eat here is to order a few of their tapas and the delicious focaccia bread and share.

Alma Beach,TelAvivBeachPromenade

T: +972 (0)3 5174773

Opening Hours:

Sunday-Saturday 9:00-24:00

 

Brasserie

This Tel-Aviv hotspot is open 24 hours. With its chic décor and hip crowd, this place makes you feel like you are more inParisthan theMiddle East.

70 Ibn Gvirol Street

Tel Aviv

T: +972 (0)3 6967111

Opening Hours:

7 days a week/24 hours

Best Lunch Spot:

Café Noir

There is really only one reason to go here, but it’s a good enough reason- the schnitzel. You can get the pounded super thin schnitzel in either veal pork or chicken, all just as delicious.

43 Achad Ha’am Street

Tel Aviv

T: +972 (0)3 5663018

Opening Hours:

Sunday-Wednesday 8:00-24:00

Thursday-Friday 8:00-01:45

Saturday 9:00-24:00

Orna and Ella

This is cafe lunch at its best. The street it’s located on used to be super hip, but has gone downward in the past few years, but it’s definitely still worth visiting. Don’t miss out on the sweet potato pancakes. This place has a variety of options for all types of eaters-vegetarians, meat-lovers, salad fanatics…

33 Sheinkin Street

Tel Aviv

T: +972 (0)57-9443032

Opening Hours:

Sunday-Thursday 8:30-24:00

Friday-Saturday 10:00-24:00

Delicatessen

New Yorkers have Dean andDeluca,LApeps have Joan’s on Third and Tel Aviv just got their go-to place for upscale boutique market/readymade food to take home/ restaurant. Brought to you by the same people who are responsible for the success of Brasserie, they have everything down right, even to the beautiful bread basket. The menu changes daily but it always somewhat of a mix of café-meets comfort food-meetsFrance…inIsrael.

79 Yehuda Halevy Street

Tel Aviv

T: +972 (0)3 9681010

Opening Hours:

Sunday-Thursday 7:30-20:00

Friday 7:30-17:00

Saturday 8:00-17:00

 Best Dinner Spot:

Hashulchan

“The Table” is young, hot chef’s Omer Miller second restaurant. Located in the middle of the beautifulRothshild Boulevard, Miller has developed his palette to fit the foodies appetite with an indie vibe.  The surprising beet salad served with a heap of fresh herbs (lots of mint) and feta cheese is one my favorite dishes in the city.

73 Rothshild Boulevard

Tel Aviv

T: +972 (0)3 5257171

Opening Hours:

Sunday-Saturday 12:00-the last customer

Café Europa

This brand new joint is the genius partnership between two amazing chefs and a nightlife guru.  The food is delicious and just the right portion size for a late night meal. Their refreshing cocktails are what really blew me over, along with the bar vibe.

9 Rothshild Boulevard

Tel Aviv

T: +972 (0)3 5259987

Opening Hours:

Sunday-Thursday 19:00-03:00

Friday-Saturday 12:00-18:00; 20:00-03:00

Salon/North Abraxas

The Madhatter of Israeli chefs, Eyal Shani, is behind these two gems. The Salon is the more upscale version that is really a combination of dinner and show. Don’t be surprised if you run into Russian oligarchs, politicians and by the end of the night, plates being thrown and dancing on the tables. The food is guided by Shani’s philosophy-good ingredients, without too much adaptation, cooked just right.North Abraxasis the more affordable of the two spots. Don’t miss out on the famous cauliflower or carpaccio, pound literally by the waiter right on your table.

The Salon

8 Maavar Yabuk

Tel Aviv

T: +972 (0)52 7035888

Opening Hours:

Wednesday-Thursday 19:00-the last customer

North Abraxas

40 Lilenbloom

Tel Aviv

T: +972 (0)3 5166660

Opening Hours:

Sunday 18:00-04:00

Monday-Thursday 12:00-04:00

Friday-Saturday 13:00-04:00

Best Fine Dining:

Toto

This centrally located restaurant is the brainchild of young chef, Yaron Shalev. His knowledge of food is remarkable and is evident in absolutely every part of every dish that is served.  The wine list is superb, the Pizza Bianca is heavenly and the Chestnut Gnocchi is what put this restaurant on the map.

4 Berkovitz

Tel Aviv

T: +972 (0)3 6935151

Opening Hours:

Sunday-Saturday 12:00-the last customer

Rafael

Recently renovated creating an inviting, light filled dining room overlooking the sea, Rafael has been serving fine food as an art for more than 10 years. Chef Rafi Cohen has created a restaurant that meets the highest worldwide standards when it comes to fine dining.

87 Hayarkon Street

Tel Aviv

T: +972 (0)3 5226464

Opening Hours:

Saturday-Sunday 12:00-16:00; 19:00-23:00

Herbert Samuel

An architectural gem as much as it is a fabulous dining experience, Herbert Samuel is chef Yonatan’s Roshfeld’s flagship restaurant. The plates are generally small and great for sharing and range from Italian to Asian to Middle Eastern, all with the touch of fine dining.

6 Kaufman

Tel Aviv

T: +972 (0)3 5166516

Opening Hours:

Sunday-Wednesday 12:00-00:30

Thursday-Saturday 12:30-01:00

 Best Italian Food:

Sardinia

This brand new spot is located in the heart ofKidumim SquareinJaffaand is Italian food at its best.

Kidumim Square, Yaffo

Tel Aviv

T: +972 (0)3 6832211

Pronto

Young chef, David Frenkel has worked at some of the world’s top restaurants including NOMA and Mugaritz. At Pronto he dances along the fine lines of classical Italian and creative ingenuity, using only the finest ingredients.

4 Herzl Street

Tel Aviv

T: +972 (0)3 5660915

Opening Hours:

Sunday-Thursday 12:30-01:00

Friday-Saturday 12:30-02:00

Café Italia

This classic Italian spot is a bit on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, but worth the trek if what you’re looking for is good Italian food for a decent price. Don’t miss the Shrimps Aglio Olio Pepperoncino or the Penne Carbonara.

6 Kreminitzky

Tel Aviv

T: +972 (0)3 5612888

Opening Hours:

Sunday-Saturday 12:00-24:00

Best Asian:

The Thai House

The only spot in Tel Aviv with real Thai food. Definitely make a reservation ahead of time if you are going for dinner, this intimate restaurant fills up almost a week in advance for the popular nights (Thurs-Saturday).  The Papaya  Salad and Yom Gai are musts for starters, the Red Curry and Pad-Seiew are on point and their Sticky Rice with Mango and Tapioca dessert are perfect. Really.

8 Bograshov

Tel Aviv

T: +972 (0)3 5178568

Opening Hours:

Sunday-Saturday 12:00-24:00

Zepra

This upscale beautifully designed Asian fusion restaurant is a flawless mix of restaurant/bar. Famed Israeli chef Avi Comforti gets Asian food right with dishes like the Healthy Buddah Salad, Black Tiger Popcorn Shrimp and Bu Lak Lak- filet mingon with caramelized red onion and Vietnamese black pepper.

96 Yigal Alon

Tel Aviv

T: +972 (0)3 6240044

Opening Hours:

Sunday-Saturday 12:00-24:00

The Bun

Adjacent to the Carmel Market, this new low-key Asian joint is run by two brothers who getAsian streetfood. Their slow cooked beef bun, is hands down the best item on their menu.

18 Hilel Hazaken

Tel Aviv

T: +972 (0)3 6044725

Opening Hours: Sunday-Saturday 12:00-23:30

Best Tapas:

Tapas Ba’Shuk

This classic tapas bar is located in the Tel Aviv Farmers Market with ample seating on the outdoor patio, overlooking the port. They use the freshest ingredients with innovative combinations such as their tuna sashimi with watermelon. This is a great place to sit and eat and drink wine at sunset.

Hangar 12,TelAvivPort

T: +972 (0)3 7162757

Opening Hours:

Monday-Thursday 12:00-23:00

Friday 08:00-19:00

Saturday 08:00-23:00

Tapas Achad Ha’am

Famous Israeli chef Yonatan Roshfeld hit the mark with this Spanish with a hint of Asian with a hint of Middle Eastern cooking. Most of the restaurant is bar seating, which means it’s a great place to go if you want to a more nightlife vibe.

27 Achad Ha’am Street

Tel Aviv

T: +972 (0)3 5666966

Opening Hours:

Sunday-Wednesday 18:00-24:00

Thursday 18:00-01:00

Friday-Saturday 12:30-24:00

Best Authentic Cuisine:

Shwarma Bino

You can’t come toIsraelwithout trying shwarma  and with the amount of shwarma stands in the city one may think that they are all the same. There is only one spot I will eat shwarma at, and Bino does it just right. Try the mix lamb and chicken shwarma for the optimal shwarma experience. Located right in the center of theJaffaflea market.

26 Raziel (Yaffo)

Tel Aviv

T: +972 (0)3 6822842

Opening Hours:

Sunday-Thursday 08:00-24:00

Friday 08:00-16:00

Haj Kahlil

This newly opened restaurant in Yaffo is said to be the best authentic Arab cooking in the city. Go on an empty stomach and with a few hungry friends in order to handle these large portions properly. Try their stuffed lamb-neck, leg of lamb, and Haleb-style kebab for a real taste of what Arab cuisine is all about.

18 Raziel (Yaffo)

Tel Aviv

T: +972 (0)57 9428347

Opening Hours:

Sunday-Thursday 11:00-24:00

Friday 11:00-01:00

Saturday 11:00-24:00

Best Hummus:

 Abu Hassan

You can’t come toIsraelwithout having hummus as a main course, instead of a side dish. There is hands down only one place to go to do this. Get there before 3:00 in the afternoon, around the time when the large daily pots of hummus run out and the doors close.

1 Dolphin Street(on the hill)

14 Shivtai Israel Street(the second branch)

18 Shivtai Israel Street(a third branch which is open all day)
T: +972 (0)3 6820387, +972 (0)3 6828355

Opening Hours:

Sunday- Friday  7:45-14:45 (or until the humus is finished)

Best Burekas:

Original Turkish Burekas

Burekas are stuffed phyllo-dough savory pastries, served at this spot with a hardboiled egg, pickles and grated tomato. This hole-in-the-wall is just at the beginning (or end) of the Carmel Market- look for the large (Hebrew) sign with Coca-Cola logos on it. Try the eggplant or the Kashkaval stuffed burekas.

27 Raban Gamliel Street,CarmelMarket

Tel Aviv

Opening Hours:

Sunday-Friday

Best Sandwich:

Sherry Herring

Located in the fabulous Tel Aviv Farmers market, this is my all-time favorite sandwich in the entire country. You have to be a pickled fish lover to enjoy this sandwich, which comes on a fresh baked baguette, a heaping portion of butter, pickled herring, sour cream and chili peppers.

Hangar 12,TelAvivPort

T: +972 (0)775493094

Opening Hours:

Monday-Thursday 9:00-21:00

Friday 7:00-17:00

Saturday 9:00-20:00

Sabich Tchernokovsky

Sabich is an Iraqi sandwich which combines ingredients (eggplant, tahini, hardboiled egg and tahini) which don’t necessarily work together, but in the case of Sabich they just do.  Don’t be afraid to add a squirt of the bright yellow sauce in the squeezer; it’s called Amba and it’s a sour condiment made from pickled mangos.

2 Tchernokovsky Street

Tel Aviv

Opening Hours:

Sunday-Thursday 9:00-19:00

Friday 9:00-15:30

Sandwich

This new spot is all about gourmet sandwiches. Try the Umami with parmesan spread, asparagus, mushrooms and scrambled eggs.

59 Nachalat Benyamin

Tel Aviv

T: +972 (0)3 5498082

Opening Hours:

Sunday-Saturday 8:00-24:00

Best Food Markets:

The Tel Aviv Farmers Market

This relatively new spot is a culinary pearl in the middle of the touristy/commercial Tel Aviv Port. Similar but smaller than Barcelona’s Bouqueria, you will be able to find here organic vegetable stalls, amazing coffee, breads and pastries, and a fresh fish stand, amongst the several great restaurants (both sit down and “fast food”) to eat.

Hangar 12,TelAvivPort

T: +972 (0)775493094

Opening Hours:

Monday-Thursday 9:00-21:00

Friday 7:00-17:00

Saturday 9:00-20:00

The Carmel Market

You can’t come to theMiddle Eastwithout a trip to the “Shuk”. Here you can find everything from fresh herbs, to locally caught blue crabs to souvenirs.  If you go on a Friday you will experience the market at its most vibrant moment, but it may be a little overwhelming.

Corner ofCarmel StreetandAllenby Street

Tel Aviv

Opening Hours:

Sunday-Friday 8:00-17:00

Levinsky Market

This is less of a market and more a street filled with vendors selling dried fruits, nuts, and spices. This is a good place to go to bring back foodie souvenirs, if that’s your thing.

Levinksy Street

Tel Aviv

Opening Hours:

Sunday-Friday 8:00-17:00

9 People have left comments on this post



Yocheved Chana said: | Aug 16, 2012 - 01:08:24 |

It makes me so sad that none of these restaurants seem to be kosher. It would be nice if you could find some kosher ones, and let us know which supervision they’re under.

Toda!

J.Rivkah said: | Aug 30, 2012 - 12:08:12 |

Agree, would love a kosher guide and why stop with tel aviv…we want the goods all over the country! :)

Yael said: | Sep 3, 2012 - 12:09:59 |

Yocheved Chana: Check out Olive Leaf at the Sheraton. It is the best restaurant I have ever been to. Beautiful kosher cuisine from an excellent chef. Try the carpaccio and the goose liver baklava!

Daniela said: | Sep 3, 2012 - 10:09:30 |

Recently went to a new place I heard about- Nola- on Diz and Arlosorrof. Place looked like a sweet cafe from the outside.Inside- is small like an old fashioned NY style bakery with a few tables. Since I had my dog with me, we were given a table in their amazing back garden. The service was surprisingly great and organized. Dishes and furniture all shabby chic style. Laid back and fun. NY bagels, freshly baked biscuits, real muffins. Everything I had was great actually. They offer bagels lox and cream cheese breakfast but it was out of stock by the time we sat down. had a version of eggs benedict on a biscuit- really excellent. Definitely recommend.

Adam said: | Jan 28, 2013 - 02:01:37 |

I love that none of these restaurants are kosher. Tel Aviv is truly the gastro-capital of the Mediterranean, precisely because its dining scene is not confined to the realms of kashrut.

matkonation said: | Feb 3, 2013 - 09:02:53 |

Adam, I still have yet to find a kosher restaurant I like here in Tel Aviv. I would love some suggestions if anyone has!

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