Restaurants & Cafés

Your guide to dining out in Israel, including new restaurants, fabulous street food and glorious cafés

7 local desserts worth every calorie
Restaurants

7 local desserts worth every calorie

Even in our wellness-obsessed world there comes a time when you have to throw caution to the wind and fall head first into a mouth-watering dessert that’s as high in calories as it is in delectable flavors. Let Tel Aviv prove its worth as more than just ice cream parlours and froyo. Bring on the sugar high at these White City cafés, bars and restaurants with the tastiest Italian tiramisu, creamiest cheesecake and Israel's take on the famous British banofee pie. Though sharing is caring, you'll want these calory-rich desserts all for yourself.

The best Jaffa restaurants
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The best Jaffa restaurants

Tel Aviv’s humble little sister is growing up to be something special. Jaffa (known locally as 'Yafo') is chock-full of authentic, delicious restaurants, local designer boutiques and a burgeoning nightlife scene – but, we are here to talk about the food. Although Tel Aviv restaurants are all the rage right now with the blossoming vegan scene and new chef restaurants, Jaffa restaurants are growing quicker than their oranges. Here’s the lowdown on the best places to dine in Jaffa, including where to eat the tastiest specialities, butteriest baked goods, and even where to score the best spices. If you're on a budget or eating on the go, be sure to pick up some of Jaffa's best authentic street food instead.

Restaurants in Israel: a foodlover's guide to fish and seafood
Restaurants

Restaurants in Israel: a foodlover's guide to fish and seafood

When it comes to food, Israel is best known for three things: breakfast (hello shakshuka), street food (sabich and hummus haven) and bakeries (babka and rugelach galore). But things are rapidly changing. These days you can find anything and everything on the Israeli foodie scene, and that includes copious amounts of top-of-the-line Mediterranean cuisine, including fish and seafood. Whether you’re kosher or ready to dive head first into a pile of lobster, we’ve got the end-all be-all list of the best fish and seafood restaurants in Israel.

‘Food for your current mood’: cozy
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‘Food for your current mood’: cozy

It’s a not-so-white-winter in the White City. On a good day, that means crisp air, sunshine and a light scarf for comfort. On a bad day, it means gloomy skies, dreary rain and wild winds that make you want to bundle up in blankets and never leave bed. But sometimes, this grim weather calls for a pick-me-up: a cozy night out with friends at a restaurant with comfy vibes and heartwarming food. Here’s our guide to eating out in Tel Aviv on a cozy, rainy night.

New Year’s resolutions: indie restaurants in Tel Aviv you must try in 2017
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New Year’s resolutions: indie restaurants in Tel Aviv you must try in 2017

With the New Year rolling in, we’ve decided it's time to give the foodies living or visiting Tel Aviv a taste of independence. To do that, we’re arming you with the best indie eateries in the city to keep you smiling through all of 2017. These are smaller, more intimate restaurants, usually run by super-talented cooks who don’t call themselves chefs, even though we think they should! Whether you are looking for a delicate taste of Tel Aviv nightlife with perfect food and a bottle of superb Israeli wine to pair, or you're aiming for a full dinner but one that comes with happy music, cool staff and the vibes to match, we’ve got just the thing for you. Here are the top indie restaurants in Tel Aviv you must visit in 2017.

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The Tel Aviv Food Kiosks you want to try
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The Tel Aviv Food Kiosks you want to try

New York may have their hot dog stands and halal carts and L.A. has their trendy food trucks and old school loncheros, but there’s no beating Tel Avis’s food kiosks. From the most perfect locally brewed cappuccino to a worth-every-calorie chocolate rugelach and everything in-between, here’s a look at all the food kiosks not-to-be-missed in Israel’s foodie capital. Susu & SonIf you’ve ever questioned whether there can possibly be appeal in street meat, head to the perpetually packed Susu & Sons. Opened by famed Israeli chef Omer Miller the kiosk has seating along its edges where patrons enjoy fries and a curated list of burger variations.  - 6 Herzl St (03-6666666)          Omer Miller @ Susu & Sons© Noa Rosin             Dizengoff KioskWhen a kiosk doesn’t even bother to brand itself with a name and yet is still consistently a popular choice – especially for lunch – you know their food must be worth your shekels. Located on Dizengoff Street at the intersection with Ben Gurion, this kiosk has an impressively large selection of sandwiches offered in all shapes and sizes and ranging from the gluten-free to the totally not kosher (think ham and cheese). They’ve also got pretzels, pastries, cookies, brownies and some pretty amazing cinnamon rolls and rugelach.  - Dizengoff Street at the intersection with Ben Gurion Blvd      Café CastelCafé Castel is the perfect place for a quick, casual bite. Order a coffee, pastry (anything with halva is strongly recommended

Chow: late night bites in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem
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Chow: late night bites in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

You don’t have to dine at a fancy restaurant in Israel to enjoy fine fare. These bars know their food just as well as they know their alcohol, says Yasmin Kaye   Tel Aviv     Abraxas This popular spot in the heart of Tel Aviv's vibrant nightlife district offers a varied selection of events. You can catch great gigs by local bands, enjoy an eclectic array of DJ sets and soak up the hedonistic atmosphere of Lilienblum Street, all while enjoying delightful food prepared by star chef Eyal Shani. You can order seasonal dishes conjured up by Shani at his Abraxas North restaurant next door, based on a changing list of fresh ingredients. Grab a seat at the bar and soak up the historic atmosphere at this long-lived and well-loved place. 40 Lilienblum St (03-5104435). Daily 21:30-last customer   © PR   Barbunia Just across the street from the popular Barbunia fish restaurant, you can find the Barbunia Bar – a welcoming, slightly rowdy hangout hidden behind an unassuming wooden door. Despite the inconspicuous facade, the place has long since been discovered by an unpretentious local crowd, who pop in for a quick beer with friends or while away a few happy hours over plates of food and some wine. Though the menu focuses primarily on an inviting selection of fresh fish and seafood, a good way to kick off a meal at Barbunia Bar is by sharing some vegetarian mezze, which include a tasty selection of salads and dips. Greasier, bar-style food like fried calamari or garlic

Ewa Safi
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Ewa Safi

The concept behind this North African treasure was to bring together two worlds—connecting the east with the west, music with food, and luxury with hominess. The menu is built on traditional flavors from the boys’ upbringing, “just like Mom used to make.” An aromatic combination of spicy and sweet comes to life in dishes that utilize regional ingredients like cumin and carrots, sweet beets and fresh herbs and roasted hot peppers. Not only is the establishment a Moroccan Mecca of home-style food, the dining room is accompanied by electronic music. Pamper yourself like Moroccan royalty while exposing your senses to a sensory overload.   

The foodie corner: the best of Shuk HaCarmel
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The foodie corner: the best of Shuk HaCarmel

The bustling outdoor market, beginning on the corner of Allenby and King George, pulls passersby in with its wafting smells of freshly baked bread, aromatic spices, and a myriad of merchants selling everything from Dead Sea salt scrubs to Purim costumes.   At the entrance, clothing, jewelry and knickknacks quickly transition into a foodie haven. The choices are endless: za’atar brushed pitas, oversized studded bagels, towers of gummy candies, and chunks of stacked halva (sesame confections) are all on display. Merchants’ stalls brim with farm-fresh yellow, red and watermelon cherry tomatoes, full-bodied oranges, scarlet strawberries and plump citrus fruit. What’s more are the recent culinary stalls that have popped up with made-to-order delicacies to grab-and-go and the landmark specialty markets vending that special sauce you’ve been looking for everywhere else. © PR       For the home-cook and ingredient-obsessed, look no further than Mizrach Maarav – East West Market (17 HaCarmel St). This corner shop brings together every condiment from around the world. Get your Sriracha on, with rows of Asian sauces, noodles of all kinds, and sushi accoutrements. All does not end here as the aisles are filled with nostalgic foods from all over the world. Duncan Hines frosting and cake mixes, liquid smoke (for adding smoke to dishes), taco shells, and exotic canned juices – the homesick can find just about any imported product here.   For a quick Israeli fast food fix, l

The best eats in Israel

The best Tel Aviv restaurants
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The best Tel Aviv restaurants

Tel Aviv is saturated with so many delicious restaurant options that it's painstakingly hard to choose where to eat. Well, we've done the leg work. Here are our top picks of the best Tel Aviv restaurants. If you've already tackled the Tel Aviv foodie scene, head south to the White City's little sister and enjoy the best Jaffa restaurants and street food. Or, if Tel Aviv was merely a short pitstop on you're crosscountry adventure, the best chef restaurants in Israel offer fine dining from the Galilee in the north to the Negev in the south, east to west. Check out our list of the best Tel Aviv restaurants from A to Z.

The best Jerusalem restaurants
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The best Jerusalem restaurants

Whether or not you’re kosher, Jerusalem restaurants offer a wide range of options that are both mouthwateringly delicious and suitable for a plethora of palates. Unlike many of the world’s other top destinations, in the Holy Land, you’ll find fantastic culinary experiences that aren’t solely expensive (thanks in large part to the city’s unparalleled markets). Here’s a look at the best restaurants in Jerusalem and what the thriving restaurant scene has to offer. Believe us, after a day of shopping at Mamilla Mall for jewelry and designer clothing, you'll be grateful for a reason to wear your newest purchases.

Eilat Eats: the best resort town restaurants
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Eilat Eats: the best resort town restaurants

While Tel Aviv and Jerusalem boast some of the finest restaurants in Israel and Haifa is home to some incredible seafood and Middle Eastern cuisine, down south, the restaurants are pulling out all the stops. Whether you’ve had an action-packed day of exploring the south, or some much needed R&R at the spa, you’ll want to recharge with good eats. Eilat boasts some wonderful restaurants that hit the spot. Here’s a list of the best restaurants in Israel’s top resort town:

An insider's guide to the best restaurants in Haifa
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An insider's guide to the best restaurants in Haifa

It may lack Tel Aviv’s swag, but Haifa has a unique and very diverse offering of bars, restaurants and culinary options. Whether you want to savor local wines and Middle Eastern fare or you’re looking to dine in style, here’s a look at all the best bars and restaurants in Haifa to do just that. 

The best chef restaurants in Israel
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The best chef restaurants in Israel

Since its inception, immigrants from far-flung locales have sought refuge in Israel, bringing with them recipes from their homelands and flavors from their upbringings. This melting pot of cultures has not only inspired a new Israeli cuisine, it has also given birth to some of Israel's most celebrated local chefs. These top chef restaurants in Israel are the fruits of their labor and indulgent treats for anybody who can swing a reservation. They pair exquisite food with fine wines, funky cocktails and fancy atmospheres for the perfect dining experience. Equally appealing, but easier on the wallet, Tel Aviv's street food scene broadcasts the same cultural melting pot at a quarter the price (with top local chefs behind-the-scenes as well). Our list of the best kosher restaurants in Israel also features renowned chefs. Just take your pick.

The best Tel Aviv restaurants & cafes

The best Israeli breakfast in Tel Aviv
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The best Israeli breakfast in Tel Aviv

Israeli breakfast is a rite of passage for those visiting Tel Aviv and whether you head to a place that sticks to the classics (eggs, chopped cucumber and tomato salad with a range of house-made spreads) or veers away from the norm with options like shakshuka, bourekas or jachnun, we guarantee you'll be tied over for the rest of the day. So, If you’re looking for some serious a.m. fuel to charge up before a day of activities and shopping in the White City, turn to these Tel Aviv restaurants and you will not be disappointed.

The best Tel Aviv vegan restaurants
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The best Tel Aviv vegan restaurants

While 'being vegan' has become a trendy identifier in the last few years, the local Tel Aviv vegan restaurant scene actually has the chops to back up the goods. Thanks to Israel's climate and varying landscapes, harvesting tasty, healthy fruits and vegetables are a slam dunk (as proven by the colourful arrays at the markets) and diners get to reap the benefits. These vegan and vegetarian hotspots are here to help make our Israel a vegan-friendly Israel. Looking to cook up a storm in your own digs? Take advantage of the local offering and head to one of Israel's markets for a vegan foodie shopping adventure. Whether out and about or cooking from home, don't forget to wash down that tofu with a nice glass of Israeli wine.

Blissful bakeries in Tel Aviv
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Blissful bakeries in Tel Aviv

In a city best known for hummus and falafel, you might be surprised to learn that Tel Avivians have access to some seriously great baked goods. Although you won’t find the insane levels of sugar and fat that you’ll find in the bakeries in American cities like New York, Israeli dessert is still indulgent, meaning you should plan your calorie expenditure wisely. Let us make it easy for you. While bargaining for baklava and halava in Shuk HaCarmel is one tasty option, here are the best bakeries in Tel Aviv, all of which are overflowing with worth-every-calorie bites. You can burn them off later with a run along the beach, a bike ride in Park HaYarkon or while exploring Florentine or Tel Aviv's first neighborhood.

‘Ice, ice baby’ – the best ice cream parlours in Tel Aviv
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‘Ice, ice baby’ – the best ice cream parlours in Tel Aviv

‘I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream’. When it comes to the frozen dairy treat that every kid loves, Tel Aviv has got the best of the best. With exotic flavour combinations like cardamom to those unique to Israel like halva and even vegan options, we’ve got it all! Try the trending dessert option that is ice cream sandwiches...especially delicious after a night out in the White City. You don’t have to be a child to enjoy the creamy deliciousness topped with mounds of fruit, nuts and chocolate, drenched in streams of sauces and sprinkled with rainbow jimmies and love. It’s all right here in our sweet-tooth’s guide to ice cream parlours in Tel Aviv.

Authentic cuisine in Israel

Authentic Jaffa street food
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Authentic Jaffa street food

Some of the best things to eat on a budget – and eat period – can be found on the streets, Jaffa's streets to be exact. Though the food truck trend has yet to hit Israel, Jaffa is a goldmine for top notch, authentic street food. Most authentic Jaffa street food is not only quick to cook up, but very filling, making it the perfect fuel for a long day of exploring the city, including areas nearby like Neve Tzedek with its incredible jewelry shops and designer boutiques and the ever-so-hipster Florentine. Here’s to joyfully chowing down on the best hummus your taste buds have ever met!

The best Tel Aviv street food
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The best Tel Aviv street food

Tel Aviv's best street food is not only delicious for its sheer flavors and innovative twists on classic grab-and-go recipes, but there is also something to be said about sitting outside in a casual spot with satisfied customers sharing tables and inhaling their food. Tel Aviv street food is also a mix of Tel Aviv moments - where friends run into one another and catch up, the menu of the day is handwritten on kraft paper and your name is yelled out into the chaos for pick up. It's especially tasty after a night out, whether clubbing at the Port, hunting for hidden speakeasies or keeping classy at the opera. For even more cheap eats and finger-lickin' goodness, head south for authentic street food in Jaffa or try every kind of shakshuka imaginable at the best shakshuka spots in Tel Aviv.

The best shakshuka in Tel Aviv
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The best shakshuka in Tel Aviv

Israel has some of the finest tomatoes in the world, so it’s no wonder they are a daily dietary staple. From raw to slow cooked, Israelis have mastered making the most of their abundance of this fresh produce, which explains the ease with which they've accepted the vegan trends. Enjoy the art of the tomato in its full glory as it is put on display like an exhibition, while also getting your fill of protein and energy revving spices by treating your taste buds to a warm pan of shakshuka. This dish promises a true traditional Israeli breakfast experience. If it’s your first time, be ready to come back - no one eats shakshuka just once. If you want to try it at home, head up to the closest market, or for different budget meals, take a look at our list of best street food in Tel Aviv and Jaffa. Bet you can't eat just one.

Get your falafel and sabich fix with our Pita Pocket Picks
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Get your falafel and sabich fix with our Pita Pocket Picks

After just one flavourful bite of vegan-friendly greasy grub from these falafel and sabich establishments, you’ll be singing, “I got a pocket, got a pocket full of sunshine” from the rooftops. Walk down the busy streets of Tel Aviv any time of day and you’re bound to pass at least ten shops serving up Israeli street food squeezed between chic designer boutiques and vibrant juice stands. With so many options, how do you weed out the authentic street eats from the tourist traps? By following our helpful guide to pita pocket paradise. We’ve scavenged the city far and wide in search of the juiciest chickpeas, crispiest eggplant, and perfectly hard boiled eggs in Tel Aviv. The lines may be long at famous Tel Aviv restaurants like Frishman Sabich and Falafel Gabay, but with good reason. Grab some free pickled vegetables and some patience because we promise you, these spots are well worth the wait.

The most authentic Jerusalem restaurants
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The most authentic Jerusalem restaurants

While street food in Israel isn’t hard to come by, it’s hard to weed out the authentic eats from the tourist traps. Jerusalem’s food scene is one where like its classical musicians, Jewish authenticity takes center stage. Even the hottest spots thrive on Jerusalem’s genuine vibe, as hip night spots lead by chefs bring out the beauty of the market, delighting locals and visitors alike. In all this hustle and bustle, no matter how hip, there’s always a touch of vintage, history and Jerusalem-chic. From traditional sabich and falafel to new school pita pocket fillings like fried red mullet and "chraime" (a spicy North African fish dish), Jerusalem restaurants are serving up the goods. Join Keren Brown in her foodie adventures as she explores the Holy City to hone down on Jerusalem’s most authentic spots from little nooks serving piping-hot bourekas to cozy no-frills restaurants serving homemade dumplings.

The best restaurants in Jerusalem

Machneyuda
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Machneyuda

With three Jerusalem chefs running the show, this rustic haven for foodies offers a changing market-to-table menu with all ingredients sourced from the nearby Machne Yehuda Market. The open kitchen gives you a front seat to the action, and the lively, spirited vibes are like no other. This restaurant was the inspiration for two of the most-talked about restaurants in London, The Palomar and The Barbary. Both are known for bringing this ‘Machneyuda’ genre of energetic Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine to the city.

Anna
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Anna

Located in downtown Jerusalem in the Ticho House, a place to immerse yourself in Jerusalem’s art and literary works, a kosher dairy and fish Italian restaurant called “Anna” immediately became one of the city’s most-beloved spots. Handmade pizzas and pastas, fresh fish and the best seasonal ingredients all come together for a memorable dinner. Anna is more than a restaurant, it is also an organization that helps disadvantaged students gain work experience in the kitchen and helps them get back on track.  

Chakra
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Chakra

This well-loved restaurant attracts locals in the know. Chakra showcases an Italian-inspired menu with a global influence and an extensive seafood selection. The menu boasts handmade pastas, fresh-baked focaccia, and an extensive wine list.

Satya
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Satya

There’s much to love about Satya, but it can be summed up in a combination of fresh seasonal ingredients and the attention to detail in each dish. Opened by Ilan Garussi, former head chef and owner of popular restaurant Chakra, this hotspot serves up Mediterranean food inspired from all over with a focus on fresh seafood along with specials like the hand-made pappardelle pasta with tomato butter, the colorful seafood risotto and 8-hour slow-cooked Japanese barbecue short ribs.

Talbiye
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Talbiye

Israeli top chefs Assaf Granit, Yossi Elad and Uri Navon long ago established the famous Machneyuda group, which operates restaurants all over the city. Talbiye is defined as a wine bar and functions during the day as a café. Next to your coffee, you can enjoy freshly baked goods, and next to your wine you can choose from various elegant dishes. The meticulously designed space and selection of seating options make Talbiye the perfect host for your weekend.