Of all the things to do in Tel Aviv, the Carmel market must top the list. Located high on our best markets in Israel list, you haven't been to Tel Aviv, if you missed this Market. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, there is always something exciting, new and different to find here. From trinkets and t-shirts to dizzying mounds of red tomatoes and strawberries piled up high, the Carmel market has something to please everyone. The secret is simply to wander through the stalls letting your eyes and noses guide you towards little spots to munch at. We have rounded up 10 of the best spots for you to try. Bon Appetite!
Where to eat when strolling through the Carmel Market
The best of Middle Eastern street food, these burikas are not to be beat! A crispy dough filled with potatoes or eggs, Burika Center puts a twist on a classic by placing it in a fresh pita with vegetables and sauces. The combination of textures and flavors creates a special sensation for the taste buds. Great for a snack or a full meal, grab an on-tap beer to really get the party going! If you’re looking for salty, savory, or even a vegan option, there’s something for you! The perfect authentic meal at an unbeatable price.
One of the top meat restaurants in Tel Aviv just happens to be this unassuming, tavern-style eatery in the market. Located in an alley just next to the Carmel Market, M25 features one of a kind Israeli dishes. Cooking up some of the freshest meat, direct from the market, carnivores can rejoice and enjoy the delicious and juicy flavors. The menu is changed daily and written on a blackboard on the wall usually featuring a large variety of meat dishes and a salad or two. Once comfortable in this bohemian environment, get your steak knifes ready as the delicious meats are going to be cooked to perfection. Those looking for an authentic Tel Aviv experience with food fresh from the market have found their home, so venture down the dark alleyway to this Middle eastern retreat and make sure to come hungry
This happening Carmel market spot is a shakshuka haven, serving up fancier versions of the über-popular baked eggs in tomato sauce dish. Take your pick of any of the unique renditions of this local dish: the Spanish version with salami, spinach and chickpeas, or the Italian version featuring goat cheese and basil are two of our favorites. Friday mornings are always happening as people come here to kick off the weekend with the Carmel market vibe.
This curry spot will have you rethinking curry—as this rich version packed with twenty or more spices is based on a popular South African -style curry usually stuffed into a hollowed out loaf of bread. Here it is packed into a gigantic challah roll making it the ultimate street food and a true party for your senses. You’ll also find vegan versions available.
This adorable place, just around the block from the market, is one of the most frequented spots for locals in the know. The menu showcases in-house, handmade dishes including a plethora of salads like the lentil salad with a vegan sauce that tastes just like a tangier version of creamy velveeta cheese. You will also find the instantly instagrammable, Ukrainian layered blintz cakes with multiple options such as a smoked duck version with Gouda, a duck breast version, a smoked salmon version with cream cheese and spinach, or the classic sour cream and berries.
Some may think smoothies and health drinks are a hip and trendy fad, but Uzi-Eli a.k.a. the Etrog Man, has been making fresh juices with the vitamin-packed Etrog, a local citrus fruit, for many years. Uncover the power of this potent little fruit in any of the fresh drinks, or try out "khat" (also known as gat), a herbal stimulant known for the little high you get when you eat it. It’s usually chewed, but here, it’s added into wonderful drinks like the Etro Gat for a real burst of energy. Also on the menu is an organic passion fruit smoothie. Alternatively, try any of the healing Etrog creams and cosmetics to take home.
Many people know of this spot, and yet they still feel like they have uncovered a hidden gem when they eat there. This Asian street food bar, right on the corner of the market, has a chilled atmosphere. The incredibly fresh ingredients and creative menu are made right in front of you. Opt for the steamed buns, filled with tender pulled beef and completed with a miso barbecue sauce. Definitely don’t miss out on the crisp salad, made with stringy bean thread noodles, green papaya, juicy hand-picked cherry tomatoes, exceedingly fresh green beans, mint leaves, and chili, completed by a light, fruity and piquant dressing, all topped with peanuts.
Tiny in size but big on portions and flavor, this is the place to try home-cooked, authentic Mexican grub. For years, transplants have been dreaming about more spots like this - no-frills, fast food Mexican staples with all the fixins’ - and now they have it. The tchotchke decor is fitting for the hole-in-the-wall space, but the menu brings the authentic heat: piles of nachos topped with queso and juicy carne asada; flautas, deep-fried and filled with cheese, sour cream and homemade salsa; and burritos hand-crafted from expertly-made tortillas.
Tuscany’s west coast boasts Livorno—and the Carmel market offers authentic Livornian cuisine, now that Arnoldo has opened up this tiny spot. Arnoldo came to visit his parents in Israel—and once he set eyes on this little corner of the market, the rest became history. He opened this bright, white spot to showcase his love for food, and here he serves up meatball sandwiches, fish slow-cooked in tomato sauce and other home-cooked Italian food right in front of you.
Deep in the heart of the Carmel Market, amongst the hustle and bustle of shoppers, tourists and exotic characters, you’ll find a little hub of Venezuelan cuisine, which stands out through its appetising smells and welcoming staff. From griddle breads stuffed with chicken and cheese to corn maize ‘pockets’ of shredded beef, black beans, avocado and cheese (which adds that melt-in-your-mouth crispy finish to keep you coming back time and again), the menu options are so diverse that anyone can combine the right flavors to suit their liking. But wait, there’s more! The dedication to producing the freshest-possible food can be witnessed with your very own eyes as it is cooked right in front of you. Grab a Savanna or soft drink and witness the magic in the capital of Tel Aviv street food.