A dessert a day keeps the doctors away
When only something sweet will do, French bakery Dallal is always your best bet. Their halva babka boasts a lightly nutty flavor in a brioche dough. Available in individual sizes and as a cake (which we would argue also constitutes an individual portion), ride the sugar high to recovery. Located in the enchanting Neve Tsedek neighborhood, this cozy bakery is known as one of the very best in town. Incredible French pastries with Israeli twists line the vitrine, boasting a selection of perfectly shaped eclairs, mini-size cakes and colorful sandwiches.
Meir Adoni (aka Israel’s answer to Jean Georges) is the force behind four of Tel Aviv’s most popular food establishments: Catit, Mizlala, Blue Sky and Lumina. It’s at Blue Sky, however, that you’ll find what is arguably his best dessert. The restaurant, located on top of the Carlton Hotel on the 15th floor, looks out onto Tel Aviv’s coastline on one side and onto the urban landscape of the city on the other side. While you can stop in for a full three course meal, Blue Sky also offers small plates and cocktails – or you can skip all that and just order the Manjari Bar (NIS 73). The multi-textured dessert consists of a Manjari chocolate bar, amarena sauce, amarena cherries financier, nuts crumble, almond tuile, cherries macaroon, caramelized hazelnut and tonke beans ice cream. It comes beautifully presented and it also happens to be kosher.
Eliezer Peri St, Tel Aviv (03-5201830)
The great thing about Aria is that you can indulge in their passionfruit and white chocolate dessert (NIS 48) and then dance off all the calories at their downstairs bar/lounge. So what are you waiting for? The cake is made with slivers of passionfruit cream and white chocolate mousse, both of which comes served on hazelnut crunch and with slightly sour passionfruit sorbet.
66 Nahalat Binyamin St, Tel Aviv (03-5296054)
Messa’s signature dessert is a strawberry-macaron-cream dessert served in a mason jar. The fruit you see in this dessert is a bit misleading. This isn’t anything high in nutritional value. Note that the centerpiece of the eatery is a long, white central table with high-back chairs – stylish yes, but comfortable no. For comfort and privacy ask to be seated on one of the outlining tables when making your reservation and don’t forget to leave time to check out their adjoining bar/lounge.
19 HaArba’a St, Tel Aviv (03-6856859)
As far as tiramisu goes, there is a lot of competition in Israel. Ouzeria and Bindella Osteria put up a good fight, but ultimately the Bakery - part of the restaurant and hospitality group behind some of Israel’s most well-known establishments (think Hotel Montefiore, Coffee Bar and Brasserie) beat out the competition with their version of the classic dessert. They get brownie points for stocking it in two sizes (a small for one, NIS 26, or a large for six, NIS 140) and for selling it at both Delicatessen and their various Bakery locations. Expect layers of sponge cake soaked in coffee and amaretto liqueur, mascarpone cream and cream Zabaione. You won’t find a better version in Italy.
Delicatessen, 79 Yehuda HaLevi St, Tel Aviv (03-9681010); or Bakery, various locations in Tel Aviv.
When a Tel Aviv restaurant can master a New York-style cheesecake you know they’re on to something. It should therefore come as no surprise that absolutely everything on Café Europa’s menu exceeds expectations. The only criticism – bigger portions, please! The menu is divided by prices with dishes ranging from NIS 32 to NIS 62. We suggest ordering up everything that catches your eye (remember portions are small, especially by Israeli standards) but make sure to leave room for one dessert, namely the aforementioned cheesecake (NIS 42). Served on its own, it would be a winning dessert, but adding caramelized popcorn and popcorn cream to their cheesecake makes this an exclamation point to any meal. Meanwhile, their churros, chocolate brioche, strawberry shortcake and lime-berry-cream dessert are all worth silver medals. Basically, arrive with a group and order everything on the menu.
9 Rothschild Bvld, Tel Aviv (03-5259987)
If you’re looking for a date spot or the kind of place where you could go with a big group and actually speak without shouting, Pastel is a fantastic option. It’s also sun-drenched, has ample outdoor space as well as an outdoor bar and has comfortable seating, which is important because after chowing down on the modern brasserie’s eats you’ll want to linger longer and order dessert. Namely their Floating Island (NIS 44), which is actually a combination of two classic desserts: one Mediterranean and the other western. It’s made up of strawberry sorbet, Amarena cherries, a soft and burnt meringue, kadaif and malabi soup. There’s an illusion of a floating island after the server pours the “soup,” which is spiced with rose water, once the dessert hits your table.
27 Sha’ul HaMelech St, Tel Aviv (03-6447441)