There are few things in life Tel Avivians agree to line up for. They are much more acquainted with the concept of ‘balagan’ free-for-alls where anything goes when getting to the front counter – be it a movie theater box office, Dizengoff bank branch or Tel Aviv café. So, when you pass by a restaurant and see a neatly formulated lineup of locals waiting – anxiously, but nonetheless – to be seated, that’s how you know the food must be more than worth it. From an Eyal Shani gem nestled behind the Great Synagogue to Tel Aviv’s most beloved taco and tequila joint, these 7 Tel Aviv restaurants are worth the wait. They don't take reservations so make sure to get there early!
Queue up for these Tel Aviv restaurants
Located just across from the largest synagogue in Tel Aviv, you won’t find anyone praying here. With a massive vinyl collection, the hippest waitresses, and a food menu created under the supervision of iconic Israeli chef, Eyal Shani (of Miznon and Beit Romano), you’ll understand why Port Said has been successfully serving the young communities of Tel Aviv for years. Featuring innovative Israeli dishes, there is always a new menu addition to savor. While the wait may be long and the energy intense, no visit to Tel Aviv is complete without an evening at this iconic spot. So grab a Goldstar, some delectable food, and spend your night chilling under the stars with the locals at Port Said.
As all the restaurants and eateries in the city are becoming increasingly more sophisticated, polished, and sealed with a neat bow, an authentic initiative feels like a breath of fresh air. Such is Jasmino, the cool snack bar helmed by restaurateur Shaul Tevet. Perched on Allenby - the busy nightlife hub, Tevet offers locals a quality street food establishment that draws the drunk munch crowd. The unexpected gem serves simple, yet sensational, charcoal grilled options in grab-and-go pitas. The four options include: kebabs, chicken, housemade sausage, and spicy veal heart. All of these come with salad and pita, hot peppers, grilled onions and tahini. Be the first in your group to swing by this hot spot magnet, then tell all your friends. The more the merrier.
Charming, cozy, and quirky, Café Puaa is a Jaffa neighborhood staple. Located in the heart of Jaffa’s flea market, this iconic café feels like a retro living room. Its colorful carpets, antique ornaments and comfy couches give the restaurant a homey, authentic feel. Plus, Puaa embodies the spirit of its flea market surroundings, whereby every piece of furniture is for sale! But, what makes Puaa truly special are its wholesome, unique Mediterranean dishes. Treat yourself to their famous curried pumpkin dumplings, their hearty moussaka with quinoa and feta cheese or their all-day breakfast (yep, you heard me right). Each dish is creative and packs a flavourful punch - it’s no wonder Puaa’s loyal customers leave in good spirits, even when the weather is grey.
Don’t miss Abu Hassan, the go-to place for a plate of creamy chickpea goodness. Take it to go or eat in house; you won’t be disappointed. For a real local experience, order the ‘masabacha’—it’s another version of hummus, topped off with chickpeas in their juice and other trimmings.
Known to many as the best burger in Tel Aviv, this burger joint is flipping some of Tel Aviv’s best patties from afternoon to midnight. With it’s central and well-designed storefront, America Burgers is not only a place to satisfy your hunger, but also a place to relax and enjoy a meal in a visually appealing setting. With top notch American quality, the restaurant reasonably priced, making it a good grab for many Tel Avivians with a yearning for the U.S. America Burgers makes the process easy by limiting their menu to five unique burger options. So grab a burger and a side of chips, and delve into this fabulous factory of yum!
Taqueria serves burritos, quesadillas, and tacos in a casual and inviting atmosphere. When walking the Middle Eastern streets of Tel Aviv, it might be hard to imagine coming across a good taco. However, the tantalizing Mexican spices that radiate from Taqueria’s doors will tell your nostrils otherwise. With quick service and consistent Mexican favorites, this local joint is the perfect place to pop in for a quick and filling treat. The tacos are packed to perfection, the quesadillas are oozing with cheesy goodness, and the burritos are busting at the seams.
Celebrity Chef Eyal Shani has redefined street food in Israel with Miznon, a pita-centered joint where culinary expertise meets incredible ingredients. The atmosphere is loud and lively: just order your food, sit back, enjoy the free pita and tahini nibbles, and wait until your name is called. Just about anything you can fit in a pita is on offer here, including a rich and meaty minute steak, chicken liver, steak and eggs, kebabs and shakshuka. Vegetarians can find a good meal here too, with a slow-cooked ratatouille and the simple deliciousness of a juicy head of cauliflower that oozes flavor through its simplicity. Don’t want to leave home? Order in - they deliver. Miznon has multiple locations in the center of Israel (1 HaNechoshet St and 21 Ibn Gvirol) and even one in Paris!