Grub City: The Best Restaurants in Tel Aviv's Culinary Scene

This is where to eat if you are in the mood for local delights, a fancy chef meal, Asian or Italian fare, and some hearty bistro offerings

Dok © Anatoly Michaello
By Time Out Israel |
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Tel Aviv's culinary landscape has undergone a major facelift in recent years and the result has the city tasting finer than fine. Unexpected combinations, a bounty of raw ingredients, innovative chefs and a pure love of food make up the city's gastro-scene. This is where to eat if you are in the mood for local delights, a fancy chef meal, Asian or Italian fare, and some hearty bistro offerings.

Local Kitchen

Popina
© Haim Yosef
Restaurants, French

Popina

icon-location-pin White City

Chef Orel Kimchi combines ultra-creative food with the best raw ingredients for a unique dining experience

If you like surprises and multiple flavor contrasts in every dish, then head to Popina, a beautiful gem in the romantic Neve Tzedek neighborhood. Popina brings creative food to a higher level with artful masterpieces, outstanding seafood and an awe-inspiring attention to detail. The open kitchen lets you peek behind the scenes at the craftsmanship of chef Orel Kimchi and his team. You’ll find options like the sea bream fillet and forbidden rice risotto, with king oyster mushrooms stuffed with parsley, tomato and parmesan with a leek fondue, or the seafood pizza with goat cheese cream, chopped shrimp, scallops, thyme & chili oil. They have plenty of non-seafood and vegetarian items too—the chef is always ready to tailor a menu to your needs. For a multi-course experience ask about the nightly tasting menu.

Ziv Mamon
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Dok

icon-location-pin Sarona

Everything here is sourced locally, everything is fresh

This intimate spot on Ibn Gvirol is the epitome of local cuisine. Showcasing olive oil, fresh fish, meat and a fabulous selection of wine, the only rule here is that it must be from Israel. Each dish is executed with sophisticated simplicity where vegetables take center stage alongside fresh cheeses, charcuterie and more.

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Claro
© Ilya Melnikov
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Claro

icon-location-pin Sarona

Chef Ran Shmueli’s Claro paints a beautiful picture of farm-to-table cuisine in a warm and cozy atmosphere

Located in the Sarona Compound, Claro is a farm-to-table restaurant with a cozy and welcoming vibe. Chef Ran Shmueli, one of Israel’s most well-loved chefs, celebrates fresh local produce with creative ingredients, a big open-kitchen, a tabun (brick oven) and fresh fish, meat, chicken and handmade-pasta and breads. The bar seating around the open kitchen is the perfect spot to soak in the atmosphere, and get a good view of this beautiful restaurant.

Kitchen Market
© Anatoly Michaello
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Kitchen Market

icon-location-pin Tel Aviv Port

Kitchen Market serves up seasonal dishes bursting with creativity from the nearby market coupled with breathtaking views of the sea

Located in the Tel Aviv Port’s indoor market, this market-to-table restaurant serves up seasonal dishes bursting with creativity. At Kitchen market, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the sea while indulging in some of the best contemporary Israeli food in the city. Handcrafted by artisanal chef Yossi Shitrit, the gourmet cuisine is harmonious, while each dish surprises and soothes at the same time.

Asian

Idit Ben Uliel
News, Eating

Disco Tokyo

An evolved Rothschild 12 with a Japanese twist on food and culture

In contrast to the nuclear Japanese concept that's familiar here in Israel, of sushi-sashimi combinations or a long California roll accompanied by a line of shrimp nigiri and spicy tuna maki, Disco Tokyo is a Japanese diner-bistro promises authentic Japanese food, the kind that Japanese eat. The innovation and interest in flavors comes from special cooking methods and the use of unique flavorings, all of which are the foundations of Disco Tokyo. The place which is located in the recently-minted culinary compound on 16 Herzl Street in Beit Hama'aliya the legendary home of Tel Aviv's first elevator, is part of the R2M group, owned by Ruti and Mati Broudo. The restaurant's design draws inspiration from Japanese aesthetics, combined with industrial motifs. The new location brought with it a real revolution on the menu, together with an upgrade in both the food and the cooking methods. Among other things, that means in-house production of miso sauce, a long and complicated process that takes several weeks, preparation of new pastries every morning, and making dumplings, including pork gyoza, chicken shumai, beef and shrimp won ton and beef dumplings.

© Anatoly Michaello
Restaurants

Men Ten Ten

icon-location-pin White City

Embracing the authenticity of Ramen in three delicious variations

Ramen starred everywhere in 2016, but it seems like locals still can’t get enough. Men Ten Ten has an authentic vibe with Japanese cooks, a hidden door and a straight-to-the-point selection showcasing three types of ramen and three gyozas. This might just be the hottest place in the market right now!

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© Boaz Lavie
Restaurants, Thai

The Thai in Har Sainai

icon-location-pin White City

This trendy spot is ideal for anyone looking for a fun night out that won’t break the bank. The atmosphere really makes this place unique. Surprisingly, it has a very Copacabana feel, with a funk/soul DJ playing one great tune after another. The drinks are excellent, providing a large range of creative cocktails. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, the lychee mojito is for you. The menu is comprised of relatively small dishes, perfect for sharing. The flavours are slightly sweeter than you are likely to find in authentic Thai restaurants, yet asian nonetheless. If you are not a fan of spice, make sure to tell your waiter/waitress- the chefs are definitely big fans of the chilli.  

Dror Einav
Restaurants, Israeli

TYO

icon-location-pin White City

TYO, Tel Aviv’s finest Israeli-Asian fusion

While nothing beats a traditional Israeli meal, we love a bit of fusion every now and then. The Japanese bar-restaurant prides itself on its ability to deliver a unique dining experience thanks to its elite staff and quality ingredients. Each meal is orchestrated by world-renowned sushi master Chef Yama San, and combines the traditional Japanese art with fresh Mediterranean ingredients and flavors. Choose from a variety of starters like asazuke pickles or flavorful agedashi tofu with nameko mushrooms in a subtle ginger broth and then move on to the sushi platters for the ultimate fusion experience. 

Chef Restaurants

Ouzeria
© Dan Lev
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Ouzeria

icon-location-pin Shuk Levinsky

Traditionally a Greek ouzeria is a small, cheerful tavern, serving mezzes alongside a variety of ouzo. At Ouzeria, they do just that and then some

Chef Avivit Priel Avichai (formerly of Tapeo) and her partner Limor Lami opened Ouzeria less than ten years ago to much critical acclaim. Known as a modern "hamara", a meeting place to drink, play and discuss life, Ouzeria is the classic Florentin neighborhood joint. At Ouzeria Avivit and Limor serve original, Mediterranean-style cuisine accompanied by a simple decor and an appealing long bar offering a selection of anis beverages. Take a seat at the assorted tables beside large windows looking out on the colorful Levinsky district, and soak in the uniquely Israeli atmosphere of the neighboring market. The playlist of music travels from east to west, new to old, encompassing world music, Middle-Eastern music and on to innovative contemporary tunes. Avivit and Limor's goal was to create a refuge from the activities of the day, and they have successfully done so.

Santa Katarina
© Shlomi Yosef
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Santa Katarina

icon-location-pin White City

A restaurant and bar with creative Mediterranean comfort food

Effortlessly fashionable, this restaurant and bar serves up ethnic cooking with the best local ingredients and a meticulous attention to detail. Eclectic spices, fresh breads from the Tabun (clay oven) and modern takes on Mediterranean comfort food, make it one of the top prize winning restaurants in the city.

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Pastel
© PR
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Pastel

icon-location-pin Tel Aviv - Jaffa

The artistic menu matches the Tel Aviv art museum right next to it

Adjacent to the must-visit Tel Aviv Art Museum, you'll find this modern brasserie showcasing classics of French and Italian cuisine while using fresh local fare with mounds of creativity. Whether you dine inside or revel on the outside terrace, you’ll love the eclectic flavors in the food, the artistic plates, the attentive service—and most of all, how all these aspects mix in perfect harmony.

© Anatoly Michaello
Restaurants, Israeli

Oasis

icon-location-pin White City

Known as a meal “you won’t forget,” Oasis has burst onto the Tel Aviv culinary scene with mind-blowing cuisine

Situated on the charming and beautiful Montefiore Street, Oasis is the dimly lit culinary escape Tel Avivians have been waiting for. Featuring a wide selection of seafood as well as an exquisite range of vegetables that are cooked to perfection, get ready to have your taste buds explode. From Israeli truffles to fresh fish, there’s a dish on the menu for every patron. Owner and chef Rima is not only a genius in the kitchen, she is also a genius in the restaurant industry. Rima manages to create a comforting, welcoming, and original setting, making all new guests feel welcome and invited.   

Italian

Italkia BaPishpeshim
© PR
Restaurants, Italian

Italkia BaPishpeshim

icon-location-pin Shuk HaPishpeshim

Comforting and delicious Italian food in Shuk HaPishpeshim

Located in the heart of Shuk HaPishpeshim (Jaffa Flea Market) is this charming Italian restaurant with a warm and lively presence. Tables with bright and colorful gingham tablecloths line the cobblestone road outside. Everything is handmade, from the artisan breads and pizzas to the lip-smacking pastas and the melt-in-your mouth gnocchi. Staff provide excellent service, and an extensive wine list with generous options by the glass make this an ideal spot for a comforting lunch, a romantic date, or dinner with friends.

Pronto
© Anatoly Michaello
Restaurants, Italian

Pronto

icon-location-pin White City

Imaginative Italian food with the best seasonal and raw ingredients

From the kitchen of young and acclaimed Chef David Frankel, Pronto’s dedication to seasonal ingredients, homemade pastas and inspirational elements in every dish make this place stand out. Nestled behind Rothschild Blvd, the pleasant aromas of marinara and fresh parmigiano will tantalize your senses. Step out of Israel for the evening and into an Italian home kitchen where Frankel’s attention to detail is apparent in his regular menu and creative seasonal and dinner menus. 

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Quattro Restaurant
© Alon Grego
Restaurants, Italian

Quattro

icon-location-pin Sarona

Under the leadership of Aviv Moshe, Quattro gives a modern twist to classic Italian food

Quattro’s modern interpretation of Italian cuisine pairs perfectly with its electric and extraordinary interior. Guests at the restaurant will instantly find themselves in the presence of fine food, sublime service, and a menu that features a wide range of Italian options. Focusing on light, innovative plates, Quattro puts a modern Mediterranean spin on the classic Italian meal. With an extensive wine list, full bar, and daily specials, first timers will find themselves coming back again and again. Come for the stunning ambiance, stay for the fantastic pasta, and leave when the bar closes after a few fabulous cocktails.

Bistro

Meat Kitchen
© Anatoly Michaello
Restaurants, Steakhouse

Meat Kitchen

icon-location-pin Tel Aviv - Jaffa

A carnivore’s dream in the heart of Tel Aviv

Chefs Nadav Natsar and Elad Levi are masters of their craft, bringing artistically presented, generous portions to diners. The restaurant has an elegant, modern atmosphere, making it a gourmet gem great for date nights or special occasions. The dishes are well crafted, with prime cuts of meat cooked to perfection. Compliment your meal with a glass of wine or beer. Meat Kitchen’s menu also includes specialty desserts, including a mouth-watering chocolate mousse. Perhaps the best Kosher meat restaurant in Tel Aviv, Meat Kitchen is a must-visit.

Anatoly Michaello
Restaurants, French

Brasserie

icon-location-pin Tel Aviv - Jaffa

Parisian-inspired dishes and 24 hours of classic, happening vibe

One of the most well-loved spots in Tel Aviv is this Parisian style brasserie. With a meticulously detailed Art Deco interior, this spot is packed ‘round the clock, serving up well-executed French classics with a side of creativity. Fashionable and casual, locals come here to get their comfort food fix.

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Dixie
© Daniel Layla
Restaurants, American

Dixie

icon-location-pin Tel Aviv - Jaffa

They say Tel Aviv is the New York of the Middle East; this New York Steak House proves it

Dixie Grill Bar offers a selection of classic American-style dishes with a variety of Asian-fusion cuisine. Dixie serves the highest-quality, freshest meats, creating a menu full of delicious flavors and fragrances. In addition, Dixie offers a wide selection of wines and spirits, with a large collection of beers on tap. The burgers and desserts, including New York cheesecake and chocolate fingers, are made by hand daily in order to ensure the tastiest dishes. Dixie Grill Bar is open 24/7, making it a great place to stop by for late-night cravings. 

Makom Shel Basar
© PR
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Makom Shel Basar

icon-location-pin Neve Tzedek

“Makom Shel Basar” (The Place for Meat) is a delicious restaurant located on Shabazi Street, in the gorgeous neighborhood of Neve Tzedek

Carnivores should come running, as Makom Shel Basar is the place to get the best meat plates in all of Israel. Set in a charming old-world building faced with Jerusalem stone, this was one of the first houses built in Neve Tzedek. The restaurant's name reveals everything – it's the place for discerning carnivores. There's a meat-aging room plus a butcher's room in the restaurant to assure that every cut of meat has been professionally handled. As well as the magnificent meat, Meat Place offers a varied wine-list. From the restaurant's windows, you can see the new modern highrise towers of Tel Aviv beside the classic red-tile roofs of old Neve Tzedek. Inside the restaurant, the space has been classically designed, providing a warm and welcoming ambiance.

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