While it was nice to round up the top 49 restaurants in Israel where Israeli chefs eat, a giant list is not always the most inviting. So, we got creative, did some statistical analysis, and assembled the 11 most-loved restaurants among the bunch. Why stop there? Behold, the 7 Tel Aviv chef restaurants that Israeli chefs believe merit dressing to the nines for. Stay tuned, more to come...
Israeli chefs’ 7 favorite Tel Aviv restaurants for fine dining
Located in the Mendeli Street Hotel, this contemporary restaurant spearheaded by Chef Yossi Shitrit (Kitchen Market, Onza) showcases modern cuisine with Moroccan touches. His sophisticated touch and cutting edge culinary are the perfect palette pleasing combination. A feast for your senses, Mashya is one of the most celebrated restaurants in the city.
It’s no surprise that Taizu earned the title of Time Out’s Best Restaurant for 2 years in a row (and other accolades the years before) with their “Asiaterranean” cuisine, an extensive, seafood-heavy menu of small plates, amazing flavor combinations and consistent craftsmanship. Chef Yuval Ben Neriah’s restaurant is one of the best in town, and Pastry Chef Ana Shapiro’s desserts are in a league of their own thanks to a fusion of savory, sweet and unique ingredients like curry, saffron and other surprisingly harmonious spices.
Chef Yaron Shalev‘s award-winning Toto is known for its highly accomplished Italian dishes, excellent seafood, mounds of innovation and the incredible quality of the ingredients used. With it’s flattering light, clean lines, comfortable seating and a seasonal menu prepared in style, It’s no surprise that Toto is one of the most loved spots for fine dining in Tel Aviv.
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.
Wining and dining at the famed Yakimono throws a spanner in the works. The conundrum? You’ll never want to eat at home again. While its walls may be small, Yakimono’s charm is hugely captivating, located just off the prestige of Hilton Hotel’s lobby. Seeing as though it’s such a special occasion every time Yakimono is featured in your evening, opt for the tasting menu with an array of Japanese dishes designed to appeal to the Asian cuisine enthusiast. Look out for the fish wasabi and loosen that tie a notch to keep Yakimono-ing.
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.
Chef Haim Cohen is one of the most respected chefs in Israel, and Yaffo-Tel Aviv is his baby, where his love for food is released. At the center of it all is a beautiful tabun (clay oven). The genre here is contemporary Israeli cuisine with the menu composed of seafood served with rich tahini, handmade gnocchi, the freshest local vegetables, fresh-from-the-tabun focaccia and premium quality meats. This is Israeli cooking at its finest as all the best ingredients come together harmoniously on each plate.