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The best chef restaurants in Israel

These famous chefs have been inspired by everything from the ultimate flavors of their mother's home cooking to the humblest of tomatoes

© Sarit Gofen

Since its inception, immigrants from far-flung locales have sought refuge in Israel, bringing with them recipes from their homelands and flavors from their upbringings. This melting pot of cultures has not only inspired a new Israeli cuisine, it has also given birth to some of Israel's most celebrated local chefs. These top chef restaurants in Israel are the fruits of their labor and indulgent treats for anybody who can swing a reservation. They pair exquisite food with fine wines, funky cocktails and fancy atmospheres for the perfect dining experience. Equally appealing, but easier on the wallet, Tel Aviv's street food scene broadcasts the same cultural melting pot at a quarter the price (with top local chefs behind-the-scenes as well). Our list of the best kosher restaurants in Israel also features renowned chefs. Just take your pick.

The most celebrated chef restaurants in Israel

1

Aria

Well-known Chef Guy Gamzo is behind this restaurant serving up eclectic contemporary cuisine in a fine dining atmosphere. The focus is on the finest seasonal and raw ingredients including fresh fish, palate-pleasing ceviches, handmade pastas and an ever-evolving menu. For more of a nightlife atmosphere, head downstairs to the bar and lounge.

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White City
2

Blue Sky

From fresh fish to kosher Asian cuisine, Chef Meir Adoni has tackled the culinary world as he brings the Far East to the near “White City.” Offerings include: tartar of tuna in soy and honey, sea fish sashimi with green melon, Asian aioli, green tea and lime yogurt and macha powder, grouper capriccio with kohlrabi ravioli and mango, apricot, ginger and lemon grass alongside Indian focaccia on an open grill and more. Pick up those chopsticks and enjoy the best panoramic view around.  

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Tel Aviv Beach 
3

Claro

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.

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Sarona
4

HaSalon

Chef Eyal Shani, the celebrity chef behind HaSalon has his own straightforward style, one that has shaped contemporary Israeli cuisine. Here, you’ll find the best vegetables and raw materials coming together in a slick, but hip manner. HaSalon is his playground. It’s only open a couple of nights a week. Come for a dinner experience, to see how every ingredient stands out on its own and to taste exquisite local dishes from a menu that changes daily. Simply put, this is the place to experience local cuisine at its best.

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Tel Aviv - Jaffa
5

Messa

From the kitchen of famed Chef Aviv Moshe, this impressive restaurant evokes a New York style with its impressive white-on-white dining room and black-on-black bar. Here you’ll find haute cuisine and exquisite raw materials coupled with creative dishes from the chef’s mother’s kitchen alongside with Provencal cooking techniques.  

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West Bank
6

North Abraxas

Celebrity Chef Eyal Shani’s North Abraxas is a bustling restaurant with a happy-go-lucky atmosphere and excellent food. The bar seating around the open kitchen is a great place to sit and soak in the lively atmosphere. The food is creative and extremely well-executed. Shani manages to take the best and freshest ingredients and bring out their flavor in his own creative yet down-to-earth style.  

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White City
7

OCD

OCD lives up to its name, offering a meticulous dinner experience. Crafted to perfection with flavors that pop and playfulness that entices your tongue, the magic of it all lies in the structure with one seating area where everybody eats together at the same time. Sit with random people who share the same love of food and become friends: this is communal dining at its finest. This top-notch diner is one of the most talked about experiences in town, so make sure to nab those reservations early.

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Tel Aviv - Jaffa
8

Popina

Located in the romantic Neve Tzedek neighborhood, 2011 San Pellegrino’s Best Chef Under 30 winner, Chef Orel Kimchi, elevates creative food with artful masterpieces, outstanding seafood and an awe-inspiring attention to detail. With a unique menu that divides each dish by cooking method, we invite you to delve into the world of culinary possibility and savor the "Popina" experience.

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White City
9

Pronto

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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White City
10

Taizu

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.

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White City
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