Whether it’s your parents, siblings, or friends coming to visit Israel, no one can hide from that inevitable need to be the hostess with the mostest or the best tour guide in town. You’ve already scouted out the best things to do in Israel to give them the full tourist experience, including Israeli art galleries, museums, landmarks in Jewish history, archaeological sites and more. Now it’s time for some food for thought...literally. Here are some prime restaurants in Israel to take out-of-towners for the complete Israel experience.
Take your loved ones to this restaurant in Israel for...
On the roof of the luxurious Mamilla Hotel, you’ll find breathtaking views of the Old City and an extensive bistro menu with dishes straight from the ‘tabun’ (clay oven). Expect dishes like fresh handmade pastas, grouper shawarma, and a multitude of vegetables made from the best produce of the season.
One of the hottest debates within the Israeli foodie scene is – you guessed it – where to get the best hummus in Israel. For many, Hummus Said takes the cake. Their hand-mashed hummus is in a league of its own. It boasts a tangy flavor and a soft, creamy texture that seamlessly melts in your mouth. Expect long lines and a chaotic scene - hummus fanatics come from far and wide to sample their secret recipe. Once their homemade pita, classic hummus or makhlouta hits your tongue, you’ll see what the hype is all about. Pro tip: when it’s super crowded, go through the back door to be seated more quickly!
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.
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. Opt for savory quiches or the fluffy croissants—this place is the ultimate destination for quality hand-made pastries and classic cakes made to perfection.
With three Jerusalem chefs running the show, this rustic haven for foodies offers a changing market-to-table menu with all ingredients sourced from the nearby Machne Yehuda Market. The open kitchen gives you a front seat to the action, and the lively, spirited vibes are like no other. This restaurant was the inspiration for two of the most-talked about restaurants in London, The Palomar and The Barbary. Both are known for bringing this ‘Machneyuda’ genre of energetic Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine to the city.
Rameses is a burgeoning group of bars stretched all over the revived area of the Greek market in the center of Jaffa. Lively and always happening, these open-air spots let you kick back and take in the Jaffa vibes while observing the striking murals and downing classy cocktails and shared plates.
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!
With simple food options and affordable beers, tourists and locals continuously seek out HaMinzar for a lovely night out. With a young and stylish crowd, the vibe and energy is chill, so come prepared to take your time and bask in this calming setting. With mismatched tables and chairs, the unpretentious restaurant setting makes it clear that the owner’s focus is geared towards food and drink. Best of all, HaMinzar is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Hidden inside the Imperial Hotel, the Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar is the top of the top when it comes to craft cocktails. This temple to the lost art of cocktail goes back to the source, featuring veteran bartenders from the younger years of the White City. With an Asian-colonial inspired kitchen and a wide range of music from jazz to rock n’ roll, it’s no coincidence Imperial was crowned Drinks International magazine’s ‘Best Bar in Africa and the Middle East.’
Classy and chic, this restaurant in the Montefiore Boutique Hotel is a must for lovers of meticulous food and impeccable style. The restaurant offers brunch and evening menus that are as much an oasis of style as the boutique hotel itself. The tasteful jazz paired with elegant antique silverware makes the Montefiore the place to fall in love with French cuisine cast under a Vietnamese spell any time of day.
Calling all seafood lovers: while visiting Akko, a trip to Uri Buri is an absolute must. This iconic Akko institution has a minimalist decor and a laser focus on fish and flavor. Every item on the menu is fresh, seasonal and guaranteed to make your tastebuds dance, from the scrumptious seafood soup to the sashimi salmon with wasabi sorbet. But the restaurant’s true secret ingredient is Uri Jermias, the award-winning head chef who’s often found serving the dishes himself. For the utmost experience, order the Uri Buri tasting menu, a culinary trip through the most creative fresh dishes that Uri Buri offers.
Located between Kfar Vradim and Tarshiha, this restaurant offers Galilean cuisine with a European touch along with the breathtaking Galilean landscape to gaze at as you dine. The exquisite menu offers a taste of seasonal ingredients brimming with freshness, inspired by the region’s gems. The wine list showcases the best selections from various parts of Israel.
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.
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.
After years of running Tel Aviv's successful Herbert Samuel, chef Michael Grotofsky decided to uproot to northern Israel. This destination restaurant has a warm, welcoming, and rural vibe and authentic farm-to-table dishes, all creatively using the best locally sourced ingredients. Discover delicacies like cauliflower tabbouleh, ‘arais’ (juicy grilled lamb on pita with eggplant and parsley), and fresh gems from the sea. Dedicated foodies come from far and wide to taste chef Michael’s creations.
Little Brazil is a carnivore's dream, serving up a churrasco-style, lavish barbecue of all-you-can-eat meat, all on gigantic skewers. The Pasador (carver) slices from the abundant array of meats right in front of your eyes. Taste from a large selection of meats like flank steak, entrecote, lamb and more with endless refills of side dishes like the popular“feijoada,” smoked meat stew with beans. A lot more than just a restaurant, this is a dining experience and a fun and hearty way to end a day at the beach.
From the minute you lay eyes on Anastasia, you will feel at home. Everything is in superabundance at this spacious café: from the light shining through the windows to the health-savvy staff and the extensive menu of vegan, raw and gluten-free options and uber-nutritious dishes. The primary focus at Anastasia is healthful vegan food. Tasty menu options include: the sweet potato quiche with a spelt crust filled with a lush walnut-based cheese, buttery lima beans and Jerusalem artichokes, all served with lightly-toasted bruschetta. Also try their towering salads boasting carefully-selected fresh vegetables and immune-boosting ingredients. There is a plethora of handmade, raw desserts sweetened with natural ingredients to choose from, such as the indulgent bite-size Kit Kat bar, made from raw chocolate, dates and amaranth crispies, decadent yet not cloyingly sweet. Also try any of their refreshing smoothies with tasty and healthy ingredients such as spirulina, goji berries, acai berries, maca, aloe vera water and chia seeds. They also have lots of treats to take home like vegan chocolates, cookies of all kinds, raw crackers and nut cheeses.
Known as the “cocktail bar pharmacy," the bartenders actually dress like pharmacists, and cocktails are served in three different sized beaker bottles. This is the largest cocktail bar in Tel Aviv, but don’t get confused when you see a sign for “The East Jaffa Perfume Company” – you’re at the right place! With a happy hour from 18:00 - 21:00 offering 1+1 on all cocktails, it is definitely worth it to pop in a bit early for a deal. This elegant spot features a weekly mojito Monday as well as a massive selection of cocktails every day.
Sarona Compound, a 140-year-old former Templar colony, is the first culinary center of its kind in Israel. An 8,700-square-meter market houses dozens of specialty food shops from all around the world. Inside the market, you’ll find everything imaginable from Dutch cheese to waffle towers and even Asian buns. Just outside the indoor market, dozens of clothing, book and shoe stores line its lanes, interspersed with lily ponds and grassy areas to relax.
Cafelix is a beautifully designed cafe with expertly created coffees. From frothy cappuccinos to the steamy double-shot espresso, this spot is a hipster sipster’s favorite spot from morning to afternoon. Though the place is swarming with cuddly dogs, there’s still space to enjoy the superfast wifi and quality beans. The leader in the ever changing and evolving Tel Aviv coffee scene, Cafelix will fulfill your dire need for that first morning cup and cure your post-work sleepiness with an evening pick-me-up.