Surprise! Despite the myths of cold pizza-by-the-slice being the extent of Tel Aviv’s Italian cuisine scene, Israel’s top chefs have finally put the rumours to rest. Their handmade tagliatelle, homemade puttanesca and oven-baked thin crust pizzas are all a sweet symphony in your mouth. Throw in perfectly grilled seafood from the Mediterranean and tiramisus worth every calorie and it’s no wonder so many of these Tel Aviv restaurants were nominated for Time Out Tel Aviv's Eating and Drinking Awards. With so many delectable options though, how do you choose? We’ve lessened the load by mapping out the best restaurants in Tel Aviv for Italian cuisine.
The 10 best restaurants in Tel Aviv for a little taste of Italy
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.
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.
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.
Nearly always buzzing with a young, hip crowd, Magazzino serves up Italian comfort food at reasonable prices. The tabun (clay oven) is just as busy as the atmosphere with creative pizzas coming out at all times, from the classics to funky renditions like the chili cheese and gorgonzola or the spicy eggplant version. A fun spot for cocktails and bites.
The two buzz words, “intimate” and “Italian,” are phrases born to live together forever. Like pizza and cheese, pasta and sauce – it’s no surprise the classic restaurant run by chef Nir Wayman imbues a sense of magic inspired by Italy. With awards and a continuously growing fan base, bring your date for the handmade gnocchi, fresh pasta and local produce – and if that doesn’t work out, the food will never fail to draw you into a long life relationship with Mel & Michelle. They’ll snatch your heart and keep you coming back for more.
When Roni Belfer and Motti Sofer created La Repubblica, they strove to develop a restaurant that upheld their core culinary values of creating local, seasonal and fresh food, while continuously preserving rich Italian culinary heritage. Many of the restaurant’s vegetables and herbs are grown fresh in their very own backyard garden. Alongside the displayed cheeses, cold cuts and famous anti-pasti, they prepare homemade pastas, bake fresh pizzas, and cook meat and fish with extreme attention to detail. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you’ll need a good excuse not to pop in and enjoy the rustic cuisine.
Fittingly located in Neve Tzedek, the most romantic and quaint neighborhood in Tel Aviv, lies a lovely little authentic Italian restaurant named Beccafico. The menu here changes often, as they serve only the freshest produce that’s in season. It can be a challenge to find a truly well-made pizza in Israel, but take solace in the fact that Beccafico lovingly creates other-worldly homemade pies with thin and crispy crust. And don’t forget to put on some decadent toppings such as goat cheese, sweet potato, and smoked goose. They also offer other authentic Italian dishes such as melt-in-your-mouth gnocchi, a variety of seasonal pasta dishes, and creamy burrata cheese and tomato salad. For dessert? Try the heavenly tiramisu.
If you want to feel the glamorous side of Tel-Aviv, the Cantina is where you’ll want to go. It's well known for the numerous sightings of famous Israeli actors and public figures, so if you’re looking to spot some stars, you’ve come to the right place. The menu features a variety of authentic Italian dishes from penne vodka to rich ravioli. The restaurant features a large patio overlooking the iconic Rothschild Boulevard, making Cantina the perfect spot to enjoy some fresh pasta and cocktails while watching the people pass by the beautiful tree-lined boulevard.
Bellini is a charming restaurant that’s been a part of the breathtaking Suzanne Dellal courtyard for over two decades. At this strictly Tel Avivian take on rustic Italian cuisine, you’ll find red-and-white checkered tablecloths and a massive stone fireplace wafting the fragrance of toasted focaccia. Bellini’s menu combines classic cuisine with exciting culinary updates. Discover luscious handmade pastas, fresh seafood and pizza made with seasonal ingredient combinations that sing together in perfect harmony.
Huddled in the newly opened Sarona is an historic German Templar compound established in the 19th century that now flaunts a slew of boutiques and restaurants fit for couples, friends and families. Third time's the charm as Rustico’s other two branches in Tel Aviv are humming with patrons from all over the world. Begin with beef Carpaccio and a fresh salad, take a breather with a gorgeously homemade brick-stone oven focaccia and end off slurping up a perfectly creamy pasta. Delicate flavors, relaxed atmosphere and little Italy in Israel, remember Rustico.