Israel has some of the finest tomatoes in the world, so it’s no wonder they are a daily dietary staple. From raw to slow cooked, Israelis have mastered making the most of their abundance of this fresh produce, which explains the ease with which they've accepted the vegan trends. Enjoy the art of the tomato in its full glory as it is put on display like an exhibition, while also getting your fill of protein and energy revving spices by treating your taste buds to a warm pan of shakshuka. This dish promises a true traditional Israeli breakfast experience. If it’s your first time, be ready to come back - no one eats shakshuka just once. If you want to try it at home, head up to the closest market, or for different budget meals, take a look at our list of best street food in Tel Aviv and Jaffa. Bet you can't eat just one.
Shakshuka shops in Tel Aviv
This lively Carmel Market spot is a shakshuka haven, serving up fancy versions of the über-popular baked eggs in tomato sauce. Take your pick of any of the unique renditions of this local dish, such as the Spanish version with salami, spinach and chickpeas, or the Italian version featuring goat cheese and basil.
Featuring a family recipe passed down through several generations, Shakshukia specializes in an Israeli classic made with tomatoes, sweet peppers, onions, eggs, and of course, lots of love - shakshuka! The cozy restaurant serves up several adaptations of their classic recipe, including shakshuka with hummus, chicken shawarma or the always adored eggplant. Dig into other Israeli specialties alongside your main course, such as chopped salads and hummus starters. Located just steps away from Gordon Beach, Shakshukia is a go-to place to rewind after a long day of tanning and drinking, especially if home feels too far away.
This hearty spot, located in the Jaffa Flea Market, is the brainchild of Bino Gabso, aka Dr. Shakshuka. For many years, people have flocked to this restaurant for authentic Tripolitan food and the signature shakshuka (baked eggs in tomato sauce). These come in many different renditions; try it with mushrooms, or shawarma, or a selection of other amazing add-ins.
Opened by Shlomo in 1937, his grandson Doron carries on the legacy of serving this humble chickapea staple with no frills attached. While hummus is their speciality, this longstanding establishment sticks to tradition, and has a divine, reliable traditional shakshuka on the menu. Outdoor seating on a cobblestone street, with an atmosphere heightened by the sounds and smells of Carmel Market, Shlomo and Doron has a truly authentic feel.
Ha’achim is a bustling restaurant on busy Ibn Gvirol Street. Lively and friendly, it is like dining in the welcoming home of a Tel Aviv local. The emphasis is on fresh ingredients set in a location that radiates a trendy Tel Aviv vibe in an unpretentious atmosphere. The menu is composed of a myriad of house-made salads, kebabs and homegrown Israeli food.
The authentic, richly flavorful Yemenite breads and stews at Saluf & Sons are served in a hip, casual atmosphere, bolstering the Levinsky Market reputation for spices and yuppies. Yemenite cuisine is famous for taking water and flour and miraculously shapeshifting them into a thing of beauty: heavenly breads with incredible tastes and textures. Start with the 'kubaneh' to have fresh, hot bread with a variety of dips, and follow up with a flaky 'malawach' wrap (fried pancake-like Yemenite bread) paired with a 'shawia' beef stew over couscous. There's nothing more refreshing than ending a heav(enl)y meal off with juicy watermelon slices and a side of bulgarit cheese, an off-menu item that all the locals in the know order. Their already reasonable prices are even more reasonable during their daily happy hour, so much so that they'll have you on your knees thanking Israel for “Operation Magic Carpet.”
While wandering Shuk HaPishpeshim (Jaffa Flea Market), grab a seat at Shaffa Bar serving up local food, seasonal ingredients, and super creative dishes. During the day, the spot is hip and chic and serves up a mean shakshuka; at night, the scene is complemented with creative cocktails and occasional music shows.
Bucke is a trendy cafe with something for every mood. Enjoy the sunshine at the outdoor bar, overlooking the streets, or chill out in the colorful-yet-cozy interior. Mismatched rustic furniture, sofas, chairs and vegetable-centered food make this place an everyday stop for relaxing. The food is healthy and plentiful—try the vegan shakshuka, bursting with vegetables, or opt for hearty sandwiches and buttery chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven.
Down the street from the beautiful Nachalat Binyamin craft market (open Tuesdays and Fridays) stands a neighborhood spot with an extensive salad bar buffet of down-to-earth hot and cold dishes. Cafe Birenbaum has over 50 options from light cabbage salads and bean salads to buckwheat and couscous. A cast of distinctive “Tel Aviv” characters – from hungry young beachgoers to patrons of “a certain age” – have been eating here for years, all for the same reason: to feel at home. For NIS 50 (cash only), you get all you can eat hot and cold salads, quiches and other vegetarian grub. This hidden gem has been open and serving these sensational salads since 1962.