While 'being vegan' has become a trendy identifier in the last few years, the local Tel Aviv vegan restaurant scene actually has the chops to back up the goods. Thanks to Israel's climate and varying landscapes, harvesting tasty, healthy fruits and vegetables are a slam dunk (as proven by the colourful arrays at the markets) and diners get to reap the benefits. These vegan and vegetarian hotspots are here to help make our Israel a vegan-friendly Israel. Looking to cook up a storm in your own digs? Take advantage of the local offering and head to one of Israel's markets for a vegan foodie shopping adventure. Whether out and about or cooking from home, don't forget to wash down that tofu with a nice glass of Israeli wine.
The top Tel Aviv vegan-friendly hotspots
Located in the middle of the beautiful Neve Tzedek neighborhood, this organic vegetarian and vegan bistro feels like a secret vegan hideaway. The bright, welcoming restaurant overflows with garden-fresh ingredients which celebrate Israel’s bounty: overflowing salads, homemade cashew cheeses, impressive breakfasts, and a diverse, cultured menu.
This once-carnivorous Georgian restaurant/bar was wildly-popular from the get-go. Best known for late nights-turned-early-mornings with Tel Aviv's party set, the rowdy bar is often a stage for late-night partiers and their liquor-infused dance moves. When owner Nana Schreier decided she was done with meat and ready to turn this well-loved spot to a vegan one, this place continued to thrive. Enjoy new-to-you flavors and fresh-from-the-oven Georgian pastries and breads, as well as chinkalis, Georgian dumplings and stuffed vegetables.
Chef Harel Zakaim is all about exploring everything local at his farm-to-table restaurant, which merges seasonal ingredients with authentic Israeli cuisine. You might even forget that this place is vegan, since the menu is wholly focused on the glory of the ingredients rather than simply finding substitutes for meat dishes. Everything is made in-house, even the breads, pastries and desserts. The fries are a sublime treat, baked in the oven until soft, then torn by hand and lightly fried.Try the creamy polenta, the hand-made lasagna or the burnt eggplant dish, served with tahini and homemade challah to soak up all of the savory juices. Even the cocktails are made from scratch: the Zakaim-style Bloody Mary is bursting with the freshness of crushed cherry tomatoes, and the popular Almond Arak cocktail is made from strained almonds and juicy Medjool dates. When you visit, be sure to have a glass of Persian soda, made by Chef Harel’s mom herself. (She brings it in a few times a week). This sweet soda can only be found here! Stop by around lunch time for the business lunch menu, as well as special prices on desserts and alcohol.
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.
Gather around the table of this Southern Tel Aviv foodie gem for a homey vegan Ethiopian feast. Set your sights on the injera bread, a gigantic sourdough flatbread resembling a spongy pancake made from nutrient-rich teff flour. Injera is served in the middle of the table and topped with an assortment of slow-cooked stews and toppings. The selection of colorful mixtures includes options such as the Shiro, a spicy pea and hummus stew, as well as cooked chard leaves and Ethiopian tahini. Use your hands to scoop up the spicy mixture into the injera bread and pop each flavorful combination in your mouth! Although utensils are completely unnecessary at an Ethiopian lunch, you will need them for the Kita Fit-Fit, a comfort dish in which cubes of bread are cooked in sunflower butter with a blend of spices like ginger and garlic and then covered in tomato sauce. For dessert, try the gluten-free flan-like pudding made from teff flour, ginger, coconut, cinnamon and walnuts, sweetened with maple syrup.