The most romantic restaurants in Israel

Chef quality fine dining, great Israeli wine and scenic views make up these ridiculously romantic restaurants in Israel

By Jennifer Greenberg
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Taizu ©Yafit Simcha

Whatever the reason – whether in desperate need of an escape from the children or looking for a pre-theatre prix-fixe in Neve Tzedek – these romantic restaurants in Israel will surely satisfy your hunger and get you in the mood. Five-star quality chefs, fine Israeli wines from wineries near and far and sensational cuisine from seafood to Italian are just the start. Add the arousing atmosphere – from panoramic views of the Golan Heights to candlelit rooftop restaurants in Jerusalem – to the table, and you’ll never want to return to reality again. Book a sitter, find a dog watcher and make reservations at one of these romantic restaurants. And, just in case, make sure the sitter’s schedule is free because if dinner goes well, you may be out all night seeing what other things you can do.

The top romantic restaurants in Israel

1
OCD
© Haim Yosef
Restaurants

OCD

Tel Aviv - Jaffa

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.

2
Taizu
© PR
Restaurants, Pan-Asian

Taizu

White City

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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3
Popina
© Haim Yosef
Restaurants, French

Popina

White City

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.

4
© Anatoly Michaello
Restaurants, Italian

Mel and Michelle

Old North

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. 

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5
Aria
© Ben Yuster
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Aria

White City

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.

6
Rooftop
© PR
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Rooftop

Jerusalem City Center

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.

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7
© Idit Ben Oliel
Restaurants, French

Hotel Montefiore

White City

Is there anything better than starting the day off with a chic breakfast of fluffy baked bread, perfectly-poached eggs and piles upon piles of pancakes? The restaurant inside the Hotel Montefiore offers a brunch menu that is as much an oasis of style as the boutique hotel itself. This one-of-a-kind classy vibe with antique silverware is the spot to spend your morning, but also the place to indulge in French cuisine cast under a Vietnamese spell any time of the day. 

8
Pastel
© PR
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Pastel

Tel Aviv - Jaffa

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.

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9
Talbiye
© PR
Restaurants, Cafés

Talbiye

Talbiya

Israeli top chefs Assaf Granit, Yossi Elad and Uri Navon long ago established the famous Machneyuda group, which operates restaurants all over the city. Talbiye is defined as a wine bar and functions during the day as a café. Next to your coffee, you can enjoy freshly baked goods, and next to your wine you can choose from various elegant dishes. The meticulously designed space and selection of seating options make Talbiye the perfect host for your weekend.

10
Kalamata
© PR
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Kalamata

Old Jaffa

Take in the breathtaking views of the Mediterranean at one of Jaffa’s most beautiful spots as the lively Greek music transports you to the Aegean. The Mediterranean cuisine is livened up with Arab, Greek, Cypriot, Italian and Israeli influences. Inside, the best seats in the house overlook the water; call ahead to book them.

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11
Mona
© Barak Prisman
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Mona

Nachlat Shiva

Situated in the old stone Artists’ House, this vibrant restaurant is further enlivened by its select menu where unusual, flavorful combinations always sing and are never heavy-handed. Expect to try the best seasonal and raw ingredients with menu items like fresh pastas made by hand, light and refreshing sashimis, and ultra creative desserts.

12
Cordero

Cordero

The latest addition to Neve Tzedek's slew of upscale restaurants is the brand new European tapas spot Cordero. The 140-seat restaurant, adjacent to the celebrated Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance, offers a menu of fine Southern European gastronomy, pulling from the seafood restaurants of France, the tapas bars of Spain and the trattorias of Italy. What could be more romantic? And the restaurant itself is suited up in the tradition of timeless European interior design with 20th-century Belgian chairs and French lamps from the 1930’s exuding intimate lighting, as well as plush chairs and lounge sofas, large velvet banquettes and the close quarters of bar seating. Few Tel Aviv restaurants opt for the fine dining look associated with white tablecloth dressings, but Cordero sets the refined tone right from the start.

Cordero, 6 Yechiely St, Tel Aviv, open for dinner from 6pm to midnight, Monday through Saturday, 03-5178486/cordero.co.il

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13
Cassis
© PR
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Cassis

Tel Aviv - Jaffa

No matter where you sit at Cassis, you're surrounded by a breathtaking panoramic view of the seashore and waves crashing in the background. With gorgeous modern design including turquoise-hued and white furniture, lit candle jars set the mood. The menu is composed of fresh treasures from the sea, such as golden paella with mussels, shrimp and calamari, and a symphony of salads and starters. It’s like going to a secluded romantic beach with everything ready and prepared just for you.

14
Muscat
© PR
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Muscat

Galilee

Perched atop the prestigious Mitzpe HaYamim Spa Hotel in Rosh Pina, Muscat boasts panoramic views of the eastern slopes of Mount Kna'an. This jewel of a restaurant exemplifies farm-to-table and garden-to-table food with seasonal fruits and vegetables. This restaurant is the place to taste freshly baked bread and pastries, farm-fresh vegetables, and cheeses from the goats and cows grazing nearby.

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15
Michael Bistro
© PR
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Michael Bistro

Galilee

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.

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