© Dan Perez

Winners of Time Out Tel Aviv's Eating & Drinking Awards announced!

Take a look at the best of the best Tel Aviv has to offer in the food and drink scene

By Dalit Nemirovsky
Every year, come end of December, all the who's who of Tel Aviv's bustling culinary scene come together to hear the verdict. Which is the best restaurant in the city? Who is the up-and-coming chef wonder? Who is the bartender with the right attitude? And where the hell do you find the hottest pizza slice in town? This year, the party took place in the city’s new, hot and happening event space, Beit Hasmachot ('house of joy' in Hebrew) - and joyful it was. Time Out Tel Aviv announced the winners in each category and the crowd roared. When the evening ended, some left the party screaming, while some left hoping for a better outcome next year. We believe that just being nominated is a great honour.

And the winners are....

© Dan Perez

Best Restaurant - Mashya

Restaurants Mediterranean Tel Aviv City Center

Located in the Mendeli Street Hotel, this contemporary restaurant spearheaded by Chef Yossi Shitrit (Kitchen Market, Onza) showcases modern cuisine with Moroccan touches. His sophisticated touch and cutting edge culinary are the perfect palette pleasing combination. A feast for your senses, Mashya is one of the most celebrated restaurants in the city.

Thai at Har Sinai
© Anatoly Michaello

Best New Restaurant - Thai at Har Sinai

Restaurants Thai White City

This trendy spot is ideal for anyone looking for a fun night out that won’t break the bank. The atmosphere really makes this place unique. Surprisingly, it has a very Copacabana feel, with a funk/soul DJ playing one great tune after another. The drinks are excellent, providing a large range of creative cocktails. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, the lychee mojito is for you. The menu is comprised of relatively small dishes, perfect for sharing. The flavours are slightly sweeter than you are likely to find in authentic Thai restaurants, yet asian nonetheless. If you are not a fan of spice, make sure to tell your waiter/waitress- the chefs are definitely big fans of the chilli.

Imperial Craft Coctail Bar
© Ben Yuster

Best Bar - Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar

Bars Cocktail bars Tel Aviv City Center

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.’

Cafe Europa
© PR

Best Gastro Bar - Cafe Europa

Restaurants Israeli White City

One of Tel Aviv’s hippest restaurants, Cafe Europa is a must stop for those looking to eat and drink the best of what Israel has to offer. Start your evening off with a special dinner based around local Israeli flavors, and continue to a wild night in their second floor cocktail bar. With a signature green gin cocktail – the perfect refreshing mix for the Tel Aviv summer, you’ll be sipping all night long. You’re welcome to sit under the old tree in the yard, at the bar on the top floor, or on the balcony overlooking the entire restaurant. Cool breezes and rich Mediterranean and world music will make your evening magical.

Santa Katarina
© Shlomi Yosef

Best Indie Restaurant - Santa Katarina

Restaurants Mediterranean White City

Effortlessly fashionable, this restaurant and bar serves up ethnic cooking with the best local ingredients and a meticulous attention to detail. Eclectic spices, fresh breads from the Tabun (clay oven) and modern takes on Mediterranean comfort food, make it one of the top prize winning restaurants in the city.

Haim Cohen
© Ilya Melnikov

Best Chef - Haim Cohen // Yaffo-Tel Aviv

Restaurants Mediterranean Tel Aviv - Jaffa

Chef Haim Cohen is one of the most respected chefs in Israel, and Yaffo-Tel Aviv is his baby, where his love for food is released. At the center of it all is a beautiful tabun (clay oven). The genre here is contemporary Israeli cuisine with the menu composed of seafood served with rich tahini, handmade gnocchi, the freshest local vegetables, fresh-from-the-tabun focaccia and premium quality meats. This is Israeli cooking at its finest as all the best ingredients come together harmoniously on each plate.

Yahaloma Levi
© Ilya Melnikov

Best Female Chef - Yahaloma Levi // Yahaloma Banamal

Restaurants Israeli Tel Aviv Beach 

Yahaloma Banamal’s menu combines local, seasonal, high quality ingredients from the farmers market located next door. Alongside chef Berman, chef Yahaloma Levi aims to provide diners with the best flavors using the freshest ingredients. Try one of her many creative dishes, such as the fish kebabs and radicchio with chard ravioli, salsa Verde and Bulgarian Meiri. The restaurant is vegetarian and vegan friendly. Located in the Tel Aviv Port, Yahaloma Banamal has a meal you won’t want to miss!

Raz Rahav
© Ilya Melnikov

Best Young Chef - Raz Rahav // OCD

Restaurants 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.

Anatoly Michaello photographer

Best Pastry Chef - Ana Shapiro // Taizu

Restaurants Pan-Asian 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.


Best Bartender - Ariel Leizgold // 223

Bars Cocktail bars Old North

Founded in 2008 by one of the world’s most popular bartenders, Ariel Leizgold, 223 has retained its title as a star of the Dizengoff bar scene. Why not try the cocktail that first won Leizgold an international bartending title, the Passion Fruit 2006, made from vodka, ginger, apricot brandy and passion fruit? Or sample one of their prohibition-style cocktails like the Vieux Carré, with rye, cognac, sweet vermouth and bitters. Or, if you’re feeling truly adventurous, tell one of the professionally trained mixologists your flavor preferences and let them work their mixmaster magic. No matter what you choose, you can’t lose. Transcend time and place at the bar that raised the bar in central Tel Aviv.

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