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Janna Gur's Culinary Guide: Tel Aviv

My Ten Favorite Restaurants in Tel Aviv
This list doesn't include the most expensive and famous ones - those you will be able to find on your own.


18 Lilenbloom St. 03-5165198
It is easy to overlook this modestly designed restaurant, but after a few bites from almost any item on the seasonal menu, you will be seduced by sensitive, sophisticated but never pretentious cooking by the beautiful chef-owner Einav Berman. Currently my favorite restaurant in town.

Cucina Tamar
Hatzfira 10 03-6390407
Authentic yet personal and always delicious, this is the best Italian restaurant in Tel Aviv. The service, albeit friendly, tends to be slow, but the ambience is always pleasant.

Abraxas (aka North Abraxas)
40 Lilenbloom St. 03-5104435
Eyal Shani, the mad genious of the local food scene is behind this new hot spot. He cooks there only twice a week but his spirit, and talented crew is present all week. Try to get a seat on a circular bar to get a good view of the action (maybe eveb the Maestro himself, intent on chopping tomatoes). Don't miss a slowly braised whole red cabbage and chocolate mousse served in a paper cone.

226 Ben Yehuda St.
Gifted and sexy Avi Biton serves up unorthodox versions of French bistro fare with strong Moroccan and Turkish accent. Saturday brunches are an unbeatable deal.

Chadar Haochel (The Dining Hall)
23 Saul hamelech st. 03-6966188
Fashioned after a communal kibbutz dining hall, with long wooden tables and bare brick walls, this is not a place for a quiet romantic dinner, but fresh and delicious renditions of all-Israeli favorites, from chopped liver to schnitzel with mashed potatoes, made it one of the busiest restaurants in town. Strategically situated between the Opera house and Tel Aviv Museum, it is packed at all hours. Check the breakfast menu (only during weekends) and family style Friday night dinners.
Warm Date Cakes
Chicken Drumsticks with Israeli Couscous in Ras El-Hanoot

Tazza d'Oro
Echad Haam St. 6 03-5166329
This exquisite café tucked away right at the entrance to Newe Tzedek is a truly multi task eating establishment with lavish breakfasts (check out their chocolate buns and mushroom ragout shakshuka), generous and sweetly priced lunches and perfect cups of cappuccino at all hours.

Coffee Bar
13 Yad Haruzim St. 03-6889696
Don't be fooled by its name, this place may have started out as an espresso bar but over the years it has developed into a full fledged restaurant, consistently offering expertly made bistro fare and great ambience.

Hotel Montefiore
36 Montefiore, 03-5646100
Owned by the same group as the Coffee Bar, this restaurant occupies one of the most beautiful townhouses in downtown Tel Aviv. The décor feels like Cote d'Azure, waitresses wear little black dresses and the menu features French classics along with Vietnamese specialties. Their consommé with goose liver ravioli is a revelation. Check out the exquisite 12 room boutique hotel upstairs.

Orna and Ella
33 Shenkin St 03-5252085
This Tel Aviv landmark is still going strong .Legendary yam cakes are not the only reason you are here - the rest of the veggie friendly menu is as charming as all-male waiting staff.
Orna and Ella's Sweet Potato Latkes (or Pancakes)

Sea&Sun 03-6996370
Recently renovated, this elegant seaside restaurant attracts locals and tourists alike. Prices are high, but the quality impeccable –from cut to order Israeli salad to freshly caught salt water fish and choice imported seafood.

More Favorites in Tel Aviv:
Iceberg 108 Ben Yehuda St +97235225025
Iceberg volcano kikar hamizraka (Tel Aviv Port) 03-6026000 – this brunch also serves great pizza.

Hotel Agadir
Tel Aviv Port 03-5444045
Funky retro décor goes well with yummy burgers and mean cocktails.

The new king of the thriving gourmet-burger scene.

Ali Carawan
1 Hadolphin st. Jaffa 03-6828255
Be prepared to eat standing up and make sure you order mesabbacha (a combo of warm chickpeas with tahini and spicy garlic sauce). The place opens up in the morning and closes down 14:00 pm
There is another branch on Shivtey Israel street, with plenty of seating arrangements, but the connoisseurs claim that the quality is not as good.

Tony Vespa
267 Dizengoff St.
140 Rothschild Blvd.
Pizza a taglio, just like in Rome, which means you can sample small portions with various toppings and decide which one you like the best. Don't expect any seating – grab your pizza and off you go.

Patisserie Dallal
7 Kol Israel Haverim St. 03-5109292
Situated near Dallal restaurant (also worth checking) this jewelbox of a cafe has the best rugelach in Tel Aviv and very sinful Danish pastries.

3 Rabbi Yohanan St. Jaffa
A brand new place near the Jaffa Flea Market has already developed a steady following.

Middle Eastern (Misada Mizrachit)
Itzik Hagadol (Big Itzik)
3 Raziel St. Jaffa, 03-5181802
Plethora of mezze salads (all fresh and well made), followed by skewered grilled meats, including offals and grilled foie gras.

Tel Aviv Port, 03-6025026
The design is somewhat bland, but the food is light, healthy and interesting,

4 Weizman St. 03-6091331
Since the talented Noam Deckers, has been appointed a chef, the level of sophistication has definitely raised. Recently opened bakery Liliyot is a good option for a lite bite.

Buddah Burger
21 Yehuda Halevi St. 03-5101222/333
86 Eben Gvirol St.03-5223040
Check out their Briggitte Bardot veggie burgers

Giraffe Officers Club
49 eben gvirol St. 03-6916294
The flagship restaurant of the popular Giraffe chain offers big bowls of tasty noodles and other Pan-Asian favorites.

Bayit Taylandi (Thai House)
8 Bugrashov St. 03-5178568
Deceptively humble looking, this restaurant is a favorite with local chefs, and for a good reason. Check out their "special menu" based on authentic Thai ingredients, and veggies grown specially for the restaurant.

19 Rothschild Blvd. 03-517-5171 Open daily afternoons-evenings.
Definitely the best sushi in town. Expensive, but their tasting menu is a fair deal.

18 Ha'arbaa St. 03-5620981
Noisy, stylish, expensive and usually very good.

Eating on the Beach
Me'ever le Katze (Tzuk/Mandarine Beach)
Packed at almost any hour by Tel Avivians in the know, this plainly looking beach eatery, serves very decent food (their Israeli salad is the best). You can sit on a veranda or on one of the comfy plastic chairs right next to the water and the food will come to you. Perfect after a long walk on the beach or for one of those balmy Tel Aviv summer nights.

Back to Janna Gur's Culinary Guide

Einav Berman, Assif (photo: Daniel Layla)
Chadar Haochel (photo: Daniel Layla)

Tazza d'Oro (Photo: Eilon Paz)







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