Yelp doesn’t seem to exist in Tel Aviv, so I thought you all might enjoy reading about my favorite restaurants in Tel Aviv. I go to Tel Aviv quite frequently, so here are some of my favorite picks from my last couple of visits to this magical city! *for reviews of these restaurants from other people, search Google Maps and Trip Advisor, most places in Israel are on these sites
Saluf and Sons (Yemenite food)- Every time I try to ask Israelis with Yemenite backgrounds where the best place to get Yemenite food is in Tel Aviv, the consistent response I receive is, “my mother’s house”. I have not had the chance to eat traditional Yemenite food in the Yemenite quarter in Tel Aviv yet, but I’d imagine there are plenty of great options there. At Saluf and Sons I shared a lachuch (spongy yemenite bread) with pesto, egg, sesame seeds, tomato and roasted eggplant), and a lentil stew served on top of couscous. Our server was very friendly, and explained that nothing in the restaurant is fried, even their malawach, which is apparently rare for Yemenite restaurants, which normally have use a lot of frying and oil. I also enjoyed the lachuch dessert pizza that was stuffed with nutella and caramelized bananas. The service here was really friendly, and we were given a free shot (called chaser in Hebrew for some reason) of Arak just for being there.
Moon Sushi (sushi)- interesting sushi rolls. Make sure to try the Tawa (you can choose your raw fish or get a vegan version), a rice stack filled with nori, pistachios, avocado and raw fish (optional). I got the Tuna and it was delicious! I also got the batata (sweet potato roll) and the Mr. Premier (which included cooked salmon on top and was absolutely divine. Wait times here can be crazy, so make sure to set a reservation if you can.
Meshek Barzilay (Vegan International Cafe)- located in Neve Tzedek. I came here after getting a recommendation to eat here from an American, meat-eating friend and was so pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this place! The vibe was so cute, the service was great, the food and drink options were interesting and most importantly, the food was delicious! I ordered the dosa and my friend ordered the mushroom burger (which I honestly preferred). I also ordered an almond milk cafe afuch (cappuccino), which I wasn’t expecting to like (I normally don’t like a strong taste of almonds in my coffee, but for some reason the almond milk here tasted like regular milk!
Bread Story (Cafe with delicious food and baked goods)-Located in the city center on Dizengoff street. I ordered the English muffin, which comes homemade and stuffed with poached egg, cheese, spinach cream and tomato confit. My friend ordered the french toast and said that it was the best she had ever eaten. Simply heavenly!
Delicatassen (bakery and deli)- located in Ramat Aviv (Northern Tel Aviv) and open on Shabbat! This bakeshop has the same owners as Bakery and has the same (and more) delectable savory and sweet baked goods. I highly recommend trying their cream puffs, which are the best I have ever eaten.
Anastasia (Vegan Cafe)- located next to Frishman Beach in the city center. I got this restaurant as a recommendation from many meat eating friends. I loved the food here but found the service rude, and preferred the vibe and variety of options at Meshek Barzilay. I ordered the sweet potato quiche (which was good but nothing remarkable), and my friend ordered a dosa, which I liked much more than my own dish, and even more than the dosa at Meshek Barzilay (see above for review of this place)
HaShomer 1 (Casual sandwiches and bites) in Shuk HaCarmel: Visited this place after seeing my friend post a delicious challah sandwich on her insta story. Perfect for meat eaters and vegans alike, this restaurant served the best challah sandwich I’ve ever had. The fragrance of the restaurant was incredible, so my friend and I already knew we were in for a treat when we sat inside. We ordered the fried cauliflower appetizer, which came as a whole head of cauliflower topped with tahini and vegetables. I then ordered the vegetarian challah sandwich that had roasted eggplant, egg, tehina and vegetarian latkes with a side of fries fries (which are actually potato wedges). The sandwiches are massive and I was getting pretty stuffed from the cauliflower before, but it was so good I had every last bite! Two of my friends have had the schnitzel sandwich here and loved it.
Abulafia (Arab Bakery)- many locations are open across Tel Aviv, but my favorite is located in Yafo (Jaffa). My favorite item here is a sambusak, which I typically fill with a hard boiled egg and fried eggplant. The fact that it is open 24/7 is also a huge perk, meaning I can enjoy fresh baked goods at any hour of the night (and on Shabbat/Saturday!)
Manta Ray (fine dining with a view, Seafood, Mediterranean)- On the beach close to Jaffa. This option is a little on the pricier end, but portions are generous. Plus, if you come for lunch and split dishes, it doesn’t end up being very expensive for lunch. Make sure to come when the sun is still out so you can enjoy the gorgeous ocean views!
Ze Sushi (nice sushi restaurant)- Located in the Basel neighborhood of Tel Aviv. The restaurant serves unique sushi items, but also has a variety of other delicious items including Bao Buns, sushi sandwiches, dim sum, banh mi and ramen bowls.
HaSushia (casual sushi)- Plenty of locations around Israel and Tel Aviv. I had coconut corn soup and a sushi sandwich filled with raw salmon, sweet potato and avocado. Both were delicious!
Max Brenner (Chocolate bar and restaurant, dessert heaven) – locations are all over the world, but I find that each restaurant has its own unique twist, and my favorite is located in Tel Aviv on Rothschild Street! This restaurant is a chocoholic’s dream, with items ranging from chocolate pizza to chocolate martinis. Even though I can’t stop by this place without ordering at least one chocolate item, I also love the savory food at this location. Most recently, I tried a waffle grilled cheese with pesto, which was absolutely delicious.
Sabich Tchernichovsky(near Shuk Hacarmel, casual) The best sabich in all of Israel according to a friend who spent a year and a half living in Israel. Recently tried and confirmed, it has definitely been my favorite sabich in all of Israel. It is a quite hole-in-the-wall storefront with no seating, and has quite a long line, but is so worth it. They also have gluten-free pita for those who can’t eat gluten! I highly recommend the classic sabich with all of the toppings.
Recommendations that I want to go to (and haven’t had a chance yet):
Okinawa– sushi in Neve Tzedek
Cafe Xoho– was recommended the morning smoothie
Bread and Co- many reviews claim they have the best breakfast in Tel Aviv
Dalida– located in Levinsky Market. Small plates, reviews say that they recommend getting a reservation
Goocha– Italian (and non-kosher) Seafood
Sabich Tchernichovsky– supposedly the best sabich in all of Israel according to a friend who spent a year and a half living in Israel
Hummus Abu Dabi-I had the fries and falafel here (both of which were hot and fresh). Fries were also homemade, which isn’t always the case in falafel spots in Israel. However because I want a chance to eat a full meal here, it is still a place I want to try, as a few people claimed this place has the best hummus in all of Israel.
Thanks for reading, and let me know if you stop by any of these places by commenting on here or reaching out @ahavabite on social media.