Did you know that three Michelin stars means a restaurant is so good, it’s worth traveling to, just to have a meal? Fun fact, but those are expensive, and I’d rather head to a destination like Tel Aviv, Israel where you can enjoy a never ending supply of outrageously good meals, at far more palatable prices too.
In this ever satisfying pursuit, Tel Aviv is one of the finest cities you can aim for, with distinctive twists on Middle Eastern cuisine and things you won’t find anywhere else.
With Israel set to begin a phased reopening to international visitors, here’s a guide for dining through the city’s endless delicious options, since it’s tipped to be one of the best places to visit this year…
Tel Aviv is easy access from most of Europe, but after any flight – coffee is always the right play. Always. If you’re into the good stuff, like V60, pour over and flat whites with alternative milks, Tel Aviv has a few gems that will satisfy a coffee snob without doubt.
Cafelix is a choice staple with a few locations, Nahat is fabulous and if you need a couple more, CoffeeShop 51 and WayCup deliver the goods with all the single origin, oat milk goodness you need. And yes, they have regular milk too.
When the coffee starts to wear off, you can’t go wrong with lunch spots in Tel Aviv’s hip districts like Florentin, Shabazi, Neve Tzedek and Lev Hair. While in Israeli, it’s tough to pass on Israeli cuisine and you’ll find fabulous options with Casbah or Mashya.
What to eat? Tel Aviv is famous for shakshuka, hummus, ful, burika and anything else that sounds yum. Whether you’re vegetarian or not, Israel has superb produce, and with accompaniments like yoghurt in spices and potent sauces, vegetables shine here, as does the sun.
To make your life easier, we made a map with all these places which you can download, so you’ll always know which great option is closest. You’re welcome.
If there’s a simple way to describe Tel Aviv, it’s like the buzz of Southern California, with better and generally cheaper food. And I love Southern California!
From low key delight to finding dining spotlight you can find just about everything you could want in Tel Aviv. Oh, and if you’re craving some Southern California, Mezcal does great tacos – and of course… mezcal.
If low key, delicious but chic is what you’re after, Mashya is simply exceptional, with inventive twists on great Middle Eastern ingredients in a buzzy but understated setting. Night Kitchen, HaBasta and Casbah are also superb. They’re not “budget” but they’re reasonable and you’ll devour every morsel.
For posh-o, sterling silver and white linen style service, Tel Aviv has a real top chef scene, particularly in hotels. Sharon Cohen is a star here, and Shila is a super treat – if you’re a baller, as are OCD TLV and Toto. All high end, all quirky, all cool. And yes, all worth checking the price before sitting down.