With world class restaurants and an advantageous position along the Mediterranean coast, it’s not hard to see why Tel Aviv in Israel, is often considered the culinary capital of the Middle East. Everything and anything can be found here, from traditional Middle Eastern flavours to achingly modern food trends. Love hummus? Expect to see it elevated from a simple side dish to the star of the plate. A fan of sushi? You’re in luck – Tel Aviv has over a hundred sushi restaurants, just less than Tokyo and NYC.
But with so much choice, it can often be difficult to know how to narrow down your options. Luckily for you, we’ve rounded up some of favourite foodie spots, so you’ll know exactly where to eat in Tel Aviv on your next visit to the city.
Combining Moroccan and Middle Eastern influences, Mashya is the perfect place to visit if you love your food with a side of theatre. Here, bread is served impaled on tree branches inside the sleek white dining room, whilst dishes celebrate cutting edge cooking techniques executed perfectly by talented head chef Yossi Shitrit. The ingredients come straight from the fishing wharves and busy markets of Tel Aviv, and include delights such as yellowtail sashimi served with celery zhug and pickled cucumber, or lamb kanafeh served alongside potato foam, kadaif and dried rose petals.
The idea for Taizu was born from head chef Yuval Ben Neriah’s travels through Southeast Asia. After studying and falling in love with the flavours and style of cooking, Neriah developed the cuisine he likes to call ‘AsiaTerranean’, combining the flavours of Asia with the fresh, local ingredients of his home country. The result is a mouthwatering culinary triumph; think dumplings filled with shrimp and Jerusalem artichoke, or steak infused with lemongrass and Vietnamese spices. Staff will encourage you to order a variety of dishes to truly appreciate the menu, and we can assure you, it’s the right thing to do.
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Shlomo & Doron Hummus
The humble chickpea staple is elevated to almost celebrity status at Shlomo & Doron, a third generation local favourite that has remained true to its original hummus recipe since 1937. Located near Carmel Market in the Yemenite Quarter, multiple dish variations mean you can explore their famous hummus however you like. Opt for the ‘regular’ of hummus topped with olive oil, paprika, cumin, parsley and lemon, or be bold and try the shakshuka hybrid. Only open for breakfast and lunch, if you want to prioritise where to eat in Tel Aviv, make this place a necessity.
Once named the world’s most beautiful restaurant, Pastel is a feast for the eyes and the taste buds. Fittingly located underneath the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the restaurant ticks all the boxes of an upmarket brasserie, but has the added benefit of a geometrically designed ceiling that appears to billow and dance with light. Once you’ve drunk in the architectural genius, the Mediterranean inspired menu crafted by chef Hikel Tavakoli, will be the next thing to blow you away. Black linguini with seafood and okra, or tuna sashimi with curry vinaigrette are just two of many masterpieces to choose from.
There may not be a website or phone number for Jasmino, but the queues will indicate you’ve come to the right place. Located at 97 Allenby Street, this no fuss pita joint is practically a Tel Aviv legend. Stuffed with ingredients like chicken thighs, spicy veal hearts and lamb sweetbreads and topped with tahini, amba and fresh veggies, prepare for messy faces and hands as you try and fail to keep clean.
If you’ve been wondering where to eat in Tel Aviv, we hope you’re wondering no longer. This is a city that celebrates flavour and modernity in equal measure, and the best way to experience it all is to see for yourself! Discover Trafalgar’s Best of Israel itinerary, and let us know if we’ve missed any of Tel Aviv’s foodie highlights by adding your top tips in the comments below.