Tel Aviv is a famously foodie city, but with so many great and trendy places, it’s hard to know what’s good and what’s just hot right now. From fine Italian to intimate bistros that use only local ingredients, here’s a list of the most popular places in Tel Aviv that are actually worthy of that title.
Bistro, Israeli, $$$
Dok is the latest eatery from the two brothers whose grill joint (The Brothers) thrust them to the forefront of Tel Aviv’s cool culinary scene. Dok is a small bistro that uses only Israeli ingredients and products. It serves great contemporary dishes with truly local flavors that utilize Israel’s rich agriculture. Even the New York Times has taken note.
Orna & Ella
Restaurant, Israeli, $$$
One of Tel Aviv’s longest-standing restaurants, Orna & Ella caters to Tel Aviv’s aging bohemians and stylish center-dwelling young professionals. Located on Tel Aviv’s famous Shenkin Street, Orna & Ella has a vegan-friendly menu, a gay-friendly attitude, and is a place many in Tel Aviv call home. Both stylish and quaint, with a great garden patio, it is truly a Tel Aviv establishment, and their famous sweet potato pancakes will leave you speechless.
Brasserie, French, $$$
A staple of Tel Aviv’s dinner circuit, this French-style bistro offers a romantic and intimate place for dinner in the dead center of Tel Aviv, with arguably the city’s best schnitzel. Sitting on a beautiful corner in central Tel Aviv, Cafe Noir offers a great dining experience in a sexy yet reserved setting. Beyond everything, the food and atmosphere are great, so make sure to check this place out.
Restaurant, Italian, $$$
The brainchild of two local chefs, La Republica is one of the city’s best situated and most fun Italian restaurants. In the “Lev Ha’ir” district, this restaurant serves authentic Italian food based on fresh ingredients from the restaurant’s own organic garden. Alongside real cured cold-cuts and amazing cheeses, La Republica serves some of the city’s best fresh pastas and pizzas, so if it’s Italian you’re after, this is the place for you.
This hidden gem is almost invisible to the non-Tel Avivian eye: nestled on the corner of a semi-secret street on the border of the Yemenite Quarter and the southern edge of the center, Gedera 26 is small and stylish, yet distinct in its rare combination of a laid back attitude and fine food. With a menu based partially on what’s good and partially on classics from European Jewishkitchens, Gdera is a great place for a fun and local dinner.
Milgo & Milbar
Restaurant, Contemporary, $$$
Clean and minimalist, Milgo & Milbar quietly barged into the ranks of Tel Aviv’s most popular dinner restaurants with an understated style and amazing dedication to quality and details. Overlooking both Rothschild and the HaBima Square (Culture Place), this restaurant offers a great Tel Avivian take on upscale dining without being stuffy. It’s the perfect place for a romantic and delicious dinner.
Wine Bar, Contemporary, $$$
It’s hard to say whether the Social Club is a trendy bar with a great restaurant, or a trendy restaurant with a great bar, but this wine bar-come-bistro is both and more. Loud and always packed with trendy Tel Aviv professionals, this is the place for those who like fine wine with their food. Sit at the bar to enjoy the atmosphere. This is not the place to bring your parents, however, so go later for the full experience.
Brasserie, Restaurant, French, $$$
A distant forefather of Cafe Noir, the Coffee Bar is neither a cafe nor a bar: it is in fact Tel Aviv’s first real brasserie. What started as a small bakery with a changing menu has grown into a culinary powerhouse with a network of great restaurants and hotels. It is popular with locals, and favorites include the famous hamburger in red wine and the duck confit. Reserve a table in advance or lose out to repeat-visiting locals.