There is an addictive quality unique to the spectrum of Asian cuisines, making it a beloved staple in many Western countries. As the foodie capital and cultural melting pot of Israel, Asian restaurants have been popping up all over the city of Tel Aviv. Here are some of the best.
Charmingly decorated with bright colors and prints reminiscent of its namesake city, Hanoi specializes in Vietnamese cuisine. They serve classic dishes such as Pho and Bahn Mi as well as other southeast Asian favorites. Hanoi has perfected the subtle balance between fresh herbs and powerful spices characteristic of Vietnamese cooking. The result is a mouthwatering burst of flavor with every bite.
Hanoi, Lilienblum St. 18, Tel Aviv, Israel, +972 03-533-7962
There is nothing quite like an excellent Pad Thai, perfectly seared shrimps peaking out of a plate of steaming rice noodles topped with crunchy sprouts and chunks of peanut goodness. Or maybe slivers of beef and water chestnut floating in a sea spicy green curry is more to your liking? Either way, no one does it better than the new kid on the block, Nam. To ensure a fresh and authentic culinary experience, Nam grows Thai vegetables not native to Israel on a private farm. This spot is already well known in the Tel Aviv community and tends to fill up quickly, so be sure to make reservations in advance.
Nam, Dizengoff St. 275, Tel Aviv, Israel, +972 03-670-8050
Located on Ben Yehuda Street, a few blocks from the beach, Wok Republic is the closest thing to Asian street food you will find in Tel Aviv. Drawing inspiration from across the Asian continent, this joint offers a variety of Wok dishes (rice or noodle-based). Proving that a delicious stir-fry does not need to break the bank, this place is great for a quick bite on lazy evenings.
Wok Republic, Ben Yehuda St. 177, Tel Aviv, Israel, +972 03-696-9629
On the industrial side of Florentine, nestled between motorcycle shops and warehouses, a nondescript door is the only external sign of a life. Open the door and ascend the yellow stairwell covered with framed pictures of India. You will arrive in a huge room decorated with warm colors and lined with mattresses. Sink into the comfortable seating and enjoy a thali (mixed dish) of assorted daily curries, exclusively vegetarian. Anyone who has traveled to India will wax nostalgic upon seeing 24 Rupee‘s dessert menu, which includes classic backpacker affairs such as ‘Hello to the Queen’ and ‘Bagsu Cake.’ Anyone who hasn’t been to India will quickly fall in love with the peaceful vibes and most likely add it to their travel bucket list.
24 Rupee, Shoken 16, 2nd floor, Tel Aviv, Israel, +972 03-681-8066
Although by no means strictly Asian, this hipster hot spot offers a unique sensual and culinary experience. A striking collection of neon skulls, plastic Catholic deities and Hello Kitty paraphernalia somehow reflects the unusual menu. Taking their cues from a southern California trend, Diego San seamlessly blends Asian and Mexican flavors into a glorious hybrid. Creations such as Tika Masala Tacos, Korean Nachos and popcorn Pad Thai are not just creative but also ridiculously tasty. That’s not even mentioning the cocktail menu or the charming bartenders making them. This joint is perfect for a night out of indulgent eating and drinking.
Diego San, HaMashbir St. 2, Tel Aviv, Israel, +972 03-553-1557