Tel Aviv is known to be the most populated and busiest city of Israel. A big part of Tel Aviv is the culinary experience; wherever you are in the city, you come across a wide variety of restaurants. This vibrant and modern city is reputed for its gourmet cuisine with an Israeli touch. If you are gourmand and up to taste something new don’t miss out on these 10 must-try gourmet restaurants in the culinary capital of Israel.
Restaurant, Asian, Thai, Vegetarian
This unique and succulent Asian fusion restaurant simply cannot be captured in words. From the moment you enter and read the flavorful menu, you will stay longer than anticipated and leave more satisfied than ever before. A highly recommended option is to have the chef surprise you with his choice of dishes, each with a variety of flavors and innovative ingredients. The ‘fire table’ is also a popular choice with diners, as it lets you cook the main meal yourself. Each meal is remarkably designed and delicious, and will leave you wanting more.
Topolopompo, Hasolelim St 14, Tel Aviv, Israel +972 3 691 0691
Bar, Restaurant, Israeli, $$$
This restaurant has a creative way of serving its dishes; everything is served on a piece of cardboard and even paper bags. You will probably be eating off the paper table cloth, but don’t worry: everyone is doing it at Abraxas. The menu changes daily depending on the fresh produce, but there is always a wide variety of options, from meat to fish, and their speciality, the oven-baked cauliflower. Whether you are sitting at the bar where you can watch the chefs in action, or at a table, you will feel the entertaining atmosphere. If you don’t want to end your night too early, you can enjoy a bite or a cocktail at the interconnecting bar and dance it off with the hippest DJs of Tel Aviv.
Lilienblum St 40, Tel Aviv-Yafo, +972 3 516 6660
Messa restaurant / courtesy of Messa
Restaurant, Middle Eastern
Chef Aviv Moshe offers haute cuisine in an unusual interior designed by Alex Miltis. The center of the restaurant features long wooden tables with high white chairs, and will leave you comfortable and delighted by the flawless décor. The menu captures Middle Eastern flavors and the freshest ingredients cooked with provençal techniques. Chef Aviv was inspired by his grandmother’s kitchen and brings his creativity and expertise to Messa. Whether you are a meat or fish lover, you can enjoy the chef’s creations with delightful taste and textures.
HaArba’a St 19, Tel Aviv-Yafo, +972 3 685 6859
Tapas | Courtesy Vicky Christina
Bar, Restaurant, Wine Bar, Mediterranean, European, Spanish, $$$
Vicky Cristina is a tapas and wine bar located in the old train station of Neve Tzedek in Tel Aviv. The restaurant is situated in a quiet patio with a Spanish atmosphere where the lively music and ambiance takes you to Barcelona for the night! It is stylishly divided into two parts: Vicky is the tapas bar where you can enjoy and share small dishes with a diversity of tastes, and Cristina is the wine bar, where you can taste over 120 different wines full of delicate flavours. Don’t hesitate to order a couple of plates to share.
Vicky Cristina, Hangar 17 in the Tachana, Tel Aviv, Israel +972 3 736 7272
Lamb Chops and Artichoke in Stew of Pearl Onions | ©adircohen Instagram
Bar, Bistro, Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, Israeli
If you’re looking to have a bite before a night out in the heart of Tel Aviv, Aria Lounge, a contemporary bistro, is the perfect pick. Aria is situated in a historic building with two floors; you can enjoy a delightful meal on the second floor and specialty cocktails at the lounge bar on the first floor. Chef guy Gamzu offers a perfected menu with the freshest ingredients. The ‘A Taste of Mind’ menu allows diners to taste seven dishes and two desserts (128 shekels per person). Your sweet tooth will be greatly satisfied with the Carmelia cocoa crumble topped with chocolate ganache and marshmallow fluff.
Nahalat Binyamin St 66, Tel Aviv-Yafo, +972 3 529 6054
Chef Yaron and his crew take you on a unique experience of music, art, and taste here at Toto. Toto serves Italian dishes with an Israeli twist; on the menu you will discover appetizers, pizza, pasta, and daily specials. If you like to taste a variety of foods you are in luck, the menu changes according to the season. Whether you try the potato and ricotta gnocchi, crispy sea bream, or bone-in steak with potato gratin, you are guaranteed to enjoy each bite and hopefully leave space for some mouthwatering dessert. Even if you want to grab a small bite for lunch, drop by at the Toto Cafe, which offers a selection of sandwiches, salads, and pastries.
Berkovitch St 4, Tel Aviv-Yafo, +972 3 693 5151
Restaurant, French, $$$
Located in Neve Tzedek in a historical building, this restaurant is known for the ‘Popina Experience’. Visitors cancombine a variety of dishes from several cooking techniques Popina uses; cures, steamed, baked, roasted, and slow cooked. The tasting menu (280 shekels per person) is composed of seven dishes and includes a cocktail, appetizer, entree, main course, and dessert – what more can you ask for! The sophisticated techniques used by the chefs turn food into art. If you’re in the area, ask for a table on the patio and enjoy some delicious creative cuisine.
Popina, 3 Ahad Ha’Am Street, Tel Aviv, Israel, +972 3 575 7477
Located on the Tel Aviv promenade by the beach, Herbert Samuel is famous for its chef, Yonathan Roshfeld. Roshfeld has won numerous awards and serves the finest cuisine in Tel Aviv. Diners can savor dishes infused with the highest quality products while enjoying the view of the Mediterranean Sea. Haute cuisine may become pricey, but you also have the opportunity to taste the business lunch at a more reasonable price.
Herbert Samuel, 6 Koyfman, Tel Aviv, Israel, +972 351 66516
Chef Yuval Ben Neriah combines the street food of five different countries in Southeast Asia for a completely new culinary experience. The décor and the Asian flavours incorporate the four elements of ancient Chinese philosophy; water, wood, fire and earth. The restaurant is divided into five sections in order for guests to have a variety of atmospheres to dine in; a lounge area, intimate tables, the bar area, the chef’s room for private events, and a sitting area on the outside patio. If you’re in town and looking for mouthwatering dishes and a trendy ambiance, Taizu is definitely worth a try!
Taizu, 23 Menahem Begin Rd. | Lewinstein Tower, Tel Aviv, + 972 3 522 5005
Shila is famous for its Mediterranean cuisine and seafood selection as well as a few meat dishes. The menu includes quality dishes with tastes that will leave guests wanting more. The atmosphere is calm and classy and allows visitors to enjoy a romantic evening or even a night out with friends. The business menu is quite different from the diner menu, but both are consistent in quality and service. Don’t forget to satisfy your sweet tooth with one of their specialty desserts, the Caribbean creme brulée in particular is delicious.
Shila Restaurant, 182 Ben Yehuda, Tel Aviv- Yafo, +972 3 522 1224
By Salomé Chemla
Salomé is a second year Communications student at IDC, majoring in marketing. She is passionate about food, music, and art. Apart from that Salomé enjoys running, exploring and traveling the world, which is why she would love to share her view of Tel Aviv with others.