Food in Tel Aviv is truly unique and inspiring, with fresh ingredients and an array of spices. Typically, Israelis subscribe to the Mediterranean diet yet also enjoy venturing out and trying new cuisines. Mexican food is a relatively new option in Israel, with the main focus of these restaurants being located in the cultural capital of Tel Aviv. We have eaten our way through the best Mexican restaurants in the city and are happy to share our favorites.
Courtesy Arden Rubens
Restaurant, Mexican, $$$
Taqueria has a fun vibe, with images of luchadores on the napkin holders and a giant Virgin Mary mural awaiting you when you enter. The menu is straightforward with specialty options for both vegetarians and vegans. Most tables are piled high with margaritas and Taqueria’s highly recommended nacho appetizer. The food is very reasonably priced and portions are generous, with daily specials and a large tequila selection. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, try the churros with chocolate and dulce de leche dipping sauces or their deep fried Oreos – one of a kind in Tel Aviv.
Mexicana offers an authentic Mexican vibe with wall accents and bright colors. Upon being seated, a waiter immediately placed margarita samples on the table to taste – strawberry, lime, mango and coconut, all of which are refreshing and flavorful. Mixed with Cuervo Silver 1800 tequila, the margaritas do not disappoint. The menu at Mexicana is varied and offers all of the usual options (tacos, burritos and quesadillas), plus some lesser known dishes (enchiladas, fajitas). Mexicana boasts a large dessert menu consisting of the old Mexican favorite churros, as well as some unique offerings such as the Mousse Montezuma. If you’re looking for a chilled out restaurant with great service, look no further than Mexicana.
Pancho is the sole Tex-Mex restaurant in all of Israel, Pancho offers a uniquely charming experience, complete with homemade guacamole, salsas and flan. Tacos, quesadillas and burritos are prepared to order which adds to the deliciousness of the food. Wall decors of cacti prints and sombreros makes Pancho one-of-a-kind. Their margaritas are served on the rocks with a full shot of Jose Cuervo tequila and the perfect amount of salt on the rim. In addition to a large majority of the items being homemade, ingredients are also fresh and purchased daily. Pancho offers vegan and vegetarian options, so it’s great for everyone.
With a funky vibe and a great location, Los Burning Tacos has more to offer than a varied taco selection (fish, vegetarian, chicken, beef and pork). Their corn appetizer is delicious, smoky yet cheesy and spicy, as well as their Burning Salad which is crispy, fresh and unique. The three cheese and pepper quesadilla is delicious for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. They even serve limes, which are very hard to come by in Israel most months out of the year. Sit at the bar for a view of the kitchen and see your food being made fresh for you, or choose to sit outside and people watch on Allenby street.
Greeted with a margarita sample and a display of intricate wall murals, El Taco is a modern and lively restaurant that is busy at all hours of the day. El Taco is truly unique in that it has vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options – a very unexpected and welcome variety that will promise to satisfy everyone, regardless of dietary needs. El Taco boasts a varied lunch menu that is a great value for your money. Choose between a massive burrito and a side dish, or a combination of tacos and quesadillas plus your choice of a side. We recommend the hongos quesadilla with a side of esquites. The quesadilla is comforting and cheesy and the esquites, or smoky chipotle corn nibs, are absolutely delicious. Adding to the charm of El Taco is the fact that meals are served on food trays, with placemats of Spanish newspaper clippings. For a great time at a cheap price, El Taco is your place.