Diego San, the newest kid on the block, is now one of the hottest newbies on Tel Aviv’s culinary scene. Venture southwards to Levinsky market and you will discover the most original fusion and truly unique concoction of Korean and Mexican traditional dishes that compose Diego San’s innovative menu. Do not miss their signature caramel, peanut and fish sauce flavoured ‘Pad Thai Popcorn’ or the sriracha-slathered ‘Korean Nachos’, the ultimate and exciting bar snacks to accompany your cocktail of choice. If you’re looking for a heavier bite: get your Bahn on with their melt-in-your-mouth steamed bun cheeseburger. All the visually Mexican elements, neon coloured skulls, Virgin Mary figurines and large bright-coloured flowers, give the rough edges of this alternative grungy diner-meets-bar a softer sweeter side. Whatever you do, make sure to pay a visit to the highly instagram-able bathrooms, showcasing a serene Asian temple of sorts with funky lighting and illusions. The décor, concept and ambience, combined with an inexpensive diverse range of exciting foodstuffs, make Diego San a must-try this summer. Enjoy a Mango Lassi or Pina Colada in their large graffiti-adorned courtyard and groove to a different featured DJ on any given summer night.
Diego San, Ha-Mashbir St 2, Tel Aviv, Israel, +972-3-553-1557
La Shuk is perfect for getting your Mediterranean foodie fill. With artfully crafted seafood and fresh vegetable dishes, this urban spot has tangibly fresh flavours, colours and style in every dish. Perched on the rim of a city center landmark, Dizengoff square, and facing its famous rainbow fountain, there is metropolitan imagery to admire both inside and out. Head there for there summer sunset deal – 30% off the menu between 5-7pm and enjoy a few cocktails and mezze, like calamari tzaziki or grilled eggplant, to the sound of the gushing city fountain. Celebrate summer nights with fascinating seafood dishes, market-style salads and twists on local Mediterranean signature foods – check out the Shrimps tabouleh salad, the baked lamb and tahini ‘Siniyeh’ or the divine Oxtail Parpadelle. La Shuk boasts a fine blend of Middle Eastern market (Shuk) elements with a bustling New York Brasserie atmosphere. Check it out for a refreshing, lively and colourful drinking and dining experience this summer.
La Shuk, Dizengoff St 92, Tel Aviv, Israel, +972-3-603-3117
Summer at The Container is action packed. For this summer, every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night come by and enjoy live music, ranging from Middle Eastern folk, to flamenco to Electro swing, oriental rock and more. The Container is also a known place to catch local celebrities; almost all Israeli bands and performers have been on their stage. Beyond that, every Friday from 3.30pm until the sun sets in the water, you can enjoy their summer line – ‘Best Sunsets in Town’, a DJ line showcasing the city’s best DJs. Most importantly, all the events are always free, including the occasional live Circus show, outdoor day parties and pop up shenanigans. So its best to keep updated with The Container’s Facebook page. This July, they will also launch the ‘Late night Tapas menu’ and have also curated a new art exhibition, featuring Israeli and Arab artists in their spacious venue. Aside from that, this is a great spot to try the ‘catch of the day’ and discover their all day seafood and fish summer menu. Why not try the oriental eggplant and marinated calamari to start, then check out the large shrimps with Cajun sauce on the fisherman’s grill. Whatever, you choose, you will surely be spellbound by the charm of the port-side view, the fisherman’s boats docked in the bay, the renowned sunsets and the fresh and invigorating dishes, perfect to wash down with some chilled white wine on one of these summer evenings.
Container, Warehouse 2, Tel Aviv, Israel, +972-3-683-6321
The ideal summer activity? Picnic, no doubt. Since it’s so tricky to organize and pull off in style, Little Italy has you covered this summer. Picnic is one of four restaurants in the ‘cultural and culinary district’ called Little Italy –Vineria, Trattoria, Carnebirra, all located within the Sarona colony complex. The generous stretch of grass is home to a one-of-a-kind dining experience in Tel Aviv. Picnic provides all the elements: delicious fresh genuine Italian food, the traditional picnic basket, all the necessary utensils, wine and even the red and white chequered blankets to lay out on. This is the ideal evening chill out with friends – with plenty of pizza and Peroni, Picnic is a great option for doing your summer outings a little differently. And for the cherry on top, you cannot visit Picnic without trying their exquisite authentic Italian gelato, served out of the traditional silver dish stall.
Picnic, Little Italy, Eliezer Kaplan St 20, Tel Aviv, Israel +972-3-697-9000
Taqueria has become an emblem for local, laid-back, fast casual dining in Tel Aviv. Strategically located between the more high-end Rothschild neighbourhood and the ultra-hipster Gan HaHashmal quarter, Taqueria’s inexpensive but delicious relatively authentic Mexican chow is a major attraction that ‘doesn’t break the bank’. Take note – they don’t take reservations (only on Friday nights) and there is always a crowd of eager and hungry Tel Avivians hovering at the entrance. Luckily, their epic crispy and cheesy nachos come out quickly, as do the rest of their fun-tastic dishes – killer ceasar salad, tequila and lime marinated flank steak burritos and their famous fish tacos. Perfect for a post-night out pick me up, some pre-dancing munch or just a fun chilled out margarita-full evening with friends, Taqueria is the right place to enjoy, indulge (especially if your visit includes churros) and absorb the city sounds and lights from the street side. Taqueria also serves up one of a kind speciality frozen lime margaritas every night of the week, with alternating guest flavours, strawberry, mango, mandarin, watermelon and more. One of the hot spots year-round, we suspect that summer will surely bring out the best of Taqueria’s drinking and dining experience.
Taqueria, Levontin St 28, Tel Aviv, Israel, +972-3-600-5288
Faruk Bashuk, situated right in the heart of Jaffa’s charming flea market, boasts a neighbourhood down-to-earth vibe, for tourists and locals alike. By day, enjoy a coffee and breakfast at this in-between-streets-food spot in the graffiti-adorned alleys of Jaffa. The place is named after the character Faruk, from the Israeli cult film ‘Lovesick Alex’, who famously explains that when the Shuk (market) closes, the stalls come to life. Faruk does just that – the patio furniture extends down the alley, with different nooks and corners to get cosy, have a drink and relax under the vines and street lights. The atmosphere is dynamic and colorful. You can see the fresh assortment of vegetables perched on the entrance ledge for the cook, who wanders in and out of the kitchen surrounded by fresh produce to choose from. Not only adorned with garlic and tomatoes, Faruk’s walls are also decorated by local street artists. Excellent for summer nights, Faruk hosts local musicians live on the street for sunset concerts on Fridays and Sundays from 5pm. The food is fresh, light, Mediterranean and authentic. The ingredients hail directly from the nearby port and market for treats such as their delicious grilled calamari on cream and burned tomatoes or their signature Mas’chan dish, the simple yet delightful combination of pulled chicken, sumac (a local spice), pine nuts and tahini all inside a pita. Come feel at home in this uniquely intimate and friendly Jaffan spot, stay for a while and soak in the music, colours and flavours of the market.
Faruk Bashuk, Rabbi Nachman 6, Jaffa, Israel +972-3-651-5670
If you haven’t yet, a visit to the Kerem HaTeimanim (Yemenite Quarter) is a must. Right next to the animated Carmel Market, the area truly embodies a local character. There is plenty of choice in the area, but we have determined Gedera 26 to be a gem worth uncovering. This combined-origin Israeli chef restaurant, disguised as a hole in the wall, sports indoor and outdoor seating, as well as a divine selection of specialty dishes, an ever-changing menu, open kitchen and the freshest produce. Don’t miss out on this special dining experience, contemporary Israeli cuisine as well as exciting summer menu choices, such as mussels in tequila, curry seafood and Tofu steak in cashew cream. The fine contrast between new and old – modern and antique décor, east and west; ingredients that range from Asian to Local to Italian – come together in an aesthetic and delectable way, making Gedera 26 an excellent choice to welcome in the sunset with house wine, then celebrate the night with fine food and good company.
Gedera 26, Gedera St 26, Tel Aviv, Israel, +972-3-510-0164
SPICEHAUS is a self-proclaimed pharmacy, cocktail bar and restaurant. The exterior sports vintage lingerie in the widow display and an eclectic mix of antique furniture arranged out on the busy Dizengoff Street. Though it could easily be confused as a hipster-clothing store, if you take a seat outside on a warm summer evening, you are sure to experience something unusual, not your typical Tel Avivi night out. Known for creating some of the most inventive cocktails in town – complete with enormous hand-shaped ice cubes, dried roses and other surprises – at SPICEHAUS, you are encouraged to order up a big sharing bowl of one of their divine elixirs, often served in gigantic test tubes and beakers. However, it doesn’t stop there. Every good drink needs a delicious partner beside it. They have a variety of exciting choices like the three-cheese and truffle oil ‘Crack Toast’ or their exquisite ceviche with fresh chilli and yoghurt. SPICEHAUS’ cocktail and food menu is bursting with unique combinations, ingredients and gems, making it a truly ideal spot for indulging and experiencing the highlights of Tel Aviv’s non-stop nightlife.
Spicehaus, Dizengoff St 117, Tel Aviv, Israel +972-54-228-6200