- Middle East
- Adam Etzion
Unlike many other cosmopolitan cities, Tel Aviv’s international community is still in its infancy. With only recent economic success and a history of traditional kosher practices, it’s not always easy to find an authentic international dining experience at a reasonable price. We list the best places to find foreign street food in the city,
Arepa’s is part of a growing trend of street food stalls in the Carmel Market, or shuk. Arepa’s is one of the only places to eat a Venezuelan arepa in Israel, as well as cachapa, a savory Venezuelan corn pancake, empanadas and plantain sandwiches. With topping and filling ingredients sourced daily from the market stalls.
Arepa’s, Shuk Ha’Carmel Street, corner of Shefer Street, Tel Aviv, Israel
Just like his Italian trattoria, talking to Ernesto Marcheria transports you directly to one of Rome’s picturesque alleys. The outside seating area is frequented by a council of ancient gentlemen, hair slicked back, shirts impeccably chosen, chain smoking and conducting heated debates in Italian. Inside, the traditional unfussy décor of a trattoria hangs from the wood-paneled walls; alcohol brand logos, a roll-up projection screen for football games, several certificates noting the establishment’s culinary and cultural achievements, and a lot of half-empty liquor bottles. The wait staff as well as the cooks, chef, bartender and many of the patrons are all more comfortable speaking Italian than they are Hebrew. Opened in the winter of 1997, Ernesto has been consistently serving authentic Italian food ever since.
Ernesto, 90 Ben Yehuda Street, Tel Aviv, Israel, +972 03-527-3394
Bunnychow is a traditional street food dish hailing from Durban, South Africa, with roots in its Indian working class. This spot slow cooks vegan, chicken and beef curries fresh every morning. Instead of the traditional white loaf, they uses challah rolls, the sweetness and fluffiness of which add something ineffable to the dish. With practically every aspect of the stews being made from scratch, it’s a laborious process, but a delicious one.
Bunnychow, Shuk HaCarmel Street, corner of Yishkan Street, Tel Aviv, Israel
The Chinese Dim-Sum Place
This anonymous little stall-cum-restaurant has been serving the Chinese migrant worker population of south Tel Aviv for years. The food speaks for itself. Huge fluffy white Bao pork buns, nestled snugly next to each other in a bamboo steaming basket. This place doesn’t even try to cater to an Israeli crowd; it’s almost entirely for Chinese workers, and the occasional Israeli coming in for a bite is a rare sight indeed. In addition to phenomenal Bao, they also offer a fantastic plate of Shui Jiao.