Greek food is not just about flavours and combinations – it’s about the overall experience. Enjoying a true Greek meal is never only about good food; it must be accompanied by music, drinking, dancing, and sometimes, plate breaking. Fortunately for Israelis, the country’s proximity to Greece, both geographically and in character, allows for some truly delicious, authentic and fun Greek taverns to open up across the city.
Yassou Tel Aviv
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, Greek, $$$
Courtesy of Yassou Tel Aviv
First and foremost, Yassou, the Greek friendly hello, is a restaurant/dance bar located in the Prima Hotel in Tel Aviv. This place is where you go to celebrate, drink, dance and, of course, enjoy. With live Greek music performances, lots of ouzo and sunset views, you are bound to be dancing on the bar at some point in the evening.
Greco is an all-Greek tavern located in a residential neighbourhood in northern Tel Aviv. The menu is based on authentic Greek cuisine, which has been slightly adapted to resemble Israeli home cooking, and it works beautifully together. It is best to come with a large group of friends or family and share some of the cold and hot mezes and sharing plates so that you can try as many different things as possible. Don’t miss out on the cocktails, which are mostly ouzo based, to make your evening or brunch complete!
One of Tel Aviv’s hottest gastro-pubs, Levinsky Market’s Ouzeria is a cheerful small tavern you don’t want to miss. On the menu are dishes made up by Chef Avivit Priel Avichai, who was inspired by Greece’s small Ouzerias to create some unique adaptations of the traditional Greek and Mediterranean cuisines. The dishes, made on the spot and served as ready, are both special and simple at the same time, yet always accompanied by alcohol and music, making it one of the best restaurants in Tel Aviv to celebrate and enjoy a night out.
Located along Jaffa’s coastline, Kalamata is known for having one of the best views in the city, if not the country. It offers not only killer sunset views but also a variety of Greek mezes with Israeli and Mediterranean touches. Whether you come for breakfast, lunch or dinner, there will be a summer breeze. The vibrant design and the seafront location make up the ultimate combination for a friend’s gathering.
Shabtai Hayafe is Hebrew for Shabtay (male name) the beauty – and beauty is a pretty good description. Set in the heart of Jaffa’s old town, this hidden 35-year-old seafood-and-fish establishment does not offer traditional and home-cooked Greek cuisine but rather enjoys its elements of fine ingredients and spices to accompany the fresh fish served here, along with some good music, happy people and, of course, drinks.