‘Food is our common ground, a universal experience,’ James Beard once said. Israel, a melting pot, connects people from different backgrounds through its diverse dining experience. Get ready for that fancy dinner you’ve been dreaming of as we introduce the best Israeli chef-run restaurants which will make your taste buds explode.
Treat yourself to a meal of sea bass as you take a sip of your drink and enjoy the sunset. Mul Yam, ‘facing the sea,’ is a highly ranked sea food restaurant. Many, if not most, of its cuisine is imported from around the globe, including Japan and New Zealand. The owner is Shalom Maharovsky and the chef is the talented Yoram Nitzan. In the past, the venue was named as one of the top 10 seafood restaurants in the world and currently boasts an award wining cookbook called Seafoodpedia, an artsy encyclopedia of fish.
MachneYuda is the ultimate local experience. In the heart of the holy city, Jerusalem, MachneYuda offers Israeli and Mediterranean inspired meals. The restaurant is located in the iconic Machne Yehudashuk, one the most visited markets in Jerusalem, offering a diverse choice of authentic foods. Run by three chefs, Asaf Granit, Yossi Elad and Uri Navon. The atmosphere can be described as one big party, characterized by its fun music, busy feel and shuk energies.
Herbert Samuel | Photo courtesy of Herbert Samuel PR
Rafi Cohen, the chef of Raphael, grew up watching his Moroccan grandmother cook and felt inspired. Today, the menu of his successful restaurant includes meals influenced by her, such as lamb with couscous and hummus grains. But the restaurant offers other meals as well inspired by the world of North African and French cuisines. The tasty experience is completed with the classic view of the Tel Avivian shore.
For a truly luxurious weekend, stay at the Ritz-Carlton in Hertzliya and have a meal at Herbert Samuel. Jonathan Roshfeld, the main chef, is well known in Israel not only for his cuisine but also for being a judge on the popular reality cook show, ‘Master Chef‘. The elegant restaurant uses a wide array of ingredients to create rich (and kosher) dishes. Watch the marina from above as you indulge yourself in a meal of beef château or chopped entrecôte.
Gouje & Danielle is only 30 minutes away from Tel Aviv but has a country feel. Not only does the place focus on natural raw ingredients in its dishes, but it also sports a balcony with a hill view of orchards. The dishes come from the world of French and Italian cuisine and are influenced by the local Mediterranean tastes as well. The food is made by the Yarzin brothers who are behind some of the most successful food chains in Israel including Tony Vespa and Moses.
Jaffa-Tel Aviv | Photo courtesy of Jaffa-Tel Aviv PR
Food is an art, just check out Eyal Shani’s instagram. Shani is the chef behind Ha’salon (the living room) and is known as a unique figure in Israeli media, especially for his noteworthy food philosophy. He claims that food must be fresh and of highest quality, each meal must be a perfect combination of texture, smell and taste and it must be executed cleverly. Finally, each dish should be described poetically in the menu. The restaurant provides its customers with an unforgettable experience which includes watching the chef work live and understanding food in a deeper way.
Jaffa-Tel Aviv Photo courtesy of Jaffa-Tel Aviv PR
A Meal from Catit | Courtesy of Catit PR
In Jaffa – Tel Aviv, food is at the center. The restaurants display of an Arabic oven and open kitchen for all to see. The celebrity chef, Haim Cohen, sees food as a source of love and a way to connect people from different cultures. Cohen was born with a love for cooking and believes that food is a way to people’s hearts. Celebrate your love for cuisine as you enjoy local dishes with an Italiantouch.
For those looking for an exclusive and intimate culinary experience, Catit is the right place. With only 22 seats, this gourmet restaurant is perfect for romantic souls. Meir Adoni, the main chef, owns Catit along with three other restaurants: Mizlala, Bluesky, and Lumina. He is also a judge on the Israeli version of ‘Game of Chefs’. His inspiration comes from his Moroccan roots and his meals combine traditional food with new territories and interpretations. He describes his approach as a junction between east and west, between the past and future.
If affordability is a concern, Segev Express in Ramat Hachayal may be the solution. The food is considered gourmet fast food, making it cheaper than its competing chef restaurants. Besides its prices and down-to-earth dishes, its décor is certainly one to remember with the restaurant designed like a vibrant scene from a classic European street. Moshe Segev is the main chef and the restaurant has two other branches, in Herzliya and Rishon Le-Zion. From mouthwatering Italian and Asian dishes, to colorful deserts and a creative atmosphere, this place has it all.