Onza is tucked away in one of the many magical alleyways of the Jaffa Flea Market. This charismatic restaurant conquers the cobblestone streets out front with outdoor seating and mixes in music and candlelight for atmosphere. Just as hip as the neighborhood it’s located in, Onza has the culinary mastery of a chef restaurant and the ‘vibes’ of a Jaffa street bar. For a strictly authentic Ottoman menu, head there for Turkish nights on Sundays and feast on finger-licking kebabs from Gaziantep, lima bean puree, Lachmi Bajn meat-topped pastry, traditional simit bread and suklach, a Turkish rice pudding with pistachio ice cream for dessert. On other nights, the menu is still full of Ottoman-inspired gems, but there are unique additions and twists, such as the shrimp pizza and fried cauliflower salad worth trying. If you’re there, be sure to order a cocktail from their list of equally quirky and refreshing drinks.
Onza, Rabbi Hanina St 3, Tel Aviv, Israel, +972 3 648 6060
In the midst of the foodie heaven that is Shuk HaCarmel (the Carmel Market), this Greek grill and bar, Capitan, keeps the market alive after hours. Hidden on a side street of the main bazaar, this blue-and-white painted spot offers fresh fish, salads and traditional Greek cuisine. Between the fried halloumi and the tzatziki, you can’t go wrong. This place attracts young people with a bar-shaped setup inside, serving shots of ouzo and playing Greek music nice and loud! Capitan opens up in the evenings and pairs delicious, high-quality food with a down-to-earth marketplace attitude.
Captitan, Rambam 3, Tel Aviv, Israel, +972 3 575 9579
La Otra: Feisty Mexican-Caribbean Fusion
La Otra ‘House of Eats and Spirits’ is a Mexican restaurant and cocktail bar with a Caribbean twist. The décor is reminiscent of the set of the Pirates of the Caribbean, adorned with skulls and Mexican imagery. This new restaurant-bar is the sister of the renowned Imperial Craft Cocktail bar next door and also has creative drinks with unusual ingredients to try. Their adventurous cocktail and Mexican menu gets right to the point, combining spicy food with spicy drinks. Don’t miss their traditional Mexican tamales and red corn tortilla tacos. The kitchen matches the quality of the cocktails with original ingredients brought in all the way from Mexico.
La Otra, HaYarkon St 66, Tel Aviv, Israel, +972 73 264 9464
In the north of Tel Aviv on the trendy Dizengoff Street, you will find Totuma, with its distinctly South American flavor. This ‘Arepa Bar’ features the staple of traditional Venezuelan cuisine, the cornmeal bread arepa, which is toasted and sliced and then loaded with meat, beans, fresh vegetables and cheese. Offering a variety of fresh fish ceviche, gluten-free empanadas, cheese sticks with mango-passion fruit salsa and serving cold beers and margaritas, Totuma is a fun and easy spot to go to eat with all kinds of picky eaters. Inexpensive, yet filling, Totuma has all the elements of authentic Venezuelan street food but meets the standards of its upscale location.
Thai At Har Sinai
The latest Thai place to pop up, Thai At Har Sinai is situated in one of the hottest spots in town. This nest of restaurants and bars, in a courtyard just off of the busy Allenby Street, attracts locals and tourists alike. Thai at Har Sinai fits in with its neighboring restaurants and bars; it has a young feel and a live DJ. However, the food is the main attraction and has gotten the attention of restaurant-goers as of late because of its authentic ingredients, great flavors and East Asian tastes. This place is all about the Thai spice, abundance of chili and fresh seafood, which you can accompany with their Lychee Mojito. Don’t miss out on their Phad Gai Himmapan or the Tom Khaa.
Hhai At Har Sinai, Har Sinai St 1, Tel Aviv, Israel, +972 54 201 7132