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I spend a lot of time in Tel Aviv and truly think it’s one of the culinary capitals of the world! Below are some of my favorite spots to try. For options on where to STAY, SHOP, and what to DO, please check out last week’s post, Destination Tel Aviv, Take One!
Yavne-Montefiore is the newest darling of celebrated chef Jonathan Roshfeld and is conveniently located across from the Hotel Montefiore. Bistro style atmosphere with yummy eats. I loved sitting at the circular bar looking out at the diners and chatting up the wait staff.
Dallal Bakery located in the trendy Neve Tzedek is the perfect spot for a morning pastry, coffee and the paper (or your guidebook!)
If you come to Tel Aviv and don’t go to Abu Hassan, you have seriously missed out! Perched on a hill in Jaffa with a sea view while you wait, this old school spot serves hummus three ways: traditional hummus, fool, and masabaha (my favorite). Masabaha is served warm with whole chickpeas. All are served with fresh pita, quartered onions (sweetest you’ve ever eaten) and a spicy green pepper sauce. They don’t have napkins so don’t ask. Wash up after at the sink on the wall. So heavenly that you’ll find me there everyday for breakfast or lunch.
Tip: when you finish your meal at Abu Hassan, walk around the corner to literally a ‘hole in the wall’ where a man sells sweet cookies from his kitchen window.
Yoezer Wine Bar in Jaffa is one of those culinary classics that I had actually never been to until this last trip. Located in a dark cave with mix and match wooden tables and chairs, with candles burning everywhere, what’s not to like? When a local reviewer was asked which 5 dishes were his favorite in Tel Aviv, he replied that he wished he could choose all the dishes at this old time favorite.
Dr. Shakshuka is another classic and one of my favorites. Also in Jaffa, shakshuka is the dish to get. Served in a hot skillet fresh off the flame, sunny side eggs sit with roasted red peppers and tomato. Pair that with fresh mint lemonade (soooooo delicious) and opt to sit outside at one of the large communal tables.
Abraxas North is definitely the restaurant of the moment. Try the famous shrimp in a pita, the roasted butternut squash, and the beet carpaccio. The chef takes a whole beet (dirt and all) and roasts it in a wood burning oven for eight hours until the outside is black. Then he slices thinly and lays out on a piece of parchment paper. The paper is placed in front of you and the server plops a glob of creme fraiche and a fistful of coarse sea salt on the side. Reserve and request an outside table or the inside bar.
Classic schnitzel is the best bet at the always crowded Cafe Noir. And don’t miss yam pancakes with a sour cream and chive sauce at Orna and Ella. There is always a line at Benedict where eggs are served all day and all night. I often start my day outside with a cappuccino and a book at Rothschild 12, and love late night dinners at Brasserie (both from our friends at Hotel Montefiore). Herbert Samuel is always delicious and sits across from the sea. Or you can be on the sea dining on ‘mezze’ at the ever popular Mantaray.
Want even more Tel Aviv? For tips on what to PACK, check out my Destination: Tel Aviv Collection on ThisNext.com! http://bit.ly/k9VQW9