Tel Aviv is one of those cities that benefits a lot from its geographical condition. Being the intersection point of the Middle East and the Mediterranean, the city boasts traces of both cultures. It also reflects on the city’s unique cuisine, so prepare yourself for a gourmet feast when you are in Tel Aviv. Here are the TOP TEN restaurants that you should visit for unforgettable tastes from Tel Aviv.
1 – OASIS
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Oasis is a one-man show or a woman in this case. Relocating from LA to Tel Aviv at the age of 30, chef Rima Olvera blends in the western approach into the traditional cuisine. With the ingredients changing depending on the season, Rima always manages to come up with inventive recipes and never fails to surprise the visitors. You can visit the restaurant multiple times a day and find a completely different menu with each visit.
2 – Amore Mio
You can find Italian restaurants almost anywhere in the world, but not all of them serve quality food, especially if they don’t have owners like the ones in Amore Mio. Susannah and Shlomi Salomon decided that they should have learned the tricks from the master, so they went to Italy to study gastronomy and brought back everything Italian. The menu comprises a large selection of pasta and pizza options customized with Israeli toppings. Many visitors also give compliments to their friendly staff, which is not something you find everywhere. Whether it’s a cozy lunch or a romantic date night, Amore Mio should be one of your top choices.
3 – Opa
Although the vegan-conscious lifestyle is becoming more widespread, finding vegan food at restaurants is still a challenge. Luckily, Tel Aviv’s vegan food scene is more comprehensive than in many other metropoles, with over 400 restaurants. Opa at Levinsky Market is the pioneer of these restaurants. Opened by the German Chef Shirel Berger, the restaurant mastered plant-based cooking throughout decades. Although the overall menu changes every three weeks, you should still try the all-time favorites, such as the King Trumpet (Oyster mushrooms with shitake puree and fried sage leaves), and the Fava beans.
4 – Greco
Being a Mediterranean city, Tel Aviv always gets influence from across the Mediterranean Sea. That’s why you shouldn’t be surprised to find taverns here. Just like the owners of Amore Mio, the owners and chefs of Greco learned Greek Cuisine at its hometown, successfully fusing the Tavern culture into Tel Aviv’s vibrant life. Just like any tavern, their signature is the selection of mezes, such as Skewers of Intias combining roasted fish and tomato, zucchini patties, and 12 gods pastry uniquely combining honey and feta cheese.
5 – Brut Wine Bar
Israel wasn’t in the league of all-star wine producers until recently. With the emergence of small wineries, many restaurants started to add wine options to their menu. Tel Aviv’s most famous wine bistro – Brut not only works with the local wine farms but also imports wine from Europe’s wine regions like Piedmont and Bourgogne. Like many other restaurants in Tel Aviv, Brut Wine Bar changes the food and the wine menus every season. Besides the wines, fresh seafood is another strength of the bistro, with fish tartare getting praise from the customers. The lamb dishes are equally divine and popular. Speaking of popularity, we recommend that you book well in advance since the tables fill up quickly.
6 – Old Man and The Sea
Overlooking the Jaffa Port, the Old Man and the Sea is one of the busiest seafood restaurants in Tel Aviv. No matter what time of the day you visit, you will always come across a buzzing crowd of customers and waiters at a fast pace. When your massive portion of seafood and dozens of meze options arrive at your table, the time will lose its significance for you. If you want to try Israeli style fish, with many platters of local salads and entrées, this is the place for you.
7 – Hummus Haccarmel
Hummus Haccarmel is one of those restaurants that mesmerizes both the architecture and the content. From the moment you see the colored glass entrance and Judaic Texts on the walls, you realize you have made the right choice. The mystical décor of the inside makes the food tasting an unforgettable experience. The highlight of the menu here is the plate of pickled vegetables with hummus and warm pita bread on the side. The best part is, the prices are quite reasonable despite the restaurant being such an authentic and outstanding place.
8 – Abu Hassan \ Ali Karavan
We can’t get enough of hummus restaurants in Tel Aviv, but this list cannot be complete without the mention of the oldest hummus restaurant in the city. Although Abu Hasan & Ali Karavan has opened several branches around the city, the oldest one on Dolphin Street is our first love. This small restaurant has a simple decoration and a simple menu, providing only four basic courses such as hummus, labane, brown beans, and masabacha. The freshness and the taste compensate for the limited number of options. Before you visit, you should expect long queues and to sit at the same dining table with other people. Don’t let that put you off; it will give you the opportunity to observe the diverse people-profile of Tel Aviv.
9 – Onza
For those wanting to drift from the traditional meals, Onza provides an alternative in the Jaffa Flea Market. The unique combinations of Turkish, Ottoman and Israeli recipes bring life to innovative meals that you won’t find anywhere else. Food is not the only specialty in Onza; you will also find a list of various cocktails and occasional live performances that create a truly mystical atmosphere in the heart of the city.
10 – Shila – Sharon Cohen Kitchen & Bar
Opening ten years ago with only 2 cooks and 1 waitress, Shila Sharon Cohen is one of the fastest-growing restaurants in Israel. It is not so easy to find a place that gives equal attention to the taste and the service, but the restaurant manages both excessively. The meals have such delicate designs that you will initially want to donate them to a museum instead of eating. The owners try to bring in elements of entertainment with live shows, so it is an excellent place for celebrating birthdays and anniversaries. In fact, we would be surprised if you don’t come across such an occasion at the restaurant during any hour of the day. It is one of the more expensive options among the items on this list, especially with the steaks, but the experience is worth every Shekel.