Tel Aviv: Food & Drink

Dalida –  in Florentine part of Tel Aviv. Very local place with pretty good mediterranean food.  The margarita’s and specialty cocktails are quite good.  The cheese starter sounds a little off but it is very tasty and worth a try.
Cafe Puaa – –  in Jaffa – this is a very cool and local place in an alley on both sides.  It is half inside and half outside.  The furniture is very retro cool and chic.  Feels like you are in a very cool 2nd hand shop.  The food is very tasty and the service is quite good.
Abu Hasan – the best hole in the wall Hummus place in Jaffa.  It is an easy bike ride from Tel Aviv and well worth it.  Go first thing in the morning so you can get the hummus really, really fresh.  Mid morning the locals arrive and you can wait up to 30 minutes for one of their dozen or so tables.  The places has no real ambience just great food for breakfast or midday snack.
Santa Katarina – –  behind the Great Synagogue. This is a very simple and not overly fancy local place. The local contemporary, fresh, Mediterranean Israeli food with an Italian twist was very very good The fish was very fresh and the shrimp kabobs were one of the better dishes we had while traveling. The service could not have been better. If you want to eat more local and at a really good and reasonably priced place this spots for you.
Port Said – This is a local place with a pretty large outside patio with shared tables.  It is a first come first serve and it is usually pretty packed. A little nosier and lively than Santa Katarina.  Both have really good local food and very good service. It is  behind the Great Synagogue of TLV and 2 doors down from Santa Katarina.  Behind the Synagogue next to Port Said.  Very local place.  They serve contemporary fresh Israeli food with a Bulgarian twist. Nice interior space and a great bar to eat at if you do not want one of the tables both inside and out. This place is very lively and more about small plates and sharing. Kebabs, eggplant, beetroot salad and the beer are all things you must try. Servers were also very very friendly and efficient.
Shila – –   This was our best dining experience in Tel Aviv. The food was really great and the service was even better.  2 of us at the bar.  the best place to sit. The chefs put on quite a show for you and will answer all of your questions about prep. The fish and seafood were some of the freshest and tastiest in all of Israel. The desserts were incredible and they have a pretty good wine and cocktail list. If you are going to Tel Aviv this is one gem you won’t want to miss. Book early because it is hard to get into. It was also one of the most expensive meals we had but worth every penny.
North Abraxass – –  a nice little place with inside, outside, up stairs and bar seating. Inside downstairs however plays pretty loud music.  As long as it’s not 100 degrees ask for a seat outside.  Food is  served on a brown paper table cloth.  A little odd but it did not bug us.  The food was good but not incredible. Sour dough bread served with half of a raw onion in a bar with creme fresh was pretty good. The baked cauliflower was tender and good but lacked seasoning. The fish that we had was very fresh and tasty.  All things considered this is a good restaurant but not great and fairly expensive too.
Mashya –  – great food with a simple atmosphere.  An understated place with a fairly small dining room but pretty big bar for seating. Steamed egg yolk dish with potato and spinach was really good. The duck, fresh raw fish covered with black & white chips and the lamb neck were really really tasty. The wine and drink menu are quite good and reasonable. Service is very spotty.  Sometimes they are all over you and then other times it is hard to get anyone to help you.
Night Kitchen –  unique local place that is very popular and crowded.  Can seem more like a bar with food at times. The food is fresh and fairly inventive. They have an option called Dinner with friends where they bring out a tasting shared menu for you and your friends.  It is absolutely delicious and a ton of food.
Benedict – –  my favorite is on Rothschild blvd but this is a chain. Great little breakfast spot with pretty traditional breakfast food and it is open 24 hours.  It is right in the heart of the happening part of town.
Jaffe Flea Market – – great market in the old town Jaffa south of Tel Aviv.
Other places worth stopping for a drink or food near Jaffa Flea market include: Abulafia – pastries and local sweets, Malabia – a traditional sweet, Naknikia Shekazot – famous for hotdogs, Dr Shakshuka – local place with the local food of the same name. Usually for breakfast. Albi – is a fun greek bar. The Old Lady – Cute rustic indoor outdoor space with good pizza and beer.  Very low -key and local 
Sarona Market – Great fairly new indoor market serving mostly middle priced to high end food and drinks.
Some of my favorites in the market include:  Captain Curry, Meat Bar Burger, Arais – a meet lovers dream and Fishop.
Fishopחנויות-ודוכנים/fishop –  This is a great seafood and fish place in the Sarona market.  Pull a seat up to the bar an order some fresh fish.  We had the seafood platter which did not disappoint and some fish dish that they recommended that was equally as tasty. They have great beer on tap and a nice wine selection. The service is friendly and fast.  
Carmel – great market in the middle of the city with fresh produce and some very local and reasonably priced places to eat and drink. The 5 places below are some of my favorite.
Shmuel – great kebab counter place.  very casual.
Bar Ochel – gret little place to stop for beer and local israeli food.
M25 –  a great little meat place down one of the markets alleys.  Has indoor seating and seating in back of an open air patio. You can eat in or take out from their butcher.
Shaksuka -name is only in Hebrew and there is no english name. it is on Simat Hacarmel 41.  this is one of the best shaksuka places in town.  It is a little hard to find but well worth it.  It is 50 ft closer to the market in the same alley as M25.  It is open on two sides and looks like a square bar with mostly bar stool seating.  Try the Shaksuka because that is why you are here.  Plus the Souvlaki and Tzaziki are really tasty. (Pic at end on right side)
Oh Mama – – this place has a ton of prepared food for take away. It is fairly large and reasonably priced and good.  One location is in the                edge of the Carmel Market across from a good wine shop.
Cafe Amalia – simple salad and chicken cafe next to Carmel market
Nakash Juices – great little fresh juice place in the market.  Fresh and reasonable.
Al Hamayim for a drink and a snack beachside. 
La Mer – – Big beach restaurant with many tourists but the perfect place to stop on the beach for a fun cocktail and watch the people go by. The Hilton Hotel is a little further north and a great place to also eat on the beach and watch the people stroll by. Great place to ride a bike too. – – great for market info and also basic info about Tel Aviv.


Bars, Clubs and Treats                                                                                                                                                             

Imperial Cocktail Bar –  inside imperial hotel                                                                      Anita – best gelato in town.  It is on the famous Shabaz Street.  The perfect place for gelato. The street is also well known for it’s shopping, art galleries and eateries.  Anita also has a frozen Yogurt shop 100 yards away on the same street.            Cat and the dog  – dancing night club
Bell Boy Bar – Berdichevsky 14 – 1920’s style speak easy 
Botanika – high end Scandinavian Bar in high end beach hotel 
French 57 – Brenner 2 – New Orleans
Library Bar at the Norman Hotel                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Golda – Ice Cream                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Gazebbo – – This is an amazing beach bar but it is pretty young and clubby.                                                                                                                            Dizzi Frisdhon – Sundays are wine nights                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Prince Balcony Bar – great rooftop bar  (Bottom middle picture)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Shpagat – is local gay bar                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Spice Bar  – Dizendorf 17 – cool bar with a cool set of many different glassware                                                                                                                                                      Poli Hotel Rooftop Bar – younger, hip fashionable crowd. Great view from the rooftop. Papua Cafe – An outside coffee & pastry shop in the heart of Tel Aviv. Sit on barrels and benches and enjoy some incredible java.                                                                                       24 Rothschild Speakeasy – great place to eat and listen to music.                                                                                                                       


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