For a weekend brunch.
The people of Tel Aviv love to brunch on Fridays before their day of rest on Saturday. Bucke is perhaps the best brunch spot in the city with tables spilling out onto the footpaths with tonnes of people milling around waiting for a seat. If you can, go with friends so you can get the Bucke tray which feeds 3-4 people and includes scrambled eggs, cheeses, hummus and whatever else the chef feels like preparing on the day. It almost looks too good to eat… almost
40 Yehuda HaMaccabi St
For a quick, meaty lunch.
Also known as The Meat Market, this restaurant plays a dual role of being a boutique butcher as well as one of the best restaurants. They keep it simple here. To start you are given a generous serve of tahini topped with a tomato, onion, mint salad with a heaping of finely chopped garlic and the softest, most delicious pita bread you will ever eat. The main course is the cut of meat you choose from the cabinet (ranging from testicle skewers to t-bones) served sliced with roasted potato and tomato. Simple, delicious.
30 Simtat HaCarmel
For night time share plates with cocktails.
Generally speaking, the whole city of Tel Aviv is hipster, but Port Sa’id is where the hippest of the hipsters hang out exhibit A: the huge library of vinyl records lining the inside walls and DJ spinning them while wearing a Hawaiian shirt. Located in a less-known enclave next to the city’s big synagogue, you are bound to be one of, if not the only, tourist if you go here. The menu is simple with things like baked potato topped with creme fresh, beef stew with tahini and broccolini with parmesan. Get there before sun down as the seats fill up quickly.
5 Har Sinai Street
For people watching over brunch.
Rothschild is the wide, leafy boulevard running through a huge portion of the city – its where people exercise, relax, meet over coffee, people watch and of course, brunch. 12 Rothschild is located right on the boulevard and its front section is lined with small tables perfectly set up for watching the busy boulevard traffic while enjoying belinis and a breakfast platter.
12 Rothchild Street
For fancy street food.
Tel Aviv’s celebrity chef Eyal Shani is well known for his high end restaurants but thankfully you can still enjoy his culinary genius and a quarter of the price at Hamiznon. The atmosphere of this tiny place is worth a trip in itself but the food is real winner. Everything is served on pita bread from chicken liver to minute steak. Hamiznon is a great example of a restaurant doing one thing really, really well.
23 Ibn Gabirol St
For rooftop cocktails and snacks.
The Prince occupies the roof of a historical Bauhaus building on an intersection in the Nachalat Binyamin market. The stairwell of the bar is used as an art gallery and the rooftop bar itself is picture perfect with sunny views during the day and magical fairy lights at night. Their eggplant chips and Korean chicken nuggets are delicious cocktail accompaniments and perfect for sharing.
Nachalat Benyamin 18
Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar
For one of the world’s best cocktails.
Over 400 hospitality experts from Drinks International Magazine named this bas as one of the world’s best bars and it was the only place in the Middle East to make the cut. Set in a 50’s Colonial style building with dark interiors and cosy booths. They also have 1+1 happy hour specials from 6-8pm. Its popular, so if you can’t get a seat head to their sister restaurant La Orta which is a pocket sized Caribbean themed bar next door.
Ha-Yarkon St 66
For mediterranean & middle eastern fusion.
This place is unassuming from its front door, which opens into the restaurant’s kitchen. But once you walk past the chefs busy at work you’ll find a open garden dotted with tables and fairy lights which is surrounded by Tel Aviv’s signature Bauhaus architecture. The menu changes regularly but it always has a delicious mix of seafood and meats inspired by Israel’s surrounds like honeyed pork belly and root vegetables on a bed of tahini or grilled calamari with coriander and basil pesto.
29 Nahalat Binyamin
For real street food.
You can not visit Tel Aviv without a visit to the Carmel Market. If you enter from the top end march past the tacky clothes stalls and make your way to the food end. You can grab some typical Israeli food to snack on the go or stock up for a picnic at the nearby beach. This best option is to pull up a seat at one of the stalls and enjoy some street food while watching the mayhem of the market.
For laid back drinks while people watching.
This cafe has a european feel,with its floor to ceiling glass windows and tiny tables lining the footpath. They do the best Campari and orange cocktail in the city, trust me, I have indulged in my fair share! It’s a great place to sit and read or book or people watch in one of the best cities in the world to do so.
44 Ge’ula Street
For the best swarmer in the world (according to me).
This place is Tel Aviv’s answer to fast food (except it is actually good). Don’t let the crowds deter you as it moves quickly. Order the Lahmacun (thin round bread with minced meat, vegetables and herbs on top) with chicken. It’s rolled into a kebab along with hummus, chilli and salad and it is beyond unbelievable. Note: the street front sign is in hebrew so look out for the street number.
77 Nahalat Binyamin Street
For Israel’s signature dish.
Shakshuka is a traditional Israeli dish of poached eggs and spicy tomato sauce with various Mediterranean vegetables mixed in. It’s a dish eaten by the locals any time of day and no one does it better than the Doctor himself. The different varieties (I recommend the chicken) and served still in a piping hot pan alongside doughy pita bread drizzled with oil and garlic, perfect for mopping up all that shakshuka goodness.
3 Beit Eshel
I would love to hear your favourite places to eat and drinks in this amazing city. I will add them to my list for next time, which I think will be sooner rather than later.