The Must-Visit Markets and Best Restaurants in Tel Aviv
From shabbat dinners to shuk surprises; everything you need for a culinary holiday to Tel Aviv like no other.
While its golden beaches, ancient ports, sprawling galleries and steamy roof terraces are all well and good, the thing that makes Tel Aviv one of the greatest cities in the world is, undoubtedly, its food. From the manicured business district to the scrubby, flower-shaded backstreets, a passion for cooking, feeding and feasting is woven into the fabric of life here. You’ll find street food sizzling on every corner, bustling restaurants and markets bursting with all the colours, flavours and textures of the Israeli palette (plus a lot of cats, but that’s another story).
Here is our selection the most unmissable markets and best restaurants in Tel Aviv. So pull on your walking shoes, put calorie-counting on the backburner and prepare to say ‘yalla’ to this delicious jewel of the Middle East.
The question of the best falafel in Tel Aviv is a contentious one (and the cause of the odd quarrel amongst rivals), but we did the grueling legwork and, in our opinion, this is it. A favourite among locals and visiting food-fanatics (that’s you), this spot serves freshly fried, golden falafel with the perfect punch of herbs and spices. Best served in a fluffy pita with a glorious mess of accompaniments like yogurt, fresh pickles and juicy tomatoes.
Sharon Cohen’s spot on Ben Yehuda street has been a favourite of stylish locals for a good few years now, making it oft-cited amongst the best restaurants in Tel Aviv. This place is all about the freshest possible seafood, served with eclectic flair by one of the city’s most celebrated chefs. Come for the fish tartare, stay for the electric atmosphere.
Tucked in the ancient folds of Jaffa, diners gather round an open kitchen to watch chefs show off - sorry, cook up a storm - in this glowing, bricky ‘living room’. Arguably the place to taste contemporary Israeli cuisine at its very best, the food here is all about local produce, powerful flavour combinations and clever cooking. Like all self-respecting hotspots, HaSalon is only open a couple of nights a week, so be sure to book a seat ahead of time.
When Tel Aviv’s most stylish crave a smack of street food, they head to Miznon. With tables spilling onto the street and a wonderfully frantic kitchen at the back, you can while away a long evening here sipping Israeli craft beer, sampling whole-roasted cauliflower and cloud-like pitas stuffed with slow-cooked meats, steak, eggs and ratatouille at this ever-popular spot on the edge of Meir Park.
While the name of this famous hole-in-the-wall is questionable, it is well known to serve the best shakshuka in town. Nestled in the heart of the old Jaffa Flea Market, you’ll find Bino Gabso (the doc) beneath a ceiling of antique kitchenware, manning several bubbling pans of his signature dish - poached eggs in a dark, spicy tomato and pepper sauce. One of the best restaurants in Tel Aviv for both the food and the experience. A double win.
Join in-the-know locals at this historic market in the centre of Florentin. Come hungry (that means no baklava on the way over) to eat your way through this charismatic shuk, chatting to grinning market stall owners as you make your way through fresh fruit, sticky bourekas, nuts, flower-flecked teas, dates and salted fish snacks (trust us).
This Aladdin's Cave of a market is the beating heart of Jaffa, open all day from Sunday to Thursday. There’s every chance you’ll be needing to get yourself an extra piece of hold luggage after a day here. After sifting through the glinting piles of silverware, antique furniture, sculptures, fabrics and records (plus the odd bit of tat - it’s a flea market, after all), you’ll be able to refuel at one of the many eateries nestled in its alleyways. For a heady hummus experience, order a few little plates at low-key Abu Hassan, or for Medditerranean dishes fresher than a Metzitzim beach breeze, pull up a chair at locally-loved Puaa.
Carmel Market (Shuk Hacarmel)
Ready to shuuk things up a little? Head to Tel Aviv’s largest market for a delicious slice of local life. It’s a little overwhelming at first, but you’ll soon find yourself being swept up in the bustle of smoky street food stalls, makeshift bars, fruit stands and towers of dates, with the scent of spices and honey around every corner. The lower half of the market is where you’ll find the feasting, from little baklava stalls and olive sellers to the ‘Druze Women’ folding labneh and za’atar into crepe-like pita breads over a taboon. For a much-needed refresher, hunt down Naturesa for ice cold beer and friendly locals.
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