When people asked me why I chose to use Tel Aviv as a base for a few months I had several reasons. However, without a doubt, the food was one of them. This part of the world has some of the best, freshest, most delicious food I have ever had in my travels. From street-food staples like hummus and falafel to fresh seafood, incredible vegetable dishes, pastries, ice cream and more. Tel Aviv is foodie heaven and I did my best to eat my way around the city.
While I tried numerous spots, some places did continuously call me back. Which, given how many options this city has, says a lot about how I feel about these specific places. So if you are looking for the best places to eat in Tel Aviv then this post is for you. Here is my Tel Aviv food guide with my personal picks of some of the best places to eat in Tel Aviv.
My Favourite Tel Aviv Restaurants
Tel Aviv has no shortage of restaurants with a bunch of different options for types of food. I stuck with mostly Israeli/Middle Eastern options since I love it so much but you can also get Asia, Ethiopian, Italian, etc. Also note that the restaurants on my Tel Aviv food guide do not include any ‘fine dining’ options of which Tel Aviv also has several. These are kind of just everyday picks that can work for a variety of budgets.
Derech Jaffa 9
One of my first restaurant experiences in Tel Aviv was Romanos and it became a firm favourite. A fun place for a night out with friends, the food here is simple but full of flavour. I liked everything we ordered but I will say you HAVE to get the cauliflower. Trust me. The chef, Eyal Shani, is well known in Tel Aviv and has 2 other restaurants that I tried and enjoyed; Miznon which serves pita sandwiches and Port Said which is a similar menu to Romanos (but no cauliflower!).
Dizengoff St 83
Great spot for (boozy) brunch or dinner. Café Cucu is central with a cute patio facing the street which is perfect for people-watching. I loved the cocktails here.
Tony ve Esther
Levinski St 39
Popular coffee shop and café with a variety of foods. Really popular for breakfast or lunchtime. The salads here are especially delicious. They also seem to have a cool evening scene though I have only been during the day. They also have vegan-friendly options.
Rabbi Yohanan St 8
Located in Jaffa this popular little café became my favourite spot for breakfast. They have a few different options and while all looked good I highly recommend the shakshuka here.
Nahalat Binyamin St 29
Cute little spot in central Tel Aviv with an outside patio dining, twinkle lights, and a really nice atmosphere. We did mostly salads and seafood here and everything was really good and fresh. Another spot with great cocktails as well.
Zevulun St 7
The menu here is described as Arab-European fusion but all I can say is that it is delicious. Fun spot in Levinsky market. Inside, bar, and courtyard dining options. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on the feta brulee.
Ben Yehuda St. 73
A great brunch spot, especially if you are craving bagels. It’s pretty busy here so expect a line and you might have to take your food away if you can’t find a seat, but there’s a beach nearby that is perfect for a picnic.
The Best Hummus in Tel Aviv
Because you can’t come to Tel Aviv and not stuff your face with hummus. There are tons of hummus options around the city but these ones stood out to me.
Hummus Shlomo and Doran
Yikshon St. 29, by the shuk HaCarmel
Schlomo and Doran is hands down my top pick for the best hummus in Tel Aviv. That is, assuming you are looking for something different. It’s a family-run establishment currently run by 4th-generation hummus extraordinaire Elad who my friends and I lovingly refer to as the Beyoncé of Hummus thanks to the unique flavours he has created. I know I have lots of options on this Tel Aviv food guide, but this is really is a must try.
Levinsky Street 30, in Skuk Levinsky
Another hummus favourite is Garger HaZahav in Shuk Levinsky. With an array of tables in the streets, this place fills up fast so if you see a spot, grab it! The best thing to do here is to order a small serving of hummus (I love the one with pine nuts on top) and salads. Bonus if you bring some friends and can share!
Carlebach st. 7
Abu Adham hummus is a well-known name in Tel Aviv. I had the food from here twice without ever actually visiting an actual restaurant (thanks Covid quarantine). However, I can vouch for the tastiness. I had two different types of hummus from this spot as well as their falafel which is delicious. In fact, I might argue that the falafel is the highlight for me but it’s even better if you get both together.
Hummus Magen David
Shuk HaCarmel St. 11
Tucked away in shuk HaCarmel you can easily miss Humus Magen David if you don’t know it’s there. If you are looking for your basic, classic hummus then this is the spot to go. The hummus here has great value and a unique location that looks like an old synagogue.
Hummus Abu Hassan
Ha-Dolfin St 1
Located in Jaffa, Hummus Abu Hassan is an institution and considered by many to be the best hummus in all of Israel. I’ll let you try and make up your mind but it’s definitely delicious. They are only open until 3pm OR until they run out. Expect long lineups here for dining in and take out but I suggest grabbing some to go and going to sit somewhere scenic in Jaffa.
The Best Street Food in Tel Aviv
If you don’t feel like a sit down meal or are just looking for something fast and easy then these are the places to go.
When it comes to street food in Tel Aviv Mama Borekas is my top pick. This chaotic little stall in the heart of shuk Levinksy is always busy but trust me when I say it’s worth the pushing and shoving to get a boreka. Spinach, cheese, spicy sauce or not-it doesn’t matter. These hot pastries are perfectly flaky melt-in-your-mouth and are an absolute must when in Tel Aviv.
Malan St. 45, by the shuk HaCarmel
Since giant pandas are my favourite animal in the whole entire world I could not pass by Panda Pita without stopping to try. As if the cute décor wasn’t enough to catch my eye the lineup and recommendations from friends made it worth a stop. The menu isn’t too big but the resulting pitas are big, messy, fresh, and delicious.
Shlomo Ibn Gabirol St 52
Located in the Florentin neighbourhood, Bretonne is a great place to grab a crepe. You can get either sweet or savoury options depending on your mood (maybe both?). You can expect a line-up here but it’s definitely worth the wait. Especially after a few happy hour drinks on a patio…yes that’s me speaking from experience.
Allenby St 45
Ok, I have to admit that I am not an eggplant person so I avoided this Tel Aviv staple for years until I was finally forced to try. I will admit it’s not my favourite, however, I was pretty impressed. These colourful pita sandwiches are packed with flavour and inspire people to line up on a daily basis. Even if you aren’t an eggplant enthusiast, I think you should join the line and give it a try because you might be surprised- I was!
Shi-Shi Talk and Roll
Sclomo Ibn Gabirol St 33
If you are in the mood for Asian head to Shi-Shi talk and roll. This simple but delicious restaurant offers rice bowls, salad bowls, soups, and my favourite- rice rolls. They are stuffed with fresh veggies and seasonal fruit depending on what you order. Proteins include fish options as well as chicken and tofu. Servings are pretty big so come hungry!
The Best Ice Cream in Tel Aviv
When it comes to ice cream in Tel Aviv, everyone has an opinion on who has the best. Of course, I considered this a perfect opportunity to try as many as possible and to be honest, it’s really hard to decide between them. Based on my experience, you really can’t go wrong with any of these ones.
Golda is a classic ice cream chain across Israel, but don’t let the term ‘chain’ fool you. Their ice cream is creamy and delicious and comes in a variety of flavours using high-quality ingredients. Golda also offers vegan ice cream.
Anita is owned by the same brand as Golda but is considered to be a bit fancier. Personally, I did prefer Anita ice cream over Golda but at the same time, I can’t really compare because I always got different flavours. Needless to say. Anita is a great choice and the ice cream, gelato, sorbet, frozen yogurt, and cones only use high-quality fresh ingredients. Note that Anita also has vegan and sugar-free options.
My favourite flavour: Night Cookie featuring the locally homemade night cookies
If I had to pick, Otello might be my favourite. Although it could be thanks to their motto “80% ice cream, 20% chocolate”. Now as a chocoholic and ice cream enthusiast, I can definitely get behind that! You can choose to add dark, milk, or white chocolate to the bottom of your cone for an extra treat when you finish the ice cream or gelato!
My favourite flavour: Mango Passion gelato OR Gianjuja Otello
HaHashmonaim St 91
Buza ice cream is a bit out of the way and I never would have heard of it if my chef friend hadn’t told me. However, as soon as she said it was her favourite I knew I needed to go. Buza has both traditional and vegan ice cream and is known for its flavours which are quite different from other ice cream shops in Tel Aviv. So if you are looking for something unique, give Buza a try
My favourite flavour: fig mascarpone with caramelized orange
Nahalat Binymin St 19
Ok, so Tamara is frozen yogurt, not ice cream, but don’t skip past it yet! Because it’s SO good. I suggest getting the natural yogurt and then adding as much as you can on top. Personally, with frozen yogurt I tend to go for all the fresh fruit but you can also add candy, chocolate, cherries, nuts, and then have a generous drizzle of chocolate on top. It’s basically an adult sundae.
Nahalat Binyamin St 11
Arte is the creation of an Italian couple who used to be scuba divers but traded their masks and fins for the freshest ingredients to create some of the best ice cream and gelato in the city. There are a number of delicious and unique flavours to try including vegan and dairy free options.
My favourite flavour: Tiramisu or peach & lavender
The Best Bakeries in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv does have a couple of American-style desert shops but the couple that I tried were only ok. Instead I preferred pastry shops and Middle Eastern treats.
A relatively new bakery, Alexandr Boulangerie is a highly-recommended favourite from some of my friends. So I had to try and all I can wonder is why I left it so late. I asked the woman serving me what she recommended and her suggestion was the lemon cruffin. WOW. It was perfection. Definitely go to this bakery but go early in the morning for the best selection and avoid Fridays, the line-ups are crazy!
Chlenov St 22
Alon Shabo is a well-known pastry chef in Tel Aviv and his bakery shop just happened to be a two-minute walk from where I lived. So yes, I visited more than once. The breakfast pastries were my favourites but they also have a delicious selection of tarts and, during Hannukah, some excellent sufganiyot.
GL Gordon St, 36
This Swedish bakery has all kinds of pastries perfect for pairing with your morning coffee. However, if you have to pick one get the pistachio Danish. I promise it won’t disappoint.
Hamotzi Lechem Levinsky
Levinsky St 40
This little bakery in shuk Levinsky became my go-to for fresh bread. Especially challah on the weekends. However, one day I decided to try their chocolate babka as well and let me tell you, it was love at first taste. To the point where I made my friend take some home with her when she visited and she later asked me why I didn’t tell her to buy more (oops).
Yefet Street 7
Abouelafia is a well-known business here in Tel Aviv equally famous for being run by both Jews and Arabs as well as for being an incredible bakery. Located in Jaffa, you’ll find this bakery easily thanks to the massive line that usually snakes down the street in front of it, especially if you visit in the morning. Lots of great treats to choose from including croissants, bagels, and more. Grab something to go and eat it by the Jaffa Beach only a couple minutes away.
Shalma Road, 10
Delicious French-style pastries made with ingredients that I didn’t find elsewhere in my Tel Aviv bakery adventures (like raspberries, I never saw raspberries anywhere else). They also serve coffee and sandwiches but are a bit pricey, so stick to pastries for a treat.
Olei Zion St. 24
If you have never had Knaffeh you are missing out. If you are a Knaffeh enthusiast you are still missing out until you visit Yaffa Knaffeh located in Jaffa. This place sells baklava and knafeh but has a reputation for the knaffeh served with pistachio ice cream. Trust me on this one, it’s incredible.
The Best Bars in Tel Aviv
I didn’t go to a ton of actual bars in Tel Aviv. Most restaurants, especially those on my list, have amazing cocktails so I never really felt the need. However, there were 2 spots I knew I wanted to check out so I made sure to visit and will absolutely be back to in the future.
Gin Club Supreme
King George Street 83
I’m a gin fan so my friends took me to a tiny bar in the heart of central Tel Aviv called Gin Club supreme which has an entire wall of gin options as well as a varied cocktail menu with options ranging from sweet to sour to spicy. Not sure what you want? Tell the bartender what you like and they will make something for you.
Berdyczewski St 14
I went to Bellboy for my final night in Tel Aviv and it was amazing. The cocktails are pricey, so come during happy hour for the best deals. But the cocktails are amazing. Not only are they delicious but the presentation is so fun. We had drinks with bubbles, a drink served in a seashell, and I ordered one that came with a side of cotton candy. There is also a shot cart that is actually a baby carriage and the shots are served in oyster shells. Definitely add Bellboy Bar to your list of places to go in Tel Aviv!
If you have read my list of Jerusalem foodie stops, you’ll recognize the Beer Bazaar there. Honestly, it’s just a classic good place to grab a beer (or two) and hang out. The staff are fun, it’s chill and laid back, and a fun place to go mid-afternoon or the evening. There are two locations in Tel Aviv, one in Shuk HaCarmel, and one in Jaffa.
Other Tel Aviv Foodie Favourites
In my time living in the city I also found a couple other random spots that don’t quite fit any of the above categories but are still worthy of making it onto my Tel Aviv food guide. They are:
Levinksy St 41
This pretty little café at the end of Shuk Levinksy is my favourite place to go for a refreshing drink on a warm day. Or a cold day. Really it doesn’t matter, I’m just obsessed with their gazoz drinks; carbonated sodas filled with fruit, syrups, herbs and spices. Every day you’ll get something new and as someone who has had dozens, I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed. They aren’t cheap but you can go back for a free refill. If you love them, you can also purchase the recipe book created by owner Benny Briga and Chef and author Adina Sussman.
Yom Tov Deli
Levinksy st 43
This adorable little deli in shuk Levinsky is my favourite place to get olives. Green, black, spiced- all kinds. You can get a small container for around 18 shekels and choose either one type or a mix for the same price. If you have a fridge where you are staying definitely grab some of these to have on hand for a snack.
Levinksy St 47
Also in shuk Levinsky is a spice shop called Tavlinksy. Not only is the storefront very aesthetically pleasing but their products are great too. They sell fresh ground spices (that they grind themselves) and teas that make great gifts or souvenirs for a little taste of Israel at home.
If you love juice, smoothies, or açai, Mitchely is a great and affordable option. I’m a sucker for their açai bowls topped with a variety of seasonal fruits, nuts, granola, tahini, and date syrup. Perfect lunch on a hot Tel Aviv day.
Gedera St. 28
Another classic dessert found in Israel is malabi. Traditionally, its a milk-based pudding with rose syrup and toppings. It’s light and creamy and super delicious. Hamalabiya was the first place I had it and I was hooked. Also, this place serves as a bar as well so you can grab a glass of wine (or beer) with your malabi too.
Tel Aviv Food Guide: Final Tips
Eating in Tel Aviv is basically a pastime and places fill up fast. Whenever possible, I do recommend making reservations (most can be done online) to secure your place so you don’t miss out.
Also, keep in mind that Tel Aviv is expensive which means that dining out can be pretty costly. My number one tip to help avoid this is to keep your eye out for Happy Hours. Usually, this is between 5:30-7:30 (although it does vary by restaurant to check in advance). Many places offer significant discounts (think 30%) on food and/or drinks during these times making it worth your while. Note that tipping is expected in Tel Aviv, usually 12-15% depending on the service.
Eating out in Tel Aviv is great, but let’s be honest. Sometimes you just want to stay in and order take out. In this case, the Wolt app is your best friend. Download it to your phone and order your favourites to be delivered right to your hotel or apartment rental.
Lastly, some of the foodie finds in Tel Aviv change depending on time of year and holidays. If you are visiting during Hanukkah look for sufganiyot which are special Hanukkah donuts. For Purim you want to try hamantaschen which are triangular cookies filled with different flavours such as dates, chocolate, Nutella, poppyseed, and more. It’s also worth noting that a lot of places close and adjust their menus during Passover so don’t expect to easily find hummus and pitas at this time of year! Instead of bread, most places will be serving matza which is a cracker-type flatbread.
Wherever you end up eating in Tel Aviv, make sure to come hungry because the food in this city does not disappoint.
A Note on Travel Insurance in Israel
Please, do NOT travel without travel insurance! I’ve had to rely on mine multiple times. While the cost may seem annoying and better spent elsewhere, trust me when I say you’ll be sorry if you don’t have it. For just a couple bucks a day, you can save yourself a whole lot of stress and money. I like to recommend SafetyWing for travel medical insurance as they are one of the most affordable options I’ve found, plus, they are who I use and I have had great experiences with them. Learn more about the importance of travel insurance here.