* Read my original article published on The Daily Meal HERE.
Travelers to Tel Aviv are in for a treat. The coastal metropolis is arguably one of the trendiest cities, boasting gorgeous beaches and beautiful people. With a huge emphasis on fresh farm-to-table cuisine, this lively city is a mecca for foodies who appreciate high-quality ingredients and multicultural dining experiences.
Top Israeli chefs such as Eyal Shani, Jonathan Roshfeld, and Rafi Cohen are constantly creating impeccable presentations and taking innovative contemporary Israeli cuisine to the next level. Aside from the fine dining culture, there are plenty of bustling open-air markets, hole-in-the-wall joints and street stalls that serve some of the best food you’ll ever taste.
From the most popular hummus hot spot to gourmet French-Israeli dining, travelers should have these seven restaurants on their must-try list when heading to Tel Aviv.
Old Man and The Sea
Old Man and The Sea is the ultimate Israeli feast experience, located right on the Jaffa Port with an incredible view of the Mediterranean Sea. The moment guests sit down, they are served with an overwhelming selection of 18 different fresh salads, warm pita bread, and a pitcher of homemade lemonade, all included with the main meal.
This place creates undoubtedly the best hummus in Jaffa. Abu Hassan is a family-owned restaurant that has been in business for 40 years now, but their secret recipe has not changed one bit over the years, with the perfectly measured garlic, olive oil and lemon making the texture and taste flawless. Make sure you arrive for an early lunch (or breakfast), because once the hummus is finished the place usually closes down.
Located on a chic patio underneath an old ficus tree, this tapas hot spot is known for its romantic and intimate ambiance. Sounds of Spanish music, lots of sangria, and sublime food make Vicky Cristina a favorite in the Neve Tzedek neighborhood. There are a variety of small dishes to choose from, such as a Mediterranean ceviche, mini portabella burgers and pancetta-wrapped scallops.
A two-story joint by star chef Eyal Shani, Abraxas North is perfect for those looking to try something out of the ordinary, since plates are optional and most of the food is served in paper bags. The restaurant exemplifies Shani’s signature farm-to-table mentality while serving gourmet food in a down-to-earth fashion.
This trendy Asian fusion restaurant with outstanding decor is guaranteed to please all with its versatile menu. Perfect in presentation, service and taste, Zepra combines tastes from all around the world. Popular dishes include their double wasabi sashimi, steamed buns, and tuna pizza.
Situated on the corner of Shabazi Street in Neve Tzedek, a trendy and popular neighborhood in the southwestern part of Tel Aviv, Dallal is well known for its breakfast and lunch, since their meals are always simple with a gourmet twist. Diners have the option of an indoor dining area or an outdoor patio; both are great and give off a relaxed and rustic vibe.
Locals and tourists alike dine at Goocha, a go-to seafood joint that serves top-quality, affordable dishes. The menu offers everything from creative seafood appetizers to surf and turf to mussels (always served with French fries, of course). There are two different locations, found on Dizengoff Street and HaBarzel Street; both are extremely popular and usually require reservations.