A Culinary Journey Through Tel Aviv: Exploring the City’s Diverse Flavors


Tel Aviv offers every kind of culinary experience you can think of. You’ve probably heard that said about other cities like New York and Paris, but Tel Aviv is unique at the crossroads between the Middle East and West and the meeting point between contemporary and ancient cultures. Its culinary world also benefits from the Jewish immigrants worldwide, each with their traditional foods and spices. If you’re worried about missing out on some of the hidden culinary gems of Tel Aviv, then join a Tel Aviv food tour. Any trip to Israel would be incomplete without going on a gastronomic adventure through Tel Aviv for a taste sensation like none other.

Tel Aviv Street Food

In the lively streets of Tel Aviv, the vibrant street food scene is a symphony of flavors and aromas that beckon passersby. You’ll be surprised at the number of street food outlets in Tel Aviv, but the best way to choose where to eat is to follow the locals and eat where you see a crowd. Most of the street food in Tel Aviv is grab-and-go served in a pita. Don’t be put off by street food stalls that look primitive or simple; they say nothing about the food.

Jonny’s Falafel on Tchernichovsky Street is just one excellent example of a local falafel outlet. It’s nothing fancy, but the falafel is served in a pita overflowing with all the toppings – hummus, tahini, salad, and French fries. This family business has been around for over 50 years.

Jasmino at 97 Allenby Street is this small (only 5 seats), crowded eatery that stays open from 11:30 am to 02:00 am. Everything is served in a pita, and the four regular options are chicken, beef kabab, sausage, or veal hearts, but there is always a daily special. The grilled meat is stuffed in a pita baked on the premises and then piled high with salad, hot peppers, grilled onions, tahini, and anything else they have on offer that day.

Sabich Tchernichovsky and Frishman Sabich are two great options for this delicious Israeli street food. Sabich comes from Israel’s Iraqi community and consists of eggplant, a hard-boiled egg, potato, and tahini in a pita. It might be hard to imagine, but trust me, it’s not to be missed.

Don’t miss Doctor Shakshuka in Jaffa, Tel Aviv’s shared municipality. This iconic hole-in-the-wall restaurant serves several variations on the classic Israeli breakfast of eggs baked in tomato sauce. It resembles huevos rancheros but with a Middle Eastern touch.

International Street Food in Tel Aviv

Of course, like every other country in the world, Israel also has its fair share of American street food. If you’d rather have pizza, hamburgers, or Chinese food, you can find that in Tel Aviv too. Among the best is Brooklyn Pizza at 88 King George Street. They have a never-ending list of toppings and huge 50cm pizzas. For a good burger, head for Vitrina Lili, matchstick fries, and top-quality burgers. Captain Curry in the Sarona Market is the place to go if you’re looking for Indian food with a punch and for a Mumbai-style thali, try Ma Pau. For mouthwatering Mexican food, nothing beats Taqueria at 28 Levontin Street.

To Market, To Market

Tel Aviv’s markets are a treasure trove of fresh produce, aromatic spices, and local delicacies. Explore the bustling markets that add a unique charm to the city’s culinary landscape. Start with the most famous Tel Aviv market, Shuk HaCarmel, one pedestrian street sloping downhill and lined with stalls. You’ll find fresh produce, fish, meat, huge blocks of halva, barrels of pickles, nuts, dried fruit, and non-edible items like clothing and household goods. In recent years,


Carmel Market has become a hot restaurant spot, with intimate eateries popping up in the lanes that veer off from the main drag. Try Arepa’s for Venezuelan cuisine, Shmuel, Hashomer, and Merloza BaCarmel. And if you venture into the adjacent Kerem HaTeimanim (Yemenite Quarter), you’ll find more restaurants serving Yemenite dishes and grilled meats. The restaurants spill out onto the sidewalk, with music blasting and a lively atmosphere.

Not far from Shuk HaCarmel is Levinsky Market. It started as a regular food market for locals to shop and is a trendy hangout for hipsters and foodies.

Sarona Market is an indoor foodie market with both eateries, specialty food stores, and fresh produce for sale. The Serona complex has several interesting restaurants (try Claro, a farm-to-table chef’s restaurant) and the market hall, which might remind you of the food halls in Europe.

A Full Day of Eating in Tel Aviv

Breakfast: XOXO

Begin your day at Xoxo, a popular cool hangout with eclectic decor and a menu to die for. If you love freshly baked bagels, freshly squeezed fruit juice, mouthwatering pastries, and delicious salads, this place is for you. You’ll feel like you’ve come to visit your friends! And they have plenty of vegan and vegetarian options.

Lunch: M25

M25 is a meat-lovers haven located in the heart of the Carmel Market in the butchers’ section. It offers fresh meat straight from the market grilled to perfection. The establishment is small, has basic furnishings, and is usually packed with locals.

Dinner: Port Said

As the sun sets, experience the vibrant atmosphere of Port Said, a lively eatery located in the heart of the city. Michelin-starred chef Eyal Shani devised the menu, but it is the atmosphere and cool vibe that keeps people coming back.

The Ultimate Must-Try Tel Aviv Foods

●    Sabich: A popular street food, Sabich features a pita stuffed with fried eggplant, hard-boiled eggs, fresh vegetables, and tahini sauce.

●    Malabi: Satisfy your sweet tooth with Malabi, a delectable milk pudding topped with rose water and chopped pistachios. This dish offers a perfect blend of textures and flavors.

●    Schnitzel: Although schnitzel may not have originated in Israel, bt has become a classic Israeli meal, especially when paired with mashed potatoes or French fries. What makes Israeli schnitzel special? It is made with a very thin chicken breast filet, covered in crispy bread crumbs, and deep fried – delicious.

●    Yemeni Food: Taste the kubana (bread baked overnight in a tin), each nun (slow-cooked rolls of thin layers of pastry), and much (fried flat-bread puff pastry). Then there is the Yemeni soup with an unusual flavor, helbe (fenugreek dip), and Yemeni pita bread the size of a large plate.

●    Moroccan Fish: White fish cooked in a hot, spicy tomato and pepper sauce. Did I say hot?

The Ultimate Must-Visit Tel Aviv Restaurants

Local Cuisine

Popina: Chef Orel Kimchi takes Middle Eastern-Mediterranean cuisine to another level.

Kitchen Market: At the Tel Aviv Port, with the organic farmers’ market downstairs and the restaurant upstairs with sea views.

Carmel Market Eateries: Shmoil for kebabs, Panda Pita, and Fisherman’s Sandwich, and don’t miss the Georgian khachapuri at the Lela Bakary.

Asian Cuisine

Men Ten Ten: Casual sushi, bento, and to-die-for ramen.

Taizu: Asian fusion, where traditional flavors are blended to create a unique culinary experience.

Nini Hachi: Kosher, relaxed, modern sushi restaurant.

Chef Restaurants

Ouzeria: Indulge in Chef Avivit Priel Avichai’s Mediterranean-inspired delights.

Blue Sky: Chef Meir Adoni’s kosher Asian menu with a symphony of flavors and artistry.

OCD: Book this exclusive, intimate dining experience by Chef Raz Rahav months in advance.

Street Food

HaKosem: Kosher falafel and more taken to the next level

Mifgash Rambam is an award-winning street food starring beef and lamb shawarma.

Etzel Zion: Iconic plate-size schnitzel in a pita, a baguette, or a plate.

A Few Things to Remember About Food in Israel

Kosher or Not Kosher

The majority of restaurants in Tel Aviv (and other cities in Israel) are kosher. This means that they serve either food that can contain dairy products or meat dishes. This means there are plenty of options for vegetarians! You can find non-kosher restaurants serving excellent seafood and other non-kosher foods, but on the main streets, you’ll probably only find kosher establishments that are either “halavi” (dairy) or “bisari” (meat).

Israeli Bakeries

On your culinary journey through Tel Aviv, you will encounter a myriad of excellent bakeries producing pastries of every shape and form and fresh bread.


The must-try cakes and pastries in Tel Aviv include babka, a decadent sweet braided bread with layers of chocolate, halva, or poppy seeds folded into the dough. The most popular pastry is “rogalach,” bite-sized pastries rolled like a croissant, usually with layers of chocolate.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free, and Healthy Eating in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv’s culinary world has thought of everyone! There is a wide range of options for vegetarians and vegans, and many restaurants offer gluten-free options. As for health food, Israel has a predominantly Mediterranean diet, so there are endless salads, fresh fruit, and healthy grains.