Tel Aviv Food Guide: where and what to eat in Israel’s food capital
Thank you for always watching my food stories on Instagram! It’s really one of my priorities when traveling. I’m glad you like it! Tel Aviv is really a food capital – I think this is the only city I’ve been to where there are many places open till late. Israelis are voracious eaters. The culture here is eating out after a long day at work. I don’t have a lot of friends who cook a lot in their homes!
Israel has the highest percentage of vegans all over the world. 5-10% of the population is vegan so vegan food is served everywhere! I still listed the best vegan restaurants below. It’s just a note that no matter where you go in Tel Aviv, there’s always a vegan menu.
As requested, here’s a Tel Aviv food guide where I only included the top 5 in each category that I’ve tried. If you ever come across a restaurant that isn’t on the list, please leave a comment and let me know! I will definitely try it out.
Thanks a lot and let me know which one you liked best! Enjoy your time in Tel Aviv!
What to eat in Israel
Although the history of where Israeli food came from is a very long argument, most of what they have are from their Arab neighbors which they re-invented the Israeli way. If you want to eat like a local, tick all of these on your list!
- Hummus. The most common food found in an Israeli home. When I lived in Tel Aviv, I always made sure there is hummus on the table. The hummus tubs they sell at the supermarket are cheap and good, too. I recommend (and highly insist) that Abu Hassan is the best hummus place in Tel Aviv. You will see more options later in this article.
- Tahini. It’s an essential part in making hummus but you can have it as it is, too. Tahini is made of sesame. You can eat it with bread, put it on a salad as a dressing – you can do whatever you want!
- Sabich. Originally from Iraq, sabich is a sandwich composed of pita bread, eggplant and hard-boiled egg.
- Falafel. Very common to have this, especially in the Middle East. Originally from Egypt and the Levant, these balls of goodness are a big part of the Israeli “street food.” You won’t see it in a food stall like in Asia but it’s in every corner of the country!
- Shawarma. I love Israel’s shawarma because of the unlimited sides of chili, pickled onions and tahini. In most countries, you will not have as much side dishes but in Israel, you will enjoy the experience of putting your own toppings! My favorite shawarma joint is in Shderot Yerushalayim, Jaffa.
- Charif/Schug. A tasty but spicy condiment which is part of the Israeli food culture. For spicy food lovers, you can put this to all your Israeli meals. Charif is originally from the Yemenis.
- Schnitzel. I probably have eaten (and cooked) schnitzel almost every week when I was living in Tel Aviv! Flat chicken meat breaded and deep fried which goes with fries/chips. You can eat it with rice, too!
- Burekas. Originally from the Ottoman Empire, burekas is a dough of bread with cheese inside. I normally have it for breakfast but you can find it in the bakeries all day!
- Shakshuka. Another breakfast favorite, shakshuka is made from a lot of tomatoes, garlic, onion, topped with eggs. This should be the first thing you should try in Israel!
Best breakfast restaurants in Tel Aviv
For the vegans: Anastasia
Anastasia Tel Aviv is actually a vegan restaurant and considered one of the best in Tel Aviv but if you’re not a vegan, it will work, too! This restaurant makes the best vegan cheeses in the world and their desserts are always worth a try even if you’re too full! Anastasia is always full of people so expect to wait in line on weekends.
Food prices start at 39 NIS ($10.93 USD approx). At this price, you can get shakshuka, the typical Israeli breakfast as pictured above.
Hours: Sunday – Thursday from 8:00 am to 11:30 pm; Fridays from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm; Saturdays from 9:00 am to 11:30 pm
American breakfast: Nola
I’ve never been to New Orleans but my Israeli friends always say Nola has that vibe. They serve fresh bread every day and has a very generous portion of American breakfasts. I came here often for coffee in the afternoon as they also have great spaces for Digital Nomads/online workers. You will see a lot of these people hanging out at Nola. Both their indoor and outdoor seating are great – choose wherever you want to sit as long as it’s not full. And oh, try their cookie selection, too!
The breakfast menu at Nola starts at 49 NIS ($13 USD approx). With this price, you can get a breakfast plate with huge portions.
Hours: Sunday – Thursday from 7:30 am to 7:00 pm; Fridays from 7:30 am – 4:00 pm; Saturdays from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm
For a laid-back vibe: Cafe Yom Tov
I don’t know about you but sometimes, I just want to sit in a nice environment for breakfast and just be quiet. Yom Tov (good day in English), offers that kind of vibe — it has a full outdoor seating in a street where people normally pass by. The passersby won’t bother you that much, I swear. Take it as an opportunity to do people-watching in Tel Aviv. Its close proximity to the Carmel Market is the reason the ingredients are fresh! This restaurant is not only for breakfast as, during mid-day, but it also turns into a trendy restaurant where you can have your lunch and dinner, too.
I went here a lot and the best tip I can give you is to never come here for Friday brunch – you’ll wait hours to get a table. On weekdays, come before 10:00 am as it tends to be full after this hour.
Breakfast prices at Yom Tov start at 39 NIS ($11 USD) to 54 NIS ($15 USD) approx [see Yom Tov Tel Aviv’s menu]
Hours: Sunday – Thursday from 8:00 am to 1:00 am; Fridays from 8:00 am – 7:00 pm; Saturdays from 6:30 pm to 1:00 am
For breakfast 24/7: Benedict
I don’t remember intentionally going to Benedict for breakfast but it was always a routine after going out of the Breakfast Club, a popular night club in Tel Aviv. I’ve only been to the Rothschild branch as it’s a popular avenue but I heard the other branches are good, too. Benedict is open 24/7 – it will feed your breakfast craving any time of the day!
Prices at Benedict range from 39 NIS ($11 USD) to 98 NIS ($27 USD) approx.
Best breakfast in Tel Aviv: Cafe Xoho
This is almost everyone’s #1 favorite, including the vegans! Cafe Xoho’s interior has great interiors that are really pleasing to see in the morning (or all day!) The owner, Xoli Ormut Durbin was born to Canadian parents in Hong Kong, lived in Australia then moved to Tel Aviv. Can you imagine how much fusion and diversity this person has and that upbringing reflects on Cafe Xoho’s menu. They have an all-day breakfast and don’t you ever NOT try their cookies – they’re really good!
Prices at Cafe Xoho range from 10 NIS ($3 USD) to 55 NIS ($15 USD) approx.
Hours: Sunday – Thursday from 8:00 am to 6:30 pm; closed on Fridays and Saturdays
Best hummus in Tel Aviv
When I first went to a hummus restaurant, I did not know that I have to eat a big tub by myself!
#5 – Mashawsha (City Center)Prices at Mashawsha range from 21 NIS ($5 USD) to 35 NIS ($9 USD) approx
Hours: Sunday – Thursday from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm; Fridays from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm; Saturdays from 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm
#4 – Shlomo and Doron (Kerem)Prices at Shlomo and Doron Hummus range from 30 NIS ($8 USD) – 40 NIS ($11 USD)
Hours: Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7:30 am – 3:30 pm
#3 – Abu Adham (Business District)Prices start at Abu Adham 30 NIS ($8 USD) approx
Hours: Sunday – Thursday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm; Fridays from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm; Saturdays from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
#2 – Kaspi (almost everywhere)
Kaspi has 6 branches in Tel Aviv: Neot Afeka, Ben Yehuda, North Market in Ramat Hahayal, Shuster Center Ramat Aviv, Kikar Masaryk, and Yehuda Maccabi. All over Israel, they have 13.
Hours: Sunday – Thursday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm; Fridays from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
#1 – Best hummus in Tel Aviv: Abu Hassan (Jaffa)I said I won’t go into details but I think it is important for you to know to always go before 12nn at Abu Hassan in Jaffa. It’s always full so they run out pretty quick!
Hours: Sunday – Friday from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm
Best sabich in Tel Aviv
#5 – Sabich KompletSabich Komplet not only serves sabich but also home-style food cooked in a typical Israeli home. This restaurant is really cheap but its location is a little far from the center. It’s still worth checking out!
#4 – Sabich FrishmanThis small Israeli food joint has taken its throne in the popular Frishman street. Indulge on a loaf of pita bread with hard boiled eggs, fried eggplant, salad, and tahini for less than 20 NIS ($5 USD approx)!
#3 – HaSandwichSabich is normally served with a pita. bread but at HaSandwich, you will get one in a croissant! I thought. it . was weird when I first tried it but this French-style sabich is something that everyone should try or make at home.
#2 – Sabich TchernichovskyIt’s a little more expensive than the others but it’s worth all your travel budget! Get the full street food experience at Sabich Tchernichovsky, the go-to place for sabich in Tel Aviv.
#1 – HaKosemI love everything about HaKosem (the magician), most especially the seating arrangement. It’s as if you are on the street but you’re not. This place is always full but there are benches on the street where you can wait til you get a table. The owner is always going around to check on the customers which is really a plus for me! You can also try their falafel – it’s highly recommended by Tel Avivians! But hey, come here for the sabich!
Best vegan restaurants in Tel Aviv
#5 – Ethiopian Vegan: TenatEthiopian cuisine usually consists of vegetable and very spicy meat dishes. At Tenat, you will get to know how they make a large sourdough flatbread, the Ethiopian way! If you’re vegan and is not familiar with food in Ethiopia, then Tenat should be your first stop!
Prices at Tenat range from 8 NIS ($2 USD) – 40 NIS ($11 USD) approx
Hours: Sunday – Thursday from 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm; Fridays from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm; closed on Saturdays
#4 – Indian Vegan: 24 RupeeExperience Indian in the south of Tel Aviv where you can try good chapati, rice dishes, stews, etc. Majority of Israelis travel to India after their military service so they’re also fans of Indian food. 24 Rupee has a great seating ambiance – you will need to remove your shoes (Indian style) before entering the restaurant!
Prices at 24 Rupee range from 24 NIS ($7 USD) – 90 NIS ($25 USD) approx
Hours: Sunday – Thursday from 12:00 pm to 12:00 am; Fridays from 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm; Saturdays from 12:00 pm to 12:00 am
#3 – Persian Vegan: ZakaimI like Zakaim because they always serve with tasty ingredients that they source/grow locally. Herbs, fruits, vegetables, and even cheese are vital parts of their menu. For starters, get the classic Foccacia and top it with a little zaatar and olive oil. For 5 NIS ($1.40 USD approx), you can also get a slice of their homemade bread!
Prices at Zakaim range from 24 NIS ($7 USD) to 119 NIS ($33 USD) approx
Hours: Sunday – Thursday from 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm; closed on Fridays; Saturdays from 6:30 pm to 11:00 pm
#2 – Vegan pizza: Green CatYou probably can’t imagine a pizza without cheese but have you tried vegan cheese? Does it compete with the real cheese? Well, personally, it does for me. It’s as equally good and the Green Cat vegan pizza will show you how tasty vegan pizzas can be!
Prices at the Green Cat range from 12 NIS ($3 USD) – 40 NIS ($11 USD) approx
Hours: Sunday – Thursday from 6:00 pm to 12:00 am; closed on Fridays and Saturdays
#1 – Fancy vegan: Meshek BarzilayI’ve only been to this restaurant once but one thing that you will enjoy at Meshek Barzilay is their menu changes depending on the season! This restaurant uses organic ingredients so eat your vegan heart out!
Hours: Sunday – Thursday from 6:00 pm to 12:00 am; closed on Fridays and Saturdays
Best burger in Tel Aviv
#5 – 26 Gourmet BurgerA fusion of American and French, 26 Gourmet Burger is on the top 5 of the best burger restaurants in Tel Aviv. They’ve reinvented the food they serve to give way to both American and French techniques. For example, instead of the usual deep fried potato fries, they serve the burgers with sweet potatoes. Their buns are also 100% French bread inspired. Some even have foie gras!
Prices at 26 Gourmet Burger range from 15 NIS ($4 USD) – 66 NIS ($18 USD) approx
Hours: Sunday – Saturday from 12:00 pm to 12:00 am
#4 – The Little Burger ShopDizengoff is quite a busy area and The Little Burger Shop definitely made the busy crowd fall in line. I always come here with big queues so I learned not to visit during busy hours. The place is really small but the service is quite fast. Pick from the three amazing choices on their menu: classic, blumenthal and veggie crunch. Each meal includes a drink, a side dish and 3 toppings of your choice. You can also order extras like onion clusters, cajun-flavored fries (I love this!), malt-flavored fries, lamb and bacon flavored fries, and wasabi coleslaw!
Burger prices at The Little Burger Shop range from 44 NIS ($12 USD) – 65 NIS ($18 USD)
Hours: Sunday – Thursday from 12:00 pm to 1:00 am; Fridays from 12:00 pm – 4:00 am; Saturdays from 2:00 pm to 1:30 am
#3 – Susu and Sons
Susu and Sons is the first burger joint I tried in Israel. It was a pretty unique experience as one of their locations is right on the street, where you can sit on the park. They do have a few chairs on the stall but it’s never a problem to sit on the park benches, especially when it is full. Single, double and triple monster burger are the main choices at Susu and Sons. You can add toppings for 8 NIS each: ($2 USD): grilled peppers, egg salad, garlic butter, chili jam, guacamole, pineapple, and many more!
There is also lamb burger with tahini, lettuce, tomato and caramelized onion. You can also order one of my favorites: the Vegan Susu with rice, oats, mushrooms and caramelized onions!
Some sides included french fries, sweet potato fries, onion rings, fried mashed potato, and cheddar balls.
Prices at Susu & Sons start at 34 NIS ($9 USD) to 54 NIS ($15 USD) approx
Hours: Open all days of the week from 12:00 pm to 5:00 am
#2 – America BurgersThis burger joint is super american so expect the long lines! America Burgers only opened in 2015 but they’ve become the best burger restaurant in the city. The lines are usually long all week, especially at peak hours (lunch and dinner). Try their 30 NIS ($8 USD approx) cocktails that vary from red berries, peach, and mule. The Godfather cocktail my top pick: made with Wild Turkey 81, amaretto, amarena cherry, maple syrup, and lemon juice.
Classic, America, Cheeseburger, Spicy, and Veggie burgers are the 6 types of burgers you can choose from. They don’t really have a big menu so it’s really easy to choose! They also serve my favorite beer here, San Miguel beer. America Burgers has a combo menu which goes with a side and a drink.
Burger prices at America Burgers start at 45 NIS ($13 USD approx)
Hours: Sunday – Wednesday from 12:00 pm to 1:00 am; Thursdays from 12:00 pm – 3:00 am; Fridays from 12:00 pm to 4:00 am; Saturdays from 5:00 pm to 2:00 am; closed on Fridays
#1 – Best burger in Tel Aviv: VitrinaOkay, I am here every week because my super close friend in Tel Aviv manages this place but that’s not the reason why Vitrina is on the top spot of the best burgers in Tel Aviv. Most of the Tel Avivians will recommend the same! The place is super hip with indoor/outdoor settings. The best seat of the house is on the bar where you can see all the action happening!
Prices at Vitrina start at 45 NNIS ($13 USD) approx
Hours: Sunday – Wednesday from 12:00 pm – 11:00 pm; Thursdays from 12:00 pm – 12:00 am; closed on Fridays and Saturdays
Best pizza in Tel Aviv
#5 – HaPizzaLocated in one of the main avenues in Tel Aviv, HaPizza in Bograshov serves Neopolitan pizza. From where you’ll be sitting, you’ll be able to see the pizzas coming out of the oven, fresh and ready to surprise your tastebuds. In here, you will have fun in choosing your own toppings – the choices are endless!
Prices at HaPizza range from 31 NIS ($9 USD) – 60 NIS ($17 USD) approx
Hours: Sunday – Thursday from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm; Fridays from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm; Saturdays from 6:00 pm – 12:00 am
#4 – PhilippeIf you’ve tried pissaladière in France, it is the ultimate in French street food — crispy crust, caramelized onions, anchovies, and salty, oil-cured olives. The ingredients that Philippe use tastes like they are locally grown. It’s way fresher and healthier than the other greasy pizzas I’ve tried in my life. You will see how these pizzas are going out of the kitchen like it’s a show. If Carlebach Street is far from where you’re staying, you may also call Philippe pizza for deliveries. They’re one of the top food deliveries in town!
Prices at Philippe range from 44 NIS ($12 USD) – 89 NIS ($25 USD) approx
Hours: Sunday – Thursday from 5:00 pm to 1:00 am; Fridays from 12:00 pm – 1:00 am; Saturdays from 12:00 pm – 1:00 am
#3 – Tony VespaYou might have passed by Tony Vespa already because it’s in one of the main avenues of Tel Aviv, a popular one for that matter. This pizza joint is always flocked by people going to and going out of a party at Allenby. It’s more of a takeaway place with few tables and high chairs inside. Ordering can be pretty challenging as its always full. The Israelis are also bad with falling in line so I guess you have to fight your way to order!
Prices at Tony Vespa start at 40 NIS ($11 USD approx)
Hours: Sunday – Thursday from 5:00 pm – 4:00 am; Fridays from 12:00 pm – 5:30 am; Saturdays from 12:00 pm – 4:00 am
#2 – Brooklyn PizzaIf you’re looking for the traditional New York-style pizza, then go to Brooklyn Pizza! In here, you will be served with large pizza triangles made from an amazing dough. You may share it (or not) but this pizza place is definitely good for groups.
Prices at Brooklyn Pizza start at 48 NIS ($13 USD)
Hours: Sunday – Wednesday and Saturdays from 12:30 pm – 1:00 am; Thursdays from 12:30 pm – 2:00 am; Fridays from 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
#1 – Teder.fmThe Teder is my favorite spot for watching live music and also for their pizza!!! This is celebrity chef Eyal Shani’s first pizza restaurant serving large and thin-crust pizzas which you can eat while drinking a beer and watching live music. I vote Teder’s pizza as the number 1 non-traditional pizza place in Tel Aviv!
International cuisines in Tel Aviv
Best Thai food in Tel AvivI wouldn’t go here if it isn’t a special occasion because it’s a little expensive than I expected. However, Thai House will satisfy your Thai food craving. It is almost the exact taste as the street food in Thailand but they kind of didn’t meet my spicy expectations. Overall, it’s the best Thai restaurant in Tel Aviv that you should try!
Prices at the Thai House range from 48 NIS ($13 USD) – 150 NIS ($42 USD)
Hours: Open all week from 12:00 pm – 11:00 pm. Please call for reservations as they are always full!
Best Mexican food in Tel AvivTaqueria has been in Tel Aviv for years and no other Mexican restaurant beat them in the city. In here, you will get authentic Mexican treats like quesadillas, enchiladas, tacos, and of course, tequilaaaaaa!
Prices range from 22 NIS ($6 USD) – 78 NIS ($22 USD)
Hours: Sunday – Tuesday from 12:00 nn – 12:00 am; Wednesday – Saturday . from 12:00 nn – 1:00 am
Best Indian food in Tel AvivChicken, beef and veggie curry recipes in Challah, Bunny Chow has created a unique and original twist on the food they want to bring in Israel. The owners are English and Israeli couple Emily and Alon, who, for the longest time have been dreaming to bring something innovative in Tel Aviv. And they did it!
Best Chinese food in Tel AvivNot knowing it’s the best Chinese restaurant in Tel Aviv, I accidentally stumbled upon Xing Long on the way home. It’s super close to where I lived! I have never seen a lot of Asian restaurants in Jaffa but this one is too red and inviting, I couldn’t help but go in! Before ordering, I made sure the owners are Chinese because the menu is kind of pricy – I needed to make sure it’s authentic. True enough, everyone who is working at the restaurant is Chinese and they know what they’re doing!
Have you been to Tel Aviv? Where did you have the best meal?
Is there a place you went to that isn’t on the list? Share your thoughts in the comment box below and help other travelers make find where to eat in Tel Aviv!