- Around Tel Aviv
- Around Tel Aviv
- TAGS: Restaurants
The White City is rife with dining options, and you definitely don’t want to miss out on the cultural and culinary collage of restaurants in Tel Aviv, but there’s nothing like a home-cooked communal meal to really immerse yourself in local culture.
EatWith is an Israeli-born web service that connects travelers with local hosts for a home-cooked meal and an authentic cultural experience. You’ll find hundreds of Israeli hosts opening up their kitchens and dining rooms to guests and serving up cuisines from all over the world from Israeli and Mexican to South American, Asian and much more.
EatWith is the brainchild of Guy Michlin and Shemer Schwartz and sprang out of a dinner Guy enjoyed with a local family while vacationing in Crete. Impressed by the authenticity of the meal and by the deep connection he felt with his hosts, he sought a way to provide the same experience for other travelers. He returned home and began brainstorming the concept with his business partner, Shemer. A few years later, EatWith.com launched in Israel with the goal of one day enabling visitors worldwide to select a local host in their country of choice with whom to enjoy an authentic home-cooked meal.
This brilliant concept didn’t take long to flourish and EatWith now has hosts in 30 countries (at last count) and 150+ cities, from locations as diverse as Japan and Croatia. All hosts are pre-screened for their cooking skills, ability to interact well with guests, hosting skills, and home atmosphere. Reservations and payment are handled online, so diners can feel confident and safe with the process and are assured that they are not going to end up at shabby quarters in the bad side of town. Surprisingly, as popular as it is with tourists, it is even more popular with locals who are eager to meet others in their city who share a passion for food and good conversation.
If you’ve spent much time in this country, the one thing you learn is to expect the unexpected, and dining with the locals is no different. Although Israel currently has seven different cities to choose from on the EatWith website, only three of them have regular events: Haifa, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv. In Tel Aviv, the diversity of the hosts is as varied as the food, and although the majority of the guests are Israelis, nearly every Israeli adult speaks English, so English-speaking guests are warmly welcomed and made to feel at home. And “at home”, it truly is. This is not a restaurant experience. You are having dinner in someone’s living space, which means the kids are there, the pets are there, and all the normal chaos of a household is experienced alongside the meal. Awesome.
With such a diversity of hosts and locations, one can imagine the variety of culinary adventures that a jet-setting tourist can experience. Not only is a meal in each different country a unique experience, but each meal itself is unique because every group is a new set of diners, hence, no two dinners are the same. That’s the charm of EatWith – not only can you have the experience of an authentic, home-cooked meal with residents of the host country, but even if you dine with the same EatWith host every week, you will have a different experience because the guest list would be different. It’s an ingenious way to meet and form relationships with those in distant lands as well as in your own city, and to create both memories and friendships of a lifetime.