Tel Aviv’s dining scene has a well-earned reputation for both quality and quantity, with hundreds of restaurants ranging from local fast food to elegant, first-rate restaurants that can match those of any other city in the world.
These are five of the best restaurants in Tel Aviv that will no doubt serve you well as a jumping off point for your culinary adventure in Tel Aviv.
You can’t talk about food in Israel without hummus. Every city in Israel has a debate over the best hummus in town, and in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Abu Hassan typically takes the cake among voters. Aside from the famous hummus, Abu Hassan’s menu is generally limited to things that go with hummus, such as matbacha and cooked chickpeas or fava beans, which makes your decision a fairly easy one.
Abu Hassan is popular precisely because of its simplicity, so much so that there are days on the weekend that people have to wait for a table. But no worries – the atmosphere is warm and spirited, and you will enjoy the personalized service. That being said, this isn’t the kind of place you can hang out in for hours – you’ll probably need to vacate your seat for the next people waiting in line!
Also, once the humus is gone, the restaurant closes, so arrive early for lunch to prevent disappointment.
Address: 1 Dolphin St, Tel Aviv; Two other locations at 14 and 18 Shivtei Iisrael St, Tel Aviv)
Phone: 03-682-0387, 03-682-8355
Messa is one of the Tel Aviv’s fine dining scene’s finest gems, boasting one of the most impressive menus in Tel Aviv along with a beautiful interior design that has drawn international praise for its elegance and modernity.
It’s impossible to pinpoint a signature dish from Chef Aviv Moshe’s Mediterranean-Middle Eastern fusion repertoire, as the menu is constantly changing with the seasons, but you can be sure that almost anything you choose will be an inspired piece of culinary artistry made only from the highest quality, fresh ingredients.
Address: 19, Ha’arba St, Tel Aviv
Phone: 053 -941-8828
Website: http://messa.rest.co.il/ (Hebrew, but menu in English)
Thai House takes pride in serving Thai cuisine that is authentic as you can get outside the Southeast Asian country itself.
Located in the heart of Tel Aviv, Thai House opts for a design that draws inspiration from the source of its cuisine, with bamboo-lined walls, simple places settings and a bar that looks like it might have been teleported from a Thai beach.
Sitting in the open yard amongst the bamboo décor is relaxing and memorable.
The food on the menu is has a reputation for being delicious. Specially recommended are the Tom-Yam soups (particularly on a cold day), the Num Tok Nah (beef medium rare, fried with coriander, red onions, lemon and chili), Pad-Tai noodles or the seafood in green curry.
In true Thai spirit, the ingredients are fresh and the dishes simple, yet tasty and spicy.
Address: 8 Bograshov Street, Tel Aviv
Located in the posh Tel Aviv Port district, the Kitchen Market is a local favorite named for its proximity to and use of fresh, locally sourced ingredients from the bustling farmer’s market one floor below it.
Most of the Kitchen Market’s dishes are fairly simple with classic tastes, such as the shredded lamb ravioli, warm terrine of lamb, mullet fillet and seafood dishes. However the fresh ingredients and creative pairings by the chef enable the dishes to stand out in their excellence. It is truly hard to go wrong with any choice on the menu, even if you opt to go for the less expensive items, such as their delectably crisp and tasty pizzas.
The homey interior with a spectacular sea view is another element that makes the Kitchen Market such an enamoring dining experience. True to its name, the restaurant has a kitchen feel, with an island in the middle adorned with tasteful food products as decorations. Likewise, the actual kitchen is open and visible to diners, and while the smells coming from there are present and add to the ambiance, they are not overwhelming.
All these qualities make the kitchen market the perfect spot for any type of meal – romantic, business or casual – at any time of day.
Address: Hangar 12, Tel Aviv Port, Tel Aviv
As long as you’re on Israel’s beautiful coast, why not take advantage by eating at the Tel Aviv restaurant with perhaps the best fish and seafood and the best seaside location.
Located at the far south end of Charles Clore Park on Alma Beach, literally just meters away from the sea, Manta Ray serves only the freshest catches from the sea, along with a generous selection of mezze (small appetizers).
The restaurant also serves a charming breakfast in the mornings, serving Middle Eastern favorites such as shakshuka as well as classic breakfasts like bacon and eggs.
So whether you’re looking to take in the sunset on a romantic dinner or take in the fresh morning sea air before the bustling city come to life, Manta Ray is your ideal location.
There you have it. Keep in mind, that these are just suggestions of where to start your exploration of Tel Aviv’s dining scene. There are hundreds of other options, including some that might suit your taste even better than our selection. Get an overview of all that Tel Aviv dining has to offer by checking out our Tel Aviv restaurants index.
Address: Alma Beach, Tel Aviv-Jaffa
Website: http://www.mantaray.co.il/ (Hebrew)