The Shuk HaCarmel is known for its groceries, fresh fruits and veggies, and "in your face" vendors shouting to hock their offerings. Today, the market is experiencing a revival that is bringing an influx of young blood to this lively market, including some new gems along the busy market that should make it to your must-try food spots list. Alongside authentic Israeli eateries, now you can take a food tour around the international culinary world through this market. Start at the top and try The Bun for your fusion Asian cuisine and ramen bowls. Indulge in South African street food at Bunny Chow. Head down the market and check out the South American Arepas stand. Enjoy a Middle Eastern kebab in a pita at Shmuel, or the classic Israeli shakshuka at the hip Shukshuka.
After working at some of the best restaurants in the world, brothers Shay and Ayal Kitches opened up The Bun. The Bun is inspired by Asian street food, but also has a kick of Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese. Steamed buns are the staple on the menu. The pillow-y, doughy, buns resemble those found in great dim sum restaurants. You add well-prepared insides like brisket, hamburger or tofu, and you are bound to open your taste buds for more. The menu also includes Asian classics such as ramen noodle bowls or udon soup. Save room for their crème caramel miso dessert.
The Bun, Hillel ha-Zaken St 18, Tel Aviv, Israel
The Arepa stand will introduce you to a pocket of goodness straight from Venezuela. Young Venezuelan Olim (immigrants) missed their fluffy, crumbly, warm and freshly made Venezuelan crispy corn pancake, so they decided to open a shop to bring the goodness to all. Add meats and vegetables to your liking and watch as they add a crazy good amount of cheese on top melted and crisped to perfection. These Arepas are gluten free! They also serve empanadas and fried plantains called patacones, as well as corn-based cachapas (flat corn “pancakes” with queso fresco).
Arepa’s, HaCarmel St 38 (next door to Bar Ochel), Tel Aviv, Israel
Bunny Chow originates from the Indian Durban community in South Africa where traditional curries are served. Bunny Chow brings this Indian treat to Israel serving it in delicious challah bread bowl. Keeping the menu simple, you can choose from one of three different curries – chicken, beef or vegan, each prepared with over 20 herbs and spices. You can get your meal served in either a sweet challah roll or on a bed of rice. Chow down on this delicious curry in a bread bowl.
Bunny Chow, HaCarmel at the corner of Yishkon St 40, Tel Aviv, Israel
Get a quick escape from the hustle bustle by ducking into a hidden spot off the side of the main strip, and say hello to Shmuel. A warm and inviting atmosphere with friendly staff and quick service. The Shmuel kebab is probably the most popular dish – a combination of kebab and Jerusalem mix and vegetables all served in a warm pita. A great place for lunch – simple street food made fresh from market products, what more do you need for your shopping break?
Shmuel, 21 Hacarmel St corner of 42 Rabbi Meir St, Tel Aviv, Israel
Shukshuka takes the classic Shakshuka to a new level, and adds a great all-around market dining experience. Tucked off a side street towards the bottom of the market, Shukshuka’s (same owners as Bar Ochel) vibrant music and Moroccan-inspired tile counter tops will either lure you in for a meal, or have you headed in the other direction. As the specialty here is Shakshuka, they serve a few options, each flavored with different spices. There is the classic, Spanish shakshuka with kabanos sausages, spinach and chickpeas, and Italian with goat cheese and basil. The main dish is accompanied by unlimited challah for soaking up the sauce, and a complementary shot if you’re lucky.
Shukshuka, 41 Simtat HaCarmel, Tel Aviv, Israel
Delicious Guest Blogger Andie Himmelrich recently graduated from the University of Michigan with a major in Communications and minor in Chinese Studies. She is interested in food, photography, social media, traveling and having fun. For more of Andie's falafel scoops, be sure to follow on Instagram: @falafullTLV.