If you haven’t heard by now that Tel Aviv is a vegan capital of the world, you are probably living under an Instagram-deprived rock (sans superfood). In the past few years the city has sprouted hundreds of vegan and even more vegetarian restaurants; there are vegan alternatives to almost every animal-based food in most major chains, small restaurants, and grocery stores. The Carmel and Levinsky Markets, where many chefs source their ingredients from, are a vegan’s playground, with fresh, local produce in every color you can imagine. Fresh fruits and vegetables are found in abundance throughout the city.
Tel Aviv chefs are constantly pushing the boundaries and creating delicious vegan flavors - some so good that carnivores happily dig in. Long gone are the days of hearing “good …. for a vegan restaurant” - these restaurants simply offer delicious food.
Here are some of Delicious Israel’s favorite “TelaVegan” restaurants, from old favorites to the newest openings:
Street Food/Quick Bites
Sultana Shawarma: Shawarma is a quintessentially Middle Eastern, masculine food, enjoyed by carnivores all over the world, including in Israel. Until 2018, vegans stuck with falafel as their pita stuffing, but Sultana is a game-changer. They offer a meat substitute made out of savoury forest mushrooms roasted to perfection - and with all the usual fixings, we swear you won’t miss the meat.
Rainbow joins Sultana Shawarma in being a perfect stop for ex-carnivores who have adopted a vegan lifestyle. Rainbow is one of a select few places in Tel Aviv offering the Beyond Burger, which tastes, looks, and feels almost exactly like real meat. They also offer vegan kebabs, shnitzel and other meaty favorites.
Nature Boys, located in the ultra-hip Gan Hachashmal area, offers an excellent selection of vegan burgers and other fast food favorites - including super crispy fries, innovative toppings like vegan egg salad, and soft-serve ice cream for dessert. Bonus points - they also deliver across Tel Aviv!
Hertzog is a tad more casual than our other two cafes, somewhere in between quick eats and cafe. Every day they offer a different ‘mountain’ or ‘hill’ - savory dishes of beans, grains and veggies, abounding with greens. Prices are on the high side for what is on offer, but dishes are truly fresh - especially the on-the-spot chopped market salad.
Anastasia: Anastasia is a veteran vegan eatery (Tel Aviv’s first all-vegan cafe!) and for good reason. Anastasia is a health nut’s paradise, offering a varied selection of superfoods and healthy takes on comfort food. Their vegan twist on the classic Israeli breakfast can’t be beat, but lunch and dinner mean heartier options like the Farmer’s Pie or vegetable paella.
Meshek Barzliay: located in historic Neve Tzedek, Meshek Barzilay leads the pack in vegan and organic offerings, even winning Time Out’s best vegan restaurant in 2018. As a truly farm-to-table restaurant, their menu is seasonally changing, but their vegan cheese alternatives are always delicious. They also do wonderful takeout dishes for small functions and can cater to even the most restricted eater -highly recommended!
A Notch Up
Zakaim: before there was Sultana, there was Zakaim, the Tel Aviv vegan institution opened by the same chef. Zakaim has long been serving Persian inspired but internationally flavored vegan fare. Go with friends and share a selection of dishes - and don’t forget to wrap up the evening with mint and sage tea and a delectable vegan malabi.
Opa: A wonderful addition to the already incredibly cool Levinsky Market area, Opa is anything but granola. This swanky restaurant (easily the most upscale in the area) looks like an art gallery, and the food is presented no less beautifully by Chef Shirel Berger. Reservations are a must.
Bana: Opened in 2017, Bana’s plant-based cuisine is the epitome of fresh and healthy, but taste is never compromised. It quickly became a Tel Aviv vegan staple, and most dishes embrace vegetables in all their glory, largely eschewing meat replacements like seitan and tofu. Creative cocktails and gorgeous desserts round off the total experience. The mushroom and walnut dish is a favorite, as is the smoothie bowl (also offered in cup version).