For guests coming from outside of Israel, Passover is really a treat to celebrate in Israel, with so many more options beyond matzah pizza. With much of the population observing the rules of this holiday, Israelis have gotten creative with Passover alternatives!
Even if you can’t join a Delicious Israel culinary tour of Carmel Market or Levinsky Market, enjoy a morning or afternoon exploring each! There are so many sights, smells, tastes and sounds to take in, even during Passover, a busy time when kids are out of school and adults are working on relaxed schedules.
*Note that these options are for visitors comfortable with eating legumes (kitniyot in Hebrew) only or those not keeping Passover at all.
Tel Aviv’s largest open market will continue offering fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses and everything else it is known for, in addition to some special Passover goodies like kosher-for-Passover macaroons (in about 30 different varieties!). Explore the Carmel Market and the adjacent Yemenite Quarter to sample some of the very best of Israeli street food and cuisine more generally, and to stretch the boundaries of what you know as Passover food!
The Carmel Market will be jam-packed with people, and the following eateries (among others) will stay open:
Sabich Tchernichovksy: this nearby institution will continue serving hot, fresh and perfectly-layered sabich throughout the holiday - this time stuffed into a corn flour-based pita!
Tchernikhovski St 2
Druze pita: look around the market for ovens with fluffy pitas (sometimes cooked under a pillow!) - this delicious specialty will be made out of corn flour.
Rambam corner of Nahalat Binyamin
Bourekas: if you are not observing the holiday, visit the bourekas stand that will stay open throughout the holiday with their decidedly non-kosher offerings like shrimp and Philly cheeseteak.
Rabbi Meir St 42
Arepas: head down inside the main drag of the shuk for Venezuelan arepas, which are naturally kosher for Passover and gluten free (again, made from corn). We highly recommend getting there early, as it will be especially packed during this holiday!
38 HaCarmel St
Hummus: If you’re craving hummus, check out Haben Shel Hasuri. You' can ‘wipe’ a delicious bowl of Masabacha Hummus with their special corn laffa.
Hillel ha-Zaken St 10
Arte: Finish off with a sweet treat at Arte ice cream, which will stay open with their amazing flavors throughout Passover.
Nahalat Binyamin St 11
While some Levinsky Market favorites will close shop for a well-deserved break this Passover holiday, others will stay open for business as usual! We highly recommend taking a stroll and sampling from the dizzying array of dried fruits, nuts, seeds and spices that Levinsky Market offers in addition to these restaurant options. Be sure to take in the Greek, Turkish, Persian and Yemenite influences that are so important in this small but jam-packed neighborhood.
Cafe Levinsky: grab an artisanal gazoz from Cafe Levinsky, where Benny or his lovely staff will serve you his version of the classic soda drink - a garden in a glass, filled with soda water, fruits in syrup, herbs, and edible flowers.
Mabsuta: if you are not keeping kosher for Passover, mabsuta will continue offering top-notch pita (in our opinion, theirs is the best in the area) and classic hummus dishes, along with a few salads and desserts.
The place is small, so grab a table early!
Yom Tov: this storied Turkish delicatessen will continue offering their excellent imported and local meats, cheeses, fish, and mezze products. Not to be missed.
Shawarma Eli: Levinsky Market’s only falafel and shawarma restaurant is kosher all year round and kosher for Passover, offering alternatives to the usual pita, all served with a smile. We love their huge selection of sweet, sour and spicy salads to stuff your pita or just as a snack on the side.
Merkhavya St 13
Halva: Linda, Levinsky Market’s halva queen, will keep her shop ‘Kesem Hahalva’ (“the magic of Halva”) open throughout Passover.
Rahamim's malabi: look for a small fruit stand on Nahalat Binyamin, not too far from Levinsky street, with a lovely older gentleman named Rahamim, and ask for his malabi. This refreshing sweet treat is also 100% vegan, as he uses coconut milk!
Nahalat Binyamin (near corner of Levinsky)
If you have any more questions or want recommendations outside of the Carmel and Levinsky markets, please write to us!
Have a Delicious and happy Passover holiday!