While Tel Avivians said goodbye to some old favorites (like Rothschild 12 and Orna and Ella) this year, the city’s bustling food scene is hotter than ever. Stay in-the-know with our 2018 restaurant roundup, covering the best new eateries opened this year spanning a number of growing trends. Although these haven’t yet made it to our short list of faves, we will see which ones last the test of time!
2018 Favorite: Abie
Abie is the newest venture from the owners of the highly-successful Ha’achim and Dok restaurants. Like many of Israel’s best restaurants, Abie features vegetable-forward dishes that honor the produce grown here and the core ingredients in the Israeli kitchen. Abie’s menu of Israeli, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes is mostly divided by method of cooking, rather than traditional starters and mains. Seafood and fish also appear on the menu, but in keeping with Tel Aviv trends, no meat is to be found. The restaurant’s vibe is hipster cool while staying warm and inviting - an overall wonderful, authentically Israeli dining experience.
Tel Aviv’s staggering number of vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants is only growing in number. The good news is that the best vegan restaurants satisfy even the most stubborn carnivores with delicious and innovative cuisine.
Opa: the latest contribution to Tel Aviv’s well-earned reputation as the vegan capital of the world, Opa features creative, beautiful and delicious vegan dishes in a gorgeous space in the trendy Levinsky Market.
Sultana Shawarma - while vegan pizzas and hamburgers have long been staples of the Tel Aviv food scene, Sultana Shawarma offers an all-vegan shawarma joint that actually tastes good. Made from forest mushrooms and seitan, Sultana’s shawarma holds it own - no meat necessary.
Taking cues from Asian, French and international fusion cuisines, Tel Avivians have no shortage of great new options for their favorite dishes from around the world. Our favorite new places:
Herzl 16/Disco Tokyo: the closing of Tel Aviv’s renowned Rothschild 12 was a big moment for the city’s food scene. Luckily, their around-the-corner venture Herzl 16 (and sibling venue Disco Tokyo) is quickly gathering attention for its spacious courtyard, Asian-inflected food and live music and is a promising new addition to the busy Rothschild/Herzl area.
Zada Restaurant at the Drisco Hotel - with Ottoman-inspired dishes and design, Zada’s modern take on Turkish cuisine include Gözlemes filled with beet leaves, mint, lemon and Tulum cheese; local fish spiced witih baharat, lamb kebabs and last but not least, malabi for dessert.
Igra Rama - a meatless menu (fish and seafood appear) that offers only small and medium size plates - all meant for sharing. While you will see parts of the world influencing your plate, at least 80% of the ingredients come from local organic farms - the kind of local and global mix we love.
Hotel de Ville - Yogev Yaros, former chef of Italian restaurant Mel and Michelle, teamed up with local mixologist legend Ariel Leizgold to bring a bit of French Quarter charm to the Tel Aviv streets. Francophiles will love classic bistro fare like moules frites, ratatouille and croque Madame, best enjoyed with both innovative and time-tested craft cocktails.
With new boutique hotels opening faster than we can keep up with, cool restaurants follow closely behind, adding to an already-buzzing area, especially around the Jaffa Flea Market.
Mansura - in a developing area of the Salame/Noga District, the owners took an old garage shop and converted it to a design magazine beauty. Creative dishes range from fish carpaccio with cucumber, yogurt and seasonal fruit to chicken liver mousse to veal cheek stew. A great date spot!
Jericho - tucked into the Greek Orthodox "market" and not far from the Jaffa Clock Tower, the seating is focused on spilling into the streets, particularly as the night gets going and perhaps some live music or DJ gets jamming. The menu (like most menus in Tel Aviv) are focused on mid-sized sharing dishes and fresh from the taboon pizzas, like Calamari pizza or fish/beef skewers.
The Jaffa Hotel's restaurants - the same group that opened Carbone and Sadelle's opened the Jaffa Hotel and its restaurants inside - serving Italian classics in Don Camillo and a Jewish style deli concept (thus far nonexistent in Israel!) at Golda's.
Beit Kandinof - tucked between the flea market and Old Jaffa is this center of contemporary art hosting 5 art galleries, artists' studio, and a restaurant and bar awake for brunch on the weekends and at night for culture junkies.
Israeli chef Eyal Shani has found global success with outposts of his Miznon restaurant, which brought glorified Israeli street food to the the forefront of international cuisine. Local chefs are following suit and are bringing us their homegrown spins on simple, old-school grilled meats in pita with these 2018 openings - take your pick:
Tel Avivians love to eat and drink at all hours of the day. Some other exciting additions to the local scene:
Haiku - Sky Bar, the latest opening from the Brown Hotel group at the Lighthouse Hotel, Haiku joins a growing list of impressive Tel Aviv rooftop bars. While the building itself is no sight for sore eyes, the view from the top thrills.
Cuckoo’s Nest: this hipster bar/restaurant filled with antiques doubles as an art gallery and serves as a truly unique addition to the Tel Aviv-Jaffa nightlife scene.
As always, the Delicious Team is available for any other restaurant recommendations you might need for your next trip to Tel Aviv!