Foodie culture is huge in Israel, and it’s no surprise that Tel Aviv is at the center. Whether you’re craving a traditional falafel or looking to settle down for a weekend brunch, you can find all types of eateries in the White City. In true Birthright Israel fashion however, we believe that the best way to experience what the city has to offer, is to get some local input. So if you’re looking for your next bite, don’t settle for what’s next door—take a look at what the locals have to recommend.
Breakfast in Israel is something to write home about, and you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t make weekend plans at one of the top brunch spots in Tel Aviv. Looking for options? We’ve got them right here.
Address: Rothschild Blvd 29
Situated on the bustling Rothschild avenue, Benedict is a popular local favorite for not only weekend brunches, but round-the-clock breakfast. Highlights on the menu include a decadent variety of eggs benedicts (no surprise there), fluffy pancakes, bagel sandwiches, and of course—mimosas and other cocktails to make your weekend mornings even more fun. Whether you’re in the mood for a traditional breakfast platter or a more fancy brunch plate, this is a spot both locals and tourists will never leave hungry.
Yom Tov Cafe
Address: Yom Tov St 30
Neighborhood: Kerem HaTeimanim
Situated in Shuk Ha’Carmel, Yom Tov Cafe is a trendy eatery with the true hipster vibe (that you might otherwise find in Levontin). Stop in on any day of the week and you’ll encounter an assortment of the local crowd, from students and professionals to tourists— gathering for brunch or taking a seat with a coffee and laptop in hand. It’s an undoubtedly great spot in the morning, especially if you’re visiting after a buzzing shopping spree at the shuk.
For Street Food
The Middle East is renowned for street food, and if you’re looking to experience it in Israel, don’t skip over your options in Tel Aviv.
Address: Shlomo HaMelekh St 1
Just a stone’s throw (okay, a block) away from Dizengoff, if you follow your nose towards the trailing scent of falafel, you’ll no doubt be quick to stumble upon Hakosem. It’s a true representation of Tel Aviv’s rich street food scene and as such, often draws in crowds of locals. You’re also not only limited to falafel; the friendly staff serves other traditional Israeli street food options like sabich and shawarma in a fluffy pita.
For Hummus & Falafel
Israel has no shortage of options here, but if you’re going to be in one of the best places of the world for hummus and falafel, we recommend going all the way to the top.
Address: Ha-Dolfin St 1
It just wouldn’t be fair to dedicate a category to hummus and not mention the famous Abu Hassans, a crown jewel of eateries for anyone who loves food. In fact, we debated creating a category solely for this family-owned restaurant. Located in Jaffa, Abu Hassan’s is not only one of the top spots in Tel Aviv, but also in the entire country. Grab a table and order, well—hummus; it’s the only item on the menu aside from pita and onions. Hummus is made fresh daily and if you’ve ever dreamt about diving face first into a bowl of creamy hummus, this is the place to do it.
Address: King George St 105
Mifgash Osher translates to the Happiness Joint in English, and considering the combination of good food and good vibes served by the restaurant, it’s rightfully earned its name. If you ask a local where to get a great falafel, this spot will most certainly come up in conversation. Highlights include two variations of Sabich (eggplant and egg); one with sweet potatoes and the other with cauliflower.
If you’re going to live your foodie dreams in Tel Aviv, don’t stop at just the main courses, make sure to end it with a dessert that will fully satisfy your palette.
Address: Shabazi St 40 (and others)
Neighborhood: Neve Tzedek
Summers in Tel Aviv are no joke when you’re up against the hot Mediterranean sun. If you crave ice cream to cool off after a long day of lying on the beach, we (and the locals) recommend making your way to Anitas in trendy Neve Tzedek to sample one or more of their incredibly delicious flavors. If you’re not in the direct area, not to worry, Anitas also offers other locations around the city.
Israel is one of the most vegan-friendly countries in the world, and in modern Tel Aviv, you don’t need to walk far to find a hip plant-based cafe or restaurant. Here are just a few of the favorites recommended by locals.
Address: Frishman St 54
One of the OG vegan cafes in Tel Aviv, locals love Anastasia for its stylish, airy interior, and of course—it’s stellar veggie-friendly cuisine. In fact, it’s considered to be one of the top restaurants in the city, not only reserved for the plant-based crowd. From creative salads and fresh sandwiches to mouthwatering desserts and noteworthy vegan cheese, there’s something on the menu for everyone to sample. If you love shakshuka, Highlight: Grabbing a seat on the patio to have a bite and enjoy some people watching.
The Green Cat
Address: Levontin St 7
Located in the grungy cool Levontin neighborhood, The Green Cat is a pizza joint that has both vegan and non-vegan locals rejoicing with full bellies. Stop in and order a mouthwatering pizza known for its crispy thin crust, fresh tomato sauce, and vegan cashew cheese (dubbed cashewzarella by the cafe). And, it wouldn’t be pizza without the option to choose from a variety of toppings to add on top.
Want to experience all that Tel Aviv has to offer? If you are between the ages of 18 to 26, you might be eligible for a free trip to Israel. Fill out an application today or click here to find out if you’re eligible.