GuestyVal Guide: Where to Talk Shop Over the Best Food in Tel Aviv
You’re gonna work up quite an appetite.
So, you’ve purchased your tickets to GuestyVal, the greatest vacation rental conference ever? Great – glad that’s settled. But if you enjoy eating – and let’s be honest, who doesn’t enjoy eating? – you might already be curious about where to dine during your stay.
Tel Aviv has earned a reputation for being a city of smiles and laughs but make no mistake, we do not joke about food. It’s the metropolitan center of an extremely multicultural country, and you can totally taste it in the cuisine. With communities from Africa, the Americas, Europe, Russia, Asia, and all over the Middle East – almost the entire world – the options are endless.
Finding recommendations is easy. Deciding which ones to use is hard. Guesty is here to help with a list of the best restaurants in Tel Aviv.
But First – Coffee!
What’s your favorite way to start the day saying, yes I can? For most of us, it’s with a beverage.
Our independent water lovers don’t need anyone’s help finding their elixir. For the juice and smoothie friends, simply step outside, walk four blocks in any direction, and Tel Aviv will hand you your fix. And for the rest of us who fiend for caffeine, follow the coffee bean road to:
Here’s another important lesson to learn about Tel Aviv, and fast: it’s hot. The sun smiles down on the city for 300 days on average each year and there’s no better place to wake up and smile back with your drink of choice in hand than at Edmund’s. Coyly hidden behind a beautiful blue archway from the past, you’ll find yourself in a courtyard that lets the light in through a shady canopy of trees. The 7-hour Guatemalan cold brew comes highly recommended.
Location: Allenby Street 97, Center
You’ll also find kiosks with scattered tables on many major streets, such as Sderot Ben Gurion, Sderot Arlozorov, and Rothschild Blvd – all great places to have a chat over your coffee.
Are you awake yet?
Good, because you have some serious eating to do.
Wake up and smell the Bucke breakfast. They have a little – okay, a lot – of everything (see picture below for reference). The ideal group tables and a peaceful environment don’t hurt.
Location: Ahad Ha’Am St 91, Center
As beautiful as it is delicious, this cafe grabs anyone who walks by it with a gravitational pull – and yet still always has room for more. Going here is mandatory; deciding where to sit and what to eat is up to you.
Location: Yehuda HaMAccabi 4, Old North
You’ll find there isn’t really a set time around here for lunch or dinner, because no time is a bad time for a good meal. Here are some all-star “anytime” restaurants:
Modest outside and dreamy inside, this is the place to go if you are around Jaffa and looking for a little slice of heaven.
Location: Bat Ami St 7, Jaffa
SALUF & SONS
Food so delicious they might have to kick you out… although at that point you may be too full to walk. Hearty meats, soups, rice dishes and hummus that smell so good you might not have time for a picture first. Go with friends, order everything, and share!
Location: Nahalat Binyamin St 80, South-Center
OLD MAN AND THE SEA
This is your meal with a view. Nothing short of a legend, this restaurant pulls out all of the stops, featuring some of the city’s best local seafood and plenty more. Come hungry, leave happy – and heavy!
Location: Kedem St 85, Jaffa Port
Not pictured: the actual meal.
Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and coffee, there’s a reason they have restaurants all over the city. Everything on the menu is good.
Location: just around the corner!
In Tel Aviv, it’s common to hear certain dishes, restaurants, and even the city itself referred to as “accidentally vegan” – although with a notable animal rights movement, it’s also very intentional. This tiny country has agriculture from top to bottom, keeping the produce supply high and making it all too easy to eat fruit and vegetables for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Pro-tip: try not to drown in the Tahini.
Truly the hidden royal princess of the center, this cafe has perfected everything on their incredibly diverse menu, including both vegetarian dishes and vegan delicacies.
Location: Frishman St 54, Center
People wonder what makes everything here taste so good, especially with the menu changing so often and including dishes you’ve never heard of before. We discovered the secret: they often change their menu to match the seasons. No wonder it’s all delicious!
Location: 6 Ahad Ha’am St, Neve Tzedek
And don’t forget, ALL HUMMUS IS VEGAN (unless you specifically request egg or meat) so this is always a reliable backup.
Drink and Discuss
You’ll be using your brain a lot during this conference. Give it a rest and rejuvenate your senses at some of our favorite bars.
THE NORMAN LIBRARY BAR
If GuestyVal doesn’t give you enough to talk about, this bar will with its old-world charm, walls lined with books, and one of the most extensive wine lists in the country.
Location: Nahmani St 23-25, Center
Opened as an extension of a bar that saw too much success (called Spicehaus – a ways up the street), Double Standard ensures that everyone has room to try their seriously scientific mixology. Stop by during the day to take some secret ingredients home!
Location: Dizengoff St 247, Old North
Like a Local: Street Eats
Put your business back in your pocket for a few minutes and pick up these unique flavors with both hands.
Actually addictive. Their shawarma is outrageous, but you can’t go wrong with the falafel, hummus, or really anything else. Be warned, there is a line, but it moves very fast – and it is worth it.
Location: Shlomo ha-Melekh St 1, Center
The pita-lover’s paradise. Seemingly humble but crafted by one of Israel’s most celebrated chefs, you just pick which amazing thing you want to taste (herbivorous and carnivorous options available) and they’ll stuff it into an anything-but-ordinary pita.
Location: King George St 30, Center OR Ibn Gabirol St 23, Center
Here they serve one thing and they serve it perfectly: sabich. Debatably the only dish truly local to Israel, sabich tenderly fries eggplant and mixes it into a pita with a hard-boiled egg, tahini, and infinite herbs and spices. Don’t miss this, because you really can’t get it anywhere else.
Location: Frishman St 42, Center
Did you think we were going to forget about hummus?
Not a chance – in fact, we picked out the best spots for you across the city. No need to describe what is already perfect:
Location: Yermiyahu St 45, Old North
Hummus Abu Hassan
If you venture over to Jaffa and opt for hummus, everyone will tell you this is the only place to go. And if you do go here, we have one crucial piece of advice: Get the Masabacha.
What is it, you ask? It’s a similar dish which uses hummus as a base, mixing in some extra: extra tahini, extra chickpeas, extra lemon, and extra love. You’re welcome.
Location: Ha-Dolfin St 1, Jaffa
Location: Allenby St 47, Central
Mix it up and get humshuka: hummus + shakshuka.
Sweet Tooth Time!
Be sweet, all day, everyday. Eat sweet too.
Tamara frozen yogurt
It’s sweet, it’s cold, and it’s smothered in fresh fruit and other delights.
Locations: 2 branches
- Ben Yehuda St 96, Old North
- Sderot Rothschild 19, Central
If you’ve never had malabi before, don’t wait any longer! Like a more delicate cream pudding, with nuts and syrup to make you wonder how chocolate ever did the trick for you.
Location: Allenby St 60, Central
Cafe Basma Knafeh
Okay, this restaurant is actually good for everything: it boasts beautiful views of the Jaffa port and sea, with incredible food and service. But if you go here, you MUST get the knafeh for dessert. They have a special recipe you won’t find anywhere else.
Location: Louis Pasteur St 5, Jaffa
Beyond all the delectable dishes to try in the best restaurants in Tel Aviv, we only have one more piece of advice for you:
Don’t argue with an Israeli about their food favorites. It’s a losing battle that you will regret starting. We have a hunch that your mouth will be too full of food to say much in between bites.
And if you haven’t already, be sure to grab your tickets to GuestyVal quickly – we’re ready to nourish your mind, and Tel Aviv is waiting to nourish your stomachs.