Sunny, 78 degrees, iced coffee and an Israeli salad on the beach — THIS is what winter in Tel Aviv looks like. Tel Aviv, Israel, is about a 10-hour flight from New York City. The entire country is the size of Rhode Island, with a spectacular Mediterranean Sea shoreline — and history, culture, food, nightlife, and beaches as colorful as the people that inhabit it. New York may be the City That Never Sleeps, but neither does Tel Aviv. Between the 24hr all-day breakfast spots (benedict is your BFF after an all-nighter), to the bars and clubs and beaches open to the public 24/7, the possibilities are endless — oh, and so are the food options: Greek, Italian, European, Arabic, Israeli, Moroccan, Ethiopian, Persian and the list goes on (and on, and on **Erykah Badu voice**). BUT if you’re craving something a little more familiar, here are my top picks for the homesick foodie in Tel Aviv.
The best breakfast restaurant in Tel Aviv! All about breakfast, anytime you want it. Benedict is the go-to spot for late nights and brunch. The interior is any minimalist’s dream, the eggs benedicts are mouthwatering, and the pancakes are literally food porn.
P.S. They serve a bread basket laced with individual Nutella packets (OMG!).
Location: Open 24/7. Rothschild Blvd 29
Located in the Old City of Jaffa, this gem has the best Shakshuka in town, and an array of traditional North African food on the menu that does not disappoint aka it’s le-gen-dar-y! Definitely go with a group (the more the merrier), definitely walk off the loaf of fresh baked bread you WILL devour, as Jaffa is a town meant to explore.
Location: 3 Biet Eshel Tel Aviv-Jaffa; Open 9:00AM-12:00AM
After a 10.5 hour flight, the first thing on your mind will be
sleep coffee, because jet-lag is real. Finding good coffee in a foreign country is hard, and finding a great cafe is sometimes even harder — BUT Cafe Levinsky41 is one of Tel Aviv’s newest and neatest outdoor cafes. Serving up coffee and espresso (hot or iced), homemade sodas, homemade marzipan, and freshly-baked treats. The environment is super chill, and the staff is especially friendly.
Location: Levinsky 41 Tel Aviv; Monday-Thursday 6:30AM-7:00PM; Friday 6:30AM-5:00PM; Closed Sat.
A go-to for Vegans (or faux-Vegans like myself), raw-food aficionados, or any Neve-Tsedek neighborhood visitor looking for a fresh juice or DIY night in the kitchen. Everything fresh, everything local.
Location: 3 Lilienblum Tel Aviv, Israel; Open Sunday-Thursday 8:30AM-8:00PM; Friday 8:30AM-4:00PM
Vibes, Vibes, Vibes. Port Sa’id is a major trendy restaurant with a full-service bar, and a DJ usually playing their own vinyl record collection throughout the day and night. Everything on the curated menu (which changes daily) is fantastic, and the chicken sandwich pairs great with a cold beer or cocktail!
Location: Har Sinai St.5, Tel Aviv; Open Monday-Sunday 12:00PM-5:00AM
Come for the tacos, stay for the frozen margaritas! Good Mexican restaurants in Tel Aviv are a rarity, and I was skeptical the first time my friend took me here but all doubt disappears when you take that first bite into a chicken taco — or vegan burrito. Taqueria is notoriously packed at night, so thank the Tequila gods for a bar stacked with all of the best tequila and fresh guacamole and chips to keep you occupied while you wait because they don’t take reservations.
Location: Levontin St.28, Tel Aviv; Open Sunday-Tuesday 12:00PM-12AM, Wednesday-Saturday 12:00PM-1:00AM
This famous gelato place is tucked away on Shabazi Street in the Neve-Tzedek neighborhood (which has been coined the “Soho of Tel Aviv”). The staff kindly let’s you taste everything (some of the creamiest gelato you’ll ever eat), and there’s a Pinkberry-style frozen yogurt section with some very rare, seasonal fruit toppings.
Location: Shabazi St.40, Tel Aviv; Open daily 8:00AM-12:15AM
Location: Shabazi St.46 Tel Aviv; Open Sunday-Friday 12:00PM-12:00AM, Saturday 5:30PM-12:00AM
Teder will easily become your favorite hang-out/meet-up spot. It opens every night at 8 pm and stays open until well past the witching hour. Located in the middle of an old gallery with outdoor seating, a full bar, and the BEST (yes, BEST) pizza in Tel Aviv from celebrity chef Eyal Shani.
The Teder faithfully hosts cool guest DJs broadcast live on TederFM, special performances, and movie nights. I actually DJ’d here before my Euro-tour and had a blast!
Location: Jaffa Road.9, Tel Aviv; Open from 8:00 pm daily
Some places are just too good to be forgotten, here are some honorable mentions:
Abu Hassan: the BEST hummus you will eat in your life — OMG
Kalamata: gourmet Greek cuisine overlooking the Mediterranean.*Reserve a table by the window for life altering sunsets.*
Brasserie: French, open 24/7.
Salimi: your favorite hole-in-the-wall home-cooked Persian soul food.
Written and featured image by Martina Mcflyy