Shalom from Tel Aviv! Tel Aviv is Israel’s most metropolitan city located on the glistening Mediterranean coast. It’s known for being a tech hub in the business world, world-class beaches, and insane nightlife. The food is also to die for. I’m here as part of an international consulting trip through my MBA program, and have spent the past 10 days staying in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and traveling throughout the country extensively. This post is going to focus mostly on the food and drink scene in Israel and is broken down by the meals / drinks I had there. I plan on writing a more complete post about the country later, so be sure to check back for more information about exploring Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Masada, and the Dead Sea. Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are Israel’s most popular cities, so keep reading for the best restaurants in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
PS. This list has a lot more recommendations for Tel Aviv than Jerusalem because I spent more time here with friends before my MBA trip kicked off. Once our MBA program began, we had a lot of group meals in the hotel, so I ate out less in Jerusalem.
Food / Drinks In Tel Aviv
Coffee In Tel Aviv
Israel has amazing coffee! Trust me, we would know – coffee has been our saving grace on this trip as we’ve had lots of late nights and early wake up calls. Just note, “iced coffee” in Israel isn’t like it is in the US, it’s more like a frappe / milkshake. If you want traditional iced coffee, order a “cold coffee”. I also went to some coffee shops that didn’t have any lattes, so try cappuccinos instead.
Little Prince Bookshop
My friend Kendyl found this one, but I couldn’t recommend it more! This quaint bookshop has an ample selection of used Hebrew (and some English) books, along with delicious coffee, brunch, and a cute back patio. The back has tables with board games, overhanging trees, and string lights. Lots of locals were working here and the food was delicious!
- Address: King George Street 19, Tel Aviv-Yafo
- Address: Dizengoff Street 190, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Brunch / Breakfast In Tel Aviv
Our group had several delicious brunches in Tel Aviv! The first recommendation I have is the Little Prince Bookshop which I mentioned above. Aside from the coffee, the food was great here too. I highly recommend the bagel – it comes Israeli style with a bunch of different sauces and was so good! Here’s my other recommendation…
This is a trendy, French-Israeli cafe that has brunch, dinner, and cocktails. Their brunch was SO good and they have a nice outdoor dining area as well. We loved their Benedict and avocado toast. Also, try the iced coffee here!
Pro-tip: A lot of these restaurants are busy, so put your name in and browse in the nearby shops while you wait! We loved the cute little jewelry store to the right of the the cafe.
- Address: Dizengoff Street 83, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Lunch In Tel Aviv
Because of our jet lag, we slept in most days in Tel Aviv and ended up having a late brunch that held us over until dinner. However, I do have one amazing lunch recommendation for you all right on Tel Aviv Beach…
This place is a must for casual, on the sand dining! This was our first stop after checking into our Airbnb in Tel Aviv due to its close proximity to all the hotels along Tel Aviv Beach. Most of their dining is on the sand at low tables with umbrellas and beach chairs. It had a super relaxed vibe and really refreshing mojitos. I highly recommend trying their pita, hummus, and Greek salad!
- Address: 51 Herbert Samuel Street, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Dinner In Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv is a fairly large city with countless dining options, so things can definitely get a bit overwhelming when it comes to picking out a nice dinner spot. Here are a few that I personally researched,, tried during my time in the city, and LOVED!
This iconic Mediterranean restaurant sits right in the center of Tel Aviv’s bustling Dizengoff Square and has amazing outdoor seating. The square is super popular at night and is where most of Tel Aviv’s best bars and restaurants are located, so definitely check out the area. The menu here was really good and local – try their chicken dishes!
- Address: Dizengoff Street 92, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Kanki Sushi Bar
I try to stick with the local cuisine when traveling internationally, but this place definitely hit the spot for our group! If you’re craving sushi in Israel, don’t worry – Tel Aviv was surprisingly full of sushi restaurants. There were a few even on this street, although I’m biased to Kanki since this is where we ate. The rolls here were SO good. There was a line out the door after 9 pm, so maybe try arriving early to beat the hungry locals!
- Address: Bograshov Street 23, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Clubs / Bars In Tel Aviv
We went out every night we were in Tel Aviv (the only way to do it if you ask me), and usually hopped around, so here’s a list of all the places we covered. Every place was recommended to us by a local we ran into at a restaurant or shop!
Imperial Cocktail Bar
This was the first official bar we went to in Tel Aviv and definitely one of my favorites! It’s attached to the Imperial Hotel, which is located just steps from Tel Aviv Beach and is known for having the “best cocktails in the Middle East”. The staff here was super accommodating to our group of 20+, the atmosphere was super chill with dim lights and boho-inspired decor, and the craft cocktails were truly craft – I tried drinks I’ve never heard of before that were really well done! Each of them came garnished with flowers or in a funky glass, which added an extra touch to the aesthetic.
- Address: HaYarkon Street 66, Tel Aviv-Yafo
The entrance to this place is a bit sketchy, but once you’re in this local club has three floors, including an outdoor courtyard on the second floor that was packed with locals. Expect mostly Middle Eastern music in the club since it is a local spot!
- Address: Nahalat Binyamin Street 52, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Known as just “Dizzy”, this bar has an outdoor seating area and an indoor club. It picks up after midnight most days of the week and is conveniently located just a few blocks down from Dizengoff Square.
- Address: Dizengoff Street 121, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Your typical Dizengoff Street neighborhood bar with covered outdoor couches for lounging and a hip cocktail bar with neon lights.
- Address: Frishman Street 39, Tel Aviv-Yafo
- Address: Rothschild Blvd 33, Tel Aviv-Yafo
This place is a honorable mention since I didn’t actually make it here, but my whole MBA group did and LOVED it! It’s a bar with live music and also a club with fun dancing songs (plus lasers and funky art).
- Address: Mikve Israel Street 10, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Food / Drinks In Jaffa
We walked over to Jaffa from Tel Aviv beach area for a day trip and had lunch and dessert there. There were tons of restaurants near the Jaffa Port area that looked really good, so maybe check out this area for dinner. I also hear the port is really fun at night!
Lunch In Jaffa
The Jaffa Flea Market is full of yummy food options, but I went to Pita Pita for lunch with some friends after our tour guide recommend it and loved it! They made them to order right in front of us and were SO filling. Try the chicken pita!
- Address: Yehuda Margoza Street 4, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Dessert In Jaffa
No shade to the Italians, but the Israelis really know how to do their ice cream right. Golda is a popular gelato chain in Israel with a hopping location right in Jaffa Port. We loved getting a cup here and watching the boats pull in.
- Address: Retzif Haaliya Hashniya Street 101, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Food / Drinks In Jerusalem
Coffee In Jerusalem
Aroma Espresso Bar
This chain is a good go-to in Israel. There’s one located centrally in the Machaneh Yehudah Market, which is the main Shuk in Jerusalem. The iced coffee was a hit amongst our group here!
- Address: Agripas Street 90, Jerusalem
Lunch In Jerusalem
I ate breakfast in the hotel every morning in Jerusalem to save money, so I don’t have any brunch recs for y’all, but I do have a yummy lunch rec if you get hungry while exploring the city!
One of the restaurants that locals flock to, this cafe offers an Israeli take on typical American diner food. They serve breakfast, light bites, treats, and wine. There’s outdoor seating on the sidewalk out front here.
- Address: Azza Street 17, Jerusalem
Dinner In Jerusalem
As mentioned above, I also ate most dinners at the hotel since it was included in my program’s trip fees, but I have a few dinner recs. One of them is extra special, so be sure to keep reading…
Not only was this restaurant recommended by me, it was recommended by one of our local tour guides, and verified by a few of my classmates for excellence, so you know it’s good! This place is a twist on “farm to table” in that it offers only locally-grown and inspired foods. They’re especially known for their locus if you’re feeling bold. And yes, it is kosher.
- Address: Felt Street 14, Jerusalem
I didn’t actually eat here myself, but a few of my classmates did so I’m throwing it on the list. Located very centrally in Jerusalem near the Old City, this pizza restaurant is your go-to if you’re looking for a change from the local cuisine. They bake all their pizzas in a stone oven!
- Address: 1 9426501, Gershon Agron Street, Jerusalem
Crave Gourmet Street Food
One of our Jewish professors who has lived in Israel recommended this one. As many of you probably know, Israel is a primarily Jewish country. Most practicing Jews follow a strict Kosher diet and are restricted by certain food groups, such as the separation between dairy and meat. This restaurant allows Jews to satisfy their cravings by offering Kosher alternatives to delicious meals such as cheeseburgers. Their cheeseburger here is made a bacon replacement instead of pork, for example, but my professor claimed this restaurant to first, be his favorite restaurant in Israel, then he corrected himself and said “favorite restaurant in the world”. So, if this intrigues you – add it to your list!
- Address: Ha-Shikma Street 1, Jerusalem, 9432301
Dessert In Jerusalem
I only have one dessert recommendation for Jerusalem, but trust me when I say this is all you need…
For over 40 years, this bakery located in the Old City of Jerusalem has been offering up a famous sweet treat. Also claimed to be the “best pastry in the world” by my professor mentioned above, you can’t leave Israel without trying some rugelach! Rugelach is a filled baked confection originating in the Jewish communities of Poland. It is popular in Israel, commonly found in most cafes and bakeries. Traditional rugelach are made in the form of a crescent by rolling a triangle of dough around a chocolate filling. They come in a box of several, but don’t plan on sharing.
- Address: Rachel Imenu Street 5, Jerusalem
Bars / Clubs In Jerusalem
Machaneh Yehudah Market
This is more of a general recommendation since I don’t know the name of the specific bars, but the same market that is Jerusalem’s most popular shopping area during the day is SO fun at night. The vegetable shops all close and the bars completely take over the stalls. Music blasts, there’s hookah, and tons of free shots as the “hosts” try to lure you into their bar. We hopped around here for awhile on our first night in Jerusalem!
Pro-tip: Shabbat, also known as the Sabbath, takes place every Friday night beginning at sundown and lasts until Saturday at sundown. Sunday is the first day of the week in Israel, so because of this – the weekend begins on Thursdays. This was the night we went to the market and had a blast!
- Address: Agripas St 90, Jerusalem
Ben Yehuda Street
Arguably the most famous street in Jerusalem, Ben Yehuda Street is a pedestrian-only street that joins with Jaffa Road and King George Street in the heart of downtown. This street is a popular hangout spot for locals and tourists alike and totally comes alive at night. Similar to my market recommendation for above, I don’t have a specific bar recommendation for you here, but recommend you just hop around with some friends!
That’s all for my Israeli food guide! As most other tourists do, I spent most of my time in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, so I focused mainly on the food and drink scene in these cities. I hope this post helps you plan for your upcoming trip to Israel! Be sure to check back for more detailed itineraries for Israel.
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