Dreamy beach in the middle of the city, amazing food with loads of vegan options and buzzingly hip nightlife options with an equally vibrant creative scene? Tel Aviv is the place for you if you’re looking for any (or all) of this.
The rich diversity and mix of different world views makes this city a dynamic spot on the Mediterranean map. Visiting Tel Aviv for the first time is simply an amazing experience, so I put together this small travel guide focusing on food, if you decide to head over to Tel Aviv anytime soon.
The modernist 60s dream house above is from the Bauhaus area of the city. Tel Aviv is actually one of the most Bauhaus-packed cities in the world with over 4000 buildings in the architectural style.
Restaurant Zakaim * vegan heaven
You can read more about this place here as I enjoyed it a little extra (it had me eating vegan for like a month).
Already from the outside there was a promise of the world behind the lace curtains with the stacked tin-boxes and chipped wooden table with wild growing plants. Inside, the interior was all second hand and recycled.
The thing about the menu was that it had classic meat-references. Mushroom Shawarma for example, a hint to a middle eastern kebab-like dish usually made out of lamb or chicken but replaced with mushrooms. Or the Steak Lechem, the heart of arabic lettuce served with grated persian lemons and roasted sourdough.
Harel Zakaim, the owner and chef himself showed us how to stir up a vegan chocolate pudding. It was so rich in taste! My notes of the cooking above are a little indistinct though.. Anyways, the interesting part about him was that he was actually a butcher and chef specialized on meat dishes before opening Zakaim. Tiredness of the meat-industry however led him into experimenting with a vegan diet and had him applying the cooking techniques usually used on meat on vegetables instead. The rest is history.
The artichokes harvest was enormous this spring so the vegetble was absolutely everywhere, including the ceiling of the Zakaim restaurant.
For starters we had this plate of fluffy hummus together with spicy pepper-salsas (the red one is called matbucha) and carefully cut baby tomatoes. The bread was ofc warm.
Restaurant Manta Ray * local seafood right next to the sea
This family-owned sea food restaurant is literally right next to the waves of the beach in Tel Aviv. The food is served almost directly after being fished from the ocean and is arranged in delicious tapas-plates filled with fresh herbs, garlic and various nuts. Place yourself on the terrace and enjoy the evening with some bubbly rosé and pink sunset feasting.
Carmel Market * the open food market of your instagram dreams
If you love outdoor food markets, you’ll probably adore Carmel. It’s one of the most buzzing food markets I’ve been to with so much fresh produce and mouth-watering stacks of delicacies in every corner that it’s simply breath-taking. Dried rosebuds, sesame-helva in over thirty flavors and mountains of glistening olives – this is the perfect place for your instagram in other words!
We went on a guided tour with Inbal Baum and I can absolutely recommend it! Inbal is the founder of Delicious Israel and she knows all the hidden gems and fantastic people behind them. She is the nicest person, making every corner turn to even more life with her stories and facts.
Levinsky Market * delicacies in the heart of the city
The Levinsky Market is another must to visit if you’re a foodie. Located in the center, this block is filled with small, family-owned businesses and cosy cafeterias. The 70s interiors are intact in many places and large sacks of crops and nuts cover the sidewalks along with baklava-stacked window displays and bakeries stacked with kosher-cookies and chocolate swirls.
One pink pyjama man and one blue, enjoying their breakfast in the building opposite the Bauhaus building some photos above.
This trip was a press trip arranged by Go Israel for the event Open Restaurants and I went for Fantasiresor, the loveliest Swedish travel blog. If you can read in swedish, you can find the whole post over here.