Bar Gurion- Affordable Israeli bistro in the heart of the city

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While walking down busy Ibn Gabirol street, you will find yet another Israeli cuisine gem. Bar Gurion, named after David Ben Gurion (their logo is a drawing of him), is an Israeli cuisine restaurant which continues the new concept of set price meals. Their 25 NIS per plate is proudly displayed on the walls of their restaurant.

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Bar Gurion, located in the heart of Tel Aviv across the northern part of Kikar Rabin, provides a young lively bistro, where the door is open around the clock. During the day you can enjoy a huge selection of meals. At night, the restaurant becomes a full service bar.

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Bar Gurion provides the real Israeli bistro, rich in flavors and always fresh. Open around the clock, you can enjoy good food at any time. Bar Gurion will help you start your morning with hearty breakfasts, tasty sandwiches and fresh coffee which is served with delicious fresh cake. In the afternoon, you will find a attractive business deal (37 NIS) and their dinner menu offers a huge selection with all sorts of options such as different kinds of fresh pasta, salads, hamburgers, classic chicken liver, and fish and chips

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When the sun goes down, Bar Gurion becomes a Tel Aviv bar/restaurant. The atmosphere is lively with music and drinks flowing all night. Prices for their drinks are very affordable. For 10 NIS, you can choose from a glass of wine, a glass of beer, champagne or assorted shots of alcohol. For 15 NIS, you can choose from two types of excellent beers and Arak with grapefruit juice. For 20 NIS, they offer they different whisky and vodka based drink specials.

Business meal: Bar Gurion offer three different business specials – a pasta based meal, a salad based meal, and a meat based meal. I recommend ordering the pasta business meal. You receive  your pasta of choice as your main course, with drinks and appetizers for only 37 NIS.

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Order: I recommend ordering their famous schnitzel. It is one of the better schnitzels in the white city. The chicken is fresh and it is cooked perfectly, served with fresh lemons and french fries.

Recommendation: Pasta. They offer many different types of  pasta with excellent sauces. Each plate of pasta cost you a mere 29 NIS.

Address:  Ibn Gabirol Street 82

Hours: Sunday-Saturday 7AM- till the last customer

Cafe Nona- an excellent, affordable cafe/bar that is open round the clock (24/7)

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While walking down the busy street of Ibn Gabirol, there are so many different cafes to choose from. One may ask what makes one café better than the other?. Unlike most cafes around Tel Aviv, Café Nona presents a unique concept – a 24/7 café made popular in the U.S.

Café Nona is situated a little south of Rabin Square and is well known for its drinks specials until 2am. Indeed, Café Nona is open 24 hours  a day, though you can only receive both a hot and cold beverage included with your breakfast order until midday. This doesn’t surprise me, Café Nona has a long reputation for being somewhat laid back in its approach to serving their customers. This is not your café if you are short on time. Despite the slow service, the staff is very friendly and helpful.

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Café Nona presents a breakfast unlike most Tel Aviv. Instead of offering the typical different style of  eggs, they present a ‘baked’ eggs option  that is served with a choice of added ingredients, either spinach, feta, tomato or mint. Confused by this new option of baked eggs, I agreed to order one of my eggs baked, which was delicious. All their different breakfast options are presented with fresh bread and a small salad. Their breakfast dishes are available all day, unlike many Tel Aviv cafes.
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Café Nona offers many delicious dishes for lunch and dinner. Among them are sandwiches, salads, schnitzel, or their local bourekas. They offer a business lunch meal which I recommend. Even though most of their non-breakfast dishes are typical Tel Aviv café food, they are great at an affordable price. I recommend ordering the bourekas special if you’re looking for a light bite. The bourekas special was served with salad, tahina, pickles, shredded tomato and an hardboiled egg. I recommend trying their fresh fruit beverages as well.

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Café Nona has a full bar at  a great price. Currently, they are offering 50% off all drinks Sunday throughThursday. The bar has different types of cocktails and can make any kind of drink you might want. The bar staff is very friendly which usually comes with free shots of Whisky, Arak or Vodka. Though their dishes are excellent, the main reason for recommending Café Nona are the great prices at the bar.

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Best Dish: Order the schnitzel. Café Nona schnitzel is one of the tastiest schnitzels in town. The schnitzel is served with mashed potatoes, tartar sauce and a sliced pickle.

Salad Order: The two best salads that they offer are the tuna and the goat cheese salad.

Average Price:45 NIS

Address: Ibn Gibraol 44

Hours: All day every day

Vitrina

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Not just a sausage place, now one of the best burgers in town

For years, different websites have argued which is the best burger in Tel Aviv. Vitrina has recently joined the competition. It might not be number one but it’s definitely in the conversation. Vitrina is one of the best gourmet burgers at a great price in Tel Aviv.

Vitrina, which opened a year and a half ago, has done the sausage a great service by restoring it’s lost honor and elevating it to gourmet status. Not many loyal customers know Vitrina was originally meant to be a hamburger place. After months of urging by the owners father, who noticed that there was way too many hamburger places in Tel Aviv, owner Nati Menashe  finally listened to his father and devoted the restaurant and bar to sausages. Menashe has always honored his original vision of Vitrina by serving hamburgers as well, even when they weren’t on the menu. After noticing the success of his hamburger, Menashe made the hamburger a mainstay on the menu.
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With the hamburger now having a spot on the menu, it is identified only by the name “Butler”. When you take a look at the Butler, it might not look like anything special, however, looks can be deceiving.  Delivered on an first-rate bun, it embraces a thick patty (220 grams) made of smoked neck meat and a bit of roast beef and black pepper. Arugula is used in the place of romaine lettuce, the pickles are homemade and the onions are cooked perfectly. People may come for the sausages, but they stay for the hamburger.

During the peak hours of lunch and dinner, Vitrina tends to have a short line, but it is worth the wait. The staff is very hip and friendly and their service is top notch. The waiting time at most will be 10 minutes but, trust me, it is worth every second for this delicious burger.

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For those who don’t love burgers, the sausages are in their own league as well. My friends tell me that Vitrina sausages are the best in the city.

What to order with your burger:   The fries are some of the best fries I have tasted. Called “50/50”, they are made with two different kinds of potatoes: half white and half sweet. Their amazing taste can be credited to the lemon zest and parsley toppings.

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Average price per person:40 NIS-50 NIS

Address: 54 Ibn Gabirol Street

Hours: Sunday- Thursday 12:30PM-11:00PM, Friday 12:00PM-5:00PM

Miznon

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Everything is Better in a Pita

Miznon (the buffet), is among the trendiest of eateries in Tel Aviv. Miznon, founded by famous gourmet chef Eyal Shany, includes his personal touch in everything they offer – with the main premise being that all dishes are served in a warm pita.
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Miznon has two busy locations, one located on Ibn Gabirol street and the other on King George street. Both locations usually have a short line, but the staff is very friendly and offer excellent service. There is outdoor and inside seating at both locations, but arrive early, as the seats fill up very quickly. The menu is both in English and Hebrew. While waiting for your order, make sure to sample their free small salad bar of pickled vegetables, fresh pita, cabbage and tehina.

Miznon offers fresh, excellent quality meat in all their dishes. Their offerings include kebabs, steak and eggs, fresh liver, roast beef, burgers and many more meat dishes. For vegetarians, there are excellent options as well, such as sliced and diced potatoes in a pita, their famous full grilled cauliflower, and their popular sabich. They sell sparkling flavored soda for 5 NIS per glass.

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Dish to Order: Lamb Kebab- The lamb is fresh, juicy and cooked to perfection. This dish includes fresh vegetables with tehina.

Price: 30 NIS-50 NIS

Address: 21 Ibn Gabirol and 30 King George

Hours: SundaySaturday 12 pm – Midnight, except Friday, 12 pm- 6 pm

Falafel Gabay

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When searching for the best authentic Israeli foods, my advise is to go to Falafel Gabay. They have delicious choices, among them amazing soups, falafel, hummus and other amazing dishes. Falafel Gabay has two locations in Tel Aviv, one on the busy street of Borgoshov and the other the trendy area of north Dizengoff.

Falafel Gaby has been the premier spot in Tel Aviv since opening their doors in 1946. Their staff is super friendly, making each customer feel like they are at home. They shout as a group joyfully (in Hebrew or English) “we will hug you” meaning they are here for anything the customer needs. If there is a line, the helpful and friendly staff offer falafel and fried potato balls while waiting to order.
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Their menu offers authentic Israel food at a reasonable price. The most popular dishes are Moroccan soups, fresh schnitzel, fresh hummus and their amazing falafel. After finding a seat, go to the free salad bar and indulge yourself with fried bread with zatar , pickles and pickled vegetables. Within minutes your tasty order will be ready to enjoy..120125809_7657500_0.20123521_0783750_0.

My advice:Order the falafel .The falafel is fresh –  brown on the outside and yellow within.  They are very generous with the pita packed with delicious falafel balls. The cost of the falafel is 16NIS.

What to Order: Try the Dabushiya which is hummus with shashuka. This dish is like no other – the warm and spicy shashuka meshes so well with the hummus

Price: 30-50NIS

Address: 269 Dizengoff Street and Bograshov Street 25,

Hours: Sun-Thu 10:30-22:30, Fri 11:00-17:00

Kosher

Hamitbachon

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Great home cooking with a great atmosphere for a perfect Friday night or Shabbat afternoon meal

In and around Tel Aviv there are few home cooking style options that really live up to their name. Hamitbachon, which in english means the kitchen, is a cozy restaurant that has some of the best home cooking style food in the city. Their offerings include Austrian Schnitzel,  Mousakka, North African couscous, Middle Eastern Mujaddara, European quiches, lasagna and salads.

Hamitbachon is located in a very quiet street between the bustling Carmel market and Allenby street. In the past few years, Hamitbachon has become one of the favorite places for Tel Aviv locals. Almost every dish is made fresh which to many, represents true Israeli soul food. One of their best dishes are ground beef and chicken meat balls over white rice.

During the cool winter months, it’s a great idea to make the trek for their many amazing home made soups. Hamitbachon typically offer three different soups a day which change daily. I recommend that you order the hot spinach and yogurt soup – it is my favorite.
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If your looking for something more on the lighter side, they also have a long list of appetizers. They include beet salad, chopped liver, hummus and many more. If you are a large group I recommend you order the appetizer sampler which includes four different appetizers from the menu on a large plate for only 40 NIS. If you are not so hungry, it’s worth to come to taste one of their homemade desserts or have a glass of beer and enjoy the surroundings.

Recommendation:  Order Couscous – served with a stew of cooked carrots, zucchini, red onions, potatoes and beef.

Shabbat recommendation: order the cholent. Hamitbachon’s cholent is a traditional Shabbat morning cholent which is cooked all night long. Their cholent consists of eggs ,beans, potataoes and beef. Trust me – this plate of cholent will keep you full all week.

mitbahonPrice: 30-40 NIS

Address: 18 Rabi Akiva st.

Hours: Sunday-Friday 8AM-2AM, Saturday 9AM-2AM

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Abu Dahbi Hummus

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In Tel Aviv, hummus has marked its place as the king of fast-food meals rarely relegated to the lowly supporting role as a spread or dip. Locals in Tel Aviv can go on for hours arguing which is the best hummus and why. While Abu Dhabi might not always be a fan favorite it is definitely in the conversation.

Hummus Abu Dhabi offers a different kind of hummus experience.  While they present customers with their very own Galilee style hummus, they also offer Hummus Meshawsha ( hot chickpeas) and Hummus Ful ( hummus with fava beans). Customers have the option to order salad, french fries and one shekel falafel balls as well.

The atmosphere at Abu Dahbi is unlike any other hummus place in Tel Aviv. The vibes are very reggae-influenced, that sets both your mind and stomach in the perfect mood to be in hummus heaven. Reggae music and lifestyle are firmly rooted in current Tel Aviv culture, so the vibes at Abu Dhabi  fits in perfectly well within the collective mindset of the locals.

My advice: order the Meshawsha. You might ask yourself what exactly is Meshawsha? It’s hot chickpeas mixed with garlic, lemon, and tahini. The warm hummus had a sharp taste from the lemon and a nice bite from the chunks of garlic.  There is just enough tahini for the flavor, but not too much to overwhelm the hummus.  The chickpeas are super soft and dissolves into the hummus once it touched your tongue.
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Average Price: 25NIS

Address: King George 81
Hours: Sun- Thurs 10 a.m. till 8 p.m., Fri 10 a.m. till 4 p.m.
(03) 525-9090
Not kosher, vegetarian

Hashdera 34

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Great food with a great atmosphere at a good price…

While walking on Dizengoff street you might wonder where can I go out to eat without spending too much money. Hashdera 34 which is located right off the corner of Dizengoff and Ben Gurion street. Hashdera presents a menu with almost every kind of food you could ask for at great prices. Their menu is set by price range. If its Appetizers which vary from the great price of 15NIS to main dishes that are priced between 30NIS to 70NIS. For those who are looking for a steak Hashdera 34 offers it for only 89 NIS. The portions of all the main dishes tend to be very large.

The atmosphere of Hashedra 34 is great.  I advise  come early or you will be stuck in line. Peak dinner hours you might have to wait in line for 15 minutes at most.The staff are very friendly and very talkative. The Staff will offer you free shots of alcohol various times throughout the meal.  Their bar is fully stocked with any drink you would want and the prices of their alcohol are less than other Tel Aviv restaurants.

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Recommendation: Order the Scallopini. This dish is boneless  grilled chicken  served on mashed potatoes or rice. I advise to order it with mashed potatoes. Personally I would say this is their best dish. If you are less than four people i recommend to sit on the bar, this will come with many free shots from the bartender.

Address: Ben Gurion 34

Hours: 7 days a week 12:00 PM-1:00 Am

Not Kosher

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Pasta Basta

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Fresh pasta at a very low price in the heart of Tel Aviv…

No matter what day and what time you are wandering  around the Carmel market area, you will see people gathered around  this overcrowded pasta restaurant looking to see what all the fuss is about. Pasta Basta presents daily made pasta on the spot and geared differently to the customers requests.

This history of this small  chain of pasta places, opened by two childhood friends in Jerusalem.  Pasta Basta offers good quality dishes at a great price. Here a plate of pasta can cost you between 20NIS to 40NIS. Even adding different toppings the price still beats almost all other Italian restaurants in Tel Aviv. Other places around Tel Aviv won’t come near to the price and my personal opinion is that Pasta Basta pasta tastes more fresh and richer in taste than the more expensive Italians restaurant options.

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Once you walk into Pasta Basta this is  the simple and quick process for ordering your meal:
1. Choose your pasta (also wholewheat and vegan options).
2. Choose your sauce.
3. Choose additional ingredients

You pay at the cashier and within in a few minutes your fresh plate of pasta is at your table.

My advice: Order your delicious plate of pasta with their fresh pesto sauce.

Pasta Basta has a great options of hard liquors but i recommend to get a glass of red wine which only costs 14 NIS.

Price: Between 20 NIS to 40 NIS

Address: Allenby 60 ( at the entrance of the Carmel Market)

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 12PM-12AM, Friday 11AM- 5PM, Saturday 7PM-12AM
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Erez

 Erez Yemen QuarterWhen wandering in the Carmel Market area you’re looking for some local ethnic food but can’t decide from all the different options. Erez is the true hidden gem in the Yemenite quarter next to the Carmel  Market.

Erez menu varies from different chicken and meat dishes to hummus plates to authentic Yemenite soup.  My advice is to get the lunch special for only 33 NIS. In the lunch special you choose from two skewers ( spring chicken, liver, kebab, red meat or heart of chicken) and three side dishes ( Israeli salad, hummus, white rice, fries, tehina, white beans or green beans).

Average price per plate: 25 NIS

My advice: to order the schnitzel with three side dishes. The schnitzel is fresh and rich in taste. My advice of the three sides is to take the white rice, fries and israeli salad.

Erez schnitzel meal (Small)

Tip: come either before 12pm or after 1.30pm, if you don’t want to wait in line for a table.

Address: 24 Nahliel Street, The Yemen Quarter
Hours: Sun-Thurs 9 a.m. till 7 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. till one hours before Shabbat enters
Phone: (03) 510-2555
Kosher

Erez beef soup