Rina’s Kebab- No additional flavors needed

During the past few years in Tel Aviv, new trends of food have been introduced.  I recommend ignoring the trends and just sticking to the basics. When looking for proper street food at a great price, I recommend staying close to the Carmel Shuk. When searching the best kebab, look no further then Rina’s Kebabs.

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Rina’s Kebab, located in the Carmel Shuk, opened her doors over 50 years ago.  Rina provides different daily dishes based on her favorite ingredient, the kebab.  The meat is grilled on a charcoal grill the traditional way – customers feel like they are at a picnic in the. Unlike other kebab restaurants where they add different spices for flavor, Rina only uses the freshest meat available and only adds salt and pepper while cooking the meat. Trust me – it is so good it doesn’t need anything else.  For the past 50 years there has been no changes at her restaurant, long term Tel Aviv residences say that almost everything, from the recipe to the tablecloth, has stayed the same. Makes sense – don’t change something when there is nothing wrong with it.

Now time to eat – for only 24 NIS you get a pair of delicious and ethnically authentic kebabs.  Each order comes with two long juicy kebabs; each kebab is cooked to perfection. Each order comes with a fresh pita, home-made pickles, turkish salad and coleslaw.  If you ask, she also offers fresh hummus that she makes fresh daily.

Price: 24 NIS

Address: Simtat HaCarmel 31

Ad Haetzem Express- A Tasty Burger at an Affordable Price

For years, different websites and locals have argued which is the best burger in Tel Aviv. Ad HeZtem Express is always in the discussion. It might not be number one, but it’s definitely in the conversation. Ad HeZtem Express offers a “U.S. burger” experience. I would compare it to burgers of Shake-Shack and In-Out Burger in U.S..

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Ad HeZtem Express opened their doors in 2013, and since their opening of their two branches ( Ibn Gabirol and King George) they have been a local and tourist favorite for those seeking a delicious burger. What brings people back is both the juiciness of their burgers and the atmosphere. The atmosphere is like no other, you know immediately that you came to the right place if you love burgers. The staff tends to be young and sometimes not the most helpful, but they are overall friendly and if they make mistakes you usually get rewarded with free fries.

Unlike the trendy “gourmet burgers” that have taken over Tel Aviv in recent years, they offer more of a fast food style burger at an affordable price.  They offer three sizes of burgers, each patty is 120 grams but you have the option to order from one to three patties. If you are looking for a great deal, the 120 gram burger is only 25NIS. Each juicy burger is presented on a soft bun, lettuce, tomatoes and different sauces. You can order additional toppings for a small fee.

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Ad HeZtem Express offers different meal specials. Each of these meals come with a side of crispy french fries, fried to perfection, and unlimited soft drinks (this is the only restaurant I found in Tel Aviv that has fountain soda). They offer the 120 gram lunch meal at the cost of 42NIS. The 240 gram burger lunch meal costs 49NIS. Last, but not least, the biggest lunch meal, the 360 gram burger, costs 57 NIS. I recommend if you are hungry to get a meal, it will satisfy.

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Order: the 120 gram special and enjoy the unlimited soft drinks

Price: 25NIS-57NIS

Address: Ibn Gabirol 21 and King George 77

Hours: Sunday-Saturday 12PM-4AM

Shlomo and Doron Hummus- Possibly the Best and Most Underrated Hummus in Tel Aviv

When searching in Tel Aviv for yet another great hummus option, you don’t need to look any further than Shlomo and Doron in the Kerem. Located right next to the Carmel shuk, this hummus restaurant has become a local favorite.

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When looking for great food in the Yemenite quarter, my personal favorites are the many hummus restaurants. Shlomo opened is restaurant in 1937 and his legacy is being carried on by his grandson Doron till this day.  Every day around lunchtime you will find a long line waiting for  a table, but trust me, it’s worth the wait. Don’t wait till the end of the day, like most hummus establishments in Tel Aviv, they close by 3PM.

Shlomo & Doron sticks to a simple menu that features their original hummus recipe – nothing fancy. They do offer different hummus plates, such as hummus with mushrooms and their popular hummus ful (made from a small type of fava bean). For true hummus lovers they offer the complete, which are hummus, ful and tehina all on one plate. For those who want their favorite masabacha (warm hummus),   it comes spiced up with cumin, paprika, lemon and garlic. Each order of hummus is served with a plate of onions, lemons, hot sauce and warm pita bread.

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Order: Their original hummus. Most hummus lovers will try to convince you to order the complete or the hummus ful, but trust me, their plain hummus does not need anything added to it, it’s that delicious.

Price: 19NIS

Address: 29 Yashkon Street

Hours: Sunday-Friday 7AM-3PM

Kosher

Agnes Pub- You don’t only come for the beer

Until recently, most of the more popular Tel Aviv bars didn’t offer happy hour specials. Today, almost every bar in Tel Aviv offers some kind of happy hour special.

Agnes Bar,  located in the northern area of Ibn Gabirol Street, has  offered happy hours for quite some time, but only recently have they received the respect they truly deserve.  The bar atmosphere at Agnes Bar is authentic and friendly. They are very well-known for their extensive beers on tap and excellent bar food.

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Unlike other Tel Aviv bars, which typically opens in the evenings, Agnes Bar opens at noon. Their current special, which runs till 7PM, is that with every food order you receive a draft beer and the additional choice of an ice tea or coffee. They also offer, for only 14NIS, to refuel your beer that you receive with your meal.

Its Beer Time!  When you enter the bar, you pass the upstairs bar which displays the many beer options. They have 15 different types of beers on tap, (among them 6-7 Israeli micro beers – which market has exploded in recent years),  along with other notable beers on tap such as Hoegaarden (my favorite beer), Jemes 8.8, Weihenstephan Vitus (a stronger alcohol wheat beer), Brooklyn Lager and many others. Honestly, Agnes bar isn’t the cheapest, but they do offer a deal on your 2nd beer which only costs 22NIS. The price of the beers are a bit high, but the delicious food makes up for it.

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If you are looking for good food along with your drinks, Agnes Bar is the right place. They offer a full menu of great food to eat along with your draft beer. Some of the better dishes they offer are their burgers options, steak, schnitzel, Ruben sandwich and some tasty sausages. They offer lighter food as well.

Order: Quagmire burger and a cold Hoegaarden beer.

Average price: 50NIS

Address: Ibn Gabirol 129

Hours: Sunday-Saturday 12PM-till the last customer

Roni Meats- a Hidden Gem in the Carmel Shuk

When walking in the Carmel Shuk, there are endless options where to indulge yourself for a delicious meal. The different restaurants options vary from hummus, Moroccan food and meat eateries. If you’re looking for the best deal, don’t go further than Roni Meat.

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Roni Meat, located in the middle of the Carmel Shuk, is possibly one of the least know gems in Tel Aviv. To find – walk 2/3 of the way down the shuk starting from the Allenby entrance. They are located on the right side where all the local meat butchers are selling their fresh meat. When you do find Roni Meats, you will be lucky if you can find a seat as there are only 5 places to sit. The atmosphere of the restaurant is authentic, from the smells of the fresh meats around you to the viewing of your meal being prepared.

IMG_20150316_125531They offer non-meat dishes such as sabich, omelet and shashuka for the small price of 13NIS in a pita, 15NIS in a baguette and only 20 NIS on a plate. I recommend you go with the meat options – they offer fresh meats which include homemade kebab, schnitzel, baby chicken, chicken breast, chicken livers, chicken hearts and spicy hot dogs.  Their meat is always very fresh and rich in flavor. Each order is available in a pita (17NIS), baguette (20 NIS) and on a plate (25NIS). They include hummus, French fries, different salads and different sauces that will spice up your meal. I recommend the gamba and the garlic sauce.

Order: Baby chicken in a pita with a can of coke. Roni gives you plenty of meat in a pita, which will keep you satisfied for hours.

Price-5
Atmosphere-3
Service-4.3
Quality-4

Average price: 20NIS
Address: Carmel Shuk

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 10AM-5PM and Friday 10AM-till an hour before Shabbat.

Kosher

Ha’achim- A Great Lunch Deal and the First All You Can Eat Brunch in Tel Aviv

Until now, I have reviewed different restaurants in Tel Aviv according to their menus for both daytime and evening hours. In today’s post, I am highlighting Hachaim lunch menu and all it’s “all you can eat” brunch.  In addition, I am introducing my new rating for each restaurant. I will be rating from a 1-5 scale in the categories of price, atmosphere, service, and quality.

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Ha’achim ( the brothers), is located in the very busy and restaurant friendly Ibn Gabirol street. The restaurant is a true Tel Avivan dining experience. The design of the venue is similar to other central Tel Aviv eateries, with a small bar and small inside seating area with a view of the chefs preparing the delicious orders. They have a large outside seating section which usually hosts large groups. We recommend you to make a reservation during lunch and dinner hours. The staff is extremely friendly and is quick on their feet during peak hours.

Ha’Achim is a gourmet shipudiya (meat restaurant), a mix between a vintage steakhouse and a modern Tel Aviv restaurant. Their menu offers great appetizers – we recommend the freshly made hummus, tubule, roasted eggplant and lentils. They offer a starters deal where you get 5 starters for 59NIS. I recommend you order this if you are with a large group.

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The entrée menu includes varied meat dishes such as their tasty steaks, baby back ribs, kebab, sausages and their delicious hamburgers. I recommend ordering their version of the Israeli hamburger. Trust me – don’t order the Salmon skewers. I have made that mistake before, as you will only get three small pieces of salmon with no side dishes for 39NIS.

Continuing onto their lunch specials, they offer well-priced specials Sundays through Thursday from 12PM-5PM. With the entrée special you will receive with your main course two starters and one side order of your choosing. The average price for this special is between 45NIS-55NIS. They also offer a skewer lunch special; you choose a skewer (baby chicken, chicken fillet, liver, and kebab), 2 starters and a side order for 49NIS. All their regular menu dishes are at a discounted price in the lunch hours as well.

During the past few months, they created a new concept to Tel Aviv, the “all you can eat brunch” during the weekend. On Fridays and Saturday between the hours of 9AM-12:45PM they offer “all you can eat” at a fixed price of 75NIS per person. The buffet brunch includes a large selection of various salads, omelets, vegetables, fruit platters, cheeses, breads, pastries, shakshuka and much more. Unfortunately, there is no bottomless morning cocktails option, but they do offer different cocktails, wine and hot cider for an additional charge.

Rating:
Atmosphere- 4.8
Price: 3.5
Service: 4.5
Quality- 4.3

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Order: The Israeli burger with fries and the lentils and hummus as starters

Address: Ibn Gabirol 12

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 12PM-12AM, Friday-Saturday 9AM-12AM

Abu Adham- A True Tel Aviv Hummus Experience

When looking for another great hummus option in Tel Aviv, you don’t need to look any further than Abu Adham on Carlebach street. Located at the southern end of Carlebach Street, this vintage hummus restaurant, which opened it’s doors in 2003, has the authentic local hummus experience that everyone will enjoy.

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Abu Adham, located on busy Carlebach street, offers a unique Israeli hummus restaurant experience. Unlike other well-known hummus restaurants in and around Tel Aviv, they are located “off the beaten path”. If you are wandering around Tel Aviv looking for a hummus restaurant, chances are that you would  never end up finding Abu Adham.

The original Abu Adham  restaurant is located  in Kfar Yassif in the Galilee. In 2003, they opened their Tel Aviv branch with much success.  The hummus at Abu Adham is prepared fresh every day with the texture of their famous Galil  recipe – very smooth.  If you still hungry after finishing the first plate, the second plate is on the house.

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Their menu is short and to the point. They offer 4 different kinds of hummus for 25NIS – Hummus Ful, Hummus with garbanzo beans, Mashshewea and “The Shlisha ( ful, garbanzo beans and meshashawa). For. 35NIS you can get three different  types of Hummus dishes, Hummus with meat, Hummus mushrooms and plain Hummus.  You can also order hummus to take home in different sizes.

Other than hummus, they offer French fries and falafel balls which have the true ethnic dipped in oil taste. If you are looking for a healthier side dish they offer a few simple salads. They offer a few kinds of dessert which include Malabi which for those who never had is a very tasty and light dessert

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Order: a plate of the shelishia with a small order of fries, 4 falafel balls ,and a cup lemonade.

Average price per person: 25-35NIS

Address: Carlebach 7

Hours: Sunday-Saturday 10AM-6PM

Louis Bar- It’s Time For Happy Hour

Until recently, most of the well known Tel Aviv bars did not offer a happy hour special. Today, the happy hour scene has erupted in Tel Aviv.

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One of my favorite of Tel Aviv’s happy hours bars is Louis Bar, which is located in the heart of Tel Aviv, right across Rabin Square. In Tel Aviv, where you have so many different options where to start your night of drinking, Louis has to be on top of the list. When I first started to date my girlfriend she raved about this bar next to Rabin square that her friends always met at. After a few visits I become a regular. Whenever someone asks me about a fun and well priced happy hour, Louis bar is always one of the first options.

Louis Bar is not a new bar in the crowded bar scene in Tel Aviv. They opened their door over 6 years ago and have made a name for  themselves as one of the better “chill” bars to grab some drinks and eat some tasty bar food. The staff is super friendly and works very quickly even when full. The waitresses will always remind you about the end of happy hour, making sure you take advantage of their deals. Their happy hour starts as early as 4 p.m. and the ends at 9 p.m. I recommend getting there by 8 as the bar tends to fill up with locals looking to take advantages of their great deals.

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Like most bars that offer happy hour in Tel Aviv, Louis Bar offers great drink specials with tasty bar food. They offer a buy one get one free and 50% off all food, and have one of the most wide-ranging beer menus in the area. Unlike most bars, their beer glasses come in a pint (410 ml) or a baby (290ml)

They also offer an excellent and varied food menu at the bar. Having tasted the majority of the items on their menu, their best bar food consists of thin pizza, hamburgers sliders and their famous sloppy Yossef (yes, they offer their Israeli version of sloppy Joe).

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My Happy Hour Order:  a pint of Pauliner with a sloppy Yossef. The sloppy Yossef goes extremely well with the wheat beers – one of my favorites.

Address: Malkhei Yisra’el Street 4

Happy Hours: 4 p.m.9 p.m.

Ruben- one of best deli sandwiches you will find in the Middle East

Growing up in America, I had the picking of great deli sandwiches. In Tel Aviv there are so many sandwiches spots that don’t present the same experience. Almost after every sandwich restaurant that I try,  I have to ask myself “where’s the beef?”  In the case of Ruben it reminds me of the great deli sandwiches I experienced growing up.

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Ruben, located in the heart of Tel Aviv on the corner of Yehuda Halevi right off Ibn Gabirol Street, is decorated in a welcoming atmosphere with many wooden shelves and vintage accessories of an old deli in New York. For seating, you can either sit on the counter inside or choose to sit outside for those who like the summer heat of Tel Aviv. The amazing warm smell of smoking meat and the Tel Aviv atmosphere gives it a homey feel. The counter is managed with usually 2-3 workers each with a different role in the sandwich making.

When it’s time to order, you have the option of deciding between the corned beef ,hot pastrami and turkey, choosing 200-400 grams to be made into your perfect deli sandwich, served in either white or brown bread. In addition,, customers can choose to add lettuce, tomato and onion. Unlike most delis, they offer a tasty option of combining white horseradish mustard and sauerkraut. Once your masterpiece is ready to be eaten, a staff member wraps your dish in white paper and cuts it into 2 halves and adds a tasty homemade pickle.

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In addition, they also offer cold and refreshing Kaiser Beer on Tap. If you’re in the middle of your busy day or it’s the end of a long day, there is nothing better than a delicious mouth watering sandwich with a cold refreshing beer.

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Order: the 300 gram mixed meat sandwich. You will get a delicious sandwich packed with turkey and corn beef on an amazing fresh rye bread.

Average price:35-50NIS

Address: Yehuda Halevi 112

Hours: SundayWednesday 11:30AM-1AM, Thursday 11:30AM-2AM, Friday 11:30AM-6PM and Saturday 6PM-1AM