All posts by zevbro

Falafel Avi- Not Your Typical Falafel Stand

Three of Israel’s best known streets foods are hummus, falafel and shakshuka. Scattered throughout Tel Aviv there are many places that offer you each of these. Falafel Avi, unlike other places around Tel Aviv, offers all three in one dish.

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Falafel Avi is located in the food trendy street corner of Ibn Gabirol and Jabotinsky. As you approach this small falafel stand, it will be obvious how this falafel stand is different from the other falafel stands in the city. As you enter the stand you will be overwhelmed with the smells of homemade shakshuka which they make fresh for each order. They offer one of the best shakshuka-hummus dishes in all of Tel Aviv. Each customer receives personal attention from the staff, always smiling and charming while ordering.

I recommend ordering their most popular dish – the hummus-shakshuka (25NIS). This combination dish in other places is known as Chamushka, At Avi’s, it is made to perfection.  This dish starts with fresh and delicious fresh hummus. Along with the delicious chickpeas is one of best shakshuka dishes you will find in the city. Avi’s shakshuka is made with fresh tomatoes which are cooked over time to perfection with the freshest spices that make this dish the best in the city. Once you take your first swipe with the pita bread, you will feel like you’re in hummus and shakshuka heaven.

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For those not in the mood for shakshuka, they offer a different option (but I still recommend ordering their shakshuka dish). For the same price, they offer their fresh and crunchy falafel balls over hummus (25 NIS).

Price: 25 NIS

KOSHER

Address: Ibn Gabirol 123

Lehem Ve Shoot- Who Doesn’t Love Breakfast Food all day

In Tel Aviv there are endless amount of cafes to choose from for breakfast or brunch. If you and your friends are looking to go out for a spontaneous breakfast Lehem Ve Shoot is the perfect option. In the past few months this café has become one of the “it “brunch spots around Tel Aviv.

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Lehem Ve Shoot is located on the busy corner of Ben Guiron and Ben Yehuda. This cafe opened over a year ago but only recently has been the entire rave by the thriving and picky weekend brunch goers in Tel Aviv. The café is very spacious with many different tables inside and outside but I recommend sitting down on the large conference table inside. This table provides the home feeling while sharing with complete strangers. The staff is super friendly and works at a great pace when extremely packed on the weekends.

Like majority cafés in Tel Aviv menus they offer very similar dishes but with one big difference each dish is very affordable. Their menu is filled with many different breakfast dishes, salads, sandwiches and hot dishes. For breakfast dishes I recommend ordering their Israeli breakfast. This dish provides the perfect amount of food at a reasonable price (44Nis). When ordering their Israeli breakfast you choose how you want your eggs, juice, coffee, many different kinds of breads, cheese, vegetable salad, salads and honey bread. Another breakfast I recommend is their two different kinds of shashuka which are served in challah bread bowl (38NIS).

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Their menu also consist many different delicious dishes that are great for lunch which they offer from 11:30AM. Those looking for a healthy lunch I recommend ordering the Panzella Salad. This salad consists of different greenery, fresh artichoke, tomatoes, red onions and capera. They offer 10 different sandwiches which are very tasty but I recommend you try their hot meatball sandwich. This dish is served hot with a spicy red sauce served in a fresh challah roll. Last but not least they offer on their menu different meat options for lunch. Some of the best dishes include their fresh liver and chicken pasta. It’s hard not to recommend every dish as their entire menu is very affordable and appetizing.

Price: 35NIS-75NIS

Address:  128 Ben Yehuda Street

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 7:15AM-10PM, Friday 7:15AM-5:30PM and Saturday 7:15AM-10PM

Sabich Complete – Not the Typical Sabich Restaurant

In the past few years in Tel Aviv, many “home style” restaurants have closed their doors and have been replaced with more trendy, upscale eateries. Sabich Complete is one of the best and most affordable home cooking restaurants in Tel Aviv.

completeSabich Complete is located on Ibn Gabriol street a bit north of Rabin Square. Even though the restaurant is tiny in space, they provide a wide range of food for every taste. The essence of their offering is the common Israeli dishes, with most dishes served either on a plate or in a pita. Despite their name, the best food they offer is not necessarily the sabich, but their “home style” food.

sabich

I recommend ordering the meatballs and rice dish (NIS 30 ). This is the perfect dish if someone is missing their mother’s home cooking. This dish has two oversized meatballs, a juicy mixture of beef and turkey with tomato sauce, delicately resting on a bed of white rice. To complement the meatballs they provide fresh hummus, vegetable salad, tahini and their famous hot sauce. They also offer one of the best homemade schnitzel in the city. If you are lucky to go there on a Monday or Thursday, they offer their delicious cholent. The owner’s wife makes her own delicious kubbe which should not be missed.

Price: 30NIS

Kosher

Address: Ibn Gabirol 99

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 10AM- 6:30PM, Friday 10AM-5PM

Bourekas Amikam

In the past few years on the trendy street of Ibn Gabirol, some of the best restaurants found in Tel Aviv have opened up. While these new restaurants have captured the excitement of Tel Aviv “foodies”, I tend to stay with what I am familiar with. One of the better local street foods is bourekas. I recommend Bourekas  Amikam.

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Bourekas  Amikam, located on Ibn Gabirol street right on the corner of Kaplan, is one of the oldest bourekas  stands in the area. It’s  original recipe is the best that I’ve found. They opened their doors over 15 years ago and has been blessing the locals with amazing fresh bourekas ever since.

I recommend ordering their tasty spinach with cheese bourekas (NIS 20). All their homemade bourekas are made with spinach and cheese. Each bourekas tends to be crispy, very filling and not too greasy like other bourekas that I’ve sampled in the city. Each bourekas is served with a hardboiled egg, pickle, tahini and the dipping tomato sauce (a must!). I recommend asking for Zatar spices and spreading them all over the bourekas .

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They also offer different bourekas, such as regular cheese, cheese and olives, and potatoes and mushroom. If you’re looking for desserts they offer Turkish style malbi, cheesecake, and chocolate mousse. I recommend ordering their fresh Turkish coffee.

Kosher

Price: 20NIS

Address: Ibn Gabirol 21

Hours: Sunday-Thursday all day, Friday 7AM until two hours before Shabbat, Saturday night til 2AM

Cinco De Mayo Special- Top 5 Mexican Restaurants in Tel Aviv

With the increasing popularity of Mexican restaurants worldwide in the past five years, Tel Aviv finally has different tasty and affordable Mexican food to choose from. With the upcoming Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo, on Tuesday May 5th, many restaurants will be hosting different parties and offering great deals. I am highlighting the top 5 Mexican options in Tel Aviv.

El Taco
El Taco menu consists largely of tacos (corn flour tortillas or white flour, soft or crunchy) and Quesadilla (closed tortillas with cheese, aka “The Mexican toast”), filled with chicken, meat or vegetables.  The prices are very affordable – each Taco cost from 13NIS to 19NIS. They offer business lunch deals as well.

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For me, their better dishes are the taco mushroom vegetarian, which contains champagne and shiitake mushrooms with green onions (costing 13 NIS), and the quesadilla, which is served with chicken and beef. Both are served with refried black beans and mozzarella cheese. The chicken option costs 15NIS while the beef option is 19 shekel. In addition, a small plate of nachos is available for 14 NIS. If you are looking for a full meal, you will need to order multiply dishes.

To help wash down your Mexican meal, El Taco offers frozen lime margaritas for 15 NIS and San Miguel beer for 14 NIS.

Address: Yermiyahu Street 17

Hours: Sunday-Saturday 12PM-12AM

Taqueria

Taqueria is located on trendy Rothschild street. This restaurant meets all expectations, with authentic Mexican food exploding with flavor and style. Among the starters is one of the best soups in Tel Aviv, a creamy chicken soup, and mountains of nachos covered in melted cheese, salsa and all the rest. The main courses are exactly what you’d expect in any self-respecting Mexican restaurant – tacos, burritos, chile con carne and quesadillas.

img_8074The atmosphere is friendly and laid back, and the restaurant has special events on Mexican holidays. Considering the quality of the food, the place is extremely affordable and the relaxed atmosphere makes for a comfortable ambience. The staff is very friendly and efficient. This location is a great spot to start your night.

Address: Levontin 28

Hours: Sunday-Tuesday 12PM-Midnight and Wednesday-Saturday 12PM-1AM

Pancho

Pancho, located on Tchernichovsky street right next to the Carmel Shuk, is unlike other recent Mexican food arrivals in Tel Aviv, Pancho offers the Tex-Mex taste and feel to their customers.  The restaurant can hold up to around 20-25 people and their staff is friendly and always looking for customer feedback. They offer different burritos, tacos and quesadillas at very affordable price that beats their competitors.

img_20150330_144321Pancho’s menu includes most of the normal Mexican options available in most Mexican restaurants, such as tacos, quesadillas and, my favorite, burritos. Pancho’s tacos are delicious and well-priced. The vegetarian taco is 9NIS for one taco or 3 tacos for 24NIS. Chicken or beef tacos are 10NIS for one taco or 3 tacos for 25NIS. Pancho offers a corn tortilla, a first in Tel Aviv, which I highly recommend. Pancho’s quesadillas come in two options. For their original recipe, one quesadilla is for 9NIS or three small quesadillas for 24NIS. Their special quesadilla comes with 3 small quesadillas for 27NIS or one for 11NIS. All the quesadillas are served on a corn tortilla which presents an authentic Mexican taste. Pancho’s burrito, which is my favorite dish, come in two options. The veggie burrito is 18NIS and the chicken or beef burrito is 20NIS. All the dishes tend to be small but are very tasty and affordable.

img_20150330_143846Looking to wash down a drink with your tasty food? Pancho offers different beers and cocktails.  I recommend trying the Bloody Mary or the Margaritas.Pancho offers a unique weekend Tex-Mex brunch unlike any found in the city. I recommend ordering the huevos ranchero (the Mexican shakshuka).

Address: Tchernichovsky 1

Hours: Monday-Tuesday 12PM-6PM, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday 12PM-3:30PM, 6PM-11PM, Friday 11AM-3:00

Los Burning Tacos

Los Burning Tacos, located on Allenby street right across the Carmel Shuk, is inspired by El Diabo in Brooklyn,  NY. Los Burning Tacos’ menu includes most of the normal Mexican options available in most Mexican restaurants – such as enchiladas and quesadilla. However, their tacos and burritos are much the rave. Mexican Ceviche (36 shekels), taco or burrito with chicken, fish, beef or shrimp (34-47 shekels) and more are among the many dishes and specials that they offer. If you are looking for starters, they offer nachos with salsa (17 shekels), Mexican corn (17 shekels) and other affordable options.

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Besides their delicious food, they also have a full bar which includes draft beer, Arak, whisky and other alcoholic beverages. I recommend ordering the Strong Bloody Mary or their tasty and authentic Burning Margarita, each priced at 31 NIS.

Order: Chicken Taco, which is served with boiled chicken and lots of lime and cilantro. Another excellent dish that I highly recommend is the fish tacos which are induced with jalapeno and lime sauce. Either of these dishes cost you between 15-30 NIS.

Address: Allenby 47

Hours: Sunday–Friday 12Pm-2AM, Saturday 7PM-Til the last customer

Mex and Co 

Mex and Co located in the heart of town on Ben Yehuda Street. Their menu is filled with many different Tex-Mex options. Appetizers on the menu include nachos and corn on the cob. I recommend ordering the nachos which consist of tortilla chips with salsa of tomato, jalapeno, sour cream, cheese and guacamole (24 shekels). Another appetizer I recommend is the Rantz’os, which is a mix of tomatoes and peppers with fried egg and sour cream, served in a crispy tortilla (NIS 24). Their main dishes include choosing how you want to eat your dish in (burrito, tacos or rice dish). Next you decide what meat or veggie option you want in your meal. They offer different kinds of spicy meats such as spicy chicken with onions, Entrecote by skewers, vegetarian shwarma with Mexican spices and many more. With each dish you are offered different sauces which include afrijoles, guacamole, chipotle, lime jalapeno salsa, salsa Verde and vegetables decorate the dish. The basic price per dish is only 29 NIS, while for additional meal extras will cost 4NIS

10646789_699348053453909_4359865630894896865_nThey offer different dinks such as a cold and slushy glass of Margarita (15NIS), homemade tea (10NIS) and other local and Mexican beers.

Address: Ben Yehuda Street 122

Hours:  Sunday-Saturday 12PM-Midnight

Port 19

In recent years in Tel Aviv, the quality of hot dogs and sausages have changed drastically for the better. In the past, sausages that were available were made from low-grade meat and street food became an afterthought. Today’s sausages have become juicy, artistically prepared main courses and are made of fresh beef (usually not kosher). One of the best sausages options in the heart of the city is Port 19.

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Port 19, located on Shlomo ha-Melekh Street, provides one of the better hot dogs in the White City. If you have been lucky enough to taste a really great sausage in Tel Aviv, I am almost positive that it was made by Alan Talmor. Since I’ve been in Israel, my friends and I always have complained about the lacking of an authentic hot dog. This has all changed when you taste the hot dogs of Alan Talmor. Forget about the typical chicken and beef sausages that are available in Tel Aviv. Talmor authentic sausages are the best in the city. Port 19 offers a wide variety of homemade sausages. Each sausage is served in a fresh roll with mustard and sauerkraut. The restaurant‘s location is small, but the sausages will bring you back every time.

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I highly recommend the Sicilian sausage which will only cost you 28NIS. This is a veal sausage with dried tomatoes, capers, raisins and many types of herbs. This juicy masterpiece in a bun is bursting with flavors and proves why it might be the best sausage in the Middle East. The combination of fresh and crisp cabbage with sauerkraut and soft is so perfect, and on each table they provide Sriracha sauce adds a great zest.

If you’re looking for other sausage options, I recommend the Bedouin sausage. This beef sausage is served with almonds with different spices. Another great option is the Boerewors sausage. This unique sausage is one of its kinds which are cooked with coriander, cardamom, red wine and Worcester  sauce.

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If you are not in the sausage mood,  I recommend ordering the Spanish burger which is full of flavor with  smoked paprika and other spicy flavors.

Price: 28NIS

Not Kosher

Address: 2 Shlomo ha-Melekh

Hours:  Sunday-Thursday 11:30AM-Midnight and Friday 11:30AM- 4PM

Top 5 Happy Hours in Tel Aviv

Until recently, most Tel Aviv bars happy hour specials were rare. Unlike the U.S. business culture, where after work you grab some drinks and food, in Tel Aviv, people head home and then have drinks after dinner. However, recently, the happy hour scene has erupted in Tel Aviv. I will be highlighting my top 5 best Happy Hours in the White City.

Louis- Malkhei Yisra’el Street 4

My favorite of Tel Aviv’s happy hours bar 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.

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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 of 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).

MILA- Dizengoff 164

Mila Bar is located in the heart of Dizengoff Street, next to the corner of Ben Gurion and Dizengoff.  In Tel Aviv, where there are so many options where to start your night of drinking, if you don’t have Mila Bar as your destination, chances are that you probably won’t end up there. Over a year ago, my friends and I were looking for an early happy hour and randomly found Mila Bar. We have been spreading the word about their happy hour specials ever since.

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Their 1+1 happy hour specials are well advertised throughout the bar. Opening in the early evening and going til 9:30 pm, their drinks are “buy one get the next one free”. They also offer happy hour food specials that are very tasty and compliment the drinks.

223-Dizengoff Street 223

223 is located in the old north section of Diznegoff street right before Nordau street. In recent years the cocktail bar trend has taken Tel Aviv by storm. 223, though it was one of Tel Aviv’s original authentic cocktail bars, still provides some of the best cocktail and mixologists in Tel Aviv. The bar design presents a 1920’s New Orleans bar feel and their staff is dressed for the part making 223 one of the more interesting choices on this list.

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223’s happy hour special is 1+1 on all cocktails and beers from 6PM until 8PM. If you get to the bar early enough I recommend taking an outside table which will present a great people watching experience on the exciting street of Dizengoff.

Café Nona- Ibn Gabirol 44

While walking down the busy street of Ibn Gabirol, there are so many different bars to choose from. One may ask what makes this bar bette  than the other one a half block away?. Unlike most Bars around Tel Aviv, Café Nona presents a unique concept with their discounted drink specials.

345433-5Café 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; but I am highlighting their alcohol specials. Unlike most bars in Tel Aviv that might offer a few hours of discounted drinks in their happy hour special, Café Nona, from Sunday through Thursday until 2 am, their entire bar is 50% off. The bar has different types of draft beer cocktails and they staff will gladly 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. They have a in-depth food menu as well which is well priced.

Shem Tov- Masaryk 14

Shem Tov is located a half block away from Rabin Square on Masaryk. This quiet bar has been a nice quiet secret for the locals who are trying to take advantage of the early evening happy hour specials. Shem Tov is a friendly and quiet bar that is a perfect place for friends to grab some drinks and not worry about getting a table.

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The owners of the bar know their clients very well, as they offer their happy hour special as early as 6PM until 8PM throughout the week. Their Happy hour specials include 50% off all drinks and food on their entire menu. So of their great deals include a half liter of beer for 15NIS, a glass of Glenmorangie single malt whisky for 30NIS and sirloin Carpaccio for 19NIS.

Shmuel- Kebab in a Pita (Yes, Please!!)

The Carmel Shuk area for quite some time has offered all different kinds of street food at very affordable prices. I tend to make the short walk to this area when I am looking for a quick and delicious lunch that will get me through my day. Shmuel, which is located in the Carmel Shuk, is one of my new favorite options in the Carmel Shuk area.

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Shmuel opened only a year ago, but the name of the kebab served there has been known far and wide, as Shmuel is a true institution of the market. Located in one of the more pleasant spaces of the Carmel market, customers choose their main dishes which are served in a fresh soft pita or plate. This location is one of the only places in the market that gives you a break from the hustle and bustle of the market, with good music, always happy and warm, with a meticulous design uncharacteristic of the market. Each customer receives personal attention from the staff, always smiling and charming while ordering.

kabab
Shmuel’s kebab (28NIS) is probably the most famous dish, the clever combination of excellent kebab with Jerusalem mixed grill served on a soft pita. It absorbs all the juice and to top it off,  I recommend adding tahini which makes it a masterpiece in a pita. In addition, besides the Jerusalem mix grill and kebab, you have the option of adding different thin sliced vegetables, finely chopped parsley, and the perfect amount of lemon juice drizzled to perfection which blends perfectly in the pita.

For those not interested indulging yourself with the pita, on cold winter days you can take comfort in a bowl of soup that changes daily, or sit back and eat the kebab served on a plate with rice, noodles and fried vegetables

Price: 28 NIS

Kosher

Address: Hacarmel 21

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11AM-6PM and Friday 11AM-4PM

Pancho- Delicious and Well-priced TEX-MEX in the Heart of Tel Aviv

After the increasing popularity of Mexican restaurants worldwide in the past five years, it’s time that Mexican food has finally arrived in Tel Aviv. One of the more exciting Tex-Mex options is Pancho. They officially haven’t had their grand opening yet, but they are open for business with regular business hours.

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Pancho, located on Tchernichovsky street right next to the Carmel Shuk, is unlike other recent Mexican food arrivals in Tel Aviv, Pancho offers the Tex-Mex taste and feel to their customers. The three chefs behind this new Tex-mex restaurant hail from Austin City, Texas, Mexico and Argentina. The restaurant can hold up to around 20-25 people and their staff is friendly and always looking for customer feedback. They offer different burritos, tacos and quesadillas for a very affordable price that beats their competitors.

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Pancho’s menu includes most of the normal Mexican options available in most Mexican restaurants such as tacos, quesadillas and, my favorite, burritos. Pancho’s tacos are delicious and well-priced. The vegetarian taco is 9NIS for one taco or 3 tacos for 24NIS. Chicken or Beef tacos are 10NIS for one taco or 3 tacos for 25NIS. Pancho offers a corn tortilla, a first in Tel Aviv, which I highly recommend. Pancho’s quesadillas come in two options. For their original recipe, one quesadilla is for 9NIS or three small quesadillas for 24NIS. Their special quesadilla comes with 3 small quesadillas for 27NIS or one for 11NIS. All the quesadillas are served on a corn tortilla which presents an authentic Mexican taste. Pancho’s Burrito, which is my favorite dish, come in two options. The veggie burrito is 18NIS and the chicken or beef burrito is 20NIS. All the dishes tend to be small but are very tasty and affordable.

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Looking to wash down a drink with your tasty food? Pancho offers different beers and cocktails.  I recommend trying the Bloody Mary or the Margaritas.

Pancho offers a unique weekend Tex-Mex brunch unlike any found in the city. I recommend ordering Huevos Ranchero (the Mexican Shakshuka).

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Order: A beef burrito with 3 special quesadillas with a margarita. It won’t look like much but it will fill you up and it won’t put a big dent in your wallet.

Average price: 40NIS

Address: Tchernichovsky 1

Hours: Monday-Tuesday 12PM-6PM, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday 12PM-3:30PM, 6PM-11PM, Friday 11AM-3:00

Merkaz Haboureka- a True Eating Experience

In and around Tel Aviv there are so many options where to dine; my favorite is the Carmel Shuk area, where you will find almost an endless array of dining options. One of the more interesting and affordable is Merkas Haboureka.

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Merkaz Haboureka, is located in the heart of the Carmel Shuk. Don’t be afraid of the shouting and aggressiveness. This tiny booth/restaurant is in the perfect location to satisfy market goers in search of cheap and tasty street food. Few people can resist the fresh, hot, crispy and soft filling of the combination potatoes and boiled egg – it leaves its mark on your palate. Just don’t forget to pick up napkins before you receive your boureka, as you will need one.

I recommend ordering the boureka in the pita bread for only 25NIS. The perfect mix of a soft pita with the crunchy texture of the boureka creates this delicacy. If you want to make the boureka in a pita even better, add the hardboiled egg.  To top of your lunch, order their apple fried dessert.

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If you’re looking for a lighter meal, you can order just the boureka without pita. If you do so, I recommend ordering the boureka without potatoes just with the egg.

Price: 25NIS

Address: Hacarmel 24

Hours: Sunday-Friday 10AM-6PM