Category Archives: Israeli Food

Who Doesn’t Love Fried Eggplant in a Pita- Top 5 Sabich in Tel Aviv

In Israel, when people think of street food, the first things that come in mind are falafel, shawarma and hummus. One of the more affordable and tastier dishes you are forgetting about is Sabich. Throughout Tel Aviv, there are many places that offer Sabich. This dish consists of fried eggplant, an egg, and amba with hummus and tahina. Here are our top 5 Sabich locations in Tel Aviv for under 20 NIS.

Sabich Tchernichovsky

This hole-in-the-wall Sabich restaurant makes a delicious sabich that you will keep you coming back for. Despite the long lines, the staff takes their time creating each and every Sabich sandwich (18 NIS).  Each ingredient is prepared cleverly in the fresh and tasty pita, providing the ideal blend of flavors in every bite.  The delicious eggplant is thin and crispy, providing an appetizing kick with its exceptional and unidentifiable seasoning.  It mixes well with the soft and creaminess of the boiled egg and pickled flavored sauce known as “amba”.  Sabich Tchernichovsky also includes red cabbage, a astonishingly crunchy addition to the stuffed pita. On the wall behind the staff, a sign that reads in Hebrew, “No sale of sabich without eggplant”, showing how serious they are about their Sabich with a taste of their Israeli humor.

2 Tchernichovsky Street

Hakosem

Truth, the falafel here is great, as is the shakshouka and shawarma, but note the best dish at Hakosem is the Sabich (18 NIS). It starts with a pita baked on site, warm and fresh, full of strongly flavored tahini equipped with lemon and excellent hummus (also prepared on site). From there the eggplant steals the show: lovely thick slices, floured and fried, giving the portion an addictive crunch and flavor. The boiled potato comes as a salad with parsley, olive oil and black pepper. For the egg they use a special knife that spreads and distributes it to all parts of the pita. Is it any wonder that the result is no less than excellent?

1 Shlomo Hamelech Street,

Sabich Deluxe

From the Tel Aviv culinary scene, this was a very controversial Sabich. First of all, the key word here is cumin and other seasonings. Some people will be less indulged by the seasoning, but Tel Aviv locals love it. Without a doubt this is one of the more unique and tasty Sabich sandwiches I have encountered in Tel Aviv. This is all thanks to the delicious fresh pita, which did a brilliant job of soaking up all the sauce and the eggplant slices provided a perfect crispy but not oily taste.

1 Mikveh Israel Street

Sabich Frishman

Rather than deep fried chickpeas, Sabich Frishman fills your pita with eggplant, egg, and potato. In addition to this are the familiar accompaniments of hummus, tehina, tomato, parsley, cucumber, purple cabbage and onion, which are all loaded on generously. The mango based, spicy, and rich in flavor sauce called amba makes this dish a game changer. The combination of egg and hummus is a very interesting and creates a satisfying interplay of flavors that will leave your taste buds yearning for another bite. Be sure to stock up at the salad bar with portions of pickled cabbage, peppers and carrots. It also should be noted that the sharp flavor of vinegar contrasts and enhances the flavors in the Sabich.

42 Frishman Street

Sabich Hasharon

If this name sounds familiar to you, you have apparently seen it on the streets of Hod Hasharon or Ramat Gan. The secret of the Sabich here lies in two factors:  First, the fresh handmade pita; and then the heavenly fried eggplant. The slices of eggplant are doused in the fryer till they rich a golden crispness which provides a crunchy but smooth taste in the pita. Alongside the eggplant is a small fried potato, hummus, brown egg, salad, onion and parsley. I noticed right away that cumin was missing in the Sabich which was a bit shocking. This Sabich is for the extraordinary eggplant enthusiasts who want to go the distance.

68 Nahalat Binyamin

House of Hummus and Ful-The Hummus and the Experience

Since the establishment of the state of Israel or even before, the one question that has everyone wondering is “Where is the best hummus in Tel Aviv?” There so many options to choose from, but I have to say, House of Hummus offers one of the most underrated plates of hummus you will find in the white city.

The House of Hummus is not a new addition to the thriving hummus community in Tel Aviv. Located on the busy street of Chashmonaim, which is filled with many outdoor recreation stores and various restaurants, House of Hummus offers a tasty plate of hummus for a quick breakfast or a nice lunch break. The menu includes many non-hummus local dishes such as Malawach, chicken breast schnitzel, and a breakfast omelet. Each dish is served with a small plate of hummus – no matter the order. Equally important: the place is clean, the prices are affordable and the atmosphere is excellent.

Now for the hummus, they offer a delicious plate of Masabacha for only 16 NIS while their best dish is known as “The Triple”. This dish is both attractive and affordable, with a fresh plate of hummus and ful, a generous order of fries, and five falafel balls.  This dish is served with a small bowl of chopped salad, pickle plate, and puffy and tasty bread. The one downside might be the service, despite the waiters repeated explanation that each dish takes time, service was slower them most hummus joints around Tel Aviv. Overall if you don’t mind the slow service but you’re looking for a fresh, tasty plate of hummus which is also kosher, you have come to the right place.

KOSHER

Address: Chashmoanim 119

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 8AM-5PM

Shukshuka

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When I first started this blog my intention was to highlight the many of my favorite Tel Aviv eating experiences that just happened to be located at or near the Carmel Market.  The Carmel Market has long been a culinary celebration, with a seemingly endless supply of new eateries that offer excellent quality food at great prices.  A more recent addition to the market is Shukshuka. This fun and exciting shakshuka bar offers no less than 9 variations of the Israeli well renowned breakfast.

Every time we think the Carmel Market already has everything a person needs, there seems to be room for additions to the lively market. Hashomer 1 is the local favorite,Bunny Chow surprised us with cool street food with flavors we haven’t seen before, and now the welcome addition of our local favorite breakfast .

Shukshuka opened their doors close to a year ago with much rave from the locals who were desperate to satisfy their shakshuka craving in the culinary heaven that we call the Carmel Market. The design of the shakshuka bar presents an outdoor pub ambience with seating only available at the bar. On the weekend, I recommend to make the trek early as the tourists and locals tend to flock early and in great numbers

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In the exciting atmosphere at Shukshuka, you will find a wide selection of different flavors of shakshuka suitable for breakfast or lunch. Their menu is simple – it’s Shakshuka time! Their menu, which is drawn on their wall, includes: shakshuka with goat cheese and basil (37 NIS), shakshuka Moroccan tuna (47 NIS), shakshuka Spanish with hummus, beef jerky and spinach (37 NIS), shakshuka with meatballs (45 NIS), shakshuka with chicken cutlets (45 NIS) and of course the classic shakshuka (32 shekels).  Each order of shakshuka has the option of additional side appetizers such as salad, herbs and chickpeas, spicy tomato salad, or finely chopped Israeli Salad. (8-12 NIS).

KOSHER

Address: 41 Simtat HaCarmel

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 9AM-6PM and Friday 8AM- Start of Shabbat

Top 5 Falafel Stands in Tel Aviv

When people come to Israel on vacation the first thing that comes to their mind is the amazing and fresh street food that is available. In Tel Aviv, there are seemingly an unlimited number of falafel stands with each one convincing you that their falafel is better than the rest. Below are my top 5 falafel stands in Tel Aviv, with each one  making the list for a specific reason.

Hakosem- The best in town

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Hakosem is located on Shlomo Hamelech Street, only a half block away from Dizengoff Center. They opened their doors over 12 years ago as a small falafel stand in the heart of Tel Aviv. Today, Hakosem is packed with hungry customers in a queue, no matter what time or day it is. They offer different street foods other than falafel, such as sabich, shawrma and other tasty delights.

Their delicious falafel is made from chick peas specially imported from Spain, which gives it a unique flavor. The grains used for their falafel are grounded nearly 15 times a day to ensure their freshness. The falafel balls at Hakosem are rich in spices such as cumin, coriander and crushed sweet paprika, garlic and fresh vegetables. What makes their falafel better then rest is their addition of sesame and nigella. This combination of all these delicious ingredients come together to make the best falafel in town. Each falafel is served in a fresh hot pita  with the perfect amount of homemade hummus, fresh vegetables, sauerkraut lemon juice and delicious tahini to top it off. You have the option to add sabich in the pita but I recommend you stay true to the original formula.

Price :17 NIS

Address: Shlomo Hamelech 1

Hours: Sunday- Thursday 9:30AM-11PM

Ratzon Falafel- the Cheapest

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Ratzon Falafel is located on the busy street of King George. Arriving right before the busy lunch crowd, this falafel stand looks like almost every falafel stand around Israel. There is one difference – the price. A falafel costs only 6 NIS. The owner, Liron, serves each customer his own “personal masterpiece in a pita”. Each serving comes in a fresh homemade pita bread with hummus and 5 or 6 falafel balls, which are made to perfection. The pita bread is stuffed with Israeli salad with cabbage and topped off with tehina or amba.

Kosher

Price:6 NIS

Address: King George 17

Hours: Sunday- Thursday 10AM-7:30PM and Friday 10AM-4PM

Falafel Gabay- The Classic

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Everyone talks about their excellent soups, but almost all forget that Gabay is first of all a falafel stand. For many years, to be precise, since 1964, hungry diners stopped here at noon and formed a long line at the entrance, to order their delicious falafel. Their falafel balls are perfectly crispy brown on the outside and yellow on the inside. The texture of the falafel balls is very smooth which meshes well with the additional salads and sauces in the pita bread. Each falafel is served in a fresh pita with delicious salads and tahini to top it off.

Kosher

Price:16nis

Address: Bograshov 25

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 10AM-10:30PM

4 Tamim- Local favorite

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What makes this falafel stand a local favorite is that there are 4 different choices of falafel that they offer. The four flavors are:

  • Red – spicy, slightly spicy.
  • Green – parsley and cilantro.
  • Sesame seeds – toasted sesame seeds.
  • Normal – 100% chickpeas.

This branch of falafel stands can be found throughout the country and is known for their fresh falafel and high quality ingredients served in each freshly served falafel in a pita bread. If you are not in the mood for falafel, you can also find other excellent dishes on the menu, including schnitzels, sabich, sautéed chicken, salads and more. They also offer their four flavors of falafel gluten-free, so that celiac patients can enjoy the great taste!

Falafel

Kosher

Price:18 NIS

Address: Ibn Gabirol 93,

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 10AM-Midnight and Friday 10AM- Start of Shabbat

Hippo- Healthiest Falafel in town

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Falafel and street food in Tel Aviv tends to be very oily, and isn’t the healthiest option. Falafel Hippo provides a healthier falafel in Tel Aviv. Unlike most falafel stands where they deep fry the falafel balls, at Hippo they cook the falafel on a special frying pan with canola oil which they change hourly. Some street food foodies will be scared away when hearing that its ingredients are organic and healthier  – but don’t be scared away. This is a most excellent falafel.

Price:17 NIS

Address: Ibn Gabirol 64

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11AM-Last customer , Friday 10AM- last customer and Saturday Night Shabbat ends-last customer

 

Falafel Tamdor- Worth the Trek to South Tel Aviv

tadmor-falafel-with-spicy-peppersSince the beginning of time, the one question that has everyone wondering is “Where is the best falafel in Tel Aviv?”. There so many options to choose from but I say Falafel Tamdor in south Tel Aviv is definitely in the discussion.

Almost 40 years ago, Rachel (the owner of this falafel stand), opened a tiny falafel stand on Salme Street in south Tel Aviv.  When I mean tiny we aren’t joking – this triangle-shaped stand has only enough room for Rachel to stand and make her delicious falafel for her street food customers. Since their opening, there is no resident in south Tel Aviv who doesn’t know of Rachel’s falafel  or who hasn’t been lucky enough to eat the fresh falafel she offers on a daily basis.

Heads up, there is no valid parking in the area at any time of the day, so customers tend to eat quickly and move on with a smile on their face after tasting this delicious falafel. Though it has been decades since it first opened the line that sweeps around the block still exist for her fresh falafel in a fresh pita.

120123409_4845000_0.Tamdor Falafel is only 11 NIS  for a whole falafel and 6 NIS for half pita. Each falafel is served in a large homemade pita which contains many falafel balls and different freshly made salads with spicy sauces. For those looking to test what level of spiciness they can handle, they offer an extremely spicy green zhug. I recommend trying their home made Turkish salad which is made with olives, uncommon in an authentic Turkish salad. Some will be against adding Turkish salad to their falafel, thinking it will change the taste, but I beg to differ – it enhances your pita with a splash of spiciness which makes the falafel even better.

Even though Tamdor is predominately known for their falafel, recently they have added shawarma to their menu. I recommend sticking to their falafel, but if you must, they offer shawarma for 20 NIS in a pita and 11NIS for half a pita. Many people will be against making the trip to the more exotic south Tel Aviv for a falafel, but we recommend you try it for yourself and don’t think twice.

Kosher

Address: Salme 98

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 9am-9pm and Friday 9am-2 hours before Shabbat

Hakosem- The Best Falafel in Tel Aviv But Don’t Skip their Hummus

Four of Israel’s best known streets foods are hummus, shawarma, falafel and sabich (fried eggplant). Scattered throughout Tel Aviv are many places that offer you each of these. Hakosem offers some of best Israeli street food you can find in the center of Tel Aviv

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Hakosem is located on Shlomo Hamelech Street, only a half block away from Dizengoff Center. People recommend their famous falafel, but actually they offer many other tasty dishes as well. Besides always having a long line, there are always plenty of places sit down to enjoy their excellent dishes. Whether you are eating  a dish served in a pita or sitting down for relaxing meal, the large helpful staff provides excellent service that  will remind you that this is not just another of the falafel stand, but a significant stopping point for the hungry.

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One of their best dishes that they  offer is their homemade hummus, costing 29NIS. While people in the past have written about their “Best in Tel Aviv Falafel Balls” I recommend paying more attention to their homemade hummus. For those looking for a fresh plate of delicious of hummus, you came to the right place. The hummus is made fresh throughout the day, so it is always hot and fresh. Each plate of hummus is served with a fresh pita (whole wheat option as well), onions and pickles, spicy hot pepper, garlic, and enough lemon sauce to complete the perfect plate of hummus.

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Their newest dish that has been the talk of the local food aficionados is their creation that they call Haborik. Hakosem offers two versions of the dish, sabich (20 NIS) and meat (25 NIS). While their sabich version is a re-engineering of the dish we have all come to love, their meat version is excellent with amazing texture and flavor. The thin dough is served with an egg, potato and parsley, and fresh ground beef with a perfect amount of garlic.

For those looking for different kinds of dishes, I recommend ordering their famous falafel or their lesser known dish called “haraime”. This chicken dish combines a spicy tomato sauce with chunks of grilled chicken just enough to question how have I not seen this anywhere else?

KOSHER

Price: 15-40NIS

Address: Shlomo Hamelch 1

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 9:30AM-11PM, Friday 9:30AM-4:30PM

Falafel Dror- the Tastiest Falafel for only 7NIS

Walking the lively streets of Tel Aviv, I always look for the best deals available for the Israeli homegrown street food called “falafel”. Different locations around Tel Aviv offer falafel at low prices. Falafel Dror offers their famous and delicious falafel for only 7NIS.

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Falafel Dror opened their Tel Aviv branch in late 2013 on Nachalat Binyamin street right near Rothschild Street. They originally offered their falafel for 5 NIS, however, in the past year, the price climbed to 7 NIS which has not hurt their business. There are a few places around Tel Aviv that offer for less but they don’t offer the crispy and delicious falafel we have grown accustomed to. This falafel stand is very clean and you rarely have to wait in line, even at the peak lunch hours. In summary, you can feed a group of friends for only 30NIS.

Their falafel is simple: fresh pita with six falafel balls with diced salads, pickles and bottles of amba, hot sauce and tehina to top off on your fresh falafel. No matter when and what time you order, the pita will have at least six falafel balls. These large falafel balls provide the perfect crispy and not too burnt taste that all falafel eaters hope for. For those trying to stay away from bread, they also offer five falafel balls for 4 NIS. Customers should not underestimate the taste and quality, even with the low price. Looking to water down your delicious falafel? They offer soft drinks for 5 NIS or a glass of juice for 3NIS.

KOSHER

Address:Nachalat Binyamin 48

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 10AM-7PM

Mifgash Osher- Happiness in a Pita

In Israel, when people think of street food, the first things that come in mind are falafel, shawarma and hummus. One of the more affordable and tastier dishes you are forgetting about is sabich. Throughout Tel Aviv there are many places that offer sabich.  Sabich is fried eggplant which is served with different vegetables with tehina as a dressing while served in a pita bread. One of the more underrated and better sabich dishes in Tel Aviv can be found at Mifgash Osher.

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Mifgash Osher is located on King George Street not far from Dizengoff Center. They opened their doors in 1991 and, like their menu when they opened, has not changed since. Their menu is very simple; you can choose from three dishes – falafel, sabich and salad. Their sabich (6-18 NIS), falafel (5-16 NIS) or “friends” dish (6-18 NIS) includes salad, chickpeas, eggplant, pickles and white cheese. Each dish can be ordered in a quarter pita, half pita or full pita bread. I recommend ordering a sabilafel, which is a mix of falafel and sabich. It is literally happiness in a pita. What makes this place different from the other falafel and sabich stands? It’s their unique technique in the making of their falafel. They gather all the ingredients (falafel balls, salad, tahina and amba) and pour it in a small bowl, mix it together, and then pour it in a fresh pita bread. The staff is very friendly and each customer gets extra attention and love, as if it was their mother making each dish for them. The architecture of the restaurant is very simple but if you take a close look at the walls, it is a manifest of happiness and full of passport photos of satisfied customers.

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They also offer their own style of salads which range from 29-35 NIS. Their most interesting salad is their sabich salad, a great option for those looking for this delicious dish without eating bread. Their famous salad, which costs 29NIS, consists of bulgur, tehina, falafel, white cheese, eggplant, egg and coriander, and is topped off with pineapple and mint juice. The ending result will bring you happiness; which is the translation of the name of their business in English, “Meeting of Happiness”.

Order: Sabilafel, It’s a mix of sabich and falafel all in a pita.

NOT KOSHER

Address: King George Street 105

Hours: Saturday-Thursday 10:30AM-8PM, Friday 10:30AM-3:30PM

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

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