Category Archives: vegetarian

Taqueria- A Mexican Oasis in the Heart of the Desert

Nachos

With summer around the corner, beach days just beg for authentic tacos and margaritas. Tel Aviv is filled with bustling cafes, restaurants and falafel stands, but there seems to be a shortage of authentic Mexican and Asian foods. This is where Taqueria comes in; a Mexican restaurant in the heart of Tel Aviv.

You can choose to sit either outside or inside, which is an intimate space with colorful chairs that match the collage on the wall. Color is scattered artistically throughout the restaurant, highlighted with various pots of cacti and succulents. High wooden ceilings with paneling, ceiling fans and a combination of low hanging light bulbs and deck chairs (hanging over the first-floor balcony) all add to its sleek, modern-contemporary design. The specials of the day are written on a large chalkboard on the wall, take note and give them a try! The atmosphere buzzes in the evening, when it comes alive with its dimmed lighting and cool beats, a great place to sit, drink and eat with friends. We recommend giving yourself at least 20 minutes ahead of time as there is always a queue. They don’t provide the option of making reservations ahead of time, except on Fridays.

Nachos have been hard to find here in Tel Aviv. Usually, they just come as chips and salsa. Anyone from abroad will tell you that chips and salsa are surely no replacement for the wonder of real nachos; fresh melted cheese on hand-made corn tortilla chips, topped with an assortment of guacamole, sour cream, pickled jalapenos, salsa, cilantro, and green onions. Taqueria’s nachos (39 NIS) do not disappoint.

When it comes to ordering the main course, people first think about burritos and tacos, I recommend trying their quesadillas for a change.  Taqueria offers four different types of quesadillas: Classico (cheese, cilantro, spring onions and jalapenos -28 NIS), Pollo Plancha ( chipotle marinated chicken breasts, cheese, cilantro, spring onions and japenos-34 NIS), Camrones ( Adobo marinated shrimp, cheese, cilantro, spring onions and japenos-36 NIS) and the vegan quesadillas.

Despite mainly ordering burritos at Taqueria for years, after being recommended, I tried the less heavy and delicious fish or carne asada tacos. The Pescado Frito (fish) Tacos were the first to grab my attention; beer-battered cod served with fresh guacamole, salsa verde, tartare, cilantro and cabbage. Unlike other Mexican restaurants in Tel Aviv, when you order tacos at Taqueria, you can decide between either a corn or flour soft tortilla. These were perfected sprits of lime and a bit of Taqueria’s smoky salsa. The fish was delightfully moist and appetizing and the guacamole was dazzling and fresh, a creamy additional delight to the crispy fried fish.

Taqueria’s beloved burritos are served in a tightly wrapped foil and then cut in half. Prepare yourself to make a mess with the foil as there is no way to keep this neat presentation an art piece. Each burrito is generously packed with the choice of vegan option/ vegetarian option/marinated steak/ pulled roasted marinated chicken/slow cooked pork/marinated shrimp in lime and tequila, filled with rice, black beans, lettuce, Salsa Roja, cheese and sour cream. Each burrito is worth the price of 39 NIS.

Whatever dish you try, again, have it with a frozen margarita – they are strong and flavorful and incredibly refreshing. Besides the beers that they also offer, you’ll find a variety of Tequilas. Their desserts vary, but they always have the popular Churros, fried Oreos, chocolate mousse and Paleta hand-made ice-cream popsicles.

NOT KOSHER

Address: Levontin 28

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

The Absolute Best Fries in Tel Aviv

If it’s served with a hamburger, schnitzel, a pint of beer or with hummus, French Fries made to perfection, can steal the show. Tel Aviv last year was rewarded with a new wave of restaurants whose sole purpose is to fulfill people’s craving of fries. Although they tend to be a simple dish which is served alongside a main course, if not cooked with the correct texture and crispness, they can ruin a whole meal. Here are my five favorite places to order fries in Tel Aviv:

Vitrina- The Best

Some people say they come to Vitrina for their famous burger which has recently been anointed as the best burger in the white city. They are famous for its variety of delicious handmade sausages, but what is the main reason they is so popular? It is their 50/50 fries! They serve a large portion of fries – a mix of potatoes and sweet potato fries seasoned with garlic, salt and lemon zest. Hands down they are the best fries you can find in Tel Aviv.

Price: Small – 12 NIS  Large- 18 NIS

Location: lilienblum 40

Patat- Newest addition

Patat recently opened their doors on King George Street in the heart of the city. Unlike most restaurants in Tel Aviv, they leave the potato peel on their fries adding texture and a crispier bite. Before cooking the fries, they cut each potato into slices, refrigerate them for half a day, and then cook them. Once cooked, they provided another dose of oil before being served to the customer. The real surprise is the variety of sauces they offer – made fresh every morning with some being extremely spicy. Among the sauces available are a warm goose cream sauce, pepperoni, four cheese and peanut butter.

Price: Small- 12 NIS Large 18- NIS

Location: King George 30

Zakaim- Vegan Friendly

When people think of fries the first things that come to mind is a hamburger. Zakaim helps you forget that illusion; offering some of best vegan friendly fries found in Tel Aviv. Their chips are like no other. First, they shred the potatoes and then soak them in water before cooking. The results of this process are a semi cracked potato fry which is a bit sweet and hot inside. Their fries are so good that for them alone, it’s worth the trip to Zakaim.

Price: 36 NIS (served with vegan friendly mayonnaise made from organic soy milk)

Location: Simtat Beit HaSho’eva 20

Brasserie M&R – 24/7

The fries served at Brasserie are a great side dish alongside their signature dishes. Brassiere is known for their burgers and very elegant dishes, but I recommend keeping your order simple. Brasserie is open 24/7, so you can order your beloved newspaper wrapped fries anytime, no matter the occasion. Due to their popularity, it’s recommended to make a reservation ahead of time.

Price: 24 NIS

Location: Ibn Gabirol 70

ChipStar- Belgium Style

Chipstar, originally from Amsterdam, is a worldwide brand of French Fries shops offered throughout Europe. The only item on the menu is French Fries, cut crisp once a day offered with 15 unique types of sauces! My favorites are mayonnaise and ketchup, a Greek sauce, a Mexican zesty sauce, and in light of the fact that it’s in Israel, a hummus sauce.

KOSHER

Price: Small- 15 NIS Medium- 20 NIS Large- 25 NIS

Location: Ibn Gabirol 90

Poke- A Taste of Hawaii in the Heart of Tel Aviv

poke 1

Over the past year, Ibn Gabirol Street has become the culinary center of Tel Aviv.  Among its gems are Chef Eyal Shani’s masterpiece Miznon, the best burger in town Vitrina  and the most recent, Joseph n Sons  Fish n’Chips. The newest street food addition to Ibn Gabirol is Poke, who made aliyah all the way from Hawaii.

Meet the dish that had taken over the world this past year. Around the world, from LA, NYC and all the way to Australia, there are over 65 Poke-themed restaurants. Now, Tel Aviv has been added to this list! Poke, located on Ibn Gabirol, features a dish originally from Hawaii which is a delicious bowl of rice (white or whole wheat) with your choice of fresh fish or tofu, vegetables ,and sauces, with the main ingredient being a type of protein presented in small cubes. The restaurant has only been open for a few weeks, but already has a strong following. The service is a bit slow, but I believe over time they will speed up the process.

poke2
Upon entering the restaurant, the staff will ask which rice you prefer – I recommend the whole wheat. Next, you decide which seasoned vegetables you want in your Poke, the trendy choice is broccoli or kale. You then choose the type of fish- white fish ( 40 NIS ) , tuna ( 44 NIS ) or salmon ( 38 NIS) , or a vegan option – tofu ( 34 NIS ) or Portobello mushrooms ( 34 NIS ) . I recommend for those who like fish that you order a mixed fish where you can select two different kinds of fish ( 45 NIS).

Then you move on to the vegetables that will be added to the dish , including broccoli , green beans , soybeans , avocados , fruit in season , wakame seaweed and many others. The dish is completed with the house dressing as well as a variety of sauces such as spicy mayo , chimichurri , and citrus vinaigrette , mango chili , wasabi avocado and more. The final step is adding the topping to the dish – I recommend the black sesame and peanuts toppings. Some of the other toppings available are tobiko , black/white sesame, nori powder , chia seeds , peanuts and more. They also offer fresh juices they make in house.

Overall, the dish is filling and very affordable and, with time, the speed of delivery will improve. For people looking for a unique healthy lunch or a light dinner, Poke is a great option

NOT KOSHER

Address: Ibn Gabirol 20

Hours:  Sunday-Thursday 10AM-Midnight, Friday 10AM-3PM and Saturday 3PM-Midnight