Tag Archives: bar

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

Mezcal- The Oldest and Best Mexican Food in the White City

fishtacos.jpg

Mexican food is a relatively new phenomenon in Tel Aviv over the past 5 years, yet is a natural development generated by a rising Mexican and American ex-pat community. In this promising realm of cuisine, it is Mezcal, owned by of Ziv and Esther Erlich, which claims the culinary throne. Unlike the standard restaurant that caters clearly to the local restaurant crowd, Mezcal seeks to shed light onto the authentic flavors and manners of cooking that have differentiated the Mexican kitchen from its regional counterparts.

Mezcal is located in the Florentin neighborhood of Tel Aviv. For non locals, this is basically Tel Aviv’s hipster neighborhood. It’s full of art studios, tattoo parlors and some very cool restaurants and bars. The inside of Mezcal is awesome in its own right, featuring bright Mexican artwork, colorful high-top tables, a huge bar, and upbeat Latin music.

enchilades

The menu recommends ordering two or three dishes each and sharing. We went with 2 orders of enchiladas (verdes and rojas (32-34 NIS), supreme nachos (42 NIS), the chimichanga (32 NIS), the burrito (46 NIS), and the fish tacos (35 NIS). The food came out as it was prepared, so we had the nachos first and then after finishing up our delicious margaritas, the rest of our order came out.

Unlike most Mexican restaurants around Tel Aviv, Mezcal cooks their own toasted tortilla chips which provide an authentic taste. Despite the size of nachos which tend to be smaller than most nachos you find in Tel Aviv, they are much richer in flavor. The nachos supreme is made with homemade tortilla chips and black beans, melted cheddar cheese,’ pico-de-gallo, pickled jalapeno, guacamole and sour cream. This dish is a great starter with Mezcal’s famous margaritas.

Margarita

Speaking of margaritas, Mezcal features the most extensive selection of imported Mexican tequila anywhere in Tel Aviv, serving over thirty varieties. They also serve a number of imported Mexican beers including San Miguel, Modelo, Dos Equis, Carta Blanca, and Corona. Between 5-8 pm Sunday through Thursday they offer a happy hour deal which includes 1+1 for draught beers and 50% for cocktails when sitting by the bar.

At night time the bar turns into one of the biggest party spots in Florentine; with young people packed onto the sidewalk enjoying delicious tequila with a unique Mexican experience. The average crowd at Mezcal tends to be people in their later twenties or early thirties. Now back to the food…

Mezcal

The enchiladas rojas and verdes were covered in a creamy hot sauce, queso fresca, sour cream, and red onions, and stuffed full of shredded chicken, beef or mushrooms for those looking for a vegetarian option. Overall, as a self labeled enchilada enthusiasts, I’d say these were the best enchiladas in Tel Aviv – the sauce had the right amount of chipotle flavor, and the creaminess was super generous.

The first thing I noticed when the tacos came out was the guacamole. Most Mexican places in Tel Aviv use the prepackaged kind of guac, you know, the kind they have at fast-food places that tastes nothing like fresh avocado. The fish tacos came in pairs, perfect for two diners since you can have one of each. I am not going to beat around the bush here but the tacos are small, so I recommend ordering a few different tacos or order it as a starter. Mezcal offers 4 kinds of tacos: fish, shrimp, slow cooked beef stew and shredded chicken. I recommend ordering a few plates of tacos as they won’t last long on your table.

Mezcal1

For those like me who love burritos, Mezcal might be worth the trek just for their burritos. Unlike the majority of Tel Aviv’s Mexican establishments, they provide a filling burrito that is stuffed with rice, black beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, pickled jalapenos and your choice of barbecue (slow cooked beef), chicken tinga or sautéed mushrooms.  If you aren’t drooling yet, I saved the best for last. Mezecal’s chimichangas are stuffed tortillas filled with chicken/beef or peppers, mixed with beans, cheese and rice.  They are fried to a crispy golden brown which is topped with fresh sour cream, and mild salsa.

After years of hearing great things about Mezcal from my close friends, I wish I paid visit years ago. While new Mexican places will come and go, sometimes it’s best to return to the original Mexican restaurant in Tel Aviv. In summary, Mezcal offers Mexican food enthusiasts the most unique and authentic Mexican experience in Tel Aviv. Don’t forget to order the margaritas and the fish tacos – you won’t regret it.

NOT KOSHER

Address: 2 Vital Street

Hours:  Sunday-Saturday 12PM-1AM

Dosa Bar- A Taste of India in Tel Aviv

Dosa1

In the past few years, a new trend has hit Tel Aviv and is taking over the White City. Organic vegan food is the new “it” food in Tel Aviv.   Even though there have been many vegan options in Tel Aviv, only recently are we seeing this trend at its full force. One of the newest additions to the vegan-friendly community is Dosa Bar.

Dosa Bar, an Indian street food restaurant, opened shop about 9 months ago and the Tel Aviv vegan community hasn’t stopped raving about their delicious and affordable vegan-friendly menu. The creation of Dosa Bar was the result of a conflict between the owners of an Indian restaurant and Israeli Top Chef participant Jonathan Roshfeld.

dosa2

Dosa Bar offers four types of dosas. Those who have visited India are familiar with dosas. This is a street food characteristic of southern India and available worldwide. Dosa is a rice crepe made with black mung beans which is both vegan and gluten-free. Dosa comes in four varieties – yellow with potatoes, onions, carrots and spices (38 NIS), orange with sweet potato, carrot, onion, Indian spice and green onions (40 NIS), green with swiss chard, squash, onions and Ag’oan (44 NIS) and dosa mediterranean (46 NIS). All dosas come with sambar – a lentil soup, salton of cabbage and carrots and chutney coconut dip. You can also find desserts that are more on the sweet side such as spirulina cream, peanut butter crème and more.

For those looking to enhance their delicious meal with some alcoholic beverages, the chef has you covered. The combination of a shot of Arak ( 14 NIS ) and a glass of Blue Moon with a slice of orange( 20 NIS ) creates the perfect combination with this delicious food.The fact that all the dishes are very filling and priced well provides the niche for vegan-friendly customers to lure non-vegan diners to experience a healthy and tasty meal.

Closed on Shabbat but no kosher certification

Address: Ben Yehuda 188

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 12PM-11PM and Friday 12PM-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.

louis-bar-tel-aviv1

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.

10362776_925961957422203_7243023866068297054_o (1)

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.

223-Dizingoff-bar-Tel-Aviv-

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.

11043052_934668906577734_4642177618342245381_n

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.

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.

10410355_10205804016406733_2911702057090158622_n

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.

10411239_896338053711568_731936606107378438_n

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

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.

Louis-Bar-Tel-Aviv-

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.

984268_783917845006607_7413324918069037956_n

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).

10592852_722157194516006_2982016991829022843_n

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.

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

download (1)

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.

68434136_yxg_pktxgbfoguKILKMbAvIMKKOWwGM4wiBxxnd9rgA

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.

gurion-g

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

41925240_ExK_5PvyrV996AvbBBKCYW7ILtAnpvEM1h8hvnqgdlc

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.

66201334837169

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)

getlstd-property-photo

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.

cafe-nona-560317

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.
cafe-nona-tel-aviv (1)

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.

cafe-nona-tel-aviv

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.

cafe-nona-tel-aviv (3)

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

Beer Drop-CLOSED

beer-drop

Vibes: Neighbourhood bar

Beer drop is a new low price concept bar on Ibn Gabirol Street. This neighborhood bar presents customers with a price that can’t be beat.   Every item on the menu only costs 10 NIS. If it’s from draft beers to wine to different hard liquor shots. There is a food menu as well, I recommend the popcorn while drinking draft beer. The vibes of Beer drop are very casual without any music playing in the outdoor seating. There are  8 tables in the outdoor seating that can hold four people per table. The inside section of the bar has limited seating. The concept of the bar is that there are no waiters with the customers ordering their own food and drinks at the bar. The two or three bartenders behind the bar are very friendly and work at great pace so there is rarely a line. The regular age of the crowd at the bar are in the early 20’s but with the ten shekel menu appeals to all ages.

Price: 10 NIS for every beverage and food item

Menu:

  • Beer: Goldstar, Goldstar unfiltered , Maccabi, Newcastle, Paulaner, Heineken and Shandy.
  • Wine: Cabernet, Merlot andCava.
  • Chasers: Jameson, Tequila, Arak, Absolute vodka, Gin Beefeaters,Tubi 60
  • Food: Pizza, Pretzels, PopCorn(I recommend  order this while drinking beer), Empanadas, munchies, Edamame.

Tip: Get to the bar early!! The tables fill up by 22:00  every  night.

1674625-18

Address: Ibn Gabirol 17
Hours: Sunday-Monday 6:00 pm – 2:00 am