Tag Archives: center tel aviv

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

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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.

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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

 

Hiro- The Newest Asian Cuisine Restaurant with the Magical Touch of Aharoni

Aharoni Raman

We’ve waited and it’s finally here: Aharoni, the king of Asian cuisine, developed the Hiro Ramen soups, which is located in the heart of the exciting Sarona Market.

Almost a year ago there was a rumor in the culinary world of Tel Aviv that native Israeli Aharoni is returning to the Asian cuisine business. For months before the opening of Sarona market, Hiro’s instagram account frequently posted appetizing pictures of steaming ramen soups, steamed Asian dumplings and salads, which brought enthusiasm among lovers of Asian cuisine and made the wait particularly difficult. Since the opening Hiro, Hiro Ramen soups has been all the rave of the Sarona market.

The concept of Hiro is focused and very limited. The main course only served at the bar (eating around the bar overlooking the chef or in a little cluster of tables around the podium) is ramen: You will find three kinds of soup, all with noodles developed by Aharoni himself after a research trip to the east and manufactured specifically for Hiro first plant marking.

Raman

Hiro offers three different kinds of Raman, but I will first talk about the meat flavored Raman. Ramen with chicken or beef is served with a huge bowl of fine grain noodles, soya,egg, pickled sprouts, bok choy, shiitake mushrooms and scallions (52 NIS for chicken or 56NIS for beef). For the vegetarians, they offer a Raman with tofu, wakame seaweed, egg, bok choy, scallions, pickled daikon and shiitake mushrooms (44 NIS).

Ramen is served in the Far East in countless versions, one of which includes the popular version with bacon and ham soup.  Of course, the vegetarian variation has been based on fresh, local vegetables and soy. Unlike Ramen restaurants in the Far East where you are recommended to eat fresh on location, Hiro provides the option of take.

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Hiro’s small menu offers appetizers such as spinach filled vegan gyoza with pak choy and onions (5 for 28 NIS), Chicken filled gyoza with green onions and shiitake mushrooms ( 5 for 32 NIS). They also offer sweet Asian glazed grilled wings that is served with ginger,miso and soy shitake( 38 NIS) and other different Asian salads.  For those looking to add some drinks on their meal, they offer different types of sake and offer the imported beer of Singha.

Those looking for a different type of eating experience then your typical Tel Aviv café or meat restaurant, I highly recommend you try Aharoni’s Ramen. While you’re there, walk around and enjoy the almost endless variety of shops that the new Sarona Market offers.

Not Kosher

Address: Sarona Market

Hours: Sunday-Friday 12PM-10PM and Saturday 12PM-11PM

Café Xoho- Not Your Average Tel Avivi Brunch

 

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In vibrant Tel Aviv on the weekends, the toughest decision to make is “Where are we going to grab brunch?” When choosing, there are so many deciding factors that needs to be taken into consideration. What makes this café different than the one down the street? With Café Xoho’s unique menu, which is not found anywhere else in Tel Aviv, it’s a very easy choice where to grab your beloved weekend brunch.

Café Xoho, located on Gordon Street, is conveniently located a block from the beach. They opened their doors 7 years ago, opened by  a new immigrant from Hong Kong with Canadian parents.  Before, we dig into their tasty and unique menu, what’s unique about Xoho? First, their staff is all female and super friendly. To makes things easier for the non-Hebrew speakers, they all speak fluent English. They provide top notch service that most customers coming from abroad are accustomed to. For those who grew up on the west coast, the atmosphere reminds you of a very hip and relaxed café. On Fridays they shut down the Wi-Fi, but every other day of the week it is a great place to work from.

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Unlike most Tel Aviv cafés, their menu is filled with breakfast dishes that you grew up on and/or dishes not available in Israel.  First thing first, they offer fresh grounded coffee which they make fresh and it will start your day right no matter what the rest of the day offers. When looking at their vegetarian and vegan-friendly menu, the first thing that grabbed my attention was the Mexican breakfast dishes. As a Mexican food enthusiast, this got me excited.   My Mexican dish of choice was the breakfast burrito, which is filled with an omelet, chipotle cream sauce, pico de gallo, labneh and black beans (40 NIS).  Other Mexican options are a tasty Mexican salad and Quesadillas.

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Despite my love for Mexican food, what keep bringing locals back is their delicious bagels. Some will say they offer the best bagels in the Middle East.  For those Americans who miss their Sunday bagels with some shmear, you have come to the right place. They offer three different delicious dishes on a bagel.  The classic salmon is a favorite, served on a fresh, warmly toasted bagel with the perfect amount of cream cheese, tomato, onion, capers and fresh salmon (42Nis). Two other bagel dishes I recommend are their Tuna Melt and Pizza bagel, for those looking for their American bagel nostalgic breakfast memories.

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For those who are looking for vegan dishes, Xoho has you covered. I recommend you try the Xoho Veggie Burger, even if you aren’t a vegan you will enjoy this dish. If you still have room, you must try their homemade cookies and cake. Ask any of the many friendly waiters or have a look for yourself which daily desserts they are offering as they change their desserts daily.

Café Xoho presents brunch goers with a unique and tasty food experience. Just don’t forget that you can’t make reservations, so on the weekend try to get there before midday to avoid waiting in line.

Not Kosher (Open on Saturday)

Address: Gordon 17

Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 7:30AM-6PM, Friday 7:30AM-6PM, Saturday 10AM-^PM and Sunday 7:30AM-6PM

Haprazador- It’s All About the Toppings

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In the exciting and dynamic Tel Aviv culinary scene there is always a discussion – where is the best gourmet burger in town. Unlike other burger restaurants, Haprzador offers unique burgers with the most unlikely toppings that will make you simply drool.

Recently Tel Aviv has become well known for its many burger options. What is unique in Tel Aviv is their well known “Gourmet Burgers”. These specialty burgers like Vitrina andAmerica burger are heating up the culinary scene with their delicious burgers. Almost every restaurant you go to in the white city offers a delicious variation of their gourmet burger.  The difference between the successful and the failed burger joints is usually the topping that they offer and at Haprazador, they have become the master of  the toppingsl.

Haprazador opened their doors in late November on Mendli Mois Street, which is a short two minute walk from the beach. The owners of the newest burger restaurant show their vast knowledge of the culinary burger scene by providing numerous varieties of topping for each burger they sell. This provides a unique burger experience that locals are just not used to.

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The menu offers a variety of burgers that come with extras. The burger known as the “Blue and Smoky” is a burger with blue cheese, bacon, arugula, balsamic mayonnaise and pickled red onions which costs 58 NIS. The “Tony Montana” burger is accompanied by Gouda cheese, Cuban garlic sauce, pickled onion and potato chips and costs 54 NIS. One of the more interesting burgers they offer is the “Like After the Rain”. This burger is served with truffle mayonnaise, spinach, and mushrooms roasted with thyme and rosemary, which costs 54 NIS. Their most popular burger is the “Be a Coward” burger.  This delightful hamburger is presented with lettuce, tomato and pickles and costs 49 NIS. For those vegetarians, they offer a veggie burger patty with leeks and beets and a vegan burger with Portobello mushrooms that will cost you healthier eaters 48 NIS.

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For those that love delicious sides, they have wings that cost 28 NIS. They offer some of the most delicious and made on location onion rings in town for 26 NIS along with the typical fries for 12 NIS.

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For those looking to satisfy their sweet tooth, their desserts are excellent. They offer many American hits such as chocolate brownie for 26 NIS, banana splits for 26 NIS and apple pie milkshake, which is basically a vanilla milkshake which is added to apple pie, which costs 32 NIS.

NOT KOSHER

Address: Mendli Mois 6

Hours: Sunday-Saturday 6PM-12AM

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

 

Truck De Luxe- Not Your Average Food Truck

toppictureIn the exciting restaurant scene in Tel Aviv, people tend to get bored very easily. In previous posts we have offered the more common cafes and restaurants. However, we are always looking for new and exciting food venues that will get us foodies excited.

Close to a year ago, Truck De Luxe opened their doors (of their food truck) with many mouthwatering dishes we could only dream of. Located on Ben Ami street right next to Dizengoff square, this food truck is the more exciting smaller brother of Pundak Deluxe which is located in Jaffe. Unlike the Jaffe location, the prices are more affordable and present amazing food imagery for all you Instagram foodies. If you are a vegetarian, you might want to look elsewhere.

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This is not your typical food truck- despite the kitchen being in a truck this a very fun and exciting restaurant with tables and a great atmosphere in the heart of Tel Aviv. Here you will see mashups of foods you have only fantasized about. Similar to Pundak Deluxe, you order different meat dishes by weight, but unlike the Jaffa restaurant, they offer different combos and mixes of different food that you won’t find anywhere else in town. Now onto their delicious and eye watering dishes

Their menu consists of 15 main courses, five side dishes, five first courses, 12 cuts of meat and four different desserts. The menu consists of dishes that range from 10 NIS to 50 NIS. Each dish is served fresh daily and the staff will recommend different side dishes that perfectly complement each main course. If you are looking for a tasty and simple choice, we recommend you try the Trailer Trash Bacon Burger (47 NIS). This simple burger is cooked with cheddar cheese on top and brioche. The perfect side is the mac and cheese (12 NIS). Despite thinking that a mac and cheese with a burger was a weird choice, I was totally wrong. The dish is very gentle and fun, and the top has crunchy crumbs that add a special flavor the dish. For those looking to add French fries with their burger, this is an option as well.

3rdFor those wanting a chicken dish, we recommend you try the chicken breast sandwich (39 NIS). Similar to the burger, the staff recommends we order the French bean stew (14 NIS) with the chicken entrée. This meat stew consists of two different types of meats and beans. It’s less of a stew but more of a side of meat.

 

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The most extreme dish is their pancakes (44 NIS). These are not your typical pancakes; this dish is for extreme eaters. The pancakes are presented as a 3 layer tower with disassembled pork shoulder meat topped with sweet syrup. This dessert presents an unlikely but delicious mashup of food. For those who like to experiment with different types of foods, this is the dish you have been waiting for. For those who need a side dish with their pancakes, the staff recommends the mac and cheese with bacon sprinkles (16nis). A side dish I recommend ordering is their jack cheese fries (18 NIS).

For those who somehow have room to eat at the end of their meal, you must try their American ice cream which is served with caramel (15 NIS). They offer the option of adding bacon chips to the ice cream for a small charge. In summary, Truck Deluxe offers some of the most non-kosher interesting dishes you will find in Tel Aviv. You will spend less than 100 NIS, but it will keep you full all day long.

SUPER NOT KOSHER

Address: Ben Ami 13

Hours: Sunday- Thursday 5:30PM-Midnight and Friday-Saturday 10AM-Midnight

 

 

 

Changos-CLOSED

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When people think of the trendy Florentine neighborhood in Tel Aviv, the first thing that comes to mind is it being a center for Tel Aviv’s “hipsters”. From the funky cafés to the eclectic bars, Florentine has become one of the trendiest places in Tel Aviv. Mexican food has been a recent arrival to Florentine, but none have generated much excitement. However, last summer Changos opened their doors and has provided an enjoyable and tasty Mexican eating experience.

Located on Washington Boulevard, Changos displays unique artwork throughout the restaurant which meshes perfectly with the Florentine feel. The seating options are however limited, with the majority seating indoors and a few tables outside. Once you sit down and order, you know that you have arrived at the Mexican restaurant that you have been searching for.
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Picture taken by @mankochka

Like most Mexican restaurants, you can start your meal with a tasty margarita. They offer delicious frozen margaritas (very strong!) in different flavors, such as lime, pineapple and strawberry.

Over the years,I’ve told my friends here in Israel that they have no idea what real nachos are. Most places give you Doritos chips and salsa that has no zest and some guacamole. Changos offers nachos, made with homemade tortillas chips with refried beans, different kinds of salsa, sour cream guacamole and of course melted cheese 28 NIS.

Moving on to entrees, they offer different kinds of tacos (Fish, Beef, Chicken and vegetarian), which are made to perfection. I recommend ordering the beef taco, marinated with veal, cooked on the grill with onions, coriander and salsa. Each taco costs 15NIS or if you live life dangerously,  3 for 40 NIS. For those looking for a non-meat taco try the mushroom taco, made with portobello and champion mushroom cooked on the grill with tomatoes and seasoned with fresh pepper. Each taco costs 13 NIS or 3 tacos for 34 NIS.
Picture Taken by @mankochka

Now onto my favorite part of their menu, Burritos! They offer possibly the best chicken burrito found  in the Middle East. The chicken is cooked on the grill with rice, beans, onions, coriander, salsa and last, but not least, pineapples. The combination of the sweetness of the pineapple and the spiced chicken make a perfect burrito.

For those looking for something different and who have tough stomachs, try their tasty chili relleno which includes jalapenos, cheese, fried pepper and onions, costing. 30 NIS. They also offer different traditional Mexican desserts.

Overall you can’t go wrong with any dish on their menu. After experiencing Changos,  you will be sure to make the trek back to the Florentine area more often,

NOT KOSHER

Average Price: Up to 50 NIS

Address: Washington Avenue

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11AM-Midnight, Friday-Saturday 9AM-Last customer

Shi Shi- A Modern Twist of Sushi

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For the past 10 years in Tel Aviv sushi has been the entire rave throughout the city. Recently, sushi has taken the back seat to new and exciting cuisine options. While these new culture foods have emerged, sushi has lost its cool.  Locals in Tel Aviv have become sushi snobs and have become bored. Following a trend started in New York, a new and modern twist on sushi has arrived, it’s called Shi-Shi.

Shi-Shi is located on the Corner of Ibn Gabirol and Naviim Street right across from London Minister. They provide an upbeat urban style with seating around a small indoor bar with outdoor wooden benches which meshes with the exciting and fast paced life of Tel Aviv. Concerning  the food, they offer different innovative variations of enlarged sushi. Each dish is based on rice with different filling and sauces that are fresh and will surprise you with their robust flavor.

So what is this dish? Shi-Shi is an even larger and healthier sushi. The dish itself is based on rice with differ choices of fillings with unique, flavorful sauces. Each large sushi roll is rolled to perfection with no dripping and can be eaten in place or take away.

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Shi-Shi comes in 10 different variations – filling of fish and seafood, chicken, tofu and vegetables or fruit. Each customer chooses from different spicy sauces and fillings which are wrapped in rice.  One of their best rolls (my favorite) is chipotle vinaigrette marinated salmon with miso sauce and mango, ginger, carrots, beets, green herbs, cucumber and mango salad with spicy peanuts. Another roll I recommend is the chicken based roll which includes chicken breast curry-aioli, pickled kohlrabi, red cabbage, lettuce and green onions. For those looking for vegetarian options try the wasabi aioli-sweet potato tempura which is cooked with a fried tofu sauce.

Aside from Shi-Shi, they offer a delicious dish which is served with a base of seafood or chicken served on chapatti with special sauces such as chimichurri, aioli-asian and wasabi. Other non-sushi options are Asian salad of glass noodles with chicken, salmon or tofu. For those looking unique beverages, they offer different specialty drinks such as ginger and lemon beverage and green tea.

NOT KOSHER

Average price: 40 NIS

Address: Ibn Gabirol 33

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 12PM-11PM, Friday 12PM-5PM and Saturday 5PM-11PM

 

Hamosad Specialty Sandwiches- Pulled Beef Sandwiches in the Heart of Tel Aviv.

 

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This past summer a new sandwich stand opened their doors to please all. Hamasod offers a delicious pulled beef sandwich, without a doubt, the tastiest that can be found.

Close to a month ago a friend and I were searching where to eat in the Rabin Square area. Tired of the typical Tel Aviv cafés and gourmet burgers in the area, the owner of Hamosad overheard our conversation and  told us that we have to try his pulled beef sandwich. We were initially reluctant, but we gave it a chance. Upon walking in we knew were in for a treat; the owner offered us a tasting and we were shocked how delicious it was. We ordered the sandwich meal on the spot.

Hamosad opened their doors this past June in the heart of Tel Aviv on Ibn Gabirol Street next to Rabin Square. What makes this sandwich spot different from the others? When the owners of the restaurant came up with idea of the sandwich they had one dream in mind, to provide the best quality meat cooked in a perfect sandwich.

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Picture taken by Jeremy Yaffe

They currently offer two different pulled beef sandwiches. They cook their pulled meat at 82 degrees for over 12 hours. This process provides the tender taste and then mixing different barbeque sauces with the meat provide that delicious taste. The owners jokily said it’s the Sloppy Joe of an Argentinean-American

Their signature dish is accompanied by crispy home fries that are half cooked in deep oil and a bit crispy which provide the softness of the potatoes. They offer a deal which includes the pulled beef sandwich, home fries, pickles and soft drink, all for 49 NIS. For those looking to add a beer, the meal costs59 NIS.

NOT KOSHER

Address: 67 Ibn Gabirol

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11AM-11PM and Friday 11AM-Shabbat starts

Market- A Tasty and Healthy Option In The Heart Of Tel Aviv

Recently, healthy eating has taken over Tel Aviv.  The vast majority of cafes in and around Tel Aviv have started to offer more and more vegetarian and vegan options on their menu. One of the newest vegan restaurants in the center of Tel Aviv is called Market.

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Market opened their doors around a year ago and is located on King George Street. This friendly vegan restaurant offers delicious hot soups and a variety of stews. Each dish is made fresh and is geared to the vegetarian and vegan communities of Tel Aviv. It will bring you back memories of your mothers cooking when you were child.

Their menu is seasonal and with every new visit you will find a few new dishes on their menu according to the time of year. The staff is very friendly and helpful – particularly for those customers who aren’t used to the vegan selections.

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We recommend ordering the Indian dish with rice (27 NIS ) – lentils and vegan curried sweet potato served on a plate of rice. This dish is absolutely delicious and will satisfy. Whether it’s the sauce, which tends to be spicy from the curry, or perhaps the rich coconut milk, with soft lentils and rice, we know the final product is amazing.

At Market you can’t go wrong with any dish – it’s both affordable and very tasty. For those visiting Market in the winter months, Market offers very tasty stews. In particular, I recommend the Moroccan Stew. This stew is served with tomato sauce and green beans. Their homemade couscous with vegetable soup is outstanding as well. Overall, Market has tasty, delicious, and healthy options at great prices.

Price:20-40NIS

Address: 31 King George Street

Hours: Sunday-Thursday:10AM-Midnight, Friday:10AM-4:30AM and Saturday 5:30PM-Midnight