Tag Archives: cheap meal

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

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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

 

Dosa Bar- A Taste of India in Tel Aviv

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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.

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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

Safta- Not Your Typical Grandma Homemade Deli Sandwich

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Is it just me or has the Rabin Square area transformed into a land of delicious sandwich restaurants?? Among them is Hamosad, with their unique pulled beef meat sandwich, and many more sandwich restaurants to choose from. For close to a year, Safta has blessed the residents of Ibn Gabirol with unique freshly made, baked in-house sandwiches served on fresh rolls.

Safta’s menu is relatively simple and includes a variety of sandwiches;  each is served in a unique handmade soft bun, a combination of a challah roll and a chocolate bun. Before the staff starts to fill the bun with delicious meats and vegetables, they roast the bun just to make sure it’s a little crispy (for those who are looking for a healthier bread choice they offer rye bread). All ingredients in each of their sandwiches are prepared on site, including the sauces and salads. One of the staff’s favorite sandwiches is the turkey sandwich; prepared with mayonnaise, mustard, garlic, turkey, roasted peppers, tomatoes and lettuce on rye (30 NIS). My favorite sandwich is the roast beef sirloin. The roast beef sirloin sandwich is made with homemade mayonnaise, fried onions, hardboiled egg, mustard, tomato, and lettuce (42 NIS). Another sandwich which I recommend is the grilled sausage sandwich. This Italian salami and sandwich is cooked with BBQ and curry sauce with spicy tomato (32 NIS). For those who are vegetarians or vegan, they offer a mushroom sandwich made on a vegan roll. The mushroom sandwich is served with onions, peppers, guacamole, tahini, walnut pesto, tomato and arugula (NIS 30).

In the busy sandwich area of Ibn Gabirol, there any many options where to dine. However, if you are looking for a quality and affordable sandwich, Safta is the place to try.

Address: Ibn Gabirol 65

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 10AM-11:30PM, Friday 10 AM-4PM and Saturday 6PM-11PM

The Top 4 Shawarma Stands in Tel Aviv

Lately shawarma has had a resurgence in interest among the street food community, resulting mainly in a significant improvement in quality and freshness of the meat and salads. As with falafel and hummus, everyone has a preference for the place and style. With each recommendation where to try fresh shawarma, the same questions come up: lamb or turkey? Served in a pita or a lafa or a beget? Add the local favorite flavored fat which is cooked on top of the meat or avoid it? Here are my top 4 shawarma stands in Tel Aviv.

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Hakosem
Hakosem originally opened its doors as a small falafel stand almost 15 years ago. Though they are famous for their falafel and hummus, you must try their shawarma as well.

I recommend you try the lamb shawarma, each serving includes extra crispy brown lamb meat, which provides amazing juicy flavors, thanks to the lamb fat which is dripping on the meat from above. Each shawarma is served in a handmade pita with fresh hummus , green salads , spicy onions, cucumbers , garlic and to top it off, they add their famous falafel balls on top of this tasty delight in a pita

Price: 30 NIS

Address: Shlomo ha-Melekh St

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Shawarma Bino

Almost seven years ago, the owner of famous shakshuka restaurant Dr Shakshuka, decided it was time to spread his creative wings and open a shawarma stand. This had been his dream for close to 40 years and he hasn’t looked. This veal shawarma is possibly the best shawarma in Jaffa and well worth the trek. When people ask which shawarma to order, it’s a no brainer that you go with the veal. This dish includes touches of beef and lamb fat, which makes it more delicate and a fragrance that will not leave you indifferent.  Each shawarma in a pita is served with such excellent quality meat there is no need to indulge in side dishes. They serve the shawarma with a few different spices and vegetables in fresh pita. This dish is so full of flavor and delicious you will never have to think what to order at this establishment again.

Price 28 NIS

Kosher

Address: David Razi’el St 26,

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Torek  Lahmajun
For years people would wait in line at Torek Lahmajun for shawarma. After years of waiting, they got their wish with a more central location next to Dizengoff Center. The lines are more reasonable now and if you have to wait in line don’t worry, it’s worth the wait. While waiting in line, you will see their trademarked three giant skewers of lamb, turkey and chicken.
I recommend you try the lamb shawarma; each lamb shawarma is sliced to perfection with a strong and juicy flavor which are cooked with endless amount of spices that give it the perfect flavor. Add to that a little onion and a little fat of the lamb which cooks on top of each skewer (which provides great flavor) and it is hard to surpass. Each dish is served in a fresh pita with generous amount of meat, tahini, onion and different types of vegetables.

Price 26 NIS

Kosher

Address: Nahalat Binyamin St 77 and King George 51

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Keter Mizrach

Keter Mizrach was established in 1952 based on recipes from their Syrian family recipe, and it is one of the oldest operating restaurants in Tel Aviv. With 64 years of experience, they continue to offer us a delicious kebab , schnitzel and meatballs , and shawarma . While eating at Keter Mizrach you have to try the turkey shawarma. Unlike other shawarma stands in Tel Aviv, you notice they use a special ingredient unlike no other – the use of pistachios in their shawarma skewer. The use of pistachios enhances the meat flavor and the fragrance, also it helps to keep its distinctive tastes as well as it’s juices. The downside of the shawarma is the relatively small size of the pita, but they make up for it with fries and fresh salads, which include something different – a unique onion salad with dill which provides great flavor for the whole shawarma.

Price 30 NIS

Kosher

Address: 115 Ibn Gabirol

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

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

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

Bunny Chow- The First South African Restaurant in Israel

After HaShomer 1 and Arepas, the Carmel Market offers some of the newest and best street food available in Tel Aviv. Bunny Chow, which presents a tasty mix of Indian and South African curry, is all the talk at the moment in the exciting street food community of Tel Aviv.

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Bunny Chow is located in the heart of the exciting Carmel Market. Recently opened by a South African who immigrated to Israel and lived with his wife in Britain, they had the dream of opening a tasty South African restaurant in Tel Aviv. After returning to Israel, they looked into the street food market in Tel Aviv and decided on the South African-Indian curry street food.

When ordering you have the option of three types of dishes, one vegan (27 NIS), based on sweet potatoes, chickpeas and carrots, one with beef (34 NIS) and one with chicken (34 NIS), each is different and has different spices. Each Bunny Traditional Chow is served in a fresh roll from the market and a extra spicy carrot salad.

With the location having hardly the space to fit a few workers in the kitchen, the staff at Bunny Chow makes delicious and authentic dishes. In the past month, Bunny Chow has been the entire rave, so during the lunch hour you might have a short line. Even with the busy lunch crowd, the owner and his staff are super friendly. This meal is a quick and affordable option for anyone looking for a spicy meal.

NOT KOSHER

Average Price: 30-40

Address:   Hacarmel 13

Hours: Monday-Thursday 11AM-5PM. Friday 11AM-Entrance of Shabbat