Tag Archives: healthy

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

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

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

Etnachta- An Affordable and Delicious Breakfast for two in Tel Aviv

The Tel Aviv brunch scene has taken the city by storm. Whether you are looking for a casual mid week meal or looking to take advantage of a relaxing weekend brunch, there are many options in the city. Unlike the majority of the brunch options in Tel Aviv which tend to be a bit overpriced for breakfast food, Etnachta offers the best deal for a breakfast for two.

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Etnachta is located on the always trendy Dizengoff Street between Ben Guiron and Arlozorov Street. They opened their doors in the late 2007 and have been a great option since their opening. What makes them different then all the other cafes in the area is that they offer amazing deals when you download their application to your smart phone. Their current deal is breakfast for two for only 69 NIS. Similar to most cafés, they offer the usual eggs of choice, coffee, different spreads, bread and cheeses. What I really enjoyed was the fresh and large salad of choice that you get with your breakfast special. By far their breakfast was the best deal I have seen in Tel Aviv for those looking for a fresh and healthy breakfast to start their day.

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Similar to majority of the cafes in Tel Aviv, they offer a variety of food options throughout the day. Their menu is highlighted with fresh salads, sandwiches, Italian food, hamburger and schnitzel. If you are lucky to be free in the early afternoon, they offer a great lunch special which entails a main entrée, cold drink, choice of salad for only the price of a main entrée. For those looking for a healthier choice, their quinoa salad (45 NIS) is one of the best in the city and I recommend putting tehina as a sauce for the salad. Their roast beef sandwich, available as part of their lunch special, is the perfect mix of being not too heavy and totally delicious. Their other lunch options are not overpriced and are all very,  so it’s hard to go wrong when deciding which to order. That being said, this review is about their breakfast. This is a truly affordable dining option in Tel Aviv. Don’t forget to download their app to receive their deals.

NOT KOSHER

Average price per person: 45NIS

Address: Dizengoff 190

Hours: Sunday-Saturday 7:30AM – Last customer

Cafe Kaymak- Unique Vegetarian Cafe in the South of Tel Aviv

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During the past few years, 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. While many cafes only offer limited vegetarian options,  Café Kayamak offers one of the best and varied vegetarian meals in Tel Aviv.

Cafe Kaymak, who opened their doors in 2009, is a vegetarian coffee shop that specializes in ethnic cooking. Recently, this small coffee shop has became a popular, trendy spot for the younger crowd in Tel Aviv. All their fresh ingredients are bought directly from the nearby shuk.

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Cafe Kaymak is famous for its breakfast dishes and its Friday mornings specials. Saturday nights the coffee shop hosts a live music show. The name of the cafe come from the word ‘Kaymak’ which is Turkish slang for the French term ‘creme de la creme’.

The Café can sit up to 30 customers at one time. The staff is very friendly but don’t expect a quick meal. Like their regular customers, the staff tends to be laid back and your order might take longer than expected.

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Though their menu changes every day, there are a few dishes that are offered daily. Some of these dishes include cooked Jerusalem artichoke casserole, different stews such as lentil stew with dried fruit, black bean stew with soy protein and roasted pumpkin. Among their most popular dishes are their Indian style dishes,  which are based on cashew cream, cream and/or peanuts. They offer healthy delicious desserts with their most famous dessert being the Carrot cake.

Recommended dishes: – Vegan bean soup served with rice and their famous hummus Abu Dhabi.

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My favorite dish: Their couscous is cooked to perfection with different fresh vegetables . You will think that you are back in Morocco eating local couscous.

Price:30NS – 40NIS

Address: Levinsky 49, Shuk Levinsky

Hours: SundayThursday 8:30AM-1:00AM, Friday 8:30AM-4:00PM and Saturday 7:30PM-11:30PM

Abba Gil- CLOSED

Aba GilIn 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 best vegan options in our beloved Tel Aviv is Abba Gil. Even if you are not into organic vegan food, visit Abba Gil and try their delicious vegan dishes. The dishes are healthy, simple, and are perfect for a balanced meal for a healthy body.

ggg-gil20124821_5265000_0.Aba Gil, which opened it’s doors in 2005, offer a tasty menu consisting of soups, salads, hummus, baked falafel with tehina, Aba Gil variety plate, steamed vegetables and brown rice, pashtida (which is a Mediterranean quiche), lunch specials and delicious desserts. All menu items are gluten-free and whole wheat pita is available upon request. They use  only fresh, whole and organic ingredients in the preparation of their dishes.

68ec313badc07b2e5cbb5ebb8b2ef4f0For appetizers, the selections are the household hummus (22 NIS) which comes with fresh whole wheat pita, tahini (16 NIS) and baked lentil falafel (16 NIS). You can order a fresh salad in different sizes, with modest but appealing extras such as lentils, sprouts, sweet potatoes and sunflower seeds (36/22 NIS), or house salads, such as beet salad and quinoa salad (20-18 /10 NIS).

Among their main dishes are a variety of  beans and vegetables,  pashtida or vegan meatballs, hummus and tahini (36 NIS). You can order brown rice and steamed vegetables with quinoa and lentils for 29 NIS. They offer pashtida vegetables and legumes for 22 NIS. For those looking for soups, bean soup and lentil soup (which are made fresh every day) are available in two different sizes (14 NIS or 24 NIS).

Aba Gil business mealOrder: I recommend ordering the dish known as Full Plate. This amazing dish includes hummus, tehina, brown rice, red lentils, cooked green peas, cooked vegetables, and vegetable quiche or vegetable patties. The entire dish is very tasty while being healthy and organic. This masterpiece will only cost you 44NIS

Average price:40 NIS

Address: 55 Yehuda Halevi

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11:00AM-5:30PM, Friday 9AM-3:30PM,