Tag Archives: Ibn Gabirol Street

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

 

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

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!

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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

 

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

Falafel Avi- Not Your Typical Falafel Stand

Three of Israel’s best known streets foods are hummus, falafel and shakshuka. Scattered throughout Tel Aviv there are many places that offer you each of these. Falafel Avi, unlike other places around Tel Aviv, offers all three in one dish.

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Falafel Avi is located in the food trendy street corner of Ibn Gabirol and Jabotinsky. As you approach this small falafel stand, it will be obvious how this falafel stand is different from the other falafel stands in the city. As you enter the stand you will be overwhelmed with the smells of homemade shakshuka which they make fresh for each order. They offer one of the best shakshuka-hummus dishes in all of Tel Aviv. Each customer receives personal attention from the staff, always smiling and charming while ordering.

I recommend ordering their most popular dish – the hummus-shakshuka (25NIS). This combination dish in other places is known as Chamushka, At Avi’s, it is made to perfection.  This dish starts with fresh and delicious fresh hummus. Along with the delicious chickpeas is one of best shakshuka dishes you will find in the city. Avi’s shakshuka is made with fresh tomatoes which are cooked over time to perfection with the freshest spices that make this dish the best in the city. Once you take your first swipe with the pita bread, you will feel like you’re in hummus and shakshuka heaven.

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For those not in the mood for shakshuka, they offer a different option (but I still recommend ordering their shakshuka dish). For the same price, they offer their fresh and crunchy falafel balls over hummus (25 NIS).

Price: 25 NIS

KOSHER

Address: Ibn Gabirol 123

Sabich Complete – Not the Typical Sabich Restaurant

In the past few years in Tel Aviv, many “home style” restaurants have closed their doors and have been replaced with more trendy, upscale eateries. Sabich Complete is one of the best and most affordable home cooking restaurants in Tel Aviv.

completeSabich Complete is located on Ibn Gabriol street a bit north of Rabin Square. Even though the restaurant is tiny in space, they provide a wide range of food for every taste. The essence of their offering is the common Israeli dishes, with most dishes served either on a plate or in a pita. Despite their name, the best food they offer is not necessarily the sabich, but their “home style” food.

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I recommend ordering the meatballs and rice dish (NIS 30 ). This is the perfect dish if someone is missing their mother’s home cooking. This dish has two oversized meatballs, a juicy mixture of beef and turkey with tomato sauce, delicately resting on a bed of white rice. To complement the meatballs they provide fresh hummus, vegetable salad, tahini and their famous hot sauce. They also offer one of the best homemade schnitzel in the city. If you are lucky to go there on a Monday or Thursday, they offer their delicious cholent. The owner’s wife makes her own delicious kubbe which should not be missed.

Price: 30NIS

Kosher

Address: Ibn Gabirol 99

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 10AM- 6:30PM, Friday 10AM-5PM

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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

Vitrina

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Not just a sausage place, now one of the best burgers in town

For years, different websites have argued which is the best burger in Tel Aviv. Vitrina has recently joined the competition. It might not be number one but it’s definitely in the conversation. Vitrina is one of the best gourmet burgers at a great price in Tel Aviv.

Vitrina, which opened a year and a half ago, has done the sausage a great service by restoring it’s lost honor and elevating it to gourmet status. Not many loyal customers know Vitrina was originally meant to be a hamburger place. After months of urging by the owners father, who noticed that there was way too many hamburger places in Tel Aviv, owner Nati Menashe  finally listened to his father and devoted the restaurant and bar to sausages. Menashe has always honored his original vision of Vitrina by serving hamburgers as well, even when they weren’t on the menu. After noticing the success of his hamburger, Menashe made the hamburger a mainstay on the menu.
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With the hamburger now having a spot on the menu, it is identified only by the name “Butler”. When you take a look at the Butler, it might not look like anything special, however, looks can be deceiving.  Delivered on an first-rate bun, it embraces a thick patty (220 grams) made of smoked neck meat and a bit of roast beef and black pepper. Arugula is used in the place of romaine lettuce, the pickles are homemade and the onions are cooked perfectly. People may come for the sausages, but they stay for the hamburger.

During the peak hours of lunch and dinner, Vitrina tends to have a short line, but it is worth the wait. The staff is very hip and friendly and their service is top notch. The waiting time at most will be 10 minutes but, trust me, it is worth every second for this delicious burger.

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For those who don’t love burgers, the sausages are in their own league as well. My friends tell me that Vitrina sausages are the best in the city.

What to order with your burger:   The fries are some of the best fries I have tasted. Called “50/50”, they are made with two different kinds of potatoes: half white and half sweet. Their amazing taste can be credited to the lemon zest and parsley toppings.

עמית ויהונתן ויטרינה

Average price per person:40 NIS-50 NIS

Address: 54 Ibn Gabirol Street

Hours: Sunday- Thursday 12:30PM-11:00PM, Friday 12:00PM-5:00PM

Beer Drop-CLOSED

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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.

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