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Top 5 Vegan Restaurants in Tel Aviv

During 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. Here are my five best favorite vegan restaurants (in no particular order) in Tel Aviv:

Anastasia

Anastasia is the most well-known vegan café in Tel Aviv. Located in the heart of the city, it offers a vibrant urban atmosphere serving delicious, healthy and unusual vegan dishes.

Anastasia was the first vegan cafe in Israel. Offering coffee and smoothies made from fresh almond milk, soy milk, and rice milk, along with a wide variety of fruit shakes and vegetable juices. You have the option of replacing their delicious coffee with natural, caffeine free coffee substitutes: palm kernel powder, cocoa powder and roasted carob powder. Their full menu includes gluten-free options and raw food deserts.

Hours: Saturday- Thursday 8AM-11PM and Friday 8AM-5PM

Address: Frishman 54

Market

Located on King George Street, Market opened their doors a few years ago. 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 new to vegan selections.

Address: 31 King George Street

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

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.

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.

Address: Ben Yehuda 188

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 12PM-11PM and Friday 12PM-4PM

Nanuchka

Nanuchka Bar & Restaurant is a lively and colorful Georgian cuisine establishment with a magical atmosphere. The second you walk in you feel you came to the right place – with their welcoming attitude with a mix of tasty vegan food. Their décor brings you back to the time of the Russian Revolution.

Nanuchka is located in a beautiful building from the 1930s located on Lilinblum street in the center of Tel Aviv.  On the first floor you can enjoy the colorful and elegant restaurant, which leads to an enchanting courtyard. The second floor has a bar with over 1,500 books with a counter overlooking the action in the lower bar. At Nanuchka, the Georgian kitchen offers authentic Georgian dishes with local raw ingredients.

Address:  Lilienblum 30

Hours: Everyday 12PM-5AM

Meshek Barzilay

Meshek  Barzily joined the Tel Aviv vegan community, relocating from Moshav Yarkona to the lovely Neve Tzedek neighborhood. They specialize in providing vegan friendly, healthy dishes. Fresh vegan breads and cakes are made daily which are highly recommended.

Meshek  Barzily cooks with fresh, seasonal and organic fruits and vegetables. The majority of dishes offer a grain of choice; quinoa, brown rice, millet, bulgur, or couscous. If you are looking for a cozy brunch or dinner ,Meshek Barzily is a great option. I recommend you reserve ahead of time and sit in the courtyard section.

Address: Ahad Haam 6

Hours: Monday- Saturday 8AM- 11PM andSunday 8AM-4PM

Top 5 Burgers in Tel Aviv

In the past few years, Tel Aviv has become a mecca for lovers of fine food. People used to argue about who has the best hummus, but now, all the rage is who has the best burgers in town.  My list of the best burgers in town are listed below. The majority of the places are not cheap, but they are worth the extra cost. Each has made the list for a  specific reason.

The Best – Vitrina

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

Vitrina, which opened two years ago, has done the sausage a great service by restoring it’s lost honor and elevating it to gourmet status. Not many loyal customers are aware that Vitrina was originally meant to be a hamburger place. After months of urging by the owners father, who noticed that there were 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 of 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 a 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.

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.

Average price per person: 40 NIS-60 NIS

NOT KOSHER

Address: 54 Ibn Gabirol Street

Hours: Sunday- Thursday 12:30PM-12AM

The New Comer- Gourmet 26 Burger

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Gourmet 26 Burger is located in the upcoming trendy street of Mikveh Israel which is just west of Rothschild Street. Gourmet 26  Burger opened their doors almost over a year ago and recently has joined the best burger in Tel Aviv competition. The restaurant was opened by two new French immigrants from the south of France and they bring the famous French “blend” to the hamburgers here in Tel Aviv. The restaurants has a few chairs and tables outside, but inside, if you sit by the bar, there is a great view of the kitchen where you can see the cooks make their masterpieces up close. While indulging in your juicy hamburger, you will be listening to new music from artists which gives this place the perfect ambiance.

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Unlike other Tel Aviv hamburger locations, Gourmet 26 doesn’t offer too many different types of hamburger for you to choose from. They offer three regular weekly burgers and one vegetarian burger. Forget all the other French style culinary burger options that came with the recent wave of French immigrants that caused the Tel Aviv beach area to be flooded with overpriced kosher food options. This is not the story here; each burger here is more sinful than the next. The meat is prepared on location, the fresh and tasty cheeses are imported from France, and all the sweet brioche buns are baked in a local pastry shop each morning. Their “Classic” burger is the standard option which is a classic beef burger with melted emmental cheese, bacon and fried onions. Alongside the “Classic” (NIS 55) you have the side dish option of fries or a small salad. In addition, one has the option of deciding between different sauces, including  blue cheese or Swiss raclette cheese. Even the vegetarian option, mozzarella cheese steak grilled with sundried tomatoes and pesto can also tickle the taste buds of a devoted carnivore. It hard to recommend any specific burger here but trust me any choice you make you won’t regret.

Average price per person: 50-70NIS

NOT KOSHER

Address: Mikveh Israel St 26

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11:30AM-12AM, Friday 11:30AM- 6PM and Saturday 11:30AM-12AM

The Best Deal- The Diner

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The Diner, by Goocha, is located in the southern section of the food friendly street of Ibn Gabirol. The Diner is an American retro style diner that serves hamburgers, steaks, fish, sea food, desserts and alcohol. The prices on the menu are not the cheapest, but if you come between 16:00-19:00, prices are 33% off. By far, they offer the best burger deal in the city. From Sunday to Thursday, they offer all day 1+1 for their delicious and juicy hamburgers. Unlike other places around Tel Aviv that offer 1+1 deals, The Diner hamburgers are still some of the best burgers you will find in town. The restaurant has the feel of an American diner with a very helpful staff and full bar of tasty cocktails and many draft beers.

The Diner offers ten different kinds of hamburgers to choose from. Like most gourmet hamburger locations around the city,  their hamburgers are not kosher friendly. Each burger is made with fresh beef prepared on location and served with a fresh bun and different vegetables of choice. The only question you need to ask yourself which two delicious burgers I want to order. Some of the best burgers are the “Lots of Onions Burger”  which is a delicious burger served with fried onions and chili, and the “Brisket Burger” which is smoked brisket with a fried egg. Honestly you can’t go wrong with any of the burgers available at the Diner..

Average price per person: 60-100 NIS

NOT KOSHER

Address: Ibn Gabirol 14

Hours: Sunday-Wednesday 12:00 PM-12:30AM, Thursday 12:00 PM-2:00AM, Friday 11AM-2AM and Saturday 11AM-12:30AM

Best Dirty Burger- Ad Haetzem Express

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Ad HeZtem Express opened their doors in 2013, and since their opening of their two branches ( Ibn Gabirol and King George) they have been a local and tourist favorite for those seeking a delicious burger. What brings people back is both the juiciness of their burgers and the atmosphere. The atmosphere is like no other, you know immediately that you came to the right place if you love burgers. The staff tends to be young and sometimes not the most helpful, but they are overall friendly and if they make mistakes you usually get rewarded with free fries.

Unlike the trendy “gourmet burgers” that have taken over Tel Aviv in recent years, they offer more of a fast food style burger at an affordable price.  They offer three sizes of burgers, each patty is 120 grams but you have the option to order from one to three patties. If you are looking for a great deal, the 120 gram burger is only 25NIS. Each juicy burger is presented on a soft bun, lettuce, tomatoes and different sauces. You can order additional toppings for a small fee.

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Ad HeZtem Express offers different meal specials as well. Each of these meals come with a side of crispy french fries, fried to perfection, and unlimited soft drinks (this is the only restaurant I found in Tel Aviv that has fountain soda). They offer the 120 gram lunch meal at the cost of 42NIS. The 240 gram burger lunch meal costs 49NIS. Last, but not least, the biggest lunch meal, the 360 gram burger, costs 57 NIS. I recommend if you are hungry to get a meal, it will satisfy.

Price: 25NIS-57NIS

NOT KOSHER

Address: Ibn Gabirol 21 and King George 77

Hours: Sunday-Saturday 12PM-4AM

Best Kosher Burger- Magic Burger

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Magic Burger is located in the heart of the city right across the street from Rabin Square on Ibn Gabirol Street. Unlike the previous entries on the list, Magic Burger is kosher. The trend in Tel Aviv is that a lot of restaurants are going kosher, but it is happening slowly.  Even with this recent trend, kosher eaters in Tel Aviv have available tasty and quality burgers. The design of  the restaurant is very straight forward – it looks like a typical burger restaurant in the U.S. Their menu includes the typical options such as hamburgers, lamb burgers and chicken sandwiches.

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Similar to most burger restaurants found in and  around the city, Magic Burger offer theirs burgers in the size of 200 grams (you can stack them together if you are in the mood for a larger burger). Each burger is served on a fresh hamburger bun with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and a side of potato slices. Their burgers are cooked to perfection which will bring you back for more. They offer different deals when you order a meal (which can be a bit spendy), but otherwise their burgers are very affordable. Unlike other Tel Aviv burger location, Magic Burger provides you the simple kosher burger experience you grew up on.

Price per person:30-50NIS

KOSHER

Address: IBN Gabirol 64

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 12PM-3AM, Saturday 8:30PM-3AM

Top 5 Happy Hours in Tel Aviv

Until recently, most Tel Aviv bars happy hour specials were rare. Unlike the U.S. business culture, where after work you grab some drinks and food, in Tel Aviv, people head home and then have drinks after dinner. However, recently, the happy hour scene has erupted in Tel Aviv. I will be highlighting my top 5 best Happy Hours in the White City.

Louis- Malkhei Yisra’el Street 4

My favorite of Tel Aviv’s happy hours bar is Louis Bar, which is located in the heart of Tel Aviv, right across Rabin Square. In Tel Aviv, where you have so many different options where to start your night of drinking, Louis has to be on top of the list. When I first started to date my girlfriend she raved about this bar next to Rabin square that her friends always met at. After a few visits I become a regular. Whenever someone asks me about a fun and well priced happy hour, Louis bar is always one of the first options.

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Like most bars that offer happy hour in Tel Aviv, Louis Bar offers great drink specials with tasty bar food. They offer a buy one get one free and 50% off of all food, and have one of the most wide-ranging beer menus in the area. Unlike most bars, their beer glasses come in a pint (410 ml) or a baby (290ml)

They also offer an excellent and varied food menu at the bar. Having tasted the majority of the items on their menu, their best bar food consists of thin pizza, hamburgers sliders and their famous sloppy Yossef (yes, they offer their Israeli version of sloppy Joe).

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Mila Bar is located in the heart of Dizengoff Street, next to the corner of Ben Gurion and Dizengoff.  In Tel Aviv, where there are so many options where to start your night of drinking, if you don’t have Mila Bar as your destination, chances are that you probably won’t end up there. Over a year ago, my friends and I were looking for an early happy hour and randomly found Mila Bar. We have been spreading the word about their happy hour specials ever since.

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Their 1+1 happy hour specials are well advertised throughout the bar. Opening in the early evening and going til 9:30 pm, their drinks are “buy one get the next one free”. They also offer happy hour food specials that are very tasty and compliment the drinks.

223-Dizengoff Street 223

223 is located in the old north section of Diznegoff street right before Nordau street. In recent years the cocktail bar trend has taken Tel Aviv by storm. 223, though it was one of Tel Aviv’s original authentic cocktail bars, still provides some of the best cocktail and mixologists in Tel Aviv. The bar design presents a 1920’s New Orleans bar feel and their staff is dressed for the part making 223 one of the more interesting choices on this list.

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223’s happy hour special is 1+1 on all cocktails and beers from 6PM until 8PM. If you get to the bar early enough I recommend taking an outside table which will present a great people watching experience on the exciting street of Dizengoff.

Café Nona- Ibn Gabirol 44

While walking down the busy street of Ibn Gabirol, there are so many different bars to choose from. One may ask what makes this bar bette  than the other one a half block away?. Unlike most Bars around Tel Aviv, Café Nona presents a unique concept with their discounted drink specials.

345433-5Café Nona is situated a little south of Rabin Square and is well known for its drinks specials until 2am. Indeed, Café Nona is open 24 hours a day; but I am highlighting their alcohol specials. Unlike most bars in Tel Aviv that might offer a few hours of discounted drinks in their happy hour special, Café Nona, from Sunday through Thursday until 2 am, their entire bar is 50% off. The bar has different types of draft beer cocktails and they staff will gladly make any kind of drink you might want. The bar staff is very friendly which usually comes with free shots of Whisky, Arak or Vodka. They have a in-depth food menu as well which is well priced.

Shem Tov- Masaryk 14

Shem Tov is located a half block away from Rabin Square on Masaryk. This quiet bar has been a nice quiet secret for the locals who are trying to take advantage of the early evening happy hour specials. Shem Tov is a friendly and quiet bar that is a perfect place for friends to grab some drinks and not worry about getting a table.

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The owners of the bar know their clients very well, as they offer their happy hour special as early as 6PM until 8PM throughout the week. Their Happy hour specials include 50% off all drinks and food on their entire menu. So of their great deals include a half liter of beer for 15NIS, a glass of Glenmorangie single malt whisky for 30NIS and sirloin Carpaccio for 19NIS.