Tag Archives: vegan options

Taqueria- A Mexican Oasis in the Heart of the Desert

Nachos

With summer around the corner, beach days just beg for authentic tacos and margaritas. Tel Aviv is filled with bustling cafes, restaurants and falafel stands, but there seems to be a shortage of authentic Mexican and Asian foods. This is where Taqueria comes in; a Mexican restaurant in the heart of Tel Aviv.

You can choose to sit either outside or inside, which is an intimate space with colorful chairs that match the collage on the wall. Color is scattered artistically throughout the restaurant, highlighted with various pots of cacti and succulents. High wooden ceilings with paneling, ceiling fans and a combination of low hanging light bulbs and deck chairs (hanging over the first-floor balcony) all add to its sleek, modern-contemporary design. The specials of the day are written on a large chalkboard on the wall, take note and give them a try! The atmosphere buzzes in the evening, when it comes alive with its dimmed lighting and cool beats, a great place to sit, drink and eat with friends. We recommend giving yourself at least 20 minutes ahead of time as there is always a queue. They don’t provide the option of making reservations ahead of time, except on Fridays.

Nachos have been hard to find here in Tel Aviv. Usually, they just come as chips and salsa. Anyone from abroad will tell you that chips and salsa are surely no replacement for the wonder of real nachos; fresh melted cheese on hand-made corn tortilla chips, topped with an assortment of guacamole, sour cream, pickled jalapenos, salsa, cilantro, and green onions. Taqueria’s nachos (39 NIS) do not disappoint.

When it comes to ordering the main course, people first think about burritos and tacos, I recommend trying their quesadillas for a change.  Taqueria offers four different types of quesadillas: Classico (cheese, cilantro, spring onions and jalapenos -28 NIS), Pollo Plancha ( chipotle marinated chicken breasts, cheese, cilantro, spring onions and japenos-34 NIS), Camrones ( Adobo marinated shrimp, cheese, cilantro, spring onions and japenos-36 NIS) and the vegan quesadillas.

Despite mainly ordering burritos at Taqueria for years, after being recommended, I tried the less heavy and delicious fish or carne asada tacos. The Pescado Frito (fish) Tacos were the first to grab my attention; beer-battered cod served with fresh guacamole, salsa verde, tartare, cilantro and cabbage. Unlike other Mexican restaurants in Tel Aviv, when you order tacos at Taqueria, you can decide between either a corn or flour soft tortilla. These were perfected sprits of lime and a bit of Taqueria’s smoky salsa. The fish was delightfully moist and appetizing and the guacamole was dazzling and fresh, a creamy additional delight to the crispy fried fish.

Taqueria’s beloved burritos are served in a tightly wrapped foil and then cut in half. Prepare yourself to make a mess with the foil as there is no way to keep this neat presentation an art piece. Each burrito is generously packed with the choice of vegan option/ vegetarian option/marinated steak/ pulled roasted marinated chicken/slow cooked pork/marinated shrimp in lime and tequila, filled with rice, black beans, lettuce, Salsa Roja, cheese and sour cream. Each burrito is worth the price of 39 NIS.

Whatever dish you try, again, have it with a frozen margarita – they are strong and flavorful and incredibly refreshing. Besides the beers that they also offer, you’ll find a variety of Tequilas. Their desserts vary, but they always have the popular Churros, fried Oreos, chocolate mousse and Paleta hand-made ice-cream popsicles.

NOT KOSHER

Address: Levontin 28

Hours: Sunday-Tuesday 12PM-Midnights and Wednesday-Saturday 12PM-1AM

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

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

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

Dosa1

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.

dosa2

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

Taam Hachayim- CLOSED

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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 available in Tel Aviv, only recently are we seeing this trend at its full force. Since the Mid 1980’s, Taam Hacahyim has been one of the trend setters in the vegan café scene in Tel Aviv.

1842428-18Located on busy Ben Yehuda street right near the beach, the café is owned and managed by the Hebrew Israelite community. The restaurant is very spacious; it is divided between the restaurant itself and an intimate art gallery. They offer organic vegan food, low in sodium, which is made  fresh daily. Their extensive menu of hot dishes include such delicious options as lasagna, tofu dishes, soups, salad combinations, raw dishes, veggie burgers and sandwiches.

IMG_2939There is a set meal option which I recommend, includes a main course (choosing between vegetarian shawarma, steak vegan, tofu teriyaki and others), rice or potatoes, salad and a roll.  Try one of the pies – among my favorites are the tofu pie with is served with tomato sauce, and the spinach pie with fresh vegetables with your choice of  garlic sauce, tofu, and mustard.

They offer some  amazing vegan desserts that both healthy and delicious.  Among them are soya ice cream, chocolate cake and their tasty smoothies.

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What keeps bringing back people to this restaurant is the atmosphere. The staff is super friendly and helpful in every way possible, going out of their way to help “non-vegan” customers with their order.

The restaurant vibes works perfectly with the organic vegan food that they serve. Every Thursday night at 8PM, the restaurant host Jazz and Blues concerts.

Order: The Tofu Pie served with warm tomato sauce. This dish will have you coming back for more.

Average Price:50 NIS

Address: Ben Yehuda 43

Hours: Sunday-Wednesday 10AM-9PM. Thursday 10AM-Midnight and Friday 10AM-2PM

Kosher

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,