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
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.
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
Address: 54 Ibn Gabirol Street
Hours: Sunday- Thursday 12:30PM-12AM
The New Comer- Gourmet 26 Burger
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
Address: Ibn Gabirol 21 and King George 77
Hours: Sunday-Saturday 12PM-4AM
Best Kosher Burger- Magic Burger
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.
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
Address: IBN Gabirol 64
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 12PM-3AM, Saturday 8:30PM-3AM