Top 5: Foreign food eateries in Tel Aviv

Food enthusiasts at Taste TLV give their verdict on the best that the Tel Aviv dining scene has to offer.

July 2, 2012 12:53

Olivery. (photo credit: Karen Cohen)

Judith S. Goldstein is the Co-Founder of TasteTLV. TasteTLV is the ultimate culinary guide for dining in Tel Aviv.

One of the many great things about Israel is that it is so centralized in the world, and its food culture is easily influenced by other countries. Therefore, if you find you’ve had your fill of falafel, you can just as easily find authentic Italian, Japanese, or South American cuisine nearby. Since most Israelis have traveled across the globe and eaten worldly cuisine, they won’t stand for sub-par ethnic food. As such, the non-Israeli food you find in Israel is often some of the best dining you can ask for. Here is our list of the best global treats Tel Aviv has to offer. 

Thai House

Thai House (Thinkstock/Imagebank)

Almost every Israeli will tell you that they’ve traveled to Thailand. They go for the hiking, the people, the nightlife, and of course, the food. Fortunately for those of us who cannot make the flight, Thai House provides a little taste of Thailand. Located on the corner of Bograshov and Ben Yehuda, Thai House marks its territory in the very center of Tel Aviv, making it easy to begin your night there or grab a quick bite before heading off to the beach.

One of the many things that makes Thai House such an authentic treat is that they grow their own Thai produce. Their sweet basil, or “kapau,” is a staple in most Thai dishes. And almost all their vegetable dishes have cooked “pakana,” Chinese broccoli. For a great appetizer, try the “som tam”, papaya salad. This refreshing dish includes green papaya, cherry tomatoes, string beans, ground peanuts, garlic, and fresh lemon juice, and is welcome on any summer day.

Insider tip: For an authentic version of an overly westernized dish, ask for the “pahadthai”, pad thai. This common favorite is prepared with sautéed rice noodles, scrambled eggs, dried tofu, bean sprouts, spring onions, and ground peanuts. The aroma that releases as it’s placed in front of you, could very easily satisfy your appetite, yet with one bite, you’ll never order pad thai anywhere else, unless of course, you find yourself in Thailand.

Bograshov 8
Not kosher

Little Prague

Little Prague (Thinkstock/Imagebank)

Walking into Little Prague, you can’t help but feel you’ve left Israel behind and finally made it to Europe. With so many Israelis being of Eastern European descent, Little Prague almost feels like grandma’s kitchen, if grandma had hundreds of beers lining the walls. The restaurant is conveniently situated on Allenby, making it a great destination for the night, or just for dinner. Little Prague offers traditional Czech food and in typical Czech tradition, every meal can be paired with a fitting beer.

Traditionally, Czech food is rich and filling, making this a great experience to share with friends, dining “family style.” Try one of the “traditional Czech dishes” from the menu: “sladovnickygulas”, or brewmaster goulash. This dish includes tender beef chunks in a vegetable stew served with “spaetzle” or flour dumplings. If you find yourself uncertain of what to get, you can always ask the server for the “nabidkadne”, dish of the day.

With the delicious food, strong beer, and authentic atmosphere, step off the streets of Allenby and be transported to the charm of Prague.

Insider tip: For dessert, ask for the “palacinky”, sweet pancakes filled with vanilla cottage cheese, raisins, strawberry jam, sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with whipped cream.

Allenby 56
Not kosher


Tapeo (Yoni Cohen)

Tapeo is a Spanish and Latin-American fusion tapas restaurant-bar. It’s what you imagine every night in Latin-America looks like: vibrant decorations, a large colorful bar placed in the center of the restaurant, lively music and wait staff, and of course... exotic tapas and ceviche galore. The restaurant fills up quickly as so many people await front row seats for the music, Latin atmosphere, and the vibrant bar-tending action.

The myriad of ceviches are standouts on the menu. The fish marinates in citrus juice, thereby cooking the fish in its acidic sauce, but do not underestimate the care and passion that is put into this meal, especially at Tapeo. For small meals you can share with friends, experiment with the carpaccio de lomo, thin slivers of raw beef filet with manchego cheese and homemade chili aioli. Ceviche is just the start, there are several cooked options at Tapeo, which are equally appealing and have all the characteristics of a Latin flair.

Insider tip: Try the rock bass ceviche, a more traditional take on some of the Israeli-Latin food combinations that Tapeo has to offer, this meal is prepared with broccoli, peppers, cilantro, and a citrus juice, ideal combinations sure to set off the appetite.

Ha’Arba’a 16
Not kosher

Fu Sushi

Fu Sushi (Judith Goldstein)

Fu Sushi displays a balance of modern and zen, of preserving Japanese history while staying true to the culture and tastes of Tel Aviv, and most importantly of culinary balance. The fish at Fu is never frozen and delivered fresh daily.

Each dish is prepared by chef Leon, who was professionally trained in both Japan and Thailand and is adroit in Asian culinary technique. This technique, enhanced by an established palate, assists Leon in creating dishes which began as a marvel to the eyes and end with delight to your mouth. He displays a true understanding of the importance of textures, beauty, and flavors.

The sushi, while also inventive, manages to stay true to tradition. Exemplified in the Unagi Roll, made with cooked eel and in addition to the traditional garnishes, topped with toasted sesame seeds and lightly drizzled homemade eel sauce that is less sweet and a bit more tangy. The Crunch Roll, chef Leon’s favorite, is filled with a spicy tuna that is so fresh, the fat in the fish creates an almost creamy texture balancing the rush of spice. The roll is surrounded by panko flakes then wrapped with seaweed, covered with rice, and topped with tobiko, bursting with an unbelievable flavor that does not compromise refinement.

Insider tip: Hot off the press - Fu sushi is opening a private room for your next sushi group event. For more information join our facebook group

After his intense study of Italian cuisine in Rome, Tuscany and Sicily, Chef Rami created the kitchen at Olivery and designed the menu based on true Italian classics and dishes that represent the multifarious Italian cuisine. The pizzas are modeled after Neapolitan dough, the pastas are reminiscent of Roman classics, and rich and creamy risottos come from deep Northern Italian techniques, precisely cooking the risotto slightly al dente.

We love the mushroom pasta - Portobello, champignon, porcini, and tartufo mushrooms are blended with slightly sweet, slightly starchy homemade pappardelle and tossed with a luscious cream sauce. All the pasta at Olivery is made from scratch, therefore they never sacrifice quality. The four varieties of mushrooms play off each other to bring a well-rounded, earthy yet refined taste.

Olivery is both simple and exquisite; it feels expansive, yet intimate, and it’s very quietly dramatic. The high ceilings, beige walls, touches of olive green, and light wooden furniture provide a sense of Northern Italian countryside in a casual and welcoming atmosphere. Olivery is an ideal place to take your children and simultaneously a fitting place for a romantic date.

With a countless selection of Italian fare in the city, Olivery is truly a standout. The winning combination of a friendly, helpful and happy staff, unique, delectable dishes, and a soulful chef running the kitchen creates a pleasant environment to truly savor your meal.

Insider tip: The house-made panna cotta will allow you to dip out of the hustling city streets to Tel Aviv straight into a rural Italian farmhouse surrounded by the scenic countryside as the fresh Italian vanilla bean slides over your tongue and plunges into the heavenly abyss of your ever so satisfied stomach.

IbnGvirol 137   
Not kosher

Jessica Hochstadt is currently an intern for
Taste TLV. She was born and raised in Miami Beach, Florida, where she was lucky enough to grow up with a mixture of Brasilian, Cuban, and Jewish cuisine.

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