Top 5 Sangria Spots in Tel Aviv

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

Sangria - 311 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Sangria - 311
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Alexis Rachel Domb is a restaurant review writer and social media coordinator for TasteTLV. TasteTLV is the ultimate culinary guide for dining in Tel Aviv.
Sangria, with its exotic Spanish roots, has become a drink that sabras and travelers alike have come to appreciate. Even as winter approaches, cafés and restaurants continue to serve this refreshing wine-based cocktail commonly associated with summer. After all, the Israeli climate allows us the luxury of basking in the bliss of the sunshine all year long.  
As a hallmark of our homeland’s agricultural richness, fresh fruit truly shines in sangria. Cabernet-soaked green apples and Merlot-infused pears seduce the palate. Hints of cinnamon enhance an ordinary glass of sangria and transform it into an expression of spice and sass. Typically, the key ingredients in sangria include wine, fruit, brandy, and spices. Symbolically, sangria represents Israel’s proud connection to the land and lust for life. Fun-loving yet refined, sangria instantly livens up any social event from an evening soiree or Shabbat celebration to a lazy afternoon.
L’chaim and salud from Taste TLV!
1. Tapeo
Delicious tapas at TapeoDelicious tapas at Tapeo
Ha’arbaa 16Phone: (03) 6240484Sun-Sat 18:00-last customer
Low lights, mosaic pillars, glistening candles, and Gaudi-inspired décor make Tapeo one of Tel Aviv’s quintessential places to indulge in sangria.  Bursting with life, this tapas-bar typifies Spanish dining culture. With a classic ruby red sangria recipe, Tapeo embraces the simplicity of traditional sangria. 
The knowledgeable bartenders at Tapeo use high-quality, dry wine with firm tannins, which makes this sangria stand out. This particular recipe also boasts some very sweet notes with its juicy pieces of freshly diced fruit.  At the bottom of each glass, the wine-soaked fruit forms a fruit compote. At Tapeo, one large pitcher serves eight people.
Following the casual yet festive nature of a traditional tapas meal, the kitchen offers tapas-style food to pair with simple yet tantalizing sangria. Chef Avivit designs the menu with European sophistication in mind.  He packs small dishes with explosive flavors, so guests can savor each and every bite. The design, the food and the music create an ambiance that instantly transports one to Europe.  Both the atmosphere and the tapas dishes capture the Spanish affinity for colorful art, making this a culinary experience which is pleasing to taste buds and eyes alike.
Chef Avivit divides the menu into the following themes, so guests can enjoy a diverse array of foods: seafood, vegetable dishes, meat, paella, and ceviche. We recommend pairing your sangria with some of the following flavorful dishes: calamari with black bean stew, fresh tuna ceviche with avocado and grapefruit, stuffed mushrooms with tehina, and black pepper-encrusted carne.  We loved the famous homemade bread served with sweet chili oil, buttery tomato spread, and coriander-infused guacamole. 
Tapeo vibrantly captures the historical roots of this ode to vino.  As guests slowly enjoy their sangria, they may even imagine themselves submerged in the surroundings of Madrid’s Moorish-style architecture or in one of Barcelona’s laid-back tapas-bars by Mediterranean shores.
Pairs well with: The coquille saint-jacques wrapped in baconVibe: Spanish tapas bar, ceviche bar
2. 223
Mouthwatering stuffed mushrooms at 223Mouthwatering stuffed mushrooms at 223
Dizengoff 223(03) 5446537Sun-Sat 19:00-24:00Fri 20:00-24:00
Get ready to be dazzled with 223’s white sangria—dessert in a glass that will leave you feeling nice and bubbly.  Cinnamon-soaked pears and sparkling Cava are the highlights of this delicious creation.  Served in a swanky martini glass with a curvy body, this sexy drink is perfect for any girls’ night out, romantic evening, or a fun night out with friends.
Each sip has a unique flavor due to the layering of ingredients.  For instance, one sip may emphasize the quality of the white wine while another may be reminiscent of a pear crisp dessert topped with vanilla ice cream melting into the crispy crust.
223 makes you think of 1920s America with the understated glamour of Great Gatsby. Bartenders don black suspenders and Fedora hats. Tel Aviv locals and international travelers gather here to watch the talented bartenders craft handmade cocktails. Guests mingle downstairs with urban, upbeat music or head upstairs for a cozier place to sip a flavor-packed drink from the specialty cocktail menu.
The sangria is a glimmering example of 223’s dedication to well-balanced, innovative, and delicious cocktails. 223’s white sangria has acquired quite the reputation in Tel Aviv, so yalla, go make a toast with this celebratory cocktail!
Pairs well with: Stuffed Mushrooms or Patatas BravasVibe: Trendy, themed bar
3. Café Xoho 18 Mapu (near the corner of Mapu and Ben Yehuda)Phone: 0722495497Sun-Wed: 8:00-22:00Thurs: 8:00-24:00Fri: 8:00-16:00
At Café Xoho, one feels at home and unwinds in the eclectic microcosm of graffiti-style wall art, sculptures exploding with color, and whimsical paintings of people and places. Here, the sangria is just as spicy as the diverse local artwork on the walls. Ethnographic photos of Indian women, cartoon-esque murals, and vibrant collages add color, imagination, and energy to the place. This place is a haven to both olim chadashim and Tel Aviv locals.
In addition to sangria, they also serve a hot apple cider with wine. The beauty of Café Xoho’s red sangria is that the recipe is never the same. While the sangria varies from night to night, this red sangria maintains its spunk with the signature ingredients such as red wine (usually Merlot), white rum, black rum, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and spiced seasonal fruit, such as peaches, oranges, and apples. Café Xoho adds a uniquely zesty and citrus twist to its sangria with a splash of freshly squeezed orange juice.
Located at the cozy corner of Ben Yehuda and Mapu Streets, this gem of a café-bar has it all: fabulous sangria, market-fresh ingredients, creative recipes, Wi-Fi, super-friendly staff, daily specials, and an international crowd.  Just like sangria, Café Xoho's ambiance has a dash of kharif (spice)!
Pairs well with: The newest addition to the snack menu—bruschetta topped with goat cheese, homemade sweet onion jam, and toasted walnutsVibe: Artsy, edgy café-bar
4. HaMaoz
King George 32
Phone: (03) 6209458
Sat-Thurs: 18:00-last customer
Fri: 14:00-last customer
Simply a ray of sunshine in a glass, HaMaoz’s white sangria is perfect for a night filled with laughter, memories, and juicy fruit. While this friendly neighborhood bar offers both white and red sangria, we especially love the white sangria.  Overflowing with pears, green apples, citrus, and spices, this sangria is available by glass or the pitcher. Do not underestimate this sangria however. It definitely packs a punch!
The secret to this sangria remains a mystery. The manager did admit, however, that Triple Sec, brandy, and an array of spices are used.
Hamaoz’s atmosphere explodes with personality and adds even more to the sangria experience. Here, everyone feels at home while they chat on comfortable couches near the pool table or schmooze with the bartenders mixing cocktails in the makeshift kitchen. The hallway walls are lined with family photographs adding something very homely to the place.
Pairs well with: The Famous Toast with melted goat cheese, pesto, and tomato
Vibe: Lively neighborhood bar
Lilush Panini
Frishman 73
Phone: (03) 5291852
Mon-Thurs & Sat 8:00-24:00
Fri: 8:00-17:00
Sun: closed
Combining scrumptious food with a whimsical atmosphere, Lilush Panini offers Tel Aviv café-goers a dining experience with a personal touch.  Tables for two can be found on the front patio, where guests can enjoy the luxurious breeze and the Mediterranean sunshine.
Located on a tranquil block of Frishman, Lilush Panini breathes fresh air into the local café culture with Moroccan-French style food.  The menu’s main attraction is its extensive list of Panini creations, yet the beverage menu is just as impressive.
The friendly staff at Lilush keep quiet about their sangria recipe but admit that all the usual suspects such as red wine, brandy, orange juice, and fresh fruits are added. The crimson sangria tickles the palate with strong yet crisp flavors that leave you feeling refreshed. The brandy gives depth to this concoction while the citrus fruits add a spritz of acidity. Lilush’s sangria does not overwhelm the palate with sugary sweetness while the touch of alcohol gives this drink an extra dose of delight.  At only NIS 18, this sangria is reasonably priced for such a magical cocktail. This relaxed bistro’s menu also includes pastas, healthy salads, heartwarming soups and more.
The ingredients of each Panini reflect Lilush’s flair for culinary creativity. There is the “Barzi” Panini, for example, with creamy brie cheese, acidic tomatoes, tangy arugula, and a drizzle of sensual truffle oil nestled between two pieces of perfectly pressed Italian bread. Her other masterpiece is the “Mancini” Panini which combines smoked goose, goat cheese, honey, pears, and arugula. Lilush pays homage to her New York roots with dishes like “Morning in Manhattan,” a twist on traditional Eggs Benedict with slices of smoked salmon, dollops of yogurt sauce, and sprinkles of fresh herbs.  
Six years ago, Liat Balilety opened Lilush Panini inspired by her childhood nickname, Lilush. Equipped with years of culinary experience in New York, she aspired to infuse her dishes with Italian flavors and Moroccan spices. Lilush caters to students, new immigrants, families, and locals looking for a carefree ambiance and food made with love.
Pairs well with: Mushroom Risotto 
Vibe: Friendly, intimate open-air café
Alexis earned her Bachelor's Degree in Global Studies at the University of California--Los Angeles. Her inspiration to explore culture through food stems from her love of her grandmother's Moroccan cuisine.