Top 5: Ultimate Tel Aviv dining experiences

Taste TLV's Judith Goldstein lists the restaurants and cafes that define a city "unlike any other."

Brasserie 370 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Brasserie 370
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The following list was inspired by a friend who was recently moving out of the country and mentioned that she just wanted a very “Tel Aviv” experience before she headed back to the US. It got me thinking about which restaurants in the city off the ultimate Tel Aviv experience.
Tel Aviv is truly unlike any other city in the world. It must be one of the only urban centers on the planet where it’s relatively safe for a woman to walk at night alone or for dogs to dine alongside residents at most restaurants, cafes or bars. It’s the city that is defined by its youthful spirit and sultry movements. In honor of Tel Aviv’s uniqueness, these are my personal picks of the top five restaurants that capture the different characteristics of this city best.
Situated in the heart of Tel Aviv, assuming the busy corner of Ivn Gvirol and David Hameleh on Rabin Square, I can’t think of a restaurant that epitomizes Tel Aviv better than the Brasserie.
With its infusion of urban sophistication and upbeat vibe, just like the city in inhabits, the Brasserie is a restaurant that never sleeps.
Open 24 hours, seven days a week, the French inspired menu aims to please just about any palate. The diners are just as diverse as the city itself; young and old, classy and grungy, singles and couples.
There is simply not a time of day where this Tel Aviv fixture is not buzzing with the exciting rhythm of the city.
Ivn Gvirol 70  (03) 696-0111Not kosher
If I could choose two words to describe Tel Aviv, they would be “fun” and “sensual.” And nothing embraces the “sexiness” of the city quite like Mizlala.
Enticing, thrilling, sensual and fun, Mizlala is like the women that stands out in the middle of the party - she’s beautiful and intriguing but she’s certainly playful and free spirited. The menu is an agglomeration of chef Adoni’s wild imagination and dishes can range anywhere from fresh oysters to Moroccan lamb stuffed calamari.
Nachalat Binyamin 57(03) 566-5505Not kosher
Gadera 26
Nestled in one of the oldest and most eclectic neighborhoods in Tel Aviv, Gedera 26 at the foot of The Yemenite Quarter offers an experience that’s authentic, yet modern.
The furniture is made out of recycled window panes from around the country and the walls are adorned with old portraits of Chef Kronberg’s half Israeli-half Swedish family.
The cuisine embraces tenements from both cultures and infuses techniques and flavors from several regions effortlessly.
Gedera 26 allows the diner to embrace the eclectic scenery of the Yemenite Quarter, while savoring modern Israeli dishes.
Gadera 26 (03) 510-0164Not kosher
Cafe Kasbah
Nestled in the youthful neighborhood of Florentin, Cafe Kasbah serves as regular fixture whether guests experience it as a cafe, restaurant or late night bar.
Cafe Kasbah offers a typical scene unique to Tel Aviv, whether it be the diners dogs that saunter between the main dining room and the patio, a group of young artists smoking cigarettes and sitting over strong cappuccinos, or diners relishing in a meal of cous cous and seasonal vegetables.
Florentine 3(03) 518-2144Not kosher
Abu Hassan
Touted as “the best hummus restaurant in Israel,” a stop in Tel Aviv would not be complete without a visit to Abu Hassan. Abu Hassan is more than a hummus restaurant; it serves as a pride and joy of the city and provides residents with bragging rights.
Abu Hassan proudly opened in 1966 when a local family wanted to share their hummus recipe, which remains to this day a secret to diners. The recipe, that was passed down the generations, creates the most balanced, tasty and perfectly textured hummus in the city.
Dolphin St. 1, Jaffa(03) 682-0387Not kosher
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