Hit the streets to find great food in Tel Aviv

On the sidewalks of Tel Aviv, two wonderful places to eat.

 Albi (photo credit: GIL AVIRAM)
(photo credit: GIL AVIRAM)

Driving through the streets of Tel Aviv one might think that corona was never here – the sidewalks are filled with people dining and having fun at all hours of the day and night, much like you’d expect to see in other Mediterranean cities such as Athens and Barcelona.

We took advantage of the good weather and visited two spots that offer great food and a lot of fun – Dizengoff Street at the heart of the city and Jaffa’s flea market.

Ralia – a new place offers the best people-watching spot in Tel Aviv

Located very close to Dizengoff Square, which since its renovation reclaimed its place as a popular meeting place for locals, the new Ralia restaurant offers home cooked-style food for lunch and tasteful dishes and cocktails after sundown.

Chef Oded Estrogano, who was a chef in some of Eilat’s best hotels, seems to enjoy cooking in the center of Tel Aviv these days, offering his clientele new takes on old favorites.

We got there in the early hours of the evening and found ourselves the perfect spot for people watching. At almost every hour of the day this part of the street is filled with people and when we were there it was no different. We were offered a couple of cocktails from the bar and really enjoyed sipping them while looking at the passersby.

 Ralia (credit: Reut Guetta) Ralia (credit: Reut Guetta)

While the lunch menu offers such dishes as veal and lamb doner kebabs with pistachio, minute steak, as well as home-cooked stews to eat or take home, the evening menu, which we sampled and enjoyed very much, consists of smaller bar-style dishes as well as main dishes.

We loved the Arais “candy” – pastry filled with ground meat, brioche bread, fresh salads and more Arabic dishes such as Lahmajun, a flatbread topped with minced meat cooked with vegetables, asado and more. Don’t miss it next time you find yourself in the area looking for a decent kosher place. The food is great, the prices reasonable, the service warm and friendly and the human view a lot of fun.

Ralia,Kosher88 Dizengoff Street (corner of Bar Kochva)

Albi - Welcome to Athens

Albi, the happy Greek tavern located at the heart of the picturesque flea market in Jaffa, reopened with a new and exciting menu. After being closed for over a year, the beloved street tavern reopened offering new dishes and a very extensive menu.

A mild autumn evening was the perfect time to sample this new menu.

Sitting outside we enjoyed a glass of ouzo with ice while the dishes started arriving. Albi bases the dining experience on the idea of sharing, the buzz word that seems to be a must in our restaurants these days. The dishes are very generous and full of flavor and fit the idea perfectly, especially when it comes to the mazettes (starters). Albi offers a long list of those that you may find hard to choose from.

The menu is divided into three sections: mazettes, middle and main dishes. Albi offers diners who come in a group a few set options. Artemis, five mazettes to choose from an extensive selection for NIS 150 – a very good choice if you just want a drink and something on the side. The middle dishes sharing deal, aka Aphrodite, consists of three middle dishes that one can choose from another long list, and Zeus – the king of all the Greek gods is the name of the same idea offering three main dishes for NIS 205.

But of course one can just order from the menu and, as we mentioned earlier, it is very extensive. Prices for single dishes begin at NIS 31 for the salads, NIS 59–71 for the middle and main dishes and NIS 41-43 for the desserts.

To mention but a few dishes we tried: we loved the grape leaves with rice and raisins served on yogurt (NIS 37); the skordalia garlic salad; the fish kebab (NIS 68) and fish “cigar” (NIS 59) were both excellent, as was the kefalotyri cheese, a Greek cheese rolled into a filo pastry and baked before being dipped in honey and black sesame seeds (NIS 59); and the slow-cooked lamb served over Greek pita bread with tahini, tomato salsa and other sauces which was very filling.

There’s more – much more, and if you do come as a group – this will prove a great choice and guarantee a happy meal. Before you leave, do try the fun desserts such as the “hello Artik” – 3 small lemon-mint popsicles coated with white chocolate or the mascarpone cream with toasted pine nuts and ice cream. Yasso! On Mondays they promise to have live music from 8 p.m.

AlbiNot kosher6 Oley Zion street, Flea market, JaffaCall for reservation 077-4417072

The writer was a guest of the restaurants