A taste of your favorite restaurant, at home

Enjoy flaky croissants, crispy baguettes, sandwiches and of-the-moment cauliflower rice

Festive challah (photo credit: DANIEL LAYLA)
Festive challah
(photo credit: DANIEL LAYLA)
No, no we’re not talking about Wolt and the other apps and services making takeout and delivery easier than ever; we’re talking about the marked rise in restaurants creating breads, pastries and ready-to-eat grub specifically meant for customers wishing to enjoy a taste of their favorite eateries at home or at work. From Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, a growing number of box-size boulangeries and deli-style counters are attached to restaurants. This means that busy Israelis can dine-in and then load their bag with food for later, or simply swing by for their favorite bites to-go. Better yet, in many cases the food offerings go well beyond the basics like fresh-from-the-oven loaves by including refrigerator staples like cheese, cold cuts, and produce. 

From classics that have been around for decades to just-opened newbies, here’s a look at the standout spots. 
Brasserie and Bakery

Inspired by New York City’s Baltazar and its neighboring Balthazar Bakery, Brasserie and its neighboring Bakery have become iconic markers of quality since their inception. In fact, Bakery now has offshoots throughout the city, all of which, rain or shine, are perpetually packed. You can expect everything from muffins (their blueberry and halva ones are pure bliss), croissants, various babka and cakes, along with savory options like lentil and quinoa salads, pasta Bolognese, meatballs, pizza, burekas, sandwiches, lasagnas, quiches as well as refrigerator staples like cheese, smoked salmon, hummus, and olives. 

Brasserie, 70 Shlomo Ibn Gabirol St., Tel Aviv, (03) 696-7111, brasserie.co.il; Bakery, 72 Shlomo Ibn Gabirol St., Tel Aviv, (03) 696-1050, bakerytlv.co.il. Not kosher. 
Lehamim Café 

True to its name, Lehamim is carb heaven. Their truly exceptional babka, breads, pastries and cookies are worth every last calorie-dense bite. Given their amazing breads, especially their challot, it should come as no surprise that they also make top-notch sandwiches. You can get all of that and more (think salads, quiches, etc.) at both their bakery and their sprawling adjoining café. Insider tip: Go to the café on Friday for brunch when they serve hot dishes, including eggs, and then stock up on sweet and savory bites at their bakery where discounts are offered shortly before closing. 

103 Hahashmonaim St., Tel Aviv, (03) 561-8111, lehamim.co.il. Kosher.

Dallal Restaurant, Café Dallal and Dallal Bakery  

Dallal restaurant in Neve Tzedek is a long-standing and beloved classic. What you might not know, however, is that just a stone’s throw away from their main restaurant they have a wonderful bakery that churns out some of the city’s best cookies, cakes, and breads along with small savory bites like burekas. Even fewer people realize that Dallal now also has both a restaurant and to-go section in Tel Aviv’s Old North with fresh salads and sweets. It’s a hidden treasure where, despite a no-reservation policy, you can usually get seated quickly. Note that they only have outdoor seating in the Old North location. 

Dallal Restaurant, 10 Shabazi St., Tel Aviv, (03) 510-9292; Dallal Bakery, 7 Kol Israel Haverim St., Tel Aviv, (03) 510-9292; Café Dallal, 108 Jabotinsky St., Tel Aviv, (03) 696-0011, dallal.co.il. Not kosher. 
Meshek Barzilay and The Delicatessen 

Don’t be fooled into thinking everything at Meshek Barzilay is healthy just because it’s organic and vegetarian. There’s plenty of sugar and simple carbs to be had at both their restaurant and deli, which is why you see all kinds of people lining up for Meshek’s take on shawarma, lasagna and other popular dishes. The deli – modeled after Whole Foods (though it’s about 1/1000 in size!) – is particularly popular for its lunch specials where you can get boxes of varying sizes filled with dishes like Moroccan “fish” (tofu and seaweed “meatballs” in spicy hummus and tomato sauce), spinach lasagna (noodles, spinach and cashew cheese in an almond béchamel sauce), and “sinya” (cauliflower, white and purple cabbage, and onions baked in the oven with tahina and pine nuts), among other salads, stews, casseroles and quiches prepared daily. Their to-go area also stocks organic produce, cakes, sweets, spreads and wine. 

6 Ahad Ha’Am St., Tel Aviv, (03) 516-6329, meshekbarzilay.co.il. The restaurant is not kosher, but The Delicatessen is kosher. 
Gourmandises by Yoël

One of the things that has really helped Israel in the last decade to step up its game as far as pastries go, is the influx of French people making aliyah. Lucky for us, a growing number of these people are opening shops; among the most notable is Gourmandises, which was started by a husband and wife duo who came to Israel six years ago hoping to “bring a little bit of Paris to Jerusalem.” They’ve done just that with their restaurant and bakery where the menu includes sandwiches, pasta, crêpes, and of course delicate cakes and flaky pastries. Everything is handmade fresh daily and they’ve become popular not only for eat-in and takeaway, but locally for catering as well. 

10 Yoel Moshe Salomon St., Jerusalem, (02) 566-7222, facebook.com/gourmandisesbyyoel. Kosher.
Ben Ami 

After loading your stomach with classics like shakshuka, matza brei, salade niçoise, or a popular gravlax platter, checkout Ben Ami’s takeaway area where they have seemingly endless cake options – both of the simple, dry variety (think sponge cake-type options) as well as more elaborate mousse-based ones that are kept refrigerated. Ben Ami also has ready-to-gift cookie options and gift-able packs of coffee.

38 Emek Refaim St., Jerusalem, (02) 651-0070, 
facebook.com/benamijlm. Kosher.
Kadosh Café Patisserie 

Everyone knows and loves Kadosh, and for good reason. Everything is made in-house at the charming café and patisserie that’s popular for seated service as well as for takeaway desserts. The quaint eatery has been around for decades and remains family-run with standouts in both the sweet and the savory arena – think smoked fish, quiches, lasagna, egg dishes as well as éclairs, mousses, and tarts.  

6 Shlomzion Hamalka St., Jerusalem, (02) 625-4210, facebook.com/474521079322234. Kosher. 

Deli Garden

This beautiful new space faces the nursery next to the Botanical Gardens, meaning you get stunning views as you enjoy their small, but thoughtfully curated menu that includes focaccia, smoked salmon, fruit shakes, and trays with salads, cheeses and fresh bread. As much of a draw is their selection of take-home options which include pastas, spices, dressings, sauces, wine, fresh cheeses, produces and so much more. Think of this space as a curated gourmet supermarket to fulfill epicurean dreams. 

1 Yehuda Borla St., Jerusalem, (02) 676-7670, 
facebook.com/Deli-Garden-118174796234010. Kosher.  
Delicatessen 79/81

Delicatessen is the Tel Aviv version of Deli Garden (minus the picturesque flowery views). It features a wonderful second-floor restaurant with arguably Israel’s best weekend bread basket (it often includes miniature muffins and slices of cake), an expertly trained staff, consistently great food at fair prices and the smoothest coffee you could hope for. Downstairs you’ll find everything from cheeses, cold cuts and olives, to dozens upon dozens of pre-made food options ranging from kreplach and gefilte fish, to cauliflower rice and schnitzel. They also sell flowers, wine, sweets and home goods. 

79/81 Yehuda Halevi St., Tel Aviv, (03) 968-1010, 
delitlv.co.il. Not Kosher. 
Nordoy and Nordinyo 

One of Tel Aviv’s more recent hot-spot restaurants, Nordoy, now also has its own neighboring café/bakery, Nordinyo. This is certainly not the place to go if you’re on a diet, but when you find yourself in the mood for a supersized baguette sandwich or gourmet takes on American classics like rainbow cookies and cinnamon rolls, head to Nordinyo. As for the restaurant, it’s located on the ground floor of the Nordoy Hotel and features an ambitious menu of newfangled takes on classic dishes – think scallop burger or burrata with red pepper jam and pistachios. Meals kick off with fresh-from-the-oven bread, which, coupled with their delightful desserts, will no doubt inspire a trip to the adjacent bake shop. 

Nordoy, 27 Nahalat Binyamin St., Tel Aviv, 072-272-7279; Nordinyo, 22 Nahalat Binyamin St., nordoy.co.il. Not kosher.

Cafe Trumpeldor

This is the kind of café you’ll want to linger at all day. It’s quiet and cozy and the service is friendly (though the staff isn’t particularly well trained on the menu). Trumpeldor has a breakfast as well as a lunch menu that’s tightly edited, but stellar – think house granola, egg salad toast, lentil stew or kale and quinoa salad. They also have takeaway mini sandwiches, brioche, and a selection of baked-fresh-daily pastries, cakes, and cookies. The one downside? Be prepared for relatively high prices and small portions. 

4 Trumpeldor St., Tel Aviv, (03) 540-6680. Not kosher.