A brunch for every Tel Aviv bruncher

No matter your personality, we’ve got you covered with this all-encompassing list

Bellboy (photo credit: Courtesy)
Bellboy
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Tel Aviv has a bustling weekend brunch scene and we’ve eaten our way through it in pursuit of the city’s best. Best, however, can mean different things to different people, which is why this roundup is broken down by vibe.
With so many great picks, narrowing down isn’t easy; countless spots – including well known ones – have been left off because, all things considered, they’re not worth your time and money. It’s important to also bear in mind that even the city’s mediocre spots tend to fill up, so when possible, always make a reservation.
With that said, whether you take your eggs swimming in shakshuka, slathered on a bagel, or over a juicy piece of steak, here’s a look at Tel Aviv’s top picks.
1. Best for the social media obsessed: Bellboy
This one is for those who appreciate style just as much as they do substance. Like their cocktails, Bellboy’s brunch is made for Instagram – everything that hits the table will have you saying “Wow!”
The prix fixe offering (NIS 120) comes with a variety of small dishes for the table, a main course (think pumpkin pancakes layered with slices of bacon or steak-and-eggs that quite literally are flaming with fire), and a cocktail (like the Matcha Flip, a concoction that includes cognac infused with walnuts, passion fruit and matcha tea).
14 Berdyczewski St.
(03) 728-9213, bellboybar.com
Not kosher
2. Best splurge: The Norman Tel Aviv
There may be newer spots (like the wildly overpriced Golda’s in The Jaffa Hotel), but the Norman reliably comes out on top when it comes to exquisitely designed places to wow a date, your parents, or anyone else you’re looking to impress. It’s sophisticated without being stuffy, and while it’s certainly not cheap, it’s worth every penny. Their brunch/breakfast option is a NIS 135 prix fixe that includes two hot drinks, two juices, a hot dish (classics like shakshuka, eggs Benedict or French toast), as well as a breakfast buffet with dishes ranging from smoked salmon and quiche to chia pudding and exotic fruit. 
23-25 Nahmani St.
(03) 543-5555; thenorman.com
Not kosher
3. Best trendy hot spot: Café Popular
Café Popular has been a hot spot since its inception. Always packed, they have a downstairs bar/lounge known for loud music and late-night table dancing, as well as a lobby-level restaurant that recently added brunch to its offering (Café Popular is located in a hotel).
The NIS 98 prix fixe menu includes shared small plates and shared main courses for the table (you can get as many refills as you like). While most people at Café Popular are there for the scene, it’s nice to know the food also lives up to the hype.
197 Dizengoff St.
(03) 555-2020; cafepopular.co.il
Not kosher
4. Best carb fest: Lehamim HaHashmonaim
Who doesn’t know and love Lehamim? What many people don’t know, however, is that they have a sit-down location where you can have a proper brunch (though one could easily be tempted to make a meal out of their babkas, rugelach and cookies). Among the savory items in their NIS 81 prix fixe brunch are eggs, local cheeses, a variety of salted and smoked fish, and (of course) some of the best bread and sweet bites in town. Come on the later side and take advantage of their 2+2 discount on pastries before closing on Fridays.
103 HaHashmonaim St.
(03) 561-8111, lehamim.co.il
Kosher
5. Best for the indecisive: Benedict
You won’t find die-hard foodies here, but when it comes to chain spots, Benedict trumps Landwer, Aroma and the like with their reliable selection that ranges from the healthy (think classic shakshuka) to the calorically corrupt (think pancakes oozing with warm chocolate chips and maple syrup).
Their long menu, reasonable prices, and swift service make their 24/7 brunch offering perennially popular. Don’t forget to ask about their rewards card!
Multiple locations
benedict.co.il
Not kosher.

6. Best kosher Shabbat: The Setai Tel Aviv

The Setai is part of a new wave of hyper-exclusive boutique hotels in Israel and it certainly stands out from the crowd. Built on what was once a fortress and an Ottoman prison, there’s a unique authenticity to the stunning space. Like most Israeli hotels, it’s kosher, but that doesn’t mean that breakfast at the five-star resort is a throwaway on Shabbat. There are so many options in their NIS 135 prix fixe buffet that even the pickiest people will be blown away.
22 David Razi’el St.
(03) 601-6000; thesetaihotel.co.il
Kosher
There are many options offered at this exclusive botique hotel. (Courtesy)There are many options offered at this exclusive botique hotel. (Courtesy)
7. Best Japanese style: Okinawa
There’s so much more to Japanese eats than sushi, ramen and sashimi – and Okinawa proves it with their recently re-introduced brunch. The NIS 95 prix fixe comes with a wide variety of shared starters ranging from wakame seaweed salad and crispy eggrolls to tofu and salmon-based dishes. You then pick one option from a varied list of mains that fuse authentic Japanese lunch with classic breakfast staples like “Bun Benedict” (two poached eggs on crispy buns with a hollandaise sauce-shitake sauce, goose breast, and spinach).
46 Shabazi St. and 11 Levontin St.
(03) 510-1099
Not kosher
8. Best for American vibes: Café Xoho
There’s a reason that people consistently wait an hour (or more!) for brunch at this no-reservation spot – the food is simply great. Run by expats, everyone here speaks perfect English and there’s a real community feel (read: a ton of regulars). In addition to the best bagels and chocolate chip cookies in town, they also serve up mouthwatering, healthy-ish, sandwiches, egg dishes and salads, all with a cozy, homemade feel.
17 Gordon St.
072-249-5497; cafexoho.wixsite.com
Not kosher
Great american cuisine and vibes are offered at Cafe Xoho. (Courtesy)Great american cuisine and vibes are offered at Cafe Xoho. (Courtesy)
9. Best hipster hot spot: Herzl 16
You don’t need to head to Jaffa for beards and crossbody fanny packs, you’ll find them in droves at Herzl 16. While there are always a ton of people waiting for a table at the no-reservation spot, the line usually goes relatively quickly (should it not, you can pick up a quick nosh at the next-door fast-casual Nununu while you wait). Be prepared, however, for very loud music (often courtesy of a DJ) at the indoor/outdoor spot, which serves-up a hodgepodge ranging from avocado toast to ramen.
16 Herzl St.
(03) 554-4300; herzl16.co.il
Not kosher
10. Best for multitasking: Delicatessen
Israel gets a lot of flak for having bad service. If you’re someone who values a knowledgeable, friendly and overall immaculately trained staff, head to Delicatessen. The popular indoor/outdoor spot has a reasonably priced offering – and arguably the best cheesecake and coffee in town. Post brunch, head downstairs to their gourmet shop and bang out your grocery shopping for the week. 
79/81 Yehuda ha-Levi St.
(03) 968-1010; delitlv.co.il
Not kosher
11. Best for DIY brunch: Gourmet Shop
If you’re looking to DIY your brunch because you don’t feel like lines or reservations, head to the aptly named Gourmet Shop. While there are a few seats, Gourmet Shop is mostly designed for grab-and-go. (Note: out of the two locations, there is more seating at the Bograshov one). Gourmet Shop stocks dozens upon dozens of cheeses along with smoked salmon (far and away the best in the city!), foie gras (Francophiles rejoice!), charcuteries and authentically French baguette. Olives and a curated selection of wines are also stocked.
148 Shlomo Ibn Gabirol St. and 37 Bograshov St.
(03) 546-2840; facebook.com/gourmetshoptlv
Kosher


Tags culinary