People don’t usually think of Israel as a country that will expand their culinary horizons, but the food in Tel Aviv is outstanding! Of the 90 hours I spent there, I’d wager that 70 of them were spent eating or drinking. Below are some of the places where I dined/boozed:
Benedict: Open 24 hours, but I’d recommend going for brunch.
Manta Ray: Beachfront dining (literally ON the beach). They are known for their seafood. You cannot, and should not, go there without getting the bread and a bunch of the mezes. It’s a good spot to go for lunch, if you get hungry whilst sunning yourself.
Hilton Beach: Go for daytime cocktails and surfer gazing. This is said to be one of the best patches of sea for surfing on the Israeli coastline.
The Restaurant at the Hotel Montefiore: It’s like dining in a trendy library. Be sure to order the lamb!
Dallal: It’s a chic converted house with courtyards and an open-air bar in the middle of Neve Tzedek. This French-Israeli fusion food was probably the best meal I had in Tel Aviv.
Vicky Christina: Tapas restaurant (Vicky) and wine bar (Christina) in a Spanish style patio where a railroad station used to be. The sangria was not very good, but everything else was.
Cookies and Cream Bar: This place is a bit of a labyrinth. There is a larger area with a bar that runs the length of the entire room. If you go downstairs, there’s a more intimate, smaller bar. Despite the no smoking signs, everyone inside still smokes. The smoke was gross, but the cocktails were tasty.
Radio E.P.G.B: When you enter this basement club, you’ll think you’ve just entered Eastern Berlin. A strange, dark, underground place, but the throwback hip hop music and bottle service makes it a fun place for all night drinking and dancing.
NOTE: Israelis tip about 10%-15% in restaurants and cafes. They prefer tips to be in cash (Shekels). Some restaurants won't allow you to tack the tip on to the credit card bill.