Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Israel - Restaurant Recommendations


  • Please log in to reply
34 replies to this topic

#1 richw

richw
  • participating member
  • 252 posts
  • Location:South Florida

Posted 07 July 2003 - 10:51 AM

I'll be in the Tel- Aviv area for 2 weeks this month (July). I have been there before and did quite a bit of eating. Just wondering if anyone had good experiences at any particular dining establishments that they care to mention.

Thanks,
Rich
South Florida

#2 Jeff T

Jeff T
  • legacy participant
  • 23 posts

Posted 07 July 2003 - 11:22 AM

If you are looking for a high end dinner and don't mind the drive to Jerusalem, Mishkenot Shaananim (near the King David Hotel) is one of the best restaurants in the country, I think. I'm very happy to eat falafel or schwarma from a street vendor at least once a day.

#3 boaziko

boaziko
  • participating member
  • 196 posts
  • Location:Tel Aviv, ISRAEL

Posted 07 July 2003 - 01:53 PM

I was waiting for you. I'll be more than happy to give you all the info you may need. Please just specify your wishes, if there are special requirements.

In the meantime I would suggest some of the restaurants I've recently visited and would take an overseas guest gladly; all are very established places.

1. "Moul Yam" if you care for the best of sea food, this is probably the best place overall in Israel.

2. "Rafael" if you wish to taste local ingredients with a touch of the star chef with an "haut cuisine attitude".

3. "Pini Bahatzer" (Pini in the yard) for yet another Local approach.

4. "Abu - Hasan" (Ali Carawan) for the ultimate of Humus.

5. "Lehem Erez" (Erez Bread) local chain of Baker –Chef for a distinctive Israeli food (with Californian influence)

6. "Queens of Falafel", Orna and Ella, in 2 locations.

All those places are in Tel Aviv and Jaffa or nearby. I'll be happy to supply all the details if you wish.
If by chance you are part of a group I can recommend some special places that host in their own home.
If you care for something else in the food arena let me know. Also, if you are interested in places outside Tel Aviv, Wineries, Cheese makers etc, just drop a word.
"Eat every meal as if it's your first and last on earth" (Conrad Rosenblatt 1935)

http://foodha.blogli.co.il/

#4 Flocko

Flocko
  • participating member
  • 179 posts

Posted 07 July 2003 - 02:24 PM

My all time favorite Tel Aviv restaurant is "Avazim"......................I call it "my all foie gras restaurant" :smile: It specializes in skewered goose liver.......served with fries..........servings are huge and very reasonable, and very informal. Kinda like foie gras heaven. It is located at the north end of the Tel Aviv beach hotel strip...............about 3 or 4 blocks north of the Hilton. It's on a street perpendicular to the water, within a couple of blocks thereof Their sign features a goose, so you can't miss it. It is a must!!!


Enjoy
Bill Benge
Moab, Utah

"I like eggs", Leon Spinks

#5 richw

richw
  • participating member
  • 252 posts
  • Location:South Florida

Posted 07 July 2003 - 07:04 PM

My all time favorite Tel Aviv restaurant is "Avazim"......................I call it "my all foie gras restaurant" :smile: It specializes in skewered goose liver.......served with fries..........servings are huge and very reasonable, and very informal.  Kinda like foie gras heaven.  It is located at the north end of the Tel Aviv beach hotel strip...............about 3 or 4 blocks north of the Hilton.  It's on a street perpendicular to the water, within a couple of blocks thereof  Their sign features a goose, so you can't miss it.  It is a must!!!


Enjoy

Oh yeah! I have been there before and will certainly be visiting again. Thanks for reminding me about this place.

Rich
South Florida

#6 boaziko

boaziko
  • participating member
  • 196 posts
  • Location:Tel Aviv, ISRAEL

Posted 07 July 2003 - 10:24 PM

Hi Rich,

Indeed, Havazim is known for their Foie Gras skewer, if you are looking for something "touristified", where a waiter is trying to call you and catch your attention on the sidewalk .The place has no name if you search for quality, and today there are various food joints that will supply the same goose delight. (-;
"Eat every meal as if it's your first and last on earth" (Conrad Rosenblatt 1935)

http://foodha.blogli.co.il/

#7 Rosie

Rosie
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,173 posts
  • Location:New Jersey

Posted 08 July 2003 - 05:03 AM

Not sure if it is still there but we had fabulous fish at Taboon on the pier in Jaffa Port.
Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"
TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE


#8 boaziko

boaziko
  • participating member
  • 196 posts
  • Location:Tel Aviv, ISRAEL

Posted 08 July 2003 - 06:40 AM

Taboon is indeed closed.
"Eat every meal as if it's your first and last on earth" (Conrad Rosenblatt 1935)

http://foodha.blogli.co.il/

#9 richw

richw
  • participating member
  • 252 posts
  • Location:South Florida

Posted 08 July 2003 - 06:58 PM

Hi Rich,

Indeed, Havazim is known for their Foie Gras skewer, if you are looking for something "touristified", where a waiter is trying to call you and catch your attention on the sidewalk .The place has no name if you search for quality, and today there are various food joints that will supply the same goose delight. (-;

Hi Boaziko,

Thanks for your informative post. I'm still researching your recommendations. I have three of your recommendations on my list already :biggrin:.

Abu - Hasan
Lehem Erez
Queens of Falafel

Regarding your comments on searching for quality; I'm searching for quality in ingredients and food preparation more than I'm searching for it in service. I've pretty much realized that service isn't much of a priority in Israel. Plus I'm much more concerned with the food than I am with the total experience. I'm glad to see that Israel has a resident gourmand on eGullet!

Thanks,
Rich
South Florida

#10 boaziko

boaziko
  • participating member
  • 196 posts
  • Location:Tel Aviv, ISRAEL

Posted 09 July 2003 - 05:42 AM

Hi Rich,

Glad to help.

If your visit does not fall on the dates of my trip to the US (probebly the second half of July), I'll be more than happy to arrange a Mini E-Gullet offline in Abu-Hasan in Jaffa.

Boaziko
"Eat every meal as if it's your first and last on earth" (Conrad Rosenblatt 1935)

http://foodha.blogli.co.il/

#11 richw

richw
  • participating member
  • 252 posts
  • Location:South Florida

Posted 11 July 2003 - 09:56 AM

Hi Rich,

Glad to help.

If your visit does not fall on the dates of my trip to the US (probebly the second half of July), I'll be more than happy to arrange a Mini E-Gullet offline in Abu-Hasan in Jaffa.

Boaziko

Boaziko,

That's awfully kind of you! It's likely that you'll be in the states during my visit Israel. Where will you be visiting in the US? I'll be in Israel from 7-12 to 7-30 (departure is tentative, might be sooner). Privvate message me so I can hear more about your interests in food? I'm particularly interested to know if you work in the food/culinary business in Israel.

All the best,
Rich :biggrin:
South Florida

#12 richw

richw
  • participating member
  • 252 posts
  • Location:South Florida

Posted 09 August 2003 - 07:04 AM

All,

Thanks for your responses to this post. Here are some details on my dining experiences while in Israel.

==========

Abu-hassan - it truly was the best hummus experience of my life. I have had hummus in arab villages and other outposts like Hummus Givataim but Abu-Hassan is the clear winner.

Queens of Falafel - The service was excellent, the pita was even better, and the "fusion" falafel was tasty. But I have to say I am a falafel purist. I like the old-fashioned green falafel.

Lechem Erez - beautiful, european-style breads. Better than what I can find anywhere in Miami. I thought the breads at Arcaffe were also magnificent. Arcaffe also had some of the best coffee I tasted while in Israel too.

Itzhak ha Gadol (Big Isaac's) - This was, without question, the best shipidum (skewered, grilled meat) style restaurant I have ever visited. The variety of salads was spectacular. We had many shipuds, and the beef shishlik was the best. I must tell you that the kaved avas (grilled goose liver) was better at Avazi during my last visit to Israel. It was a bit over-cooked at Itzhak Gadol.

Some other notables

-Shoarma Shelanu (Tel-Aviv) - Doner was heavenly

-Felafel shel Haim (Tel-Aviv) - very tasty and friendly service

-Dudu Outmegine (Haifa)Spelling? - great sweet and savroy pastries and a nice guy - he gave me a tour of his facility.
South Florida

#13 richw

richw
  • participating member
  • 252 posts
  • Location:South Florida

Posted 09 August 2003 - 07:10 AM

If anyone is interested in reading more about Queens of Falafel "fusion" falafel that I mentioned earlier in this post, check out this link.

queens of falafel

At the end of the article there is mention of their alternative falafel flavors.
South Florida

#14 marlena spieler

marlena spieler
  • participating member
  • 1,109 posts
  • Location:hampshire--uk, also new york, california

Posted 09 August 2003 - 09:22 AM

is abu hassan the place in jaffa that is sort of a crumbling cement hut, where the chickpeas and ful are cooked in copper vats in the back, and ladled into soup bowls and you scoop it all up, warm, with soft pita, sliced onions and a green zchug?

if so: divine!
Marlena the spieler



www.marlenaspieler.com

#15 rappy

rappy
  • legacy participant
  • 2 posts
  • Location:Tel Aviv

Posted 09 August 2003 - 09:31 AM

If you liked eating at The Falafel Queens, you'll love eating at their cafe, Orna and Ella, located at 33 Sheinkin Street in Tel Aviv. I used to live right around the corner from it and went there frequently. They are particularly well known for their sweet potato patties. My favourite dessert there is the passionfruit tart, which sadly isn't always on the menu.

RichW, you noted the quality of the pita at the Falafel Queens. If I recall correctly, they use some sort of potato product to make them - either whipped potatoes or potato flour.

Edited by rappy, 09 August 2003 - 09:35 AM.


#16 richw

richw
  • participating member
  • 252 posts
  • Location:South Florida

Posted 09 August 2003 - 10:07 AM

is abu hassan the place in jaffa that is sort of a crumbling cement hut, where the chickpeas and ful are cooked in copper vats in the back, and ladled into soup bowls and you scoop it all up, warm, with soft pita, sliced onions and a green zchug?

if so: divine!

Yup, that sounds about right. Actually, there are 2 locations in Jaffa. I think the owner's son runs the newer storefront. You probably dined at the original location.
South Florida

#17 richw

richw
  • participating member
  • 252 posts
  • Location:South Florida

Posted 09 August 2003 - 10:15 AM

RichW, you noted the quality of the pita at the Falafel Queens.  If I recall correctly, they use some sort of potato product to make them - either whipped potatoes or potato flour.

I don't know much about their pita, except for that it is really good and that they have it baked somewhere exclusively for their restaurants. It was very thick, but not dense. It has an airy, porous texture. Maybe they use some potato flour in the dough. I don't know. Interesting.
South Florida

#18 boaziko

boaziko
  • participating member
  • 196 posts
  • Location:Tel Aviv, ISRAEL

Posted 09 August 2003 - 11:53 AM

I'm not sure about the flour, but that kind of Pita is also sold in some Supermarkets, is traditionally related to the Yemenite Jews and can be found in some other Falafel places.
"Eat every meal as if it's your first and last on earth" (Conrad Rosenblatt 1935)

http://foodha.blogli.co.il/

#19 jacquichan

jacquichan
  • participating member
  • 7 posts

Posted 17 March 2004 - 08:18 AM

After only a few years of hard work as chef/proprieter my staff have decided to allow me to go on a vacation. :cool: I will be spending 10 days during and after Passover based in Tel Aviv. Aside from enjoying the natural wonders of the country I want to fit in as much culinary "tourism" as possible. Any suggestions and or guidance would be very welcome.

#20 Gifted Gourmet

Gifted Gourmet
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 9,587 posts
  • Location:Atlanta, Georgia

Posted 17 March 2004 - 08:26 AM

The very first source which came to mind is Daniel Rogov and his writings ...

He knows a great deal about all aspects of gastronomy with a focus on Israel ... perhaps you might want to read some of his numerous ruminations and guides as a beginning to your exploration ...

http://www.stratspla..._rest_guide.htm

Edited by Gifted Gourmet, 17 March 2004 - 08:27 AM.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"


#21 Comfort Me

Comfort Me
  • participating member
  • 603 posts
  • Location:Chicago - Hyde Park

Posted 17 March 2004 - 09:20 AM

Read Joan Nathan's Foods of Israel Today. It'll give you great ideas of what to look for ans where to look. I think it may also have a restaurant listing in the back. Eat street food. Go to the little run-down, 600 year old bakeries.

And the minute Pesach (Passover) ends, start stuffing yourself with chametz (leavened products)! 'Cuz Israel has some of the best chametz in the world!

I'll be thinking about you during Pesach. I hope you have a great time! (If I could change the color of the type, it would be green for the envy I'm feeling!)
Aidan

"Ess! Ess! It's a mitzvah!"

#22 richw

richw
  • participating member
  • 252 posts
  • Location:South Florida

Posted 17 March 2004 - 09:57 AM

Rogov's forum is very useful for planning your culinary tour of Israel. When I visit Israel I find that I enjoy the everyday and street foods much more than the fine dining there. Street food can't get any better! Here are some standouts from my last visit in August 03. There is a gentleman on eGullet named Boaziko who extremely nice and knowledgeable on this topic. Unfortunately we were unable to get together during my visit. Hopefully he will chime in here.

-Shoarma Shelanu (Tel-Aviv)

-Falafel shel Haim (Tel-Aviv)

-Malcot Felafel (MULTIPLE LOCATIONS) - Queens of Falafel

-Abu-hassan (Tel-Aviv) - Hummus

- Itzhak Ha Gadol - (Jaffa) - Shipudim Israeli BBQ restaurant

- Lechem Erez (MULTIPLE LOCATIONS) - breadmaker

- Arcaffe (Tel-Aviv) - top notch espresso, cappas and artisianal breads

- Dudu Outmezine (SP?) (HAIFA) Pastries.

Edited by richw, 17 March 2004 - 09:58 AM.

South Florida

#23 boaziko

boaziko
  • participating member
  • 196 posts
  • Location:Tel Aviv, ISRAEL

Posted 17 March 2004 - 12:16 PM

Hi jacquichan
Indeed. Rogove's list of restaurants is generally reliable, and to most of richw (thanks for your intro...) list I would send you myself.

Please indicate what are your "prime cuts" of interest; street food, "proper' restaurants, high-end restaurants, wine, cheese, coffee, markets do you plan to go places outside Tel Aviv, if so I'll try and supply you with some good Israeli "Food notes". In 10 days you can get a very good grip of the Israeli food scene.

If you have an interset I can try and intruduce you to some Chefs I know.
"Eat every meal as if it's your first and last on earth" (Conrad Rosenblatt 1935)

http://foodha.blogli.co.il/

#24 jacquichan

jacquichan
  • participating member
  • 7 posts

Posted 17 March 2004 - 10:28 PM

Thanks To You All..for the prompt replies. I have already guided myself to the Daniel Rogov site as it was mentioned on a previous gullet board and it is too full of information for choices at this point in time ( as I am still in Canada and impatient for my vacation). To my consternation I am already regretting that I have only 10 days to discover for myself the culinary heritage of this region ( although this might be a " first visit").

My personal interest is mainly the street and everyday foods of the region. As a chef I am of course interested in how fine dining and restaurants interpret the cuisine, however, since I am a newcomer to the actual cuisine(s)- it will be my first visit to that area of the globe- I would like to first taste how the food is cooked before I taste how the food is interpreted. I have had a long term interest in the foods of the Eastern Med and as a vegetarian am particularly drawn to the varieties of diet available.

As I am visiting during Passover I realize that there are great changes in the daily diet that occur. I would prefer to be a traveler and celebrate this adventure rather than a tourist and wonder where all the pita dissapeared to. Comfort Me with yeast after the celebration. Tell me what I should be enjoying and I wil do my best to accomidate my own gullet.

#25 boaziko

boaziko
  • participating member
  • 196 posts
  • Location:Tel Aviv, ISRAEL

Posted 18 March 2004 - 12:29 PM

I'm not quite sure I understood your relation with pita (& such) during Passover.
I hope you are not "Too orthodox" :smile: , as most of the great local street food (Hummus, Falafel, Sabich, Sambousak, Kunaffe and more) are strictly un-kosher for Passover and we'll have to lead you to Jaffa to get it, as many places in Tel Aviv (and the rest of the country (apart from villages, and cities of other religions in the Israel).

Feel free to let me know your timetable (or by PM) so I can let you know which places are open during your stay.
"Eat every meal as if it's your first and last on earth" (Conrad Rosenblatt 1935)

http://foodha.blogli.co.il/

#26 richw

richw
  • participating member
  • 252 posts
  • Location:South Florida

Posted 29 June 2008 - 08:11 PM

Shalom to Boaz and other posters on this thread!

I'm returning to Israel for a visit. It's been 5 years since my last trip. I was hoping you could provide me with details on any new, must eat establishments that have popped up in the last few years. I'll be spending most of my time is Tel-Aviv (staying in Ramat Hasharon), but will be passing thru Jerusalem, the Dead Sea area and maybe Haifa.

Thanks in advance,
Rich
South Florida

#27 Daniel Rogov

Daniel Rogov
  • participating member
  • 936 posts

Posted 01 July 2008 - 12:52 AM

Rich, Hi....

If you can hold for about one week, my updated guide to Israeli restaurants (appearrs weekly in HaAretz newspaper) will be on line and I will post a link to that. If more urgent than that, drop me a line to drogov@cheerful.com

#28 richw

richw
  • participating member
  • 252 posts
  • Location:South Florida

Posted 06 July 2008 - 09:48 AM

Thanks for your response. I depart to Israel on 7/10 and would be happy to wait for your updated guide to be published. I'm not necessary looking for upscale french-influenced or italian food; I get my share of that in the US. The following are examples of what I'd like to enjoy during my trip:

-A great "shipudim" restaurant experience
-An Eastern European Yiddish-style restaurant where I can have dishes like Pitcha (jellied calves feet)
-Fresh mediterranean seafood like red mullets a/ka/ "barbunia"
-Shawarma
-Falafel
-Espresso
-European style artisan bread

Thanks in advance,
Rich


Rich, Hi....

If you can hold for about one week, my updated guide to Israeli restaurants (appearrs weekly in HaAretz newspaper) will be on line and I will post a link to that.  If more urgent than that, drop me a line to drogov@cheerful.com

View Post


South Florida

#29 boaziko

boaziko
  • participating member
  • 196 posts
  • Location:Tel Aviv, ISRAEL

Posted 07 July 2008 - 09:21 AM

Ok Rich,

Here are some of my favorites,( to some I may be able to escort you) …

"shipudim" - Simo & Duby in Givaat olga (Near Hedera)
-Shawarma - Emil (Haifa) Awoni in Tel Aviv
Espresso – Top quality in many places all over
Falafel – Many possibilities
Bread – Bar – Lehem (Tel aviv) Lehamim (Tel Aviv) Bourkin (Hedera)

You also have to take a bite at a decent Sabich, Like Sabich-Deluxe in Tel aviv.
0nce you are here, I'll give you further details.

Boaziko
"Eat every meal as if it's your first and last on earth" (Conrad Rosenblatt 1935)

http://foodha.blogli.co.il/

#30 Lior

Lior
  • participating member
  • 2,119 posts
  • Location:Ashkelon,Israel

Posted 15 July 2008 - 12:14 PM

Today I took my american guests to Jerusalem and Mini- Israel. We ate at a lovely vegetarian place. The food was interesting and tasty and the view of the old city outside the window of our table was perfect. Here is a site that shows some ofthe food, the table and view.
T' anim or figs

Edited by Lior, 15 July 2008 - 12:16 PM.