Between classics and moderns
22 October, 2014
Located between Middle East and the Mediterranean Sea, Israel has adopted the culinary traditions from many parts of the world.
To this culinary blend, Arabs have contributed with the traditional recipes of hummus or falafel, while adopting, in the other hand, traditional food from Jewish arriving from Hungary and Poland, taking the culinary arts of their home country.
In this past few years, Tel Aviv has become in the gastronomic capital of the country, with luxury restaurants and delicious street food, mixing products and flavours from all over the world.
The humble falafel is, as happens with the regional food in each country, a matter of dispute and controversy. Everyone has their favourite place and they can argue long and hard why it’s better. This is a cheap and fast snack but however it’s not less delicious than other food. Furthermore, now you can find falafel for anyone, like made of wheat or gluten-free pita.
And if you want to eat a good kebab, you can try one of the best very near from Tel Aviv. It is served in Abu Ghosh , and they say it is one of the top 5 kebab restaurants in Middle Eastern, specifically located in the third position. The fact is that the Arab village of Abu Ghosh, on the road between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, is known for its hummus restaurants and is very popular with both locals and tourists. Here you have the guarantee that they will serve a memorable meat dish . They mix the beef with onion, parsley, pine nuts and some grease before threading the needle on an iron skewer. It is cooked on a grill and served with rice and salad, with a pinkish hue inside.
Another of the most remarkable places is HaKosem, with fresh falafels made of chick peas from Spain, very spiced with cumin, cilantro, garlic, paprika, onion and sesame seeds. In Yahaloma, in the other hand, it’s prepared following the Egyptian style. Yahaloma Levy has the store next to the Levinsky market and falafels are only served on Tuesday and Wednesday, as a tribute to the owner’s mum, who was born in Alexandria. The falafel balls are served with marinated arugula with lemon, pickles, tahini and spicy homemade sauce.
Or in Gabai, where generous falafels are served since 1946, you’d have plenty of it! Pita is also filled with a large amount of vegetables and a delicious spicy sauce.
The best places to try hummus are closed once they finish the stock. It’s necessary to get there early to not miss your portion of this delicious food with an Arab origin that, nevertheless, was adopted by Israel almost as a national dish.
In Ali Karavan/Abu Hasan, for instance, hummus is served with lemon juice and onion or with beans and chickpeas as a topping, fresh & creamy. However, there will be always a waiting queue, don’t despair. The queue ends fast because people just eats and leave to let new costumers eat.
Ali Karavan/Abu Hasan, an old family business in operation for almost 40 years since 1966, serves what is considered the best hummus in Tel Aviv. This is a small place, a bit noisy sometimes, but it’s a must-go place when you are in the Jaffa area.
Ali Karavan/Abu Hasan
1 Dolfin Street | Jaffa, Tel Aviv 6813
Schedule: from 7:45 until the hummus is finished
Prof. Yehezkel Kaufmann 2
A place with two different areas, just like in Woody Allen’s movie. Vicky is the tapas restaurant and Cristina is the bar. While the restaurant Vicky was inspired in Park Güell, with "trencadís" white tables and a relaxing patio outside, Cristina bar is where the nightlife takes place.
10 Shabazi Street, Neve Tzedek
The place where artists and bohemians meet up in Zedek, the southwest quarter in Tel Aviv. The restaurant is in an old inn from the 19th century restored with patios and an outdoor bar, lively during nigh time. You can order a wide variety of delicious salads, gourmet dishes and a great wine menu, good value for money.
1 Ahad Haam
Also in Neve Zedek quarter you can find Nana Bar. A relaxed interior is a genuine oasis to celebrate gatherings or dinners with friends, also with a gardened patio. The decoration is delightful, with artwork or odd and exclusive furniture. Fresh and unpretentious food, with a wide variety of fish, vegetables and delicious desserts are served here.
Picture pita de falafel por Ted Eytan | picture falafel por Gopal Venkatesan
Why not take a trip to Tel Aviv? Have a look at our flights here!
22 October, 2014