Today’s travelers are adventurous foodies looking to expand their palettes, dine on exotic cuisines, savor the flavors from every corner of the globe, and eat like the natives of the area they’re visiting.
Whatever you’re particular penchant for provisions, Israel is a veritable smorgasbord of delight for the intrepid traveler looking for a food adventure. We asked our staff, a colorful mix of seasoned locals and travel experts, for their top picks, and these are the restaurants they said shouldn’t be missed.
If you want to grab lunch on Friday or Saturday, go to HaKovshim. Located close to the HaCarmel Market. HaKovshim gets all their vegetables straight from the marketplace every day. They also bring in fresh farm eggs, dairy products, and other ingredients to ensure that diners are getting the freshest food served to their plates.
At this casual restaurant, there’s always a great vibe, the staff is friendly and fun, and the food is of course delicious and authentic! The best part of eating at HaKovshim is that you get to choose unique “out of the box” options from the menu, not the usual dishes that you can get anywhere else.
Location: HaKovshim 48, Tel Aviv
Recommended by: Russell Lord, Marketing & Tourism Consultant
Looking for a true Israeli/Mediterranean experience? HaSalon is the place to go. The food is genuine, made by Eyal Shani the world-renowned chef, the menu is always changing, and the whole atmosphere screams Israel. This meal is a bit pricey but worth every shekel. And that’s not the most incredible part. The entertainment brings this eating experience to a whole new level. At around 10pm, the lights dim and the music starts to get louder. By 11pm, you will feel like you’re at a party – napkins flying, wine flowing, and people on the tables around you dancing! If this sparks your interest, be sure to book the later of the two available seatings.
Location: Ma’avar Yabok 8, Tel Aviv
Recommended by: Yoav Bruck, Kenes Tours President
#3: The Eucalyptus
If you’re traveling through Jerusalem, you will enjoy a truly unique Israeli experience at the Eucalyptus restaurant. The experience comes complete with a great atmosphere and interesting and tasty food. The chef/owner Moshe Basson is always around to talk to the guests and it is clear that he takes a lot of pride and joy in what he does. Make sure to ask him about his garden out back.
Location: Felt alley (between Hativat Yerushalayim 14 and Dror Eliel), Jerusalem
Recommended by: Ilana Cohen, Tour Operator
#4: Focaccia Bar
You can’t leave the Jerusalem area without visiting the Focaccia Bar Located at the heart of Jerusalem, this cozy café offers a unique combination of good food, good people, and great atmosphere. Focaccia Bar doesn’t specialize in any specific food, but rather offers mixed cuisines of Italian, American, and Middle Eastern food, and of course amazing focaccia bread. Enjoy a private room or the large outside area.
Location: Rabbi Akiva 2, Jerusalem
Recommended by: Keren Hatkevitz, Tour Operator
#5: Meat & Wine
Calling all kosher meat-lovers! You’re going to want to check out the Meat & Wine restaurant. Enjoy the great atmosphere and excellent service, not to mention amazing meat!
Location: Arie Shankar 16, Herzlia
Recommended by: Laura Friedman, Senior Tour Operator
Chakra is known for its warm hospitality, fabulous location, entertaining musical accompaniment, authentic vibe, and mostly – the food. This is where you should kick back and enjoy a classy, upscale, and delectable evening.
Location: King George 41, Jerusalem
Recommended by: Sharon Amranian, Senior Tour Operator
This French-inspired restaurant is about satisfying the pickiest eaters and the most sophisticated foodies, allowing you to indulge in some fine wine, entrees, and dishes that will pleasure your palette and leave you pining to come back for more! Brasserie is open 24/7
Location: Ibn Gabirol 70, Tel Aviv
Recommended by: David Lerner, Senior Tour Operator
Abrage heaps on generous portions of delectable items from a varied menu. Aside from giving you great food, Abrage is great value for money, offers a killer location within the culturally rich Old Jaffa neighborhood, and presents a stunning view of the Mediterranean with clean fresh ambiance to enjoy while you eat.
Location: 6 Kedumim Square, Jaffa
Recommended by: Andrea Waisberg, Senior Tour Operator
We dare you to find a better restaurant than the Lumina by Meir Adoni in the Carlton Hotel. Not only will you indulge in food made by a world renowned chef that is certified with the highest kosher standards in the country, but you can also dine with the stunning view of the Mediterranean Sea and the marina alongside you. Sounds pretty magical!
Location: 10 Eliezer Peri, Tel Aviv
Recommended by: Tzvi Rosen, Tour Operator
#10: Social Club
Social Club is where it’s at for locals and travelers alike. Why? Because it offers you the best combination of great food, drinks, and an amazing atmosphere! What could be better?
Location: 45 Sderot Rothschild, Tel Aviv
Recommended by: Merav Shami, CTO
#11: Hummus Caspi
To finish off your authentic Israeli experience, you should visit Hummus Caspi for “the best damn humus in the world.” And hey, isn’t that what you’re coming to Israel for anyway!?
Location: 13 Alterman, Tel Aviv
Recommended by: Shai Tekoa, Tour Operator
Israel is one of the hottest spots for foodies and authentic travel adventurers of today. There are countless restaurants that will deliver an incredible eating experience, from farm to table eateries to professional chef-run five-star restaurants, and everything in between.
Be in touch with Kenes tours to help you plan your trip from the Tzfat wineries up north to the Salad Trail down south to make your Israeli vacation as delicious as it is memorable.