Cafe Batia

Type: Restaurant, Jewish East-European
English Menu: Yes
Average price: 50-60 NIS
Address: 197 Dizengoff st.
Tel. number: 03-5221335


Update: On August 31st 2012, Cafe Batia was closed since they had to evacuate the area for a new hotel. According to reports, it is temporary until the owners find a new place to continue this 70 years old foundation. We hope Cafe Batia will be opened again soon! In this post you can find what it was, and what it will be once again.

Although name makes you think it's a coffee house, Cafe Batia is actually a restaurant serving typical homemade East European Jewish food - Knedelach, Chulent, Gefiltefish and chopped chicken liver (spread), the kind of food you eat on holidays, quite similiar to Keton. Cafe Batia is one of the oldest Jewish restaurants in Tel Aviv and its history can be traced by the pictures on the walls, telling the story of Tel Aviv. The atmosphere is a bit rustic but the people working there are very friendly. During lunch hours, including weekends the restaurant is full, so it's better to come after this crowd, when you can also find seats outside on Dizengoff street.


Our recommendation - the goose leg. It's so good! Well in the pic it might not look that appetizing, but once you've tried the meat with the sweet-savoury-orange sauce, you will crave for more. You get two side dishes of your choice with the every main dish: buckwheat, rice, stewed vegetables and etc. If you want to eat something lighter, try the knedelach soup. It's chicken broth with 2 freshly made matze balls, usually eaten with Passover.

Cafe Batia opened a bar right next to the restaurant, where you can enjoy some drinks.


Eden

Type: Persian
English Menu: No
Average price: 55-70 NIS
Address: 16 Neve Shanan st.

If food surfing is one of your goals in Tel Aviv, so Eden is the place. This Persian restaurant provides a great Persian food experience and feeds its loyal clients for many years now.

The waiter will happily detail all the unique dishes and styles of the kitchen. We remained solid this time and ordered the Kebab, highlighted also by the restaurant itself as one of their best dishes. Indeed, not many restaurants in Tel Aviv serve such flavorsome grilled meat, let alone the great Persian rice served with it - spiced up with spicy and sweet herbs. Very palatable. We also ordered the Gundi, which is a mixture of chicken and chick peas, cooked in chicken soup (a bit like Matzah balls). This one was a bit less impressive than the former (indeed tasted too much like a giant Matzah ball).


How to get there
Not only located in today's poor neighborhood of the old central train station, you will have to find the right path inside Neve Shaanan. Follow the map and recognize the sign above in the picture below:
* Detail: Don't be afraid of the Persian basil and radish given to you as a tiny starter, it's quite yummy after couple of bites!

Bet Ha Hummus

Type: Hummus
English Menu: No
Average price: 35 NIS (Fattah)
Address: 1 Ben Avigdor st.

Bet Ha Hummus (The Hummus House) probably won't appear in your Lonely Planet or any other (food) guide. It's too local. Yet this place serves one of the tastiest delicacies of the Lebanese cuisine - Fattah.

the Fattah
Fattah is made by soaking pita bread in 'chickpeas water' (water in which chickpeas were soaked) until they get soft. After that, the pita bread is mixed with hummus, tehina, larified butter, chunks of lamb meat which was fried in the butter and then on top of this all: fried pine nuts and freshly chopped parsley. WOW!

This dish is absolutely amazing - you'll probably not find something that unique and local anywhere else in Tel Aviv. By the way - the normal/ plain hummus is not such a home run, so you can pass it (quite weird that's the case at this place, but rest assured we tried both).

How to get there
The fastest way to reach the place is by taking bus from Ben Zion Blvd. (near Dizengoff Center) and then going down on the second stop of Hashmonaim st. Then walk according to the map and you're there. (you'll recognize the place by the hole above the door - see picture)


Click here to view location of Bet HaHummus and walking direction on the map

Black Bar & Burger

Type: Burger
English Menu: Yes
Average price: 55 NIS
Address: Azrieli Center ("Black To Go")

Black Bar & Burger surprised us very much. Being relatively new, we didn't realize that it will challange the other good old burger places in Tel Aviv, like Moses or Agadir. But it did, actually.

The meat is absolutely great - Full of flavor and good texture. The fries are also crunchy outside and soft inside - exactly how we like it. Like other burger places they serve steaks, chicken wings, spring chicken and etc. The only downside - is the location in the Azrieli center. Who likes to eat it in a mall?

Between 12pm-5pm there's a business deal - You can combine the lunch there with shopping in the mall or going up to the great view point of Azrieli buildings.

How to get there
Take bus 63 - it runs from Ben Yehuda through Bograshov straight to Azrieli center. 

Aba Gil

Type: Organic vegan food 
English Menu: Yes
Average price: 40 NIS
Address: 55 Yehuda Halevi st.
Tel. number.: 03-5663320

Even if you are not into organic vegan food, you should go to Aba Gil and try their dishes. The dishes are simple, pure and healthy, everything that a hungry body needs. Although Buddha Burger, the other organic competitor in Tel Aviv, has more sophisticated and bigger variety of choices on their menu,  Aba Gil's menu isn't inferior.

The flag dish of Aba Gil is the "full plate", which includes hummus, tehina, brown rice, red lentils, cooked green peas, cooked vegetables, and vegetable quiche or vegetable patties. It's hardcore organic and healthy food and no less tasty (maybe except the cooked veggies, but not everything have to be perfect). We especially liked the hummus (which is also served as a seperate dish), and the quiches.

How to get there
Take bus 5 and go down on the first stop after Rothschild Blvd., than go back to Yehuda Halevi st., then go a bit foward on Yehuda Halevi st. towards Allenby. Or you can take a bus which go through Allenby (24,25) and ask the driver to go down next to Yehuda Halevi.

Click here to view Aba Gil location on the map


* Detail: The take out boxes are environmental friendly.

Carmella Banachala

Type: Bistro Restaurant 
English Menu: Yes
Average price: 80-100 NIS
Address: 14 Rambam st.
Tel. number: 03-5161417

Carmela banachala is located next to the bustling Carmel market and you can tell it by the market inspired ingredients in their dishes. This semi-poshy bistro/ restaurant gives your palate a special tour through France, Eastern-Europe until the Middle-East with their well-prepared dishes.

We ate a menu-set, which contained some vegetable appetizers, side dishes, fish and meat dishes. Unfortunately, not all of the dishes were equally delightful. The simple, fresh parsley, coriander salad and the roasted eggplant salad were Mediterranean-ly good:


The carpaccio was a bit disappointing, lacking the delicate flavor and was actually a bit bland. The warm chickpeas salad, as ordinary this dish might sound, was surprisingly delicious and made a good local impression on the taste buds.



Thfried sardines and steamed white fish fillet with creamy mashed potatoes also didn't impress us that much, but we really liked the pictures :-) :


The grilled spring chicken fillet was quite tasty, but it just didn't have the "wow-factor". Our favorite was the three small pieces of perfectly cooked beef sirloin in the most amazing red wine sauce:





The meal was topped off with a combination dessert of: creme brulee, "krembo", brownie, and a mousse:




How to get there
Walk on Nachalat Binyamin St. till you hit Rambam st., the second street on your right. Turn right and go 20 meters till you see the extraordinary of the place.

Click here to view walking directions to Carmella Banachala on the map.

Jamila

Type: Moroccan 
English Menu: No
Average price: 40 NIS
Address: 31 Gruzenberg st.
Tel. nr.: 03-5166123
(Sun-Fri 12:00-18:00)

Jamilla offers delicious hearty dishes from the flavorsome Moroccan cuisin. It's a cute and small eatery-style place with a wide range of tajines,  warming soups and couscous.

The menu is different for each day of the week. But from what we ate it seems that you can have good meal each day of the week. We tried the chicken tajine with potatoes (served with delicious soft bread and some small salads of the day and tehina) and the couscous with chicken. Both great!


Jamila is not open in the night and in the weekend, unfortunately, only until 6.00pm, so be sure to drop by during the day to try out their heartwarming dishes.

How to get there
Walk on Nachalat Binyamin St. all the way down until you hit Gruzenberg. It's right on the corner.


Location of Jamila and walking directions from King George on the map

Gedera 26

Type: Mediterranean Fusion 
English Menu: No Yes (updated by comment - thanks!)
Average price: 40-60 NIS
Address: 26 Gedera st.
Tel. number: 03-5100164

Gedera 26 restaurant is exactly the type of restaurants which we like to see in Tel Aviv. Combination of great meat and seafood and pungent cold salads, all which taste amazingly good and made from fresh ingredients (and its location next to the Carmel market helps a lot with the latter).

It's hard to define Gedera's cuisine explicitly: it varies from the Arabic cuisine to European style cooking. Some dishes even remind us of home-cooked food, and some resemble high quality French bistro-food. Eating at Gedera is a culinary experience.

The salads were fresh and delicious.We ate the wheat salad with cranberries (highly recommended); Mujaddara (rice with lentils) with yogurt (OK) and roasted fennel (surprisingly taste!). Salads come in a small or large portions (10/20 NIS).


For the main dish, we took the cold roast beef, which was finely spiced, giving it a great taste and texture (pricing is 30 NIS per 100gr). We also took the Chraime (46 NIS) - a dish which is inspired by the Jewish immigrants from Libya. This is a fish dish which is cooked with spicy tomato sauce and vegetables and tasted like more! (and don't forget to dip the bread in the sauce.) Thumbs up for using good quality fish.


For our sweet tooth, we took the malabi. We must say that although we already ate the best malabi in town, we were still surprised by the malabi of Gedera. Its uniqueness is by being less "hardcore" than the rest, or in other words, not  super-sweet. Instead, it's served with fruits (14 NIS).

How to get there
Restaurant Gedera 26 is located right next to the Allenby-King George intersection, where Nachalat Binyamin starts. Click on the map below to see walking directions from the crossroad. 

Click here to view Gedera 26 location on the map

* Detail: Gedera has three types of menus: fixed lunch menu,  evening menu (changing; more seafood dishes) and Fridays menu. 

Rustico

Type: Italian Restaurant 
English Menu: Yes
Average price: 60 NIS
Address: 1) 42 Basel st. 2) 15 Rothschild st.
Tel. number: 1) 03-6026969 2) 03-5100039

What a fine Italian restaurant Rustico is! It surely fits on the list of the best Italian restaurants in Tel Aviv, together with Pappa's: high quality pasta, fresh ingredients, fantastic flavors and great indoor design and atmosphere.

Being very fond of linguini pasta, we were totally not disappointed by what Rustico had to offer: tuna linguini and seafood linguini. Both had a unique taste of its own: the fresh slices of tuna in a lemon-chili sauce with capers and Parmesan cheese were pungent and zingy in the right amount; the seafood sauce was more delicate, mainly made with shrimps, calamari and mussels, white wine and garlic. We did prefer the tuna over the seafood one, though.


We were also impressed by the canneloni with spinach and ricotta cheese, which was topped with a tasty tomato sauce and then baked in the oven. A great dish for vegetarians.


We ended the great meal with two amazing desserts: Frozen creme brulee which leaves your tongue with a soft and delicate sweetness once it melts; and a great panna cotta, with the right texture and flavor (although too sweet for some of us).



How to get there
For Basel Branch: Basel st. is located in the north of Dizengoff and connects all the way down to Iben Gvirol. You can reach it by going north on Dizengoff and then taking right to Basel; or by walking on Iben Gvirol.
For Rothschild branch: Rustico is located at the beginning of Rothschild st. You can reach it by going all the way down on Rothschild Blvd., or by walking all the way on Nachalat Binyamin street (starts at the beginning of King George).

View location and walking directions on the map: 1) Basel branch 2) Rothschild branch

Tipico Grilled Chicken

Type: Chicken rotisserie 
English Menu: No
Average price: 25-35 NIS
Address: 1 Nahalat Benyamin st.

We raved about Shimon chicken before, completely convinced that they are the only good rotisserie in Tel Aviv. Don't get us wrong, we still think Shimon's chicken is delicious, but they have a solid competition couple of blocks away: Tipico chicken!

It's a bit more expensive than Shimon's, but it's not the same: Tipico uses a more flavorsome spice rub that contains paprika and coriander seeds. And because of the way Tipico grills the chicken, it's less greasy than Shimon's and a bit more delicate. 

Tipico's potato wedges are great as well, and are baked with the grease and juices of the chicken. 

How to get there
Nachalat Binyamin 1 is on the beginning of the pedestrian st., in the intersection of King George and Allenby, right across Agadir.

Click here to view Tipico's location on the map