The Very Best Tel Aviv Restaurants, Cafes, and Bars of 2011

If you’re looking for the very best places to grab a bite to eat in Tel Aviv, the list below will enlighten you about the very best restaurants, bars, delis and ice-cream joints of 2011.

The list is based on the annual vote held by the magazine Time Out (we did the same this time last year; they list theirs in Hebrew, we give it to you in English). Some of last year’s winners hold on to their top spots this year, some don’t. We’d definitely recommend having a look at some of the great Tel Aviv restaurants on last year’s list that didn’t make it this year…

Here they are, Tel Aviv’s finest eateries!

Toto Tel AvivRestaurant of the Year 2011Toto, Berkovitz 4 (Tel: 03-6935151). A classy Italian restaurant that serves up some awesome appetizers, pastas and pizzas, among other things, all prepared by one of the best chefs in town. Prices aren’t cheap, as you’d expect, but the quality and service are simply excellent! Website

Fanciest Restaurant 2011 Mul Yam, Tel Aviv Port (Tel: 03-5469920/30). One of Israel’s very best restaurants, serving up some amazing seafood with views of the Port to complement.  Expensive, but they do a good deal on a Business Lunch (160 shekels). Website

Best New Restaurant 2011 – Mizlala, Nachalat Binyamin 57, (Tel: 03-5665505). A narrow but happening place which translated means something like “stuff your face”. Go for the signature “shot and a bite”! Website

Best Meat Restaurant 2011Neve Tzedek, Shabazi 64 (Tel: 0579444023). As they call themselves, “A Place for meat”, with a very meat-focused menu. Home to the best steaks in Tel Aviv, as many will testify. Website

Best Fish & Seafood Restaurant 2011 – Rokach 73, Rokach Boulevard 73 (Tel: 0579443209). Leading chef Eyal Levi’s elegant bistro, this is the place to come for great seafood and fish food. Extensive wine list too. Website

Best Italian Restaurant 2011 – Pronto, Hertzl 4 (Tel: 03-5660915). Started over 20 years ago and the place to come for lovers of all things Italian. A past winner of Ristorante Italiano, the award given to supreme Italian restaurants worldwide. Not overly expensive. Website

Best Asian Restaurant 2011Beit Thailandi (as per last year), Bograshov 8 (Tel: 03-5178568). A great place for real Thai food, and not the kind that has been watered down for Western tastes.

Tapeo Tel AvivBest Tapas Restaurant 2011Tapeo (last year’s winner), Ha’arba’ah 16 (Tel: 03-6240484). The leader of the pack in terms of tapas bars in Tel Aviv, this place has a great range of those small, tasty dishes and a great atmosphere, even in mid-week. Website

Best Bar 2011 – HaMinzar, Allenby 60 (Tel: 03-5173015). A legend among Tel Aviv bars, though at first glance hard to see why! Often crowded, with some good music, the service has been known to be on the ropey side. Terrific Tel Aviv atmosphere.

Best Beer Bar  2011Porter & Sons (last year’s winner), Ha’arba’ah 14 (Tel: 03-6244355). This place has over 50 kinds of beer on tap and 70 kinds of bottled beer; if you can find a better stocked bar in the whole of the Middle East, let us know! Website

Bar with the Best Food 2011Messa (last year’s winner), Ha’arba’ah 19 (Tel: 03-6856859). A creative menu backed by a very well-stocked and cool bar. Great design (see the pic on the left), well worth having a drink and a bite to eat here. Website

Best Wine Bar 2011 – Juno, Da Haz 1, Kikar Milano (Tel: 03-5446620). Awesome selection of wine, and food if you’re peckish. Great ambiance in the heart of Tel Aviv, in a quiet side street. Website

Best Cafe 2011HaTachtit (The Basement – also won last year), Lincoln 9 (Tel: 03-5618759). Open 24 hours, this place has fast become known for its vibe (usually great music), its food and its service. Not exactly on the regular tourist route, but worth a visit.

Best Bakery 2011Dalal Bakery (last year’s winner), Shebazi 10 (Tel: 03-5109292). Awesome location (the Neve Tzedek ‘hood) – try those gorgeous muffins and some of the tastiest bread in Tel Aviv. They also do a very tasty breakfast. Website

Best Street Cafe 2011 – HaMiznon, Ibn Gvirol 23 (Tel: 03-7168977). This cute little street cafe serves up great stylish meals in a pita bread. Quality, and fairly cheap, you might have to queue to get your hands on some nosh here…

Best Bistro 2011 Brasserie (last year’s winner), Ibn Gvirol 70 (Tel: 03-6967111). A top restaurant with a menu that changes three times a day. Some even go far as to say it has redefined the Tel Aviv culinary scene. Website

Best Natural/Vegetarian Restaurant 2011 24 Rupee (last year’s winner), Shocken 16, 2nd floor (Tel: 03-6818066). A cute Indian restaurant that has long been a fave with those looking for genuine, great value, and very tasty Indian food. Website

Dr Shakshuka Tel AvivBest Ethnic Restaurant 2011 – Dr Shaksuka, Beit Eshel 3, Jaffa (Tel: 0579444193). Long one of our faves, Dr Shakshuka is a Kosher Tripolitanian restaurant specializing in home cuisine and traditional dishes, but renowned for its shakshuka (spicy tomato, egg and peppers dish, served at your table in the pan, as in the pic on the right). Great atmosphere.  Website

Restaurant with the Best Yard 2011 – Vicky Cristina, Building 17, HaTachana complex (Tel:  03-7367272). A hip new tapas restaurant and bar located in HaTachana, Tel Aviv’s new entertainment complex. Vicky is the tapas restaurant, Cristina the wine bar. Website

Mel and Michelle, Tel AvivBest Romantic Restaurant 2011Mel and Michelle, Ben Yehuda 155 (Tel: 03-5293232). Last year’s Best Italian winner, this is a great little place in the heart of busy Tel Aviv. Great styling, great food, and yes, romantic! Website

Best Restaurant by the Sea 2011Manta Ray (last year’s winner), Alma Beach (Tel: 03-5174773). The restaurant with the killer location, is how we reviewed it. Things haven’t changed – great, cool place, delish food, awesome beach view. Website

Best Hummus Bar 2011Ali Caravan/Abu Hassan (last year’s winner), Shvatay Israel 14 (Tel: 03-6828355). The legendary hummus joint, for hard core hummus fans only. No real surprise this place is No.1 on our list of top 10 hummus joints in Israel.

Best Pizzeria 2011Tony Vespa (last year’s winner), Rothschild 142 (Tel: 03-6858888). Great pizza sold by the weight (yes!), not by the slice. Very tasty pizza that has become a Tel Aviv fast food icon.

Best Hamburger Bar 2011 Agadir (last year’s winner), HaTaarucha 3 (Tel: 03-5444045). Now with 6 branches, this hamburger joint that first started flipping burgers some 15 years ago has taken over Tel Aviv. Great hamburgers in a great atmosphere. Website

Vaniglia Tel AvivBest Ice-Cream Bar 2011 – Vaniglia, 5 branches in Tel Aviv, including Ibn Gvirol 98 and the ground floor of Dizengoff Center. Delicious ice-cream that has won over most of Tel Aviv. Lots of great flavors and sorbets too. Don’t look at their Belgian Dark Chocolate over to the right…don’t… Website

Best Value for Money Restaurant 2011 – Goocha, Dizengoff 171, Ibn Gvirol 14, and HaBarzel 7 (Tel: 03-5222886, 03-6911603). A great little fish and seafood restaurant, now with 3 branches in Tel Aviv. Cheap, fresh, and great quality – what more do you need? Website

Best Deli 2011Hinnawi (last year’s winner), Yeffet 180, Yafo (Tel: 03-5075618). A long-time family business that is without doubt the most popular deli in The City That Never Sleeps. Website

If you come across any great restaurants in Tel Aviv that aren’t on this list, let us know in the comments below!

Bon appetit!

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