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By admin | February 26 2007
If you thought eating out in Tel Aviv was all about the café culture then think again; this vibrant and stylish city has built itself a reputation as a leading center of gourmet cuisine in Israel, and, in recent years, internationally too.
Energetic and adventurous young chefs experiment with classic fine dining fare while Middle Eastern and East Asian culinary traditions are interpreted with ambition, flair and the freshest local ingredients. As Tel Aviv is on the beach there’s plenty of ocean-fresh seafood on offer – and breathtaking views across the sea – while elsewhere you’ll find clever contemporary design and glittering views of the city. Whatever you’re in the mood to eat, take a look at our favorite Tel Aviv restaurants to whet your appetite.
Cuisine: International fusion
Style / Ambiance: At Messa the feast is for the eyes as well as the palate. Recently redesigned in striking contemporary style with different color ‘zones’ for the dining and bar areas, the restaurant has won plaudits for its beautiful interior – including being named one of the ‘50 most beautiful restaurants in the world’ by esteemed design magazine Wallpaper.
The menu offers ambitious and innovative international fusion dishes that feature a diverse range of ingredients, textures, colors, flavors and influences.
Cuisine: Fine dining and contemporary fusion
Style / Ambiance: Despite its comparatively recent opening, Herbert Samuel has established itself as one of the stars of Tel Aviv’s fine dining scene, its adventurous and stylish interior and clever tapas-style dishes a delight to the city’s gourmands.
As well as its accomplished cuisine, crafted by one of the most celebrated chefs in the country, what gets visitors talking about Herbert Samuel is atmosphere – a stunning view across the sea, staff that prides itself on impeccable service, and a hip, stylish crowd filled with the city’s beautiful people. Elegant private events can be held in an ocean-facing private dining area that can be found on the second floor.
Chef: Yonatan Roshfeld
+972 3 516 6516
6 Kaufman Street
Style / Ambiance: You’ll find classic French food with an Israeli twist at this atmosphere-laden stone mansion in historic Jaffa.
Yoezer’s philosophy is to start with local, fresh and seasonal ingredients, and use them to conjure up fine gourmet dishes with their roots in Lyon, in eastern France. The local origins of the ingredients give a Mediterranean feel to this sumptuous food experience and the immense wine list, one of the largest in Israel, is a true delight, largely featuring carefully chosen vintages from Burgundy, as well some excellent local labels.
General Manager: Shlomit Herling
+972 3 683 9115
2 Ish Habira Street
Cuisine: Seafood Gourmet
Style / Ambiance: Mul-Yam has attracted international acclaim for its clever, original seafood dishes that are crafted using produce from oceans all over the world.
The interior is stylish and modern with a Mediterranean feel and guests can look out across Tel Aviv’s vibrant port area, which glitters in through a glass wall.
Ben Maharovsky, Owner or Zvika Shaked, General Manager
+972 3 546 9920
Port of Tel-Aviv, Hangar No. 24
Cuisine: French–Mediterranean fusion
Style / Ambiance: Raphael’s warm, inviting and impeccably stylish interior is the setting for a gourmet food experience that is one of the best in the city.
Classic French fine dining is adventurously blended with Moroccan and wider Mediterranean food traditions, with the excellent wine list providing a wonderful accompaniment. Head to Raphael for lunch and you’ll enjoy a panoramic ocean view, while at dinner a chic jet-set crowd and sexy low lighting prevail.
Chef: Rafi Cohen
+972 3 522 6464
87 Hayarkon Street
Cuisine: Asian fusion
Style / Ambiance: Zepra is one of the most attractive and cutting edge dining locations in Tel Aviv, with a fabulous interior that utilizes mirrors, wooden weaving and striking colors to create an atmosphere of bold contemporary cool.
For all that, it is the inventive Asian fusion cuisine here that gives Zepra its sterling reputation and chef Avi Conforti his reputation as one of the great artists of the Tel Aviv gourmet scene.
Style / Ambiance: With a cheerful motto of ‘incurable optimism’, a fiercely loyal following and a wonderful beach location right at the edge of the sea, Manta Ray is a fun, informal and memorable dining experience.
While the location is undoubtedly the star, the restaurant’s fresh and delicious meze and seafood dishes are imaginative, surprising and full of flavor. You might find yourself trying something new, or enjoying an unusual combination of ingredients. This clever, expertly crafted menu is the perfect accompaniment to the view, which is best enjoyed from the inviting, wide-open terrace. Head to Manta Ray for an invigorating beach breakfast or book a terrace table for dinner and enjoy the freshest local seafood in front of a glorious ocean sunset.
Cuisine: Fine dining
Style / Ambiance: With clever, home-grown fusion cuisine and a historic setting in an Ottoman mansion, Catit is Israeli cuisine at its innovative, diverse and stylish best.
The food blends French, Arab and Mediterranean culinary influences in dishes that dazzle with intense flavors and colors. Meanwhile the subtle, elegant interior and pretty terrace make for attractive dining spaces with heaps of charm and character. Catit is particularly accommodating for private events, with two elegant indoor spaces for intimate personal or business get-togethers, as well as an attractive outdoor area, which can accommodate a hundred guests for larger-scale events such as cocktail receptions, product launches and weddings. The restaurant also offers a bespoke gourmet catering service for events of up to eight hundred guests at a private home or chosen venue.
Cuisine: French and Mediterranean
Style / Ambiance: Considered one of the best restaurants in the country, Chef Victor Gloger’s Chloélys focuses on creating claassical French and Mediterranean cuisine.
Chloélys offers an inventive menu, with signature dishes such as tuna tartar on avocado and chili salsa, cucumber vinaigrette, and yuzu popsicle.
Chef Gloger uses special raw materials and a variety of cooking methods including home smoking, and salt baking. His creative dishes are matched with an impressive wine menu.
An open kitchen which allows diners to watch while an aquarium at the front of the kitchen displays lobster, alongside a refrigerator displaying fish imported from around the world.
Head Chef: Victor Gloger
+972 3575 9060
16 Aba Hillel Street, Tel Aviv, IL-52572, Israel