The open kitchen at North Abraxas.
Photo by @jojo_travels on Instagram
It is no secret that Israelis know how to have a good time. This rings truest at famed Chef Eyal Shani’s restaurant North Abraxas. Shani, nicknamed the Cauliflower King for a reason, turns up the heat with killer ingredients and beautifully executed cuisine, and he seriously knows how to put fun in dining. The food is served on sheets of brown paper instead of plates—and don’t be surprised if everyone ends up on their feet for some dancing. (His Port Said, a restaurant-slash-club whose walls are lined with vinyl records, is equally entertaining.)
The lively Sarona Market is a fairly new development and home to acclaimed Chef Ran Shmueli's buzzy farm-to-table restaurant Claro. With a taboon (specialty brick oven) as the centerpiece, you'll discover fresh fish, meat, chicken, handmade pasta and breads executed to perfection. Grab a counter seat facing the big open kitchen, enjoy the meal and soak in the atmosphere.
For a fancy night on the town (fancy being a relative term in super-casual Israel), head to Shila. Chef Sharon Cohen’s temple of creative seafood will satisfy even the toughest critics, and the sea fish tartare wrapped in avocado should be on everyone’s list.
The incredible quality of ingredients, bold Mediterranean flavors and thriving culinary scene make Tel Aviv an easy place to dine out. The most difficult decision you’ll face is how to find enough time to enjoy them all!
Joanna Cisowska (@jojo_travels) is a hospitality professional, bon vivant and avid explorer who has visited more than 50 countries.