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Tel Aviv is full of wonderful restaurants

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Every request for recommendations for restaurants sets off a major debate among residents and lovers of Tel Aviv on the Trip Advisor forum, and I usually end up with a list of more than 20 options! You will eat well here. My top choice in Tel Aviv is Orna v’Ella (Orna and Ella), named after its two women owners. This charming restaurant is at 33 Sheinkin Street

Orna and Ella

It serves comfort food, well and creatively prepared. Be sure to try the yam pancakes! I recently discovered the London Resto-Café, a charming, popular spot on the beach at 111 Herbert Samuel Promenade, in the back of the Sheraton Hotel.

Excellent meat, fish, and seafood dishes, good cocktails, and very well known for scrumptious desserts. As for Lara as your server—she is terrific! Another fun place along the seaside promenade is Café Metzada at 83 Ha-Yarkon Street, (03) 510-3353. I found it a perfect place to eat our first night in the city, with many tasty light dishes in a very attractively designed place.

Café Metzada

For a really lovely, upscale dinner, I recommend a very fine, kosher restaurant called Olive Leaf in the sea-side Sheraton. It has a great view of the Mediterranean Sea as well, and is located at 115 Ha-Yarkon Street, (03) 521-9300. The view as the Sun sets into the Mediterranean is very romantic! Another fantastic, upscale choice is Rafael Resto-Bistro (this “Resto” thing seems to be big here), at 87 Ha-Yarkon Street in the King David Tower just south of the Dan Tel Aviv; from Ha-Yarkon, you enter through a hotel lobby and go down stairs. Tel. (03) 522-6464; e-mail [email protected], website www.raphaeltlv.co.il. It’s an upscale and somewhat pricey place, non-kosher, with both fish and meat dishes with a Moroccan flair in the preparation.

Rafael Resto-Bistro

For lunch or dinner, GooCha is a reasonably priced seafood restaurant at the corner of Dizengoff and Ben-Gurion, not far from Rabin Square, tel. (03) 522-2886. GooCha also opened a second location at 14 Ibn Gvirol, tel. (03) 691-1603. Toward Jaffa, check out Manta Ray on the seaside promenade, tel. (03) 517-4773. It offers great food (you can order tapas-style dishes to sample several items) with a spectacular view of the sea and the city. In good weather, the – 27 – beautiful patio area is open to the sea. Make reservations—this is a popular place. While touring with Jonathan Kohn, we stopped for lunch at a cute place called the Espresso Bar Rothschild, at 8 Rothschild Avenue, (03) 510-8918. We liked it a lot—great salads and sandwiches, and of course coffee!

For sure check out the renovated Old Port area north of the Hilton Hotel and Independence Park on Ha-Yarkon. This area, opened early in the 2000s, features many restaurants, clubs, and shops and just bustles with activity. There is no better place to people watch, especially on Saturday night as the city comes back to life after Shabbat.

Hilton Hotel

For an earthy, everyday-Israel fish restaurant, check out Benny the Fisherman (Beni ha-Dayag); tel. (03) 544-0518. This place has a great, informal atmosphere and is a particularly great place to watch Tel Aviv life go by. Another nice place is Yulia’s, tel. (03) 546-9777. We just had dessert there, but it was heavenly, and the dinner menu looked great as well. We had lunch at Comme Il Faut, a very nice place on the boardwalk on the sea. It’s also a shop and a gallery; tel. (03) 544-9211, and is oh-so-trendy, perhaps annoyingly so. People also speak highly of Gilly’s, but I have not been there yet. I hope to make it there on my next trip.

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