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Top 10 restaurants in Israel

Appreciation of food is very personal.

I sometimes find it difficult to appreciate expensive wine, but I can always tell a good Hummus 🙂.

This list is there for very personal list by my taste, but it is based also on feedbacks of tourists. In general the food scene in Israel is AMAZING!, and that’s not just me saying it, but also

Think you know Israeli Food well enough? try to pass this quiz..

Recommended restaurants in Jerusalem

MahaneyudaThe biggest buzz over a restaurant in Jerusalem for the last few years is at Mahaneyudah () which is located at the edge of the vegetable market by the same name (Mahane Yehudah Market   ). So popular and succesful that its owners now run four more restaurants, inlcluding TWO in London (!).

yudaleI personally favor their evning tapas-bar Yudale (). Another great new option in that market is kosher  Jacko’s street (), or  Arcadia ().


For less pricy options in the Mahane Yehudah Market    you could to the “Jerusalmite” style kitchen experience at Azura (),  Rachmo (),  Kurdish style IMA (), or the great new Maroccan style Hamotsi!().  Consider also the trendy Italian style Pasta Basta () or American style Crave ().

Other good choices would be Chakra (), and to less extent Kosher Angelica () in the city center, and restaurants along Shlomzion street, such as Lara (),  Focaccita (), or Kosher Gabriel (). An excellent combination of  location and cuisine  is Mamilla rooftop (), especially at sundown!.


The Former Turkish train station (“First Station” ) provides several new places to eat, inlcuding Adom (), Hamiznon (), or Asian style  Station 9 (). Near it are also good options Satya ()Colony () and The Culinary Workshop (“Hasadna“) ().

AdomFor an ethnic experience go either to the authentic Armenian Tavern () or Bulghourji () in the Armenian Quarter  of the Old City  , the vegetarian Eastern European style Café Harova () in the old city. Next to Jaffa Gate  is the very special Eucalyptus  (), and off Jaffa Road   is the Moroccan style Darna ().

pinatiAnd of course the best Hummus joints are in Jerusalem!. In the Old City   go to Hummus Lina ( top 10) or Hummus Achramawi, and in western Jerusalem go to Pinati  ()(which is now a chain, but only the Jerusalem original branch is really good!). near it Ta’ami is also a good choice, and so is Hummus Talpiot, which is,well, in talpiot.

The quarter CafeIf planning a tour of the Israel Museum  the Modern () restaurant is a pleasent meal, as well as Leo Bistro (), opposite the Supreme court. In Baq’a the two sister restaurants “Olive” and “Olive and Fish”  () would provide a nice dinner. In Ein Karem Karma () is my favorite.

Outside Jerusalem a popular destination for an Arab cuisine is the village of Abu Gosh, where Naji () would be the best Kabab option, or Majda () in nearby Ein Rafa. If heading towards Gush-EzionGavna will provide a good kosher vegetarian meal (with the most spectacular view in Israel!).

Recommended restaurants in Tel-Aviv

VongTel-Aviv  has many good restaurants, and the list could always include more. In the Vicinity of Rothschild Boulevard  you can try Eyal Shani’s Tsfon Abraxas (), The excellent Italian style “Cantina” (), or a Vietnamese cuisine at Vong ().

KimmelNear by, at Montefiore boutique hotel () one can appreciate a very nice meal, as well as at nearby Catit () and Cafe Noir (), Santa Katherina (), and Kimmel ().


MashyaCloser to the waterfront you have “Mashya” (), the unique “Thai House” (), “Blue Sky by Meir Adoni(), or “Manta Ray” ().


tony-vespaIf you are seeking a fast food option in that area, nothing beats Sabich Frishman (except for Maybe Falafel Frishman (), ah ah..), although “Falafel Hakosem ()” is also damm good..  For Shawarma, no doubt Dabush () is the best!, and for Pizza try excellent Tony Vespa ().

Haj KahilFor a great Arab kitchen experience go to Jaffa   and order the Kebab Halabi in Haj-Kahil (), fresh fish and sea-food at Hazaken Vehayam (“The Old Man and the Sea”) () at Jaffa port, or excellent Hummus at  Abu-Hassan /Ali Karavan ().

Old man and the seaNearby, in the Flea Market   you have a good Italian restaurant Italkia in the Flea Market () or the trendy food bars at Pua (), or Fleamarket ().

mul yam
In Tel-Aviv port  you can enjoy Mul-Yam () which is perhaps the best sea food in Israel (!). A less costly sea food option but still very good would be Benny Hadayag (). You can try also the new and trendy “Kitchen Market“(), and if you are a vegi, nearby Bariba () is also a good choice.

dabushIf strolling in Neve Tzedek  you can fetch some nice steaks at Makom shel Bashar ()(=”A place of Meat”), and complement it with romantic Nana-Bar (). And you manage to get a table, try the restaurant that opens only once a week.. Burek ().

ClaroIn Sarona , the best food experience, by far, is SUBERB Claro (). Recently a whole food market was opened in the complex as well (“Sarona Market” ().  Of the many food stands I recommend especially the “Hiro Free Style Aharoni’s Ramen Bar(), and the three “Segev Concept” stands.

SegevSegev () and Segev Express (are managed well by chef and celebrity Moshe Segev, and Aviv Moshe’s Messa (will also provide a very good meal experience. So will Toto () , Brasserie (), and Hadar Ochel ().

Doctor ShakshukaFor an Ethnic experience  go to Dr. shakshuka (), who provides an excellent shakshuka as well as a Lybian kitchen. For Thai style go to “Thai House” (), trendy Zozobra,  or Thai-Indian  Topolopompo (). For Japanese try Disco Tokyo (). 

Amore MioFor Chinese go to Sing Long near the central bus station, and for Italian the SUPERB “Cantina() and Amore Mio () restaurant on Ibn Gvirol Street. Its neighbor Brasserie () will also be a pleasing experience, but the latest buzz is over Eyal Shani’s Miznon (), top-end “street food” style restaurant.

North of Tel-Aviv, Reviva and Celia (), in Ramat Hasharon are a coffee and desert “institution”.

A 2017 article in YNET reviews most options for Kosher restaurants in Tel-Aviv: Ewa Safi () – Morrocan style; Meat Kitchen – Meat; L’Aile ou  la Cuisse TLV () – French Bistro; Meatos () – Meat; Goshen () – BBQ; Uno () – Italian; “Kosher Derby Bar” – Fish; Fish Market () – Fish; Deca () – Fish and Diary, Hatasiya 10; Nini Hachi () – Asian, Ben Yehudah; 228; Chiripom () – Algerian of Chef Avi Levi, Ahad Ha’am 29; Shallot () – fancy meat and Kavkazi, Habarzel 3;  In almost all 5 stars hotels in Tel-Aviv you can find also a Kosher restaurant. Perhaps the most interesting one is Blue Sky () – Dairy of chef Meir Adoni, At Carlton hotel rooftop.
Based on a 2016 pole of 100 Israeli chefs and culinary experts, this webpage ranks the highest scores Israeli restaurants recieved. Most are in Tel-Aviv: Number #1: Toto (); Number #2: Thai House (); Number #3: Taizu (); Number #4: Rafael (); Number #5: Mashya (); Number #6:  Catit (); Number #7: Topolopompo (); Number #8: Shila () and Pronto (); Number #9: Habasta (); Number #10: Brut (); Number #11: Yaffo-Tel-Aviv () and Yakimono ().

Also praised: Messa (); Dinnings (); Magdalena ()  (near Tiberias); Montefiore boutique hotel (); and Bistro Michael () (in Liman).

Recommended restaurants in the North

Helena restaurantThe north offers a wide range of dinning possibilities, from Arab and druze kitchen, chef restauants, to Kibbutz lunch meals. In kibbutz Sdot Yam near Caesarea   one can find a standard yet interesting kibbutz lunch. At Caesarea Harbor one can find several restaurants, but Helena (#1) stand out by fr as the best.

Diana restaurantNear it, at Atlit, one can find  good and kosher fish restaurant named Ben-Ezra the Fisherman. Meat lovers would be content at Alabama in Netanyah. Wine lovers will love a visit to Kushtunio () wine-bar in Zichron Yaakov  .

el baburFurther north, in the Carmel, the best Druze  restaurant is Andarin. For a top Arab cuisine experience go to Tishreen  ( top 10) or  Diana (top 10) or  in Nazareth  , or El-Babur, not far from Megiddo . Nazareth also has several sweets shops that offer excellent Knafeh (), and the best falafel stand in the north, at Falafel Abu Hani Gabaly ()!

Sinta barIn Haifa   itself  Sinta-Bar () is a great gourmet restaurants, but perhaps a better local Arab ethnic experience would be Kalamris () at the great “Stella Maris viewpoint, or Douzan () or Fatoush (), both along the German Colony in Haifa  .

In Kiryat Tivon Limousin () is a known Meat restaurant, now also operating its sister site Burger Saloon (). In the Upper Galilee, Churan in Hurfeish will provide a genuine and excellent Druze meal.

akko wallsIn Akko   best Sea Food restaurant is the famous chef restaurant Uri Buri (). And for the best Sea food bar go to Savida (). For an Arab style fish restaurant try Doniana (), and for the best Hummus experience go to Humus Said ().

Decks restaurantAround the Sea of Galilee don’t miss the opportunity to try St. Peter fish in Decks (or Little Tiberias  () in Tiberias ; Magdalena () at Migdal; Superb Foccacia () or Dag al Hadan () at the source of the Jordan River  ; or fish restaurant in kibuutz Ein-gev (or Marinado Banamal () for meat lovers).

Bekseh HanahalNear Tiberias  and Ginosar  Kseh Hanahal offers a nice and unique Lebanese style food experience, while Abu Salach () near Amiad offers a really good Arab cuisine.

The best gourmet and organic restaurant in the north would probably be Muscat () in Mizpe Hayamin Spa Resort, and just as good is the nearby Shulamit Auberge (). In Rosh Pina  you will also enjoy breakfast or lunch at Pina Barosh – Shiri Bistro (), or a good steak at  Doris () . Near Golani Junction you also have the superb organic AND KOSHER Makom BeSejera (). 

havat habokrimIn the Golan Heights  there are several good food options. In Katsrin you can enjoy a good burger and locally made beer in the Golan Brewery. Other good options are Havat Habokrim in kibbutz Meron Golan, Yogi-Chef in Wasset junction,  Betty and Nachi () in Ramot, and Villa V (), in Had Nes. And If you wish to try some Druze  Food, go to Peace Restaurant in Masa’ade.

tirat zvi cateringIf returning to Jerusalem via the Jordan valley you could have a nice (and kosher) lunch stop at Kibbutz Tirat-Zvi (that’s where I grew up!), Dag Dagan, Kimmel in the Gilboa (), or The Last chance, near Jericho.


Recommended restaurants in the South

cramim restaurantHeading south? I am afraid there is not much to offer along the way.. In Ashdod you have the superb “Idi” () Fish restaurent, and in Moshav Segula and Beer-Sheva you have the good meat restaurant of Cramim ().

NetachimFurther SW, not to far from  Gaza strip, Nethachim at Yad-Mordechai junction can supply a descent lunch break.

yotvetaIf your destination is Eilat via Road 90,  perhaps best to pack some sandwiches and drive along the Aravah and only stop for Coffee at Aroma Hatzevah… Ok, you can do one stop at Yotveta for some locally made ice cream.

Kampai restaurantIf you do go via Road 40, at Beer-Sheva the best option would be Cramim (), Oriental style Kampai (), or Moroccan style Yakuta (). For the best local street food go to “Beit Haful” ().

At Mizpe Ramon there are also several nice options: Tzokim (), which has the BEST view of all, although the dairy restaurant () of 5 star plus “Bresheet” () hotel has even a BETTER one.. Innsense (), Pangea (), Neto Besarim, or Hahavit () are also all good options. Near Mitzpe Ramon  you can also try some really good wine at “Kish Farm” and “Rujum Winery” () at “Tsel Midbar“, or a good selection of local goat cheese at farms like Kornmehl () and Haroa () Farms.

The Last RefugeIn Eilat   there are several good places to eat, of which I recommend mostly “Eddie’s Hidaway” (), and “The Last refuge” (), a great fish restaurant (!), and  Rodízio style “Little Brazil” (). 

barbisFor a smaller budget Barbis () is my favorite burger joint in Eilat, Mika () is my favorite Sushi bar, and for one of the best falafels (in all of Israel!) go to “Habotique Hakachol” !.

timna parkIf touring Timna parkTimna restaurant offers a surprising nice desert meal, made of home made pitah bread with a variety of light salads.

And if you get to Jordan, Al Qantara () in Petra  and Reem Albawadi () in Amman  are probably the best there is!


Recommended Israeli Food Chains

HashamenMacdonalds can be seen in every corner in Israel too, but if you are after fast food, atleast go for the local chains. There are several pretty good burger bar chains (Moses, AgadirBlack bar n burgerBurger’s Bar, Burgerim, and more), or go for some oily fatty and so tasty veal shawrma in Hashamen

pinatiHummus Pinati is now a chain too. For Asian food, Giraffe Noodle Bar will be a very goood choice.

Aroma coffeeFor the ultimate coffee you MUST try an Aroma coffee, or even better – their Ice Coffee (!). You will not be disappointed also at  competators like – Café hillelCafé Café, and Cup ‘O’ Joe.

Gina falafelA tour of Israel is not complete without a Falafel of which the chain Falafel gina and Falafel Arba Taamin ( = “Falafel four flavors”).


Bon Apetit!