list of best restaurants in Tel Aviv
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The 7 Best Places to Eat & Drink in Tel Aviv

According to one of the city’s top chefs.

Raz Rahav, the co-founder and head chef of Tel Aviv’s most sought-after restaurants, OCD and Tirza Wine Bar, introduced fine dining to Tel Aviv’s relaxed food scene with OCD over eight years ago. OCD has since become famous worldwide, even winning third place in the Middle East and North Africa category at the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards in 2022. Rahav was also awarded the title “Chef of The Year” from the French guide Gault & Millau, and OCD was named the top restaurant globally.

Below, Raz Rahav, one of the most influential chefs in this up-and-coming culinary city, shares his favorite spots.

Must-Visit Restaurants in Tel Aviv 

“My two favorite restaurants in Tel Aviv are Pereh and The Norman Hotel’s Library Bar. Pereh is a restaurant that might still be unfamiliar to many, even in Israel. The two head chefs blend Israeli flavors with a European twist, creating comforting everyday dishes. What sets Pereh apart is their ability to combine flavors skillfully — they blend mild and strong flavors within the same dish (which is quite challenging to achieve).

“Their menu changes often, but they do have a few signature dishes that I always order. I love their chicken wings; raw fish (which is aged at the highest level); and their incredible bread baked daily by the head chef. You can truly sense the chef’s love for his bread.

“I eat at The Norman Hotel’s Library Bar at least twice a week. They serve classic European dishes that are always delicious and consistent. You don’t need to reserve a table beforehand. 

“I order their leaf salad; it’s my favorite salad in the world. The chef’s expertise truly shines through in this salad — the way it’s prepared, the dressing and the perfect combination of ingredients. And don’t forget to try their renowned pasta, cacio e pepe.”

Eating Your Way Through Tel Aviv in One Day 

“To truly explore Tel Aviv, walking is the way to go. Start your morning with coffee from either Tamati or House Of Coffee (Trumpeldor branch). At House Of Coffee, try the brewed coffee and the Japanese Castella Cake (matcha flavor) — it’s one of the best cakes I’ve tasted in Tel Aviv. It’s moist, almost like matcha-flavored bread pudding. Tel Aviv has a vibrant coffee scene, so you’ll get great coffee almost anywhere you go, but these coffee shops are my favorite. 

“Both of these places are in close proximity to the Carmel Market, Tel Aviv’s incredible food market. So, once you’re fueled up, take the time to explore the Carmel Market — where you can sample and discover the freshest fruits and vegetables, local cheeses, Middle Eastern spices, and Israeli food classics like bourekas, falafel and hummus.

“For lunch, head over to Basta, located right in the heart of the Carmel Market. This spot is particularly special because you’re dining amidst the bustling market — it’s a very unique experience. They source all of their ingredients from the market, and their handwritten menu changes according to the seasons. They also have an impressive selection of award-winning wines. 

“In case you didn’t order dessert at Basta, go to Arte, the best ice cream parlor in Tel Aviv. They offer excellent, creative flavors like goat cheese and pineapple, apple strudel, etc. My personal favorite is Cake of the Duke — it’s mascarpone cream blended with a rich, buttery cake and topped with almonds. The mix of milk, cream and richness is just perfect.

“I suggest starting your evening with pre-dinner drinks at Imperial Cocktail Bar, widely regarded as Tel Aviv’s best bar (it’s been on the World’s 50 Best Bars list for years). When I go there, I tell the bartenders my preferences of no sugar and a bit of bitterness, and then I let them surprise me with a creative cocktail — they’ve never disappointed.

“Lastly, for dinner, you should definitely visit Milgo Milbar to have the ultimate Tel Aviv dining experience. This iconic restaurant set the trend for dining in Tel Aviv: They serve innovative and delicious Mediterranean dishes in a dimly lit setting with lively music. Many chefs have attempted to imitate it but without success, which is why there’s only one Milgo Milbar.”

This was reprinted with permission from The Relisher.

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