Restaurants in Israel
Over the years, restaurants in Israel have gone well beyond the classic Middle Eastern and Mediterranean staples of falafel and shwarma (rotisserie meat) sandwiches. Most restaurants offer some level of kosher dining, so you may notice menus that offer dairy (like the fabulous local cheeses) or meat (just no pork)— but not both. Around Tel Aviv and near the beaches, you're more likely to find shellfish. Here are some of the best restaurants in Israel:
Darna. This Jerusalem eatery is acclaimed among Israel restaurants for expertly creating Moroccan cuisine and ambience, catering to the large Moroccan Jewish community that lives here.
Catit. This bold Tel Aviv restaurant showcases creative Israeli cuisine in multicourse gourmet meals—perhaps starting with calamari stuffed with lamb, and ending with an excellent version of the local dessert, the cheese pastry kadaif.
Bardak. It may not taste quite like the pies back in the States, but this cozy, friendly pizza-and-beer joint offers a great take on pizza Jerusalem-style.
Mantras. This popular restaurant in Jerusalem offers a Euro mix of Italian and French foods, s well as tapas, seafood and homemade bread. Just be sure to reserve ahead of time—or just come for a late dinner.
A modern take on Mediterranean staples with a focus on Moroccan dishes.
The best view and best Sacher torte are on top of the Austrian Hospice, tucked away in the Old City.
One of the best seafood restaurants in Israel.
The coffee house is owned by a pair of Chicago-born cousins, Debbie Katz and Rosie Nathan. The walls of the tiny outpost, which sells coffee and tea from all over the world, are blanketed with covers from The New Yorker.
Overlooks the water in Jaffa and serves simple, beautifully prepared Mediterranean and Israeli dishes.
A wide variety of Middle Eastern-inflected seafood, served on a terrace steps from the Mediterranean.