Food at 1868, Jerusalem, Israel


While it hasn’t been around since 1868, the restaurant by the same name is an institution compared to the shiny new restaurants cropping up all over town. Specializing in kosher cuisine (less restricting than it may seem), 1868 blends international and local flavors, appealing to diners from all over the world. The wine list is extensive and covers all the bases, from South American vintages to the best bottles from nearby vineyards.

Abu Hasan/Ali Karavan

This no-frills local spot is Tel Aviv’s finest hummuseria (served until they run out, so go early). Nutritious and comforting, the regional specialty is revered by locals who attest that Abu Hasan serves the finest in all of Israel.

Food at Abu Shukri, Jerusalem, Israel

Abu Shukri

Jerusalemites are as concerned with the city’s best hummus spot as Chicagoans are about their deep-dish pies. Traditionalists back Abu Shukri’s no-frills take on the Israeli classic, served simple with just the right amount of zest.

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Food at Anita Cafe, Tel Aviv, Israel

Anita Café

Located on a charming shopping street, this spot is an absolute must for ice cream lovers. The multitude of flavors will have your head spinning, and the toppings will make even the healthiest eater euphoric. Nicknamed “La Mamma del Gelato,” Anita churns out the creamiest, most decadent gelato this side of Rome.

Dinning Area at Azura, Jerusalem, Israel


Locals swear by this spot in the Iraqi section of the Mahane Yehuda market. On first glance, it may not look like much: large vats filled with an array of piping hot soups and stews conjure memories of high-school cafeterias, but the food is some of Israel’s best. The kubbeh soup is a favorite of the local tastemakers, artists and politicians found in line daily.


Nearly hidden in a small courtyard at the end of an alleyway, Barood is worth seeking out for its excellent Sephardic cuisine (a fusion of modern Israeli and traditional Spanish cooking). The cozy, intimate spot serves homey cuisine, and the welcoming atmosphere is rounded out by delicate music playing in the background. A favorite of locals and tourists, Barood also has Guinness on tap and a small menu of pub fare, perfect after a long day of sightseeing.

Fod at Chakra, Jerusalem, Israel


Chakra attracts a buzzy crowd for its excellent Mediterranean menu and chic atmosphere. The interiors are spacious and sleek, while the alfresco patio affords leafy park views. The diverse menu features such flavorful dishes as lemon garlic cauliflower, artichoke and reggiano pappardelle and kebabs with grilled vegetables and tahini.

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Claro serves innovative and delicious Israeli food with global influences in a preserved wine distillery that still holds the original limestone walls and frescoes in Tel Aviv.
Food at Dallal, Tel Aviv, Israel


Reminiscent of a Parisian café, Dallal serves flaky pastries and light lunches to stylish regulars. The preferred seating is at the outdoor bar shaded by a light green awning, where many stay for hours at a time. Around the corner is Dallal Bakery known for its breads and pastries.


Traditional Moroccan cuisine and traditional Moroccan hospitality go hand-in-hand at this kosher restaurant whose name means “our home.” The restaurant is housed in a 200-year-old building, which, coupled with atmospheric touches like stained glass windows and intricately tiled floors, truly allows diners to feel at home. Even the dishes seem to have been crafted with the tender care of a mother cooking for her children, with steaming tagines coming out piping hot and couscous served speckled with tender dried fruits and aromatic spices.


For prime people-watching in Tel Aviv, stop by the casual Delicatessen for a breakfast or lunch of freshly prepared specialties such as chicken kebob, stuffed peppers and spinach lasagna. The
Food at Fortuna del Mar, Tel Aviv, Israel

Fortuna del Mar

Overlooking the Tel Aviv Marina near the Gordon pool, this Mediterranean tavern is a good spot for a lunch break if you are staying at the Hilton Hotel or are touring in the area. The atmosphere is casual, and the terrace has great views of the waterfront and boats. The service tends to be a bit slow, but it’s worth the wait for their homemade focaccia bread and fresh fare including artichoke Romana and seafood risotto.

Herzl 16

Located in Tel Aviv's historical Maaliya building, a former department store, Herzl 16 is a multi-floor complex with inner courtyard. While it’s best known for its live music and bar scene at night, it also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
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Food at Jacko's Street, Jerusalem, Israel

Jacko's Street

Contemporary and with an unusually innovative design—leafy overhangs star beside an open kitchen—Jacko’s Street is wildly popular. The buzzing restaurant is just steps from the Machne Yehuda market, where chef Zakai Huja shops daily, filling up on fresh produce for each nights dinner. The atmosphere is lively, the service is friendly and the cuisine is spot-on.

Apparels at Lina, Seville, Spain


Founded in 1960 by Marcelina Fernandez, this popular store is your one-stop shop for all things flamenco. Now run by genetically blessed granddaughter Mila, Lina stocks gorgeous, handmade dresses that are perfect for on or off the dancefloor. 

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Brilliant plating and artistic presentation are the only things Machneyuda and sister restaurant Mona have in common. The former is fun-loving and boisterous, with good food to boot (although fantastic is a better descriptor). The cheeky cocktail menu—with quite a few suggestively-titled beverages—may have been written after its author sampled a few of the spirituous libations, but all are made with skill and care. The dishes retain a sense of humor with witty descriptions and the “best fixed menu ever” (their phrase, not mine). At around 9pm, the music turns up and the party starts.

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A husband-and-wife team run Majda out of their home in the Ein Rafa neighborhood in the Judean Hills, fifteen minutes from downtown Jerusalem. While the menu changes daily, they specialize in antipasti and Mediterranean mezze, and the food—and surrounding countryside—is reliably excellent.

Read an interview with Yotam Ottolenghi, where he names Majda one of his favorite restaurants in Jerusalem.

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Mamilla Rooftop

Head to Jerusalem’s trendiest hotel for eye-level views of the Old City and spectacular cocktails. The food is delicious as well, but with so many excellent dining options elsewhere in the city, the Mamilla is best for a pre- or post-dinner drink.

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Manta Ray

One of the city’s beloved spots, Manta Ray is a good bet for a fun meal. Seafood is the specialty, and while the food is good, if unsurprising, the beachside locale is the real reason to go. Since Tel Aviv abounds with one-of-a-kind dinner experiences, head to Manta Ray for an easy lunch; the copious mezzes are all fresh and exactly what one wants for a mid-day meal, and the afternoon light allows patrons to take in the expansive coastline.

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Rugelach is Israel’s take on a chocolate croissant (both share Viennese culinary roots), and Marzipan does it better than anyone else. It is the place to buy the doughy, chocolate pastry, evidenced by the hoard of locals filtering in and out and the constant chug of the baking oven.

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Named for mace, the local spice that inspired chef Yossi Shitrit’s reinvention of traditional Israeli cuisine, Mashya uses the highest quality local ingredients and sophisticated cooking techniques to create diverse, beautiful and delicious dishes.
Dinning Area at Mona, Jerusalem, Israel


Hidden within the Jerusalem Artists’ House, Machneyuda’s subdued older sister is as elegant as Machneyuda is audacious. The plates are beautifully presented, and the feel is more welcoming and homey than the raucous atmosphere at Machneyuda. The menu is refined but creative—Israeli with a Mediterranean twist. During the winter, the fireside tables are delightful.

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OCD Restaurant

For a unique dining experience in Tel Aviv, sleek OCD serves a nine-course tasting menu nightly that incorporates flavors from across the world.


Rachmo is a no-frills, homey joint, known for having some of the best local food and kubbe (a delicious patty made from bulghur and ground meat) in Jerusalem. The worker’s eatery has been around since the 1930’s, and if that isn’t enough of a testament to the excellent Kurdish cuisine, the long line of Israelis out front confirms Rachmo’s authenticity.

Read an interview with Yotam Ottolenghi, where he names Rachmo one of his favorite restaurants in Jerusalem.

Foodat Shila, Tel Aviv, Israel


Shila serves a creative Mediterranean menu in a warm and trendy environment. Large wooden tables make it a great spot for groups, but the bar, where you can watch the chefs at work, is prime seating for couples. The restaurant’s casual setting fosters a fun, laid-back vibe, and tends to book up for dinner, making reservations a must. Start with a few of starters like the seafood tartar, which comes wrapped in avocado, and finish up with one of the entrées including some spectacular fish dishes.

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Suzana Café

A beloved institution in Neve Tzedek, Suzana has tables spilling out to a tree-shaded terrace as well as a few up on its curtain draped rooftop deck. Delicious Middle Eastern classic dishes like falafel and tabouli are served all day, and many locals linger over coffee or drinks for hours.


Israeli chef Yuval Ben Neriah drew inspiration from his travels in Southeast Asia to craft the menu at Taizu, a top restaurant in Tel Aviv, Israel.
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