Looking for the best restaurants in Tel Aviv, but don’t know where to start? If you’re travelling with a family, we’ve got you covered; here are five of our favourites, to help you on your way.
The best restaurants in Tel Aviv, according to us…
Gemma’s Italian Restaurant
For a family-friendly carbo-load, Gemma’s Italian Restaurant is great; huge pizzas and steaming bowls of super-fresh pasta. Just what you need after a few hours exploring Jaffa’s flea market and antique stores, and repeating the mantra ‘please, look don’t touch.’ The restaurant is on a corner plot in the trendy Noga district, just on the outskirts of Jaffa, and the pedestrianised street is perfect for outdoor dining. We recommend the osso buco linguini; veal shanks cooked overnight in the taboon oven and shredded over pasta. Yum. Unfortunately, they don’t do kid-sized pizzas, so bank on taking home a doggie bag when you leave.
A classy but family-friendly fish restaurant in downtown Tel Aviv. Goocha is on the corner of Dizengoff and Ben Gurion streets, so the outside tables are perfect for people-watching. Sit and soak up the buzz of the city as it comes alive after sundown. The seafood is fabulous; grilled, fried, curried or with fresh pasta, and the kids’ fish and chips was a hit. Staff are friendly and happy to make suggestions or change something up a bit for you (no octopus please, after My Octopus Teacher on Netflix). You could easily sit here for hours, but it’s pretty popular, so they’re gonna need that table back. You can skip dessert though – the best gelato in Tel Aviv is a short hop away at Otello on Dizengoff.
Thai house is no ordinary Thai restaurant. At least not by British standards. It’s fancy but kid-friendly, authentic and super-fresh. It’s also incredibly popular, so best to book ahead. Inside it’s all bamboo and wicker, and staff who know the dishes inside out. There’s a huge selection, so you may need their help deciding what to order. We went for several dishes to share, including some kid-friendly spring rolls, hot-as-hell grilled pork and soft, glassy crystal shrimps. All of it delicious. The Thai vegetables are specially grown at the restaurant’s farm, and the chefs make fresh coconut milk every day. That’s dedication to the foodie cause.
A hipster hangout in the trendy Nachalat Binyamin district, Bicicletta is a backyard bar that serves great food to go with great cocktails. It has a secret garden kind of vibe; find the street sign, follow the dimly-lit alley and you’ll be rewarded with a cute courtyard filled with cascading pot plants. It’s laid-back and relaxed, and although it doesn’t scream kid-friendly, our 5yo proclaimed the fish and chips to be the best she’d ever eaten. They were probably the most expensive she’d even eaten too, but worth the investment for the peace and quiet. Order a couple of dishes and then order some more. It’s that kind of place.
Kid-friendly fine dining right on the beach. What’s not to love? This is a white tablecloth, book-in-advance kind of place. But, like most restaurants in Israel, families are welcome. We (well, at least one of us) trashed the tablecloth with tomato sauce and chocolate ice cream, but no one batted an eyelid. Fresh seafood and Middle Eastern cuisine are the specialities; enjoy plenty of sharing plates and fabulous cocktails with a Mediterranean sunset. They also do great breakfasts and, if you dare, some fun breakfast cocktails!
There’s plenty more where that came from…
Decisions, decisions! Other places worth trying (IMHO) are Allora on Ben Gurion Street for pizza (the bacon and egg one is particularly good); Onza in Jaffa for Turkish food with an Israeli twist (this place will change your opinion of cauliflower); and the legendary Old Man and the Sea for the epic salad spread—worth a trip once at least.
Let’s face it, everyone probably has their own list of the best restaurants in Tel Aviv. But we’ll definitely be going back to ALL of these.