Search for the BEST hummus and falafel in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, please.
There are definitely places that make better hummus and felafel than others, but the difference is often over-stated. The best is to choose a good place that is also well-located, so that you can combine eating and sight-seeing. No point going to some out of the way industrial area to eat hummus and felafel.
In Tel Aviv, Ali Caravan in Jaffa is widely considered the best hummus in Israel. It is located on the bluff above the Jaffa marina, which is also nice to visit. Get there early (like around 12:00 or even earlier) if you want to get a table. Felafel is a toss-up. Gabbai is on Bograshov which is a nice street to walk on, near the beach. Felafel Frishman (right next to Sabich Frishman) is on Dizengoff, which is also nice for strolling.
In Jerusalem, definitely Hummus Lina in the old city. This will be an adventure. It is on the Via Dolorosa. Enter through the Damascus Gate, make your first right, and start walking. You will need to ask somebody how to get there, but the shopkeepers are very friendly and will know where it is.
Hi Alyse - you are going to have a great time with this endeavor!
I definitely agree with Marc's suggestion of Ali Caravan (which is also called Abu Hassan) in Jaffa (recommend the Masbacha). There is an older and a new branch - the older on at 1 Dolphin Street is worth a visit. In my opinion it may also be worth checking out Hummus in the Yemenite Quarter next to Shuk HaCarmel - I would recommend Hummus HaSuri (Syrian Hummus).
As for falafel in Tel Aviv - I really like Falafel Gina and also "Four Flavors" on Ibn Gvirol near the corner of Arlozorov.
Don't miss out also on Sabich - Sabich Frishman (corner of Dizengoff) is excellent, or if you want the real deal, go to Sabich Ovad in Givatayim - he has a line out the door ALL day (literally!) and is known throughout Israel.
I lead walking food tours in TLV and Jerusalem and custom food and wine tours throughout Israel - definitely be in touch if you're interested and be in touch for any other food recs! :) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi supergoldie - Ha'Suri is not open for dinner, though there are some other humus places that are. Wow - it's a toughie to answer without knowing a bit more info, but for inexpensive and fun "market" food, check out HaMitbachon on Rabbi Akiva St/Gedera right near the Allenby side of the Shuk
For Tel Aviv I strongly recommend Falafel Johnnie on Tchernokovsky street... it's out of this world
For Humus I recommend: Abu Hassan (one of the most famous and truly the best) in Jaffa
or Abu Dabi which is located in central Tel Aviv and has great hummus and great atmosphere.
BUT for many amazing recommendations I urge you to look at the site... www.TasteTLV.com
it's the best restaurant guide for Tel Aviv... there are some real gems in there and you will have a great dining experience if you follow their guide
We loved this place (forgive me, I took the description from a Jerusalem blog):
Usually, restaurants in heavily-touristed areas are terrible, aimed squarely at foreign palates and shunned by locals (try getting a good meal in the Jewish Quarter). But Moshiko, in the midst of the tchotchkes-and-frozen-yogurt bustle of the cheesy Ben Yehuda midrachov, reliably serves Jerusalem's finest Israeli-style falafel. The falafel themselves are large and deeply green, and with Moshiko's non-stop traffic, almost always fresh. The side salads are abundant, and include the rarely-seen Turkish salad, a highly-recommended mix of tomatoes, onions and herbs. The ability to apply your own tehina from a squeeze bottle is another plus... but the French fries, predictably, are terrible. Hey, even the best isn't perfect.
other choices listed here: