HOME > Chowhound > Middle East & Africa >
Brewing beer, curing meat, or making cheese? Get great advice

Tel Aviv Friday and Saturday evening

erly May 24, 2013 09:16 AM

Anything within walking distance of the David Intercontinental?
We have been to Herbert Samuel, and this was our best meal so far

  1. Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. b
    bcc May 24, 2013 04:02 PM

    What is walking distance for you? You can walk to Jaffa and try Haj Khalil, or you can walk to the corner of Allenby and Gedera and try Haminzar, which is open 24/7. This is simple food, but well prepared. Lunch may be the better option, because it can get rowdy in the evening.

    Another place you could try, one that gets good reviews, but I can't say since I haven't eaten there, is called Hakovshim, on the corner of Hakovshim St and Nehemia St. It is a bit closer to your hotel. I believe they are open on Saturdays.

    1. c
      cresyd May 26, 2013 11:54 PM

      If you're up for walking to the Shuk - then I'd recommend HaMitbachon (18 Rabi Akiva st.) over Haminzar for eating. Haminzar is a great bar where you can get some nice food - but it wouldn't be my first recommendation for a straight restaurant. I really like their fried sardines and sausages, but their "confit octopus" is one to miss. HaMitbachon is just off the shuk/in the Yemenite Quarter and a great mix of Ashkenazi and Mizrachi dishes and on Friday/Saturday they have specials like cholent.

      Walking towards Jaffa along the sea you have Manta Ray which is a seafood restaurant that I've heard mixed reviews from CHers, friends (and have had myself, good and ok experiences) - but there's a restaurant further down the beach (closer to Jaffa) who's name I always forget but it's wonderful for seafood, mezze/salads, wine, etc. It's right off the boardwalk on the street side and not the beach side, very close to Jaffa.

      A little further in Jaffa, you can just keep following the boardwalk into the port and there are a number of fish restaurants/bars (that I haven't tried but the atmosphere is really fun). I do really like Abdu Hadayag in Jaffa for seafood (37 Yefet Street), which is a bit further into Jaffa.

      Another idea would be the old train station just to the south of Neve Tzedek (very close to your hotel). There's a pair of Spanish tapas style place (with the very kitchy names of Vicky and Christina), which also has excellent wine. Also in Neve Tzedek, there's a restaurant Dallal (10 Shabazi Street) that I believe (if I'm thinking of the right spot) is part of the Susanne Dallal performance space and is a truly gorgeous spot.

      1. c oliver Jan 13, 2014 08:55 AM

        I'm gathering from this short thread that finding things open on Friday or Saturday for dinner isn't going to be a problem? TIA.

        20 Replies
        1. re: c oliver
          oferl Jan 13, 2014 09:18 AM

          Don't worry about that, when it comes to restaurants, about 95% open at weekend and the other kosher 5% places are at best, very very average places.
          The thing you should worry about - is getting into good places either Friday evening or Saturday lunch without a reservation, very slim chances to get in, so if you are not going to reserve, try getting in not at the main hours.. For example we had a nice "lunch" deal around 16:30 at the Mizlala but bar seats.. Or go after 16:00 on a Saturday.. What places are you aiming for in Tel Aviv ? Anyway for the "rush hours" must reserve.

          1. re: oferl
            c oliver Jan 13, 2014 09:23 AM

            Thanks for your quick reply. Any opinion on Manta Ray? Not so interested in "Mediterranean" food. Seafood of any type would be great. I'm talking about this coming weekend and we're completely flexible on Saturday. Could be late lunch or early dinner. Any recs are greatly appreciated. TIA.

            1. re: c oliver
              bcc Jan 14, 2014 04:15 AM

              Manta Ray has a great location, but the food is far from Tel Aviv's best.

              1. re: bcc
                c oliver Jan 14, 2014 04:47 AM

                Any recent recs for mid-priced dinner? Thanks, bcc. I'll take the food over the location any day!

                1. re: bcc
                  oferl Jan 14, 2014 05:16 AM

                  Yep, tuff one.. Manta Ray might be interesting for location, altough i also think that there are better places in tel aviv.
                  If i would go there - would do a varied mazza meal from their famous seasonal selection, 19/23 sheqels per each small plate and along with a nice wine it might be a good option.. Don't think that the full menu and the high prices for mains worth the effort.
                  Seafood ? Except for bargain lunch menu at Mol Yam i don't have favorites in this category, that i can feel good to recommend on.. If you are looking for seafood but not something extraordinary, Gotcha on Dissingoff is always a fun place, but again very simple place with pretty good vibe and prices, that handles nicely frozen seafood of "OK quality". A lot of fish dishes and also some meat, good fish and chips, fried calamari etc. VERY popular and you will identify by the constant waiting line outside (that usually goes forward quite fast).
                  Other more "upscale" places where you should find some local fresh seafood used - Shila on ben yehuda, had some great lunches there lately but more expensive, oasis uses fresh fish and seafood, open Friday evening but it is a general modern food place, not a "seafood joint" :-) Kalimera in Jaffa port can be good option for seafood i think, altough did not visit lately..
                  Barbunya on ben yehuda, also Hazaken Vehayam near jaffa port can be "seafood joint" options for the formula of all you can eat salads+fish dish..
                  Hazaken is a very crowded option, of course if you are getting to the nice area of the old Jaffa port.. Also Kalimera is there, and inside the market building you have "Rokach Yam" which is a seafood bar, not excellent for sure, but not very bad..
                  Hope you won't have dissappointments on the seafood front, Israel in general is not great in this category, and Tel Aviv is not an exception in my opinion, so develope low expectations and maybe it will be nice eventually.. Goodluck :-)

                  1. re: oferl
                    c oliver Jan 14, 2014 05:51 AM

                    Okay, maybe we should bag the seafood idea :) I'm disinclined towards anything that isn't local/regional cuisine (meaning I don't want Italian in Israel!) but also not wanting much more falafel, eggplant, hummus :) We're also finding Israel rather expensive so probably don't want to spend more than US$100 including tip. Don't need to be wowed (at all) but would like a nice time with above average food. Thanks.

                    1. re: c oliver
                      bcc Jan 14, 2014 06:27 AM

                      A good place for seafood is Bertie (072-251 2950). Their shrimp are from the Mediterranean, not Viet Nam. If you go there, be sure to ask for a table on the outside porch. Inside the noise level is very high. Bertie is not cheap, but it is good. A cheaper place with very good food is Hakovshim (03-510 8555). The cooking at Hakovshim is much simple, but the menu is very inventive. We'll be going back. Shila, as mentioned by Oferl, is excellent, but also very loud.
                      My favorites remain Habasta (03-516 9234) and Oasis (03-620 6022, evenings only). Both not cheap, but excellent. If you are interested in going to any of these places, have your hotel call and make a reservation.
                      One more place that is interesting and cheap is called Haminzar (the monastery). It is in the center of Tel Aviv, not expensive, and has some interesting dishes. NOT fancy. I would only go at lunch time, because the noise level and raucousness in the evenings are not my thing.

                      1. re: bcc
                        c oliver Jan 14, 2014 06:31 AM

                        You are SO nice to provide such good info, including phone #s. I'll check these out. Thanks so much, bcc.

                        1. re: bcc
                          c oliver Jan 14, 2014 07:56 AM

                          I've been looking at these and am thinking Hakovshim.

                          1. re: c oliver
                            bcc Jan 14, 2014 09:54 AM

                            Hakovshim is famous for its chicken shnitzel, which I enjoyed last month, but they have a lot of other interesting things, too.

                            1. re: bcc
                              c oliver Jan 14, 2014 10:23 AM

                              Our tour guide is going to call for a res tomorrow and another couple will likely join us. Yes, the shnitzel sounds very good. Thanks again.

                              1. re: c oliver
                                bcc Jan 14, 2014 11:01 AM

                                At Hakovshim the small, inside room, 5 or 6 tables, is smoke-free. Smoking is permitted at the tables on the outside porch.

                                1. re: bcc
                                  c oliver Jan 14, 2014 11:01 AM

                                  Good to know!

                                  1. re: c oliver
                                    bcc Jan 14, 2014 11:05 AM

                                    By the way, after all this, I really hope you like it!

                                    1. re: bcc
                                      c oliver Jan 15, 2014 08:49 AM

                                      Oops, thought I posted earlier but I guess it didn't take.

                                      After almost a week of hotel buffets, we WILL like it :)

                                      1. re: bcc
                                        c oliver Jan 18, 2014 11:13 AM

                                        We're leaving our hotel at 415AM!!!!! tomorrow so I will post about this. But it was inarguably our best meal in Israel! Thanks SO much. More later.

                                        1. re: c oliver
                                          bcc Jan 18, 2014 12:02 PM

                                          Thanks for the update. I was quaking in my boots, fearing that you hadn't liked it. Do you by chance have a stop in Zurich?

                                          1. re: bcc
                                            c oliver Jan 18, 2014 07:37 PM

                                            We have three hours in Zurich. Then nonstop TWELVE HOURS to SF :)

                    2. re: c oliver
                      sal_acid Jan 14, 2014 05:20 AM

                      Manta Ray for brunch is nice. Beautiful location. Food is good enough for brunch.

                      1. re: sal_acid
                        c oliver Jan 14, 2014 07:56 AM

                        We could probably do brunch also. Thanks.

                Show Hidden Posts