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Tel Aviv Friday and Saturday evening

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  • erly May 24, 2013 09:16 AM
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Anything within walking distance of the David Intercontinental?
We have been to Herbert Samuel, and this was our best meal so far

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  1. 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. 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. 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

          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

            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

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

              1. re: bcc

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

                1. re: bcc

                  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..
                  http://www.2eat.co.il/eng/hazaken/
                  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

                    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

                      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

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

                        1. re: bcc

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

                          1. re: c oliver

                            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

                              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

                                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

                                  Good to know!

                                  1. re: c oliver

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

                                    1. re: bcc

                                      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

                                        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

                                          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

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

                    2. re: c oliver

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

                      1. re: sal_acid

                        We could probably do brunch also. Thanks.