29 Aug Vegan Food Reality Show – With Tel Aviv Bloggers
The White City is famous for being the Middle East’s most progressive culinary hotspot, especially when it comes to vegan food – and now everyone can have a bite of it by watching a new, internationally-hyped foodie reality episode, shot in Tel Aviv.
At Unlock Tel Aviv we are not surprised that one of our most-visited posts was “TLV Restaurants are Going Vegan”: living in Tel Aviv, the question “where should we eat?” is probably the most common sentence we recite. No wonder that Canadian television show, The Foodie List, decided to drop by in our city, and asked their favorite bloggers – Delicious Israel, MatkoNation, and WhitecityBoy – to guide their audience to the restaurants they value the most. I showed them around the vegan restaurant and vegan-friendly eatery scene, and I introduced them to the vegan dishes I could not survive without. As we say in Hebrew, “beteavon”; enjoy your fabulous vegan food.
Incredible Breakfast at Meshek Barzilay
Meshek Barzilay is a sweet and family-friendly café, and apart from their incredible vegan burgers in steamed beetroot buns and delicious dosas – Indian flatbread filled with curried goodies – they serve the ultimate vegan and vegetarian breakfast.
Try the “to die for” pancakes, the shakshuka – Israel’s answer to ratatouille –, or my favorite, the vegan farm breakfast with dips and sauces of many sorts. For another “to-die-for” experience, go for their signature vegan chocolate dessert; so good you won’t be able to resist taking home a second piece in a take away box.
Contact details: Ahad Ha’Am 6, 03-516-6329, www.meshekbarzilay.co.il
Delicious Street Food at Falafel HaKosem
HaKosem serves authentic street-style vegan food in Tel Aviv: this is the best falafels place in Israel. The veggie balls are always fresh, the curried mango sauce is not overwhelming, and the salads are fresh and crunchy as they should be.
“HaKosem” means “The Magician”, and the name says it all: you can pick from whole wheat or white pita, and even ask for fried eggplant in your sandwich, apart from the regulars of course; hummus, tahini, pickled cucumbers, cabbage salad, and amba, the Middle East’s answer to mango chutney. Street food never tasted so good!
Contact details: Schlomo Ha’melech 1, 03-525-2033
Moutwatering Feast at HaAchim
HaAchim is an authentic kebab restaurant with a twist: they serve some really special vegan dishes. Go for the mezze-feeling; mix and match several of your favorite antipasti dishes such as lentil, beetroot, and eggplant salad, and of course their incredible cauliflower topped with tahini cream.
The bros run a cool and hip bistro where they serve traditional Israeli-Arab dishes, but I prefer their most unusual dish: the grilled lettuce. Whoever has tried mangold or spinach baked in the oven can imagine how wonderful it is to have a bite of lettuce, soaking in garlic and lemon olive oil, dripping with sesame paste – the heart and soul of all Israeli vegan food creations.
Contact details: Ibn Gabirol St 12, 03-691-7171
Perfection On Your Plate in Zakaim
TelAviv restaurant, Zakaim is family owned business, and it offers fresh vegan meals inspired by traditional Persian dishes from Iran. As I always say, culinary exchange is the way to peace for Israel and the Arab countries. May the good people – Jews, Muslims, Christians – of the Middle East share love and food forever and more. The kitchen is right in front of you, so you can see how the talented artists, the chefs, are creating your vegan food dinner, while you indulge in the magical market-vibe of the restaurant.
My favorite dish is the roasted eggplant with spicy tomato sauce and tahini dressing and sweet Shabbat bread, “Chala”, and I usually pick a garnish, such as the best fries you’ll ever get; crispy on the outside, creamy in the inside. If you love cocktails as much as I do, don’t miss their “Arak Shkedim” drink, the Middle East’s traditional anise spirit watered down with their homemade almond milk. The best part is yet to come; their fascinating Friday brunch.
Contact details: Simtat Beit HaShoeva 20, 03-613-5060, www.zakaim.co.il
The Best Hummus You’ll Ever Get in Abu Hassan
The most famous hummus place of the Middle East, Abu Hassan, is waiting for the hummus-addicts in Jaffa, South Tel Aviv. But if you wish to munch on falafels, salads and other usual “on the side” dishes that come with hummus, you must prepare yourself: this shop serves only hummus of different kinds, and nothing else. Try masabacha, the almost soup-like, warm, chunky version – it’s the best vegan food you’ll ever get.
Be prepared to stand in line and sit together with total strangers at the table, or just take your delicious hummus for a walk in the nearby Jaffa port. For romantic walks and fun with kids and dogs out of the craze, walk down on Yehuda Hayamit to the sea – the park between Bat Yam and Jaffa is the ultimate chill place to get away from the crowd.
Ha-Dolfin St 1, Tel Aviv-Yafo
For all the 10 restaurants – including vegan and non-vegan eateries The Foodie List visited with the local bloggers watch the 10 segment reality here.
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