Wandering around Tel Aviv is a delicious experience. The spring and autumn are warm but not oppressive, and the bounty of fresh foods are everywhere from the oceanfront seafood restaurants to the just-picked fruits and veggies in the open air markets. And dessert, there are so many sweet options in the city.
These aren’t the bowls of wilted greens doused in dressing we know in the US as salad. The restaurants that offer these dishes, or meze plates, fill your table with endless snacks like hummus, tabbouleh, roasted veggies and dips. The eggplant dishes (roasted, grilled, smoked or pureed) are some of my favorite.
Before there were sweets in paper packets there was Halva. Just tahini, sugar or honey, and nuts, fruits or chocolate optional. Fresh made varieties from the market have ruined me for life as there is no comparison to the packaged varieties found in the states. Be warned, if you pack a brick of halva in your bag, Israeli airport security will search it — scanning machines don’t quite know what to make of the dense confection.
It gets hot walking around Israel in the sun. Luckily there are ice cream and gelato shops everywhere. With so many to choose from, here is a list of the best in town from Haarretz. Iceberg and Vaniglia were both highly recommended by friends and co-workers in Tel Aviv. And while the familiar flavors like chocolate or vanilla are readily available, the more local tastes like halva, pistachio, sesame and pomegranate are a must try.
Sorry to those with nut allergies, but they are a welcome treat in Tel Aviv. Grab some freshly roasted from a street vendor, find them mixed in savory dishes, or savor them as the highlight of sweet dishes. My advice–eat as many local pistachios as possible.
Fried deliciousness in a fluffy pita — eggplant, hard boiled egg, cucumber, tomato, pickled veggies, tahini and amba (pickled mango sauce). This must eat every time I’m in TelAviv is a messy, multi-napkin affair. Where to find one? Frishman Sabich has a cult following and long lines full of locals and tourists alike. Here’s a list of others.