When I went to Israel in February 2019, finding the best vegetarian and vegan food in Tel Aviv, or Israel, wasn’t the point of the trip (spoiler: it’s to try to convince us to move to Israel). We honestly didn’t have a whole lot of free time (like I wrote here).
Sachlav, the group I went with, tried to give us free time during the day and at night because we were the older group and full-fledged adults as opposed to the usual college-aged 20-year-old idiots that go on Birthright.
But there wasn’t a whole lot of room for going out and finding our own eats, so as soon as we got to Tel Aviv, and in the couple of days after that I had free to roam Tel Aviv as I pleased, I made a point to seek out all the best vegetarian and vegan food that the city had to offer.
Spoiler alert: I ate a lot of awesome vegetarian and vegan food in Tel Aviv in 36 hours.
As always, I’d done my research beforehand. I Googled the shit out restaurant options and I was armed with a handful of places to eat when I was freed from the confines of Birthright.
Without further adieu: here are all the places that I ate incredible vegetarian and vegan food at while I was in Tel Aviv:
This is where we had our final lunch together on Birthright. Our tour leader, Elchi, had been talking about it the entire time and finally, we were here. I think almost everything was vegetarian-friendly and most things were vegan-friend too (gotta love the Mediterranean diet!).
We sat at two long tables side by side, with the windows open all around us.
Then waiters came out with plates of food and didn’t stop for a long time.
I give this place a 7 out of 10. It’s cheap and delicious, but there’s nothing special about the atmosphere.
Address: Jerusalem Boulevard 6, Tel Aviv Israel
This was a cocktail bar not far from the hostel that we were staying at in the northern end of the city. It was super cute with dark wood furnishings and fancy-looking drinks and yummy bites.
This, I believe, was the last place that a bunch of us went together the night before we’d have to say our final goodbyes to those who weren’t extending their stay in Israel. My friend Mari’s boyfriend had flown in and they were going to Jordan over the next few days so he was with us.
The drinks were TASTY. They were comparable to that of The Gatsby Bar in Jerusalem (review here!).
Sadly, Google is now telling me that Garnish is closed, but I think a bar called the Imperial Cocktail Bar in the Imperial Hotel is in the same neighborhood and looks every bit as swanky.
This was a little dimly lit restaurant near the hostel that I was staying in after Birthright ended (the Abraham Hostel). I ventured to Bicicletta after a long and exhausting day going to the Dead Sea with my now-boyfriend and another friend from Birthright, Kate.
We met up with two other people from Birthright who were also extending their stay here and I was stoked because I’d looked at the menu prior to ascending the staircase up to the restaurant and saw that they had breaded cauliflower wings.
I love breaded cauliflower wings.
Are they healthy? Nah. Are they delicious? Yes.
They came in a small bowl with some kind of creamy sauce on them. I probably also had a drink and it’s likely that it was delicious too, but I can’t remember. I was totally focused on the cauliflower wings.
The atmosphere was dark and hip. The bar was backlit and lined with scantily clad Israelis. I felt slightly underdressed in my leggings and dirty hair.
For the ambiance alone, this place gets an 8. The service was good and I don’t remember it being loud. I love anywhere that has cauliflower dishes, and tasty ones at that.
Address: Nahalat Binyamin St 29, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
After some food at Bicicletta, our Israeli friends who we’d met while in Jerusalem, took us to this pop-up bar in the courtyard of what I believe was an abandoned building (sounds like the start of a horror movie!). It was somewhat “secret” and a little weird, but very crowded despite the space being huge.
According to Lonely Planet, Teder.fm was “born as an internet radio station and roaming bar, Teder.fm has set down roots in the disused Romano building.”
They offered wine, beer, and pizza. I believe we found one of our new Israeli friends sitting on a bench somewhere devouring a pizza. The drinks were good, and from looking around, the pizza was pretty popular too.
Thanks to Google, I was able to find out that Teder.fm is still open (at least when Israel isn’t in lockdown mode).
It’s definitely a unique space that is worth more than a passing glance. For drinks, I’d give this place a 6 or 7 out of 10. It was busy and loud, but for a short visit, it kinda has a cool vibe.
Address: Derech Jaffa 9, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
I had a busy itinerary for my only free day in Tel Aviv before flying home. I’d been at the Dead Sea the day prior so this was my chance to see everything that I wanted to see in Tel Aviv.
It is a super cool city after all and probably (definitely) worth more than a day’s discovery. Next time, I suppose! But I had a few restaurants to get to and I was going to eat at all of them, goddamnit.
One of my good friend’s is half Israeli and his cousin is one of the owners of this place. There are 3 of locations in Tel Aviv and it is the only 24-hour dining establishment in Tel Aviv and it also serves only breakfast foods.
I sat at the counter, excited to dive into the menu.
The decor was very diner-esque which isn’t usually a thing in Israel so I could see why it would be packed. I mean, we pack into diners (or we used to before COVID) in the US and we have them everywhere. Can you imagine what we’d do if they were a novelty?
I had green shakshuka with a side of challah bread and it was delicious. I ate every last drop of it. I hadn’t had any decent shakshuka yet in Israel so it was about time.
I’d give Benedict a solid 9 out of 10.
Address: Rothschild Blvd 29, Tel Aviv-Yafo, 6688208, Israel
Golda Flavor Boutique
When I looked into the windows of this ice cream shop near my hostel, I knew I had to make time to stop there. I hadn’t had much ice cream while I’d been in Israel, which is shocking because it’s Israel and isn’t it always warm outside? (No, shockingly, it’s not, but it was warmer than it was at the time in the US, so that meant I needed to eat ice cream.)
I had a small cone with dairy-free dark chocolate and it was delicious. I devoured it.
10/10, would highly recommend that you check it out if you’re looking for ice cream in Tel Aviv.
Address: Mikve Israel St 18-22, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
The Green Cat
Sometime before or after I went to see Happy Death Day 2 (I thought seeing a horror movie in a theatre abroad would be so cool!), I popped into a vegan pizza place called The Green Cat. It was also conveniently located near my hostel.
It had a tiny interior with photos of cats and a spray-painted green cat on the wall, which I loved. I ordered a pizza with cashew-based cheese, arugula, and vegan pepperoni. It was super tasty and I definitely ate all of it (#nopizzaleftbehind).
I’ve seen people on TripAdvisor complain about the prices and that it was too expensive, but it’s vegan pizza and if you’re coming from New York City, everything in Israel is going to be perceived as pretty cheap, so this vegan pizza is well worth the price.
I’d give The Green Cat an 8/10. I think the vegan cheese could’ve been better if I’m being honest.
Address: Levontin St 7, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Amidst my Googling, I also found a plant-based burger place, also RIGHT AROUND the corner from my hostel. It was the last place I picked up food before going to the train station to head to the airport and get back to New York City.
The fast-casual restaurant has a hip vibe – there was a bright yellow front counter and booths and tables placed around the small interior of the establishment. The guy at the cash register was super friendly, too, and chatted with me while I waited.
They have a whole slew of choices on their menu, but I ended up ordering a burger with lettuce, tomato, fried crispy onions, avocado, and chipotle mayo on it.
It was delicious. I scarfed this down once I got to the airport and I savored every mouth-watering bite.
I’d give Nature boys 10/10. It was a delightful place to pick up some delicious plant-based fast-casual food on my way out of the country.
Address: Levontin St 30, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
My hostel had the most awesome bar and lounge space. The hostel was built in a former warehouse so yes, the bar-lounge was in a huge warehouse-like room. There were hammocks and bars and a place to buy snacks.
But being that it’s a bar in a hostel, it’s also incredibly cheap. I think I spent time during both of my days staying here in this lounge because it had such a cool vibe.
It’s also where Nick and I met for a drink right before I took off for the airport to go home. (I did not understand at the time that it was a date because I am dense, but it apparently was.)
Protip: If you’re in any city, basically, and you need a cheap place to drink, look for a hostel because the drinks will be substantially cheaper than at a local bar.
I loved having this lounge in my hostel and in the short time that I stayed there, I spent at least a few hours in the lounge so I’m giving it an 9. Cheap drinks and cool vibes? Sign me up.
Address: Levontin St 21, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
I also ventured to a couple of cafes, but I can’t remember their names. There are delicious places to get coffee all around Tel Aviv, so don’t worry, you’ll find somewhere even without my recommendations.
I’d love to go back to explore more of the vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Tel Aviv, but for now, I’m happy with as many as I got to this time with just a couple of days.
Have you been to Tel Aviv? Let me know what the best place to eat vegetarian and vegan food in Tel Aviv was below was in your opinion in the comments! I have to make a list for next time after all.