Hotspot Cheap Eats
There are plenty of spots in Tel Aviv to eat great food. Some are worthier than others. And some are easy on the pocket and equally memorable.These places are all within walking distance of ISLA. At Sabich (2 Tchernichovski Street), it may look like a hole-in-the-wall joint, but there is never not a line. There are two reasons for this: it is legitimately worth the wait, and the two men behind the counter literally take a full five to seven minutes to layer the goods into each and every pita they are creating. And when we say “creating” this is not to be taken lightly. Grilled eggplant, a hard-boiled egg, fresh Israeli salad, tahina, and a choice of all the mixins’, including amba, which is a tangy, pickled mango sauce are all for the choosing. The process is like a lasagna of sorts – the perfectly seasoned ingredients are evenly distributed into the pita so that each bite is full and flavorful. They only do one thing here – sabich – and that is literally all you need. Even Anthony Bourdain was a fan.
There is is Bino (73 Rothschild Boulevard). In recent years, local chefs have been trying their skilled hands at street food and Bino is just one of the hotspots to be given the expert treatment. Smack in the middle of Rothschild Boulevard, chef Bino Gabso, (veteran of Dr. Shakshuka fame) plates savory kebabs, lamb and, of course, shakshuka, at this stellar spot – all in overflowing, easy-to-grub pitas. At Jasmino (97 Allenby Street), this cool little snack bar run by restaurateur Shaul Tevet, is perched on busy Allenby Street – drawing everyone in from random passersby looking for a pick-me-up to the drunk, after-hours crowd. This unassuming gem serves simple, yet delicious charcoal-grilled options in grab-and-go pitas filled with choices like kebabs, chicken, house-made sausage, and spicy veal hearts. All of these come with salad and pita, hot peppers, grilled onions and tahini.
For more deliciousness, head to HaKosem (1 Shlomo HaMelekh Street), which is always filled-to-bursting with customers – all drooling for their creamy hummus dishes, tasty shawarma, and salads chopped to perfection. For something that truly hits the spot, Vitrina (60 Nahalat Binyamin Street) is one of the most consistently buzzed about spots in town for a damn fine burger. An American-style dive with genuinely friendly service and a cool vibe (the staff wear T-shirts riffing off of legendary album covers), it is just one of those places that locals and visitors love going to. Juicy burgers are grilled to perfection and accompanied by homemade aioli and a batch of piping hot, lemony matchstick fries. Another beloved spot, nestled at the bottom of the Carmel Market is Cafe Yom Tov (30 Yom Tov Street). This neighborhood favorite serves organic coffee, fresh sandwiches and boutique pastries. Towards evening time, it transforms into a laid-back salon, offering a menu featuring fresh ingredients from the shuk, alcohol, and live, eclectic music. Popular with locals, expats and travelers, it is worth the wait – and wait you will – especially on a Friday morning.