Diners sit outside a restaurant on Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv, Israel. Diners sit outside a restaurant on Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv, Israel. Diners sit outside a restaurant on Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv, Israel. The city is becoming a major destination on the global food scene. (Photo: Fotokon/Shutterstock)

Why Tel Aviv is becoming the greatest place to eat in the world

The accolades keep pouring in for the Mediterranean beach town that's bursting with culinary gems.

If you're coming to Tel Aviv, it's best to come hungry. With more than 4,500 restaurants to choose from and some of the most creative culinary minds on the scene, the bustling Israeli metropolis is earning top-shelf recognition as a top food destination, delighting visitors and locals with a stunning assortment of cuisines, flavors and ingredients. Indeed, just about every corner of this city houses a culinary gem, from the underground diamonds-in-the-rough to the sparkling trendsetters.

“People are very open-minded," said Israeli food critic and blogger Ori Shavit, explaining why Tel Aviv has become a foodie's paradise. "Because we are a young nation, people come from all over the world to Israel … so our kitchen is a combination of all sorts of kitchens. It’s evolving and changing all the time so people are more open to trying new things.”

Fresh muffins and tarts are popular dessert items made daily. A vegan tart from Village Green, a popular Jerusalem cafe that opened a Tel Aviv branch. (Photo: Village Green)

Here are just a few of the accolades propelling Tel Aviv to the top of the global food scene:

  • It was ranked in the top 10 of destinations in the world for culinary enthusiasts in 2020 by BBC's Good Food Magazine. (It's No. 7.)
  • Food and drink database 50 Best Discovery named seven Tel Aviv eateries to its global rankings: Bellboy, Butler, HaBasta, Imperial Craft, M25, Milgo & Milbar and Pastel.
  • Six Tel Aviv restaurants received World Luxury Restaurant Awards for 2019.

Imperial Craft Bar Imperial Craft Bar. (Photo: Ben Yuster)

  • Two Tel Aviv restaurants – one of which just opened – appeared in La Liste's "The World's Best Restaurant Selection," an annual listing of the top 1,000 restaurants in the world. They are George & John and Lumina, helmed by famed restaurateur Meir Adoni.
  • The prestigious Gault & Millau, a benchmark culinary guide, recognized Alena, housed in the Norman Hotel in Tel Aviv. Also, Tomer Tal, executive chef of the George & John restaurant, won the title of most promising chef in Israel.
  • Time Out Tel Aviv named Eyal Shani its Best Male Chef of 2018. Shani, you might recall, is known in the culinary world as "the king of cauliflower," with 12 Miznon locations around the world.

miznon roasted cauliflower The whole-roasted cauliflower at Miznon, owned by Eyal Shani (right), is becoming the stuff of vegetable legend. (Photo: Miznon)

Also in recent years:

  • The Imperial Craft bar, listed above in 50 Best Discovery, was ranked No. 17 in the World's 50 Best Bars list by Drinks International Magazine.
  • Conde Nast Traveler also praised Tel Aviv as a vegetarian food capital, calling the city an "herbivore smorgasbord."

Sticking to your diet is easy when you eat dishes like this one from an Israeli eatery that only serves vegetarian and gluten-free food. Mezze Restaurant is a vegetarian and gluten-free restaurant in Tel Aviv. (Photo: Mezze Restaurant)

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Why Tel Aviv is becoming the greatest place to eat in the world
The accolades keep pouring in for the Mediterranean beach town that's bursting with culinary gems.