What to Eat in Tel Aviv

Gastronomic travels always bring great joy in my life. Besides from being able to savor authentic local dishes, I am able to widen my vocabulary of food terminologies, most of which I haven't heard of before. In my recent trip to Tel Aviv, friends told me to eat hummus and shawarma. But really, there is more to Israeli cuisine than those. Feast your eyes on these:   

Hyssop leaves - According to theepicentre.com, Hyssop is best known by its reference as a Biblical herb, where its ancient use as a cleansing herb is alluded to in the scriptures, ‘Purge me with Hyssop, and I shall be clean.’ In Israel. hyssop is used in place of thyme to make za'atar. In Catit Restaurant, hyssop topped off a flavorful, creamy dessert.
Semolina cream, mascarpone, baharat, citrus flower water, strawberry compote, vanilla crumble, meringue, Persian lemon dust, aromatic olive oil and fresh hyssop leaves.
Kubbeh - These dumplings are made from semolina or bulgur wheat and are typically stuffed with ground lamb or beef.  I was lucky to find seafood kubbeh at Gedera 26 for my first meal in town. Although the thick dumpling wheat and rice filled me up quickly, the creamy seafood blend plus bisque made this dish more intriguing. 

Seafood kubbeh for a business lunch.
Hrayme/Hraime - For a light and flavorful dinner, I tried a fish casserole with spicy tomato sauce similar to sardines in tomato sauce from Cafe Suzana at Neve Tzedek. 

Hrayme. Fish just the way I like it. 
Ragulach - At first, I really thought I was getting a chocolate croissant. But when I ate it for breakfast, I realized that the dough was heavier and it had a LOT more chocolate than the usual croissant. It didn't take me long to figure out that the ragulach is an Israeli delicacy upon seeing it in many bakeshops in town. 

Ragulach! Wow! 
Majadra - This mix of lentils and fried onions is perfect with white rice. You can find this is at any shops selling spices. 

Spices to fill up your kitchen.
Malabi - This milk-based pudding perfumed with rose water reminded me of Indian desserts that are also splashed with rose essence. I savored malabi as a palette cleanser at La Shuk
Malabi dessert to close my appetite.
Shakshuka - Of all the terms above, shakshuka is the one that I'm most familiar with. I ordered this breakfast meal when I was in LA and have been looking for a restaurant in San Francisco that serves it to no avail! Shakshouka or shakshuka is a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions, often spiced with cumin.

I was running out of time in the city but really wanted to try authentic shakshuka so I got one at the Tel Aviv airport instead on the day of my departure. #foodbloggersecret

Shaksuka not from Israel. 
Wanted to try Doctor Shashuka in Old Jaffa but it was closed :( 
And the regulars that don't need any introduction: 
Shawarma - Love that I found many that sold chicken or turkey shawarma. 
Carved to perfection.
Turkey shawarma not as flavorful as chicken.
Falafel for the vegetarians
Need to stuff this with some hummus, tzatziki and veggies. 
Hummus with chicken shawarma on top. Yum! 
My pita bread drowned in the hummus bowl. 
Desserts from the street vendors, such as halva, baklava, etc. I'm not a huge fan of these super sweet delights but the ones with pistachios are usually runaway winners. 
Take your pick.
The color of the rainbow. 
Nuts galore. 
Don't know exactly what she's making but looks interesting. (Do you know?)
Coffee from Cofix for 5 NIS. 
Cappuccino Decaf 
Watch out for more gastronomic (mis)adventures in Israel!
Night skyline in Tel Aviv.

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