While Israel itself is known as a religious hub and attracts pilgrims from around the world, Tel Aviv is a melting pot of people from all backgrounds. This is a city where almost anything goes, and you’ll see bikini-clad teens sharing the boardwalk with fully-covered religious women. The diversity in cultures bred a diversity in food, and the cuisine in Tel Aviv is as varied as its residents. I’ve joined food tours around the world, and Tel Aviv has the broadest offering I’ve found so far. No matter your style of travel (or eating), there’s a Tel Aviv food tour that will fill you with knowledge, culture and food – tailored to your specific tastes.
A Tel Aviv food tour for every type of traveler
The vegan (or vegan-curious)
Did you know Tel Aviv is considered the vegan capital of the world?! Because of Jewish Kosher laws prohibiting mixing meat and milk, a plant-based diet is a great option for those keeping Kosher.
I have to admit, I was a little skeptical before the vegan food tour in Tel Aviv began. My Texas identity is wrapped up in juicy steaks and cheesy, buttery baked potatoes. I was the only non-vegetarian or vegan on the tour and prepared to feel judged.
Instead, I found a welcoming and informative tour guide, who led us to some of the most amazing vegan eateries in Tel Aviv. Many Israeli foods are intrinsically vegan by nature. If you love hummus, you already love something vegan! We also tried vegan shakshuka, a Buddha bowl and –every Millennial’s favorite– avocado toast!
Did you know Israel has the second largest population of vegetarians, second only to India! The country has an abundance of fresh fruits and veggies year round and because of the country’s small size, a passion for animal activism spreads quickly.
Trust the guide to open your eyes to some unique local dishes as you learn about vegan myths (vegans DO eat things other than salad) and reasons people choose veganism as a lifestyle (moral, health, and environment).
Finish the tour at Meshek Barzilay for a sweet ending! Try a cashew cheesecake cannoli and their three types of chocolate delight. The sampler plate includes chocolate mousse with white chocolate base (made with garbanzo water), three-layer chocolate cake with coffee cream and chocolate cake with white chocolate cream. This is hands-down one of the best desserts I’ve ever tried, and I went back another day for a second serving!
When I think of food and fashion, I’m mostly trying not to spill on my shirt and praying that my clothes still fit after I eat all the food. But the creative minds at bitemojo curated a DIY tour which introduces you to the artists of Tel Aviv as you explore the Carmel market streets, Kerem HaTeimanim, and Nahalat Binyamin. Enjoy 6 tastings in between visiting vintage shops and trying on handmade woolen scarves.
This is a DIY tour which can be done at your own pace via the bitemojo app on your phone. The app serves up vouchers for each tasting once you arrive at your destination, including a very tasty Malabi, a milky pudding made with rice, sugar, milk and rosewater. Complete the entire tour in one day or go back for the final tastings if you fill up early on in the tour.
The political traveler
Take part in a food tour unlike any you’ve ever experienced! Begin at Abraham Hostel and meet your guide for a walk to Tel Aviv’s old central station. From here, you’ll learn about the Neve Shaanan neighborhood’s unique and complicated story: from its establishment by Jewish workers nearly a century ago through major demographic shifts in recent years. The current residents of this neighborhood are labeled as “refugees”, “asylum seekers”, “migrant workers”, and “infiltrators”, living side-by-side with Israeli residents who have lived there for decades.
On this tour, you’ll learn about the culture from a local activist as you taste your way through the neighborhood. Visit one of the oldest shops around, owned by an Israeli Jew who specializes in nuts before heading to an Eritrean speakeasy of sorts.
Enjoy a traditional drink in a Hamra, a hidden drinks house and social gathering place for the Eritrean community. Continue on to taste cuisines from many different cultures, treating your taste buds to a delicious journey through parts of the world your eyes have likely never seen.
The Other Tel Aviv is part food tour, part educational experience and a completely eye opening day!
The traveler who wants to see the entire city through their stomach
Delicious Israel’s 4.5 hour tour takes you on a 2.5-3 mile walking tour from Jaffa Port to Carmel Market. Enjoy 10 tastings from hidden gems and trendy eateries as you tour through Jaffa Flea Market, Neve Tzedek and end the foodie experience in the Yemenite quarter and Carmel Market. If you can’t decide which tour to take… this one has it all!
The religious traveler
If you’re looking for a unique, intimate foodie experience in Tel Aviv, let Delicious Israel invite you into their family for a special Shabbat dinner. Join in the Shabbat blessings over the wine and challah before enjoying a meal curated to showcase local Israeli flavors.
If you want to learn more about Shabbat traditions, but feel nervous about joining a Shabbat dinner in an intimate setting, Abraham Hostel hosts a weekly Shabbat meal for travelers. A hostel employee hosts the evening, lighting the candles and explaining their family traditions.
This is a low-pressure, family dinner for any type of traveler will enjoy!
The foodie who wants to bring a bit of Israel home with them will love the Delicious Israel Levinsky Market Tour. This neighborhood is known for their fresh spices, dried fruits, hand-roasted coffees. On this tour, you’ll get to try the best of the best. Delicious Israel has relationships with grandfathers at third and fourth generation shops, and they’re happy to introduce them to you.
Enjoy seven tastings in Levinsky Market and with each bite, you’ll taste the influence of Turkish, Greek and Iranian immigrants who have called this area home since the 1920s. Don’t forget to save space in your suitcase! You’ll want to buy some za’atar and coffee to share with friends back home (or save it for yourself, we won’t judge!).
Q: How did the Israeli hipster burn his mouth?
A: He ate his shakshuka before it was cool!
I love a good hipster joke. But all jokes aside, hipsters always know what’s going to be the next big trend. Levinsky Market is full of history and secret family recipes. It’s also where graffiti artists take up their cans of spray paint on a nightly basis— their act of rebellion coating Florentine with colorful murals that will add to any Instagram. (The neighborhood was the perfect location for my Purim photoshoot!)
This DIY tour from bitemojo includes six tastings alongside stories, memories and a history of a neighborhood that’s somehow rooted in history and cutting-edge.
Tel Aviv is a food-lover’s dream. Try hummus served warm (I promise you’ll never eat the grocery store kind ever again). Devour ice cream in the most unusual flavors made by marine biologists. Shoot Arak and find it burns in the best way possible. Whatever you eat, your taste buds will thank you for visiting Tel Aviv. Your problem won’t be finding good food, it will be buttoning your jeans after your visit!
Which of these eight food tours in Tel Aviv sound like the most fun to you?
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