Locals call Tel Aviv habu’ah — or “the bubble” — for the way the city’s 300,000 inhabitants insulate themselves from the Middle East’s troubles by cultivating a very good life. There’s the beach, a booming tech economy, and a liberal, welcoming attitude. And then there’s the food.
When it comes to eating, the bubble has most certainly been burst. The local culinary scene is gaining a reputation as one of the world’s tastiest.
In Tel Aviv, the best food is often the simplest.
Casual, ethnically inspired, locally sourced cuisine is what locals and visitors turn to again and again.
Israeli superstar chef Eyal Shani’s Miznon restaurant now has three Tel Aviv outposts (one at 21 Ibn Gvirol St.), which serve lusty, flavor-packed food from menus scrawled on torn brown paper. His whole roasted cauliflower — tender, meaty and charred around the perimeter — is the vegetable heard ’round the world, spawning many admiring imitators.
Waiters pour shots for patrons and dance on the bar while the food gets prepared in an open kitchen: long-cooked meats dressed in tahini and pureed tomatoes; charred steak with a runny egg; a perfectly cooked sweet potato served in a paper bag. Condiments like tahini, schug (hot sauce) and pickles are free for adorning the affordable, irresistible fare.