An impressive wave of vegetable-centric restaurants are taking Israel’s biggest city by storm: Conde Nast Traveler magazine gives us a tour of Tel Aviv’s finest vegetarian restaurants
How did Israel’s trend-setting city become a herbivore smorgasbord? Start with the abundance of raw material, the gleaming pyramids of eggplants, peppers, and cabbage heaped like pinups at the city’s Carmel Market. Then add all the gastronomic influences—Russian, Polish, Arabic, Moroccan, Bulgarian, Iraqi—that can coax a world of flavors out of the most humble potato. Spending a week going meatless in Tel Aviv isn’t just easy; it lets you sample the city’s best bites. As well, most of these no-meat, no-dairy restaurants are essentially kosher by default, appealing to the young, fresh-food-focused population of the coastal city. The following vegan and veg-friendly options (for those dining with dedicated carnivores), are among Tel Aviv’s finest:
Café Anastasia: A popular spot framed by a sprawling outdoor terrace, Anastasia is always packed for breakfast. There are tofu crepes, macadamia or chickpea omelets, and veggie scrambles. The milk here is soy, rice, or almond, whipped up fresh in the kitchen, and that means you can indulge in a superbly creamy cocoa shake.
Caffe Kaymak: At first glance, this tiny spot—strung with fairy lights, next to a nut vendor in the middle of Tel Aviv’s Levinksy Market—may not seem promising, but it’s a gem. The strictly vegan menu here is long, but a fundamental bean soup is a medley of nutty al dente beans sitting in a sweet tomato broth roused by black pepper, proof that the simplest dishes can pack the most complex flavors. Eat it at the counter open to the street, so you can watch locals pick through the piles of oranges and pomegranates stacked up at the fruit stand across the road.