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2019 Israel Foodie News Highlights

A selection of Israel Foodie highlights from the last year.

The Israel Foodie scene is forever changing which makes it hard for both locals and visitors to keep track of the openings and closings of restaurants around Israel. This article includes a selection of Israel Foodie highlights for 2019 and also discusses food trends in Israeli restaurants over the last year.

Before writing this year’s Israel Foodie highlights post, I looked back at last year’s post so see if the trends from 2018 had continued into 2019. I was not surprised to see that many trends had remained the same, as well as some new trends emerging.

Summary of Israel Foodie Trends for 2019

  • Street food has continued to grow in popularity.
  • Knafe has been around for years but it has exploded in popularity in the last year. Some places are even serving savory meat versions, as well as vegan knafe dessert.
  • Arabic food is finally being featured in more restaurants and Arab chefs are opening their own modern restaurants around Israel. For now, these restaurants are mostly in the North and Mercaz, but hopefully, some will open in Jerusalem too.
Sea bass Fillet Lux13 Restaurant Haifa

Sea Bass Fillet @Lux13 Restaurant, Haifa

  • Certain food trends seem to have held on such as Bao Buns, Roasted Cauliflower, Smoked Eggplant, Crack Pie and Malabi.
  • A number of restaurants ended their connections with well-known chefs during 2019. This includes Chef Victor Gloger leaving Chloelys, Chef Aviv Moshe leaving Messa and Chef Yossi Shitrit ending his partnership with Kitchen MarketMashyaMagreb and Onza. Reshet 8 chain also ended the partnership with Chef Moshik Roth.
  • Israeli chefs are expanding more abroad with Chef Assaf Granit opening a second restaurant in Paris called Shabour and Chef Eyal Shani opening his third branch of Miznon in Paris, bringing the total to ten branches worldwide. Shani recently opened Seven North in Vienna, which is similar to his North Abraxas restaurant in Tel Aviv.

Jerusalem Area Foodie Summary

Kosher

Creme Brulee Crepe Arale Crepe Jerusalem

Tuna Tartare Sushi Jackos Son Kosher Jerusalem Restaurant

  • Kababasta is a mini-kebab stall from the owners of Morris in Shuk Machane Yehuda.
  • Ishtabach opened a second branch in Kfar Etzion.
  • Mistabra (Mehadrin) is a neighborhood cafe on Azza.
  • Partigiano is a Rome-style pizza restaurant on Ben Yehuda.
  • OrienTop is a restaurant on the roof of the Orient Jerusalem Hotel.
  • Seoul House is a Korean restaurant in the Old City.
  • Zalman’s (Mehadrin) is an American style hotdog and meat toast stall, off Ben Yehuda.

Not Kosher

  • Rama’s Kitchen finally reopened, having burnt down in a forest fire in Nataf (near Abu Ghosh) in November 2016. 

Tel Aviv & Merkaz Area Foodie Summary

Kosher

  • Arais Mahneyuda opened on Herzl in Tel Aviv.
  • Balkan is a dairy restaurant on Rehov Hashmoni’im.
  • Bella and Charlie is a fast food bar outside Kfar Saba.
  • Bodega is an American-style fast-food restaurant by Chef Todd Aarons and James Oppenheim, who were both former partners at Crave in Jerusalem.
  • Cafe Mandarin opened a new branch in Park Ra’anana.
  • Chef Yonatan Roshfeld’s Indian fast-food restaurant, Captain Curry in Sarona Market, became Kosher.
  • Chloelys in the Hilton Tel Aviv reopened after extensive renovations and now overlooks the sea.
  • Dunya by Meir Adoni opened in the Azrieli Center.
  • G27 Bakery is a local bistro and cafe in the Ramat Chen neighborhood of Ramat Gan.
  • Green Butcher is a vegan restaurant on Ben Yehuda in Tel Aviv, serving vegan hamburgers, arais, kebab and hot dogs.
  • GOAT TLV is an Asian bar on Rothschild from the owners of Jimmy Who.
  • HaShuka is a shakshuka restaurant in Levinsky Market.
  • Ruchale cafe on Ben Yehuda is now called Jean Jaurès, after the French politician.
  • Meatkitchen closed its doors on Yigal Alon and reopened in the Namal Tel Aviv.

Mallard Breast Meat Kitchen Tel Aviv Kosher

Not Kosher

  • Alma Spencer is a business lounge and restaurant in Ramat Hachayal.
  • Animar took over from Hola in the Dan Tel Aviv, headed by Chef Hilel Tavakuli, former head chef at Pastel Tel Aviv.
  • Aziza is a street food restaurant in Ra’anana
  • Chef Moshiko Gamlieli of Mona and Anna in Jerusalem opened Bar 51 with Dana Yarzin.
  • Bli Kemah is a French-style gluten-free bakery in Ramat Hahayal.
  • Brigaderia in Raanana sells classic Brazilian sweets.
  • Calata 15 is an Italian restaurant in Herzliya Pituach run by Italian restaurateurs.
  • Chimera Asian Bar is a sushi and Asian fusion restaurant on Yehuda HaMaccabi in Tel Aviv.
  • Country Club TLV is an Asian restaurant and bar on the roof of the Dizengoff Center.
  • Cordero is a Southern European bistro in the Suzanne Dallal Center. The food and wine is from the South of France, Italy & Spain.
  • George & John is a modern Israeli chef restaurant in The Drisco Hotel.
  • Joy Garden is a restaurant in the Ramat Gan National Park.
  • Khudari is a Druze and Arabic vegan restaurant in Tel Aviv.
  • Kitto Katto is a Japanese restaurant on Dizengoff.
  • Muskat restaurant from Udim moved to Ramat Aviv. The restaurant is dairy and closed on Shabbat but without kosher supervision.
  • Papasan is an Asian restaurant in Givatayim featuring the former chef of Minna Tomei, Chef Moshe Badishi.
  • Pop & Pope is a new restaurant, bar and events space on the 14th floor of the Hagag HaArba’a Towers in Tel Aviv. It was designed by Giorgio Armani Interiors and the main restaurant is due to open in early 2020.Goose Breast Sofrito-Pop & Pope - Tel Aviv Credit Afik Gabay

Credit: Afik Gabay

Rest of Israel Foodie Summary

  • Armonim (Kosher) restaurant, which was previously in Moshav Segula, reopened in the new Dream Island Spa Hotel in Sde Yoav, inland from Ashkelon.
  • Beit Haugot (Badatz) moved from Yesod Hamala to Tzfat.
  • Chang Ba Yokneam (Not Kosher) is the second branch of an authentic Thai street food restaurant.
  • Chateau du Roi (Not Kosher) is a restaurant in the Galilee village of Mi’ilya housed inside a 250-year-old building.
  • Esther V’Yonathan (Kosher) is a restaurant in Zfat from the winners of MKR Israel (My Kitchen Rules).
  • Il Forno (Not Kosher) is an Italian restaurant in Manda Village by Arab Chef Omar Elwan.
  • Liri Lounge (Not Kosher) is a trendy bistro in Rishpon by the owners of the popular Gouje & Daniel bistro in Moshav Bnei Zion.
  • Mescha (Not Kosher) opened in Kfar Tavor by Chef Dahul Sefdi, who was previously the chef at Diane restaurant in Nazareth.
  • Niva Bento (Not Kosher) in Zichron Yaakov is a bento box restaurant, owned by Niva Goldzweig, a Japanese fanatic who auditioned for Master Chef.
  • San Marzano (Not Kosher) in Sakhnin is the sister restaurant to Il Forno by Arab Chef Omar Elwan. The menu is Italian with an Arabic influence.
  • The Butcher & The Chef (Kosher) is a meat shop in Afula which combines a butcher and a deli, with a grill and a smoker.

Restaurant Closures

To read previous Israel Foodie monthly roundups, click here and subscribe to my newsletter to receive updates by email.

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