We got back into Tel Aviv in time for dinner, and hungry after a long day exploring Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, so after a quick hotel pit stop we wandered back out again. We found Cafe 48 not far away. As as browsed the menu at the door, a couple sitting inside told us we won’t regret picking it – and they were right! It definitely vied for best meal of the trip.
We started with lovely cocktails. It’s a small-plate kind of place so we picked a few to share. We were all decided then the waitress read the specials which all sounded amazing, we we had to re-decide!
Two of the specials happened to be two of our favourite things to eat: burrata (a kind of extra-creamy mozzarella cheese), served here on mouthwatering balsamic tomatoes, and cornbread, given the nacho treatment with a toasted corn and melted cheese topping. I also had a dish of stir-fried pak choi and Josh had some sliders.
We were pretty damn full by the end, which is a shame as the dessert menu sounded amazing. The waitress overhead me lamenting my ability to fit anything else in, then brought us a little sliver of of Crack Pie (of Momofuku fame) for free with our bill. It’s simply the most indulgent-tasting dessert ever: soft butter, sticky brown sugar and chewy oats in a cookie crust. Needless to say, despite being full I finished the slice, and the accompanying whipped cream.
The next morning we went to Nachalat Binyamin, a street near our hotel which starts as an everyday/junk market, then has a farmer market, then turns into fabrics shops. Yes, basically my dream street.
Mouthwatering displays of fruits, veg and spices.
Fabric shops! They were awesome. I wrote in more detail about them over on my sewing blog if you’re interested.
In the afternoon we went back over to Jaffa to check out the flea market. There was so much stuff, from ramshackle piles of furniture on the streets to higher-end shops with some beautiful vintage and midcentury goodies. It was a bit distressing to not be able to bring anything home.
Plenty of kitties over here, too.
We walked back to Tel Aviv along the beach, admiring the stunning sunset on the way.
For dinner we went to Abraxas North, a place that seems to be pretty hyped-up as the coolest place to go. We were seated at the little horseshoe shaped bar, from where you can look into the open kitchen and see the chefs at work. I think the idea is each chef conceives and cooks his own dishes which make up the menu.
The food was… okay. Not the best we had on the trip by far, so we a were a bit disappointed given the reviews. The bread salad wasn’t nearly as nice as ones we’d had elsewhere, and the most famous dish – a whole roasted cauliflower, Noma style, just tasted… like plain cauliflower. Luckily we weren’t that hungry so didn’t order much as it would have been pretty expensive for a full meal.
The next morning, our last day, was a bit cold and cloudy with a bit of drizzle. We couldn’t really decide what to do before our flight so took a walk to the spice market in Florentin.
It was more of a collection of little shops rather than market, and I think there was more choice at the farmer’s market. Florentin isn’t the nicest part of town either, so we abandoned plans and went for a decadent brunch instead.
Benedict is another of THE places to be in Tel Aviv. The queues out the door on Saturday morning were ridiculous, but luckily on Tuesday we got seated quickly. The menu is huge and reads like a San Francisco cafe with a bit of Middle Eastern influence. It’s also extraordinarily good value: my massive shakshuka included a free champagne cocktail and bread and was under a tenner. Ending the trip on a high.
Again, all these places are listed on my Foursquare list.
Finally, here are a few of my general thoughts on Tel Aviv if you’re thinking of visiting: