Years ago, Tel Aviv, certainly wasn’t a culinary centre. But times change, and there are some very acceptable, and actually very good, restaurants there now. But given the outdoor lifestyle and great weather in this Mediterranean city, it’s not unusual to see locals multitasking – walking, speaking on their cellphones and eating at the same time.
However, if it’s a nosh you hunger for, there are kiosks – quaint, square, small buildings – that look as though they were put together by a few friends overnight, yet they also serve unexpectedly good fare at the most inexpensive prices in this now very pricey city.
So, you ask, where are the best kiosk nosheries? In this small country, where every metre has been used, it isn’t a surprise that the large boulevards such as Rothschild – where Bauhaus-designed buildings are located on either side of the street, and which has been deemed the “White City” and a UNESCO-listed world heritage site – has become a mecca for noshers who appreciate good food al fresco. Place your order at one of the large open windows and within minutes, you’re called to pick up your breakfast, lunch or midday snack.
Here, in the middle of the boulevard of one of the most beautiful streets in Tel Aviv, you can find fresh-from-the-farm salads as well as sandwiches. Some kiosks even serve pasta. Many of these little buildings have developed their green space and now have tables and chairs where you can sit under shady trees for as long as you like.
Since there’s very little parking in this ever-growing city, each neighbourhood with a boulevard has kiosks, and they’re usually within walking distance for their regulars customers. Then, of course, there are Tel Avivians who order and grab take-out orders and rush back to the office. What surprised me was at noon, long queues would form, mostly for take-outs.
Another great noshing thoroughfare is Lilienblum Street, which also has wide boulevards with kiosks.
When I would wander over for the best coffee each morning, I would see the same people with their computers sitting there for hours, some debating politics, others reading the daily newspapers.
Ben-Gurion and Dizengoff streets have two kiosks facing each other, but these two savvy kiosk owners are smart enough to have different menus. One serves only veggies and fruit juice, while the other has a larger selection
So when in Tel Aviv, do as the Tel Avivians do: relax, meet the chatty locals and enjoy a wonderful nosh at a colourful kiosk with people who all love to talk about their city.