Tel Aviv makes list of world’s top culinary cities as “Outstanding”


Tel Aviv is home to over 4,500 eating establishments & 3 vibrant open fresh-food markets that food purveyors are proud of, & tour guides flock to with their groups.

By Yehuda Shlezinger


Tel Aviv-Jaffa, the cultural capital of Israel, has now been declared an international culinary capital in Saveur Magazine’s annual rankings of the best food destinations around the world.

Denizens of Tel Aviv were unsurprised to hear their city’s food lauded, but some think there is still room for improvement [Illustrative] – Phoot: Yehoshua Yosef

The prestigious American food and lifestyle magazine rated Tel Aviv “Outstanding” along with Florence, Italy and Lyon, France in the category of Best Culinary Destination, Small International, which refers to cities with a population of under 800,000. It also rated Tel Aviv “Outstanding” in the category for Best Markets and Shops, International, where it appeared alongside culinary powerhouses Paris and Barcelona.

Tel Aviv-Jaffa is home to 4,536 eating establishments and three open fresh-food markets.

Locals weren’t surprised at the ranking. Rafi Mizrahi, a merchant at the Carmel Market, told Israel Hayom that “this is the number-one tourist market in the country. It has authenticity, special colors and smells — the entire Mediterranean in one market.”

“The market will be refurbished soon; the infrastructure will be widened, new stalls will be put up, and it will be even more fun to visit here,” Mizrahi said.

“Any Tel Aviv tour guide with any self-respect comes to the Carmel Market before anything else,” he added.

Denizens of Tel Aviv were also unsurprised to hear their city’s food lauded, but some thought there was room for improvement.

“There a huge selection of delicious food of every kind in [this] city,” said Liat Rotem, who lives near Rabin Square in the center of the city. “I have no problem with the high-end restaurants, and good for anyone who can afford it. But how have we gotten to the point where a hamburger, a lafa [large stuffed pita], or a plate of pasta costs 50 shekels [$13]?”

Tel Aviv’s new status as an international food paradise comes on the heels of the city being named one of the world’s top start-up cities of the 21st century by Newsweek; the main Europe-area tech hub (The Wall Street Journal); the “capital of Mediterranean cool” (The New York Times); one of the world’s 10 best party cities (Lonely Planet) and the best gay tourist destination in the world (Gaycities).


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