Sivan Askayo (@sivanaskayo) continues to show us her unique perspective of Tel Aviv, Israel, this time sharing some of the city’s most delicious – and perhaps surprising – culinary delights.
You mention hummus as being a typical Israeli food popular among Tel Avivians; what are some other popular foods or dishes and where are the best places to find them?
The culinary scene in Tel Aviv is very advanced and won’t disappoint cosmopolitan foodies. There is a wide range of cuisines to choose from, starting from typical street food such as hummus and falafel, to sophisticated master chef-oriented restaurants. The current food trend is all about fusion; you can now find mixes of shawarma and tzaziki, or seafood and tahini just about anywhere.
Tel Avivians typically stay loyal to their favorite spots, be it a cafe, hummus joint or falafel place. There are so many great restaurants, though, and good food is everywhere! Hacarmel Market and Levinski Market are great locations for fresh fruit and vegetables and other ingredients to cook with. There are also lots of small food stalls in these markets that serve delicious, authentic, homemade food.
Cuisines tend to differ in countries as you move north to south, or east to west. Is that the case in Israel?
Not really; Israel is a small country and there’s no difference north to south. The Galilee area, however, in the north of the country, is known also for its gastronomic offerings and there are lots of wineries. Some of the kibbutzim make their own dairy products using sheep milk as well.
What might surprise people about cuisine Tel Aviv?
Tel Avivians love to eat out just as much as they enjoy cooking at home and inviting friends over. And as Tel Aviv is a hectic, dynamic city, some supermarkets are open 24/7 to serve those who fancy something to eat at any time of the day. These supermarkets even have special nickname: Pitzu-zia. I lived in New York for one year and sometimes, it was hard to find a supermarket that was open after midnight!
If you could open one restaurant in Tel Aviv, perhaps to fill a gap that exists in the food landscape, what kind of restaurant would it be and why?
I love to say that Tel Aviv has almost any kind of food; however, we are missing some Caribbean restaurants here. Cuban and Cajun foods would be more than welcome.
When traveling, are you adventurous with food?
As much as I love to photograph food, I can’t call myself a foodie. When I travel though, I do enjoy trying the local cuisine and I’m always curious about it. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.