The Uniqueness of Israel
Where to Eat in the Carmel Market
If you spend a semester of your gap year in Tel Aviv, then there is no way that you will not visit the Carmel Market. In addition to being a great place to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, it is also an ideal location to grab a bite to eat thanks to a variety of restaurants catering to all budgets and tastes.
If you enjoy people watching in the bustle of the market then stop at Hashomer 1 (which conveniently is also the restaurant’s address). Run by Chef Naor Cohen, the kitchen is in full view and you can watch as your food is prepared. You will find dishes such as cauliflower falafel and tomato salad with Iraqi cheese. If you are feeling thirsty then why not try a Tel Aviv inspired cocktail, packed with fresh, seasonal products.
If you want to combine traditional Israeli food with Jewish Persian food then head to Hamitbach Hakaful (The Double Kitchen) on Nachlat Binyamin. It serves hummus together with authentic Persian dishes. Hummus fans should try their signature hummus dish, which contains za’atar, lemon, garlic, olive oil and parsley. However, if you want to try something a bit different then check out the gondi (chicken and chickpea dumplings served in chicken stock with potatoes), or the charcoal-grilled lamb kebabs.
Those who are early risers could go for breakfast at the Yom Tov Café, a restaurant whose name combines the street the restaurant is on with the kind of day breakfast there can provide. You will find a huge range of breakfasts to choose from, you could have smoked salmon and avocado, try a Yemenite breakfast with saluf flatbread and eggplant, or go Russian with a smoked-fish plate featuring both pickled herring and salmon roe. Other choices include a brisket sandwich on North African frena bread, as well various vegan options and salads.
If you consider yourself a carnivore then head to Shmuel, located on the corner of Hacarmel and Rabbit Meir streets. It is a kebab shop where you can order grilled meat in a pita or ciabatta, and the sandwiches are full of Middle Easter flavours. Their signature dish is the famous Jerusalem Mix, which in itself is a must try dish when in Israel. Containing things like chicken livers, kidneys and hearts, it is a meal that shouldn’t be missed.
Those of you who would prefer to avoid meat can head to Shlomo and Doron Hummus on Yishon Street. Here you will find hummus with a wide variety of toppings such as slow-cooked egg, olives, green tahini, and much more. It is always packed thanks to the delicious dishes on offer, and you are sure to enjoy your meal, whether you are a meat eater, vegetarian or vegan.
These are just a few of the many delights to be found around the Carmel Market. As you get to know the streets surrounding it, you are sure to find many favourite places of your own. Be sure to take the opportunity to explore, as there is no doubt that you’ll have a delicious time.