May is Celiac Disease Awareness month, so we decided to find three Tel Aviv restaurants that offer a large and tasty selection of gluten-free dishes. Still, it’s always a good idea to call ahead with any important dietary questions – and remember to also do so during the meal, if necessary. Also, bear in mind that these restaurants also serve food that contains gluten so are not completely gluten-free environments.
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Let us begin with a proclamation: Chef Matan Abrahams’ restaurant, in the heart of the Ramat Hahayal business district, is one of the best meat restaurants in the country. A very impressive refrigerator for aging meat, and cuts you won’t find anywhere else, are just two of the reasons for this title. The restaurant is extremely well equipped to serve diners with celiac: Gluten-free soy and barbecue sauce are available, and the kitchen also has special gluten-free flours from which to make bread and rolls. The Hudson Brasserie has a separate printed gluten-free menu, where you’ll find nearly all the same items as on the main menu, including one that many celiacs long for – a hamburger in a bun. Besides the three kinds of hamburger on offer, you can also enjoy a Philadelphia (cheesesteak) sandwich; main dishes like grilled salmon or beef and shrimp in a seafood sauce; and, of course, there is also the restaurant’s extensive array of grilled meats, with nearly every possible side dish. If that’s not friendly, what is?
Hudson Brasserie, 27 Habarzel Street, Ramat Hahayal 03-644-4733
Until recently, Italian cuisine seemed to offer very little to people with celiac. Lately, though, there’s been a notable increase in the number of Italian restaurants offering appropriate dishes. One of the best is Italkiya Bapishpishim, located on a charming corner at the edge of the Jaffa Flea Market – the kind of place that on a hot summer day you could almost imagine was situated in some actual Italian piazza, with the checked tablecloths and everything. And as to what concerns us here: It also offers quite an extensive gluten-free menu. Aside from the risotto of the day, which is almost always intriguing, you can order nearly all the pasta dishes in a “kosher for celiacs” version – including pasta puttanesca, with grilled cherry tomatoes, capers, anchovies, Kalamata olives, oregano and olive oil; pappardelle di mare, with a basil and truffle pesto with calamari and shrimp; or the carbonara with cream, Parmesan and bacon. If you’re searching for somewhere you can truly sate your desire for gluten-free pasta, look no further.
Italkiya Bapishpishim, 16 Olei Zion Street, Jaffa Flea Market 057-944-3711
At any given moment you’ll find a very mixed crowd, ranging from families to businesspeople, at the Yarzin brothers’ Café Italia. The very classic Italian menu offers something for just about everyone. The vast majority of the menu is adapted for people with celiac, and includes a wide variety of gluten-free pasta dishes, such as spaghettini with cherry tomatoes and anchovies; or pasta with spinach and ham in a cream sauce. There is also a wide selection of other dishes, such as white osso buco with saffron; hot sirloin strips; and a number of fish dishes that change daily. The dessert menu also includes many gluten-free options – besides the ice cream and sorbet, you can also enjoy a gluten-free almond, lemon and polenta cake or a decadent chocolate nemesis.
Café Italia, 6 Kremnitzki Street 03-561-2888