7 Tel Aviv Eateries Featured in Famed '50 Best Discovery' List

The city's leading trends: cocktails and chef restaurants

M25, where 'the arais is a must-try.'
Tomer Appelbaum

The White City considers itself a world culinary capital, but now comes (another) official seal. Seven Tel Aviv restaurants and bars have joined the list of recommendations of 50 Best Discovery, and all received warm reviews that whet the appetite.

In the past decade, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants has become the most influential list in the culinary world. Thanks to its scope and the fact that it keeps its finger on the pulse when it comes to culinary trends, it has gained high status among foodies all over the world. Now it has launched a new initiative that allows eaters around the globe to discover new and intriguing culinary destinations not included in the hard-to-achieve rankings of the 50 best restaurants in the world.

At Tel Aviv's Basta.
Tali Mayer

In every city that was chosen, the site’s critics picked a very limited number of eateries or bars that they believe are worthy of being included on the prestigious list. Rio de Janeiro, for example, has only four recommendations.

In Tel Aviv, the three bars that received the honor of being included have already embraced the elegant cocktail. Imperial Bar is accustomed to receiving recognition and awards, including the best in the Middle East and Africa in 2017. Bellboy, on the ground floor of Hotel B Berdichevsky, was complimented for its “interesting vessels” for drinks. Butler, in the same location but somewhat more concealed, was described as being “like the Russian doll of speakeasies.”

Bellboy, on the ground floor of Hotel B Berdichevsky, was complimented for its “interesting vessels” for drinks.
Liron Harel

Along with elegant cocktails, another trend also received recognition, with two representatives on the list: marketplace restaurants, which have dominated Israeli cuisine in the past decade. HaBasta is “small but perfectly formed,” the dishes “come with the simplest of descriptions yet are satisfyingly complex in execution. The international wine list is equally exceptional.” About M25, the reviewers wrote: “The small dining room features simple wooden seating and concrete, while a well-stocked butchery counter displays cuts for diners’ perusal. ‘Arais’ is a must-try. For mains, the 600g prime rib represents great value at $10 per kilo.”

The other two places on the list are high-class chef’s restaurants: Milgo & Milber, which is described as “one of Tel Aviv’s finest fish restaurants. ... Pioneering young chef Moti Titman fuses Mediterranean and Middle Eastern traditions with nods to Japan.” The second is Pastel, located in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, which boasts “accomplished brasserie classics with a rainbow of intricate accompaniments every bit as artful as you’d hope for in such a spot.”

A dish at the Basta.
Tomer Appelbaum

Although Tel Aviv attracted most of the attention, Jerusalem is also represented on the Discovery list. Only one restaurant is featured – Machneyuda – but its owners can be proud of their London restaurants, the Palomar and the Barbary, which were also included on the list of recommendations.

This is how the most successful culinary decade in Tel Aviv history is coming to a close. We can mention several records: the arrival of the Gault & Millaut guide to the city; the export of a number of restaurants and chefs to various European capitals; and being included in a large number of international guides and recommendations, from the British Telegraph to the 50 Best Discovery.

There’s still a long way to go until a Tel Aviv eatery makes it to the World’s 50 Best, but we can clearly see that the white light of the city is already gleaming in the distance, and it sure is tasty.