International Delicacies in Tel Aviv

Whether you want to go Dutch, feel French or just dig into deli food, you’re covered.

One of Tel Aviv’s big advantages is the variety of delicacies it offers. Besides restaurants, food stands and cafes, you can find many quality specialty shops worth making a stop at en route to a picnic, hotel room or the beach.

One of the more established joints is Beatrice Dutch Delicatessen, named in honor of the queen who reigned from 1980 until April, with a slight variation in the spelling of her name, Beatrix. The store has become a focal point of the local Dutch community, especially because the moment you enter you feel as though you're coming into a neighborhood store in Amsterdam – including a collection of metal boxes with pictures of the royal family, a cardboard model of a windmill and radio music that is 100 percent NL.

Through the windows with their checkered curtains you can find everything tasty that comes from Holland: a rich and fresh selection of cheeses, from the very old to the youngest ones, especially imported fish, hagelslag (Dutch chocolate sprinkles) in a variety of flavors, Calve peanut butter, Heineken and Grolsch beers brewed in Holland (rather than the local version), licorice candies and even Indonesian food products (Indonesia was a former Dutch colony).

The place also offers delivery service to your hotel (NIS 15 per delivery in Tel Aviv) and will prepare gift packages with a large variety of products, but the prices match those of other products imported to Israel. Dutch speakers will also be able to find secondhand magazines, distributed free of charge. Address: 19 Rashi Street, corner of 22 King George.

If you prefer the Queen of England, then in the Basher Fromagerie delicatessen you will be able to drink coffee in British-made decorated coffee cups and enjoy selected cheddar cheeses from the same kingdom. Liat and Igor, the owners of the delicatessen, which is located on Dizengoff Street and includes a small café with braided Parisian chairs, are particularly proud of the raw ingredients and the products they sell from France.

"This is a high-quality delicatessen on a plate," says Liat. "We bring the best things. The Roquefort from Roquefort, the Gruyere from Gruyere, and the Camembert from Normandy. The wines are also the best. This is a place for people who understand and appreciate." So only if you're convinced that you really understand will you be able to appreciate a large selection of canapes, sandwiches on French bread and cream puffs, cheese platters in two sizes (for NIS 99 or NIS 198) or fine chocolate made in Tel Aviv. The house sandwich (including a variable selection of cheeses and truffle oil) and chocolate truffles by weight are highly recommended for the palate – but less so for the arteries. Address: 201 Dizengoff Street.

Another very successful place is Delicatessen – which as its name implies is a delicatessen spread over two floors that includes a take-out counter, restaurant, café and cheese store. The place is meticulously and richly designed, and at the entrance there are large and colorful flower bouquets that are changed daily. The menu of prepared food changes daily and includes dishes such as a salad of quinoa, lentils and olive oil, baked beets with balsamic vinegar and thyme, baked salmon, leek, oil and lemon, salt-water fish patties, a sauce of tomatoes and coriander or a young eggplant stuffed with lamb.

The prices vary, some are by unit and some by weight. The food can be collected from Sunday to Friday from 12 noon until 7 P.M., and on Friday and Saturday from 10 A.M. until 4 P.M. The same dishes and others can be eaten in the restaurant (the morning menu is served until noon, the lunch menu from noon until 5 P.M. and the evening menu from 5 P.M. until closing). Or you can start the day with fresh coffee and home-made cake. The place is meticulous about high quality and fast and professional service and the clientele is stylish (even if somewhat snobbish). Address: 79/81 Yehuda Halevi Street, Tel Aviv.

Delicatessen on Yehuda Halevy Street, Tel Aviv.
Eyal Toueg