Ever heard about The World’s 50 Best? It’s a governing body with reputable members in the culinary industry. Every year, they come up with a list of the 50 best bars and restaurants. The ranking is not by country but a worldwide list! Most of the time, the yearly list is the same. They just change depending on the ranking (and special awards).
Most countries get nominations from different parts and regions but the list they have in Israel only awarded the best bars and restaurants in Tel Aviv. Jerusalem is not on the list nor are culinary destinations like Acre and the Golan Heights.
Surely, Tel Aviv is a culinary destination in the world (not to mention the highest rate of vegan restaurants per capita in the world). Let’s try and see what the World’s 50 Best say about this magnificent food capital.
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🥇 How many bars and restaurants are on the World’s 50 Best list?
There are 6 restaurants that World’s 50 Best added to their “Discovery List” but there is only one real winner on this list which is Imperial Craft, awarded the best bar in the Middle East and Africa in 2017.
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🍸 Best bars in Tel Aviv by World’s 50 Best
📍 HaYarkon St 66
💲 from US$15
🥇 Best bar in the Middle East and Africa 2017
Imperial Craft is the only bar in Tel Aviv that was included in the World’s 50 Best Bars in 2017. Located in the Imperial Hotel, the cocktails at Imperial are categorized into flavor profiles: refreshing, fruity, tropical, elegant, bitter, and citrusy are some of the cocktail tags so you can decide what to order at the moment!
We also love the creativity of the names of the cocktails, inspired by different cities in the world (i.e. Seoul Searching, a spicy and smoky drink with a Korean umami paste mix!
📍 Berdyczewski St 14
💲 from US$17
Located in Hotel B Berdichevsky, Bellboy is constantly recommended on the World’s 50 Best Discovery list for its creative and fresh cocktails. What’s really interesting here is how they serve their drinks. You will receive cocktails served in a bathtub-shaped cup (overflowing with bubbles) and even a red fist (go figure!).
If you’re going to brunch with a group, try the Jerusalem Beach Punch, a citrus vodka drink with pomegranate, apple, lemon, lime, ginger beer, and jasmine green tea (say what!). It is good for 4 people and costs US$60. Bellboy also opened a second branch in Berlin, Germany with the same name.
📍 Berdyczewski St 14
💲 from US$15
Right next to Bellboy is Butler. They have the same owner but with a speakeasy concept. It remains one of the “secret bars” in Tel Aviv but is very public. The menu at Butler changes regularly and it’s unimaginable how they can come up with so many creative cocktails and drinks!
Parisian-style Absinthe (US$15) is one of the best-sellers claimed to be taken from Harry Johnson’s 1882 Bartender Manual. Butler is also big on bourbon, rye, scotch, single malt, and gin cocktails.
🥘 Best restaurants in Tel Aviv by World’s 50 Best
📍 HaShomer St 4
💲 from US$40
A small place by Carmel Market, you wouldn’t really think that HaBasta is of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Headed by the mighty Elon Amir, one of the most reputable chefs in Israel, he continuously challenges himself by creating a different menu every day at HaBasta.
Baguette with mussels is one of the best-seller creations – a strange combination yet perfectly in harmony. You can come here every day and have different dishes (depending on Elon’s mood). The wine selection at HaBasta is very exceptional with the powerhouse Israeli wines in the front row.
Another best restaurant in the world which is located west of Carmel Market, M25 has opened its second branch at Brodetsky Street to cater to the ever-growing foodies in Tel Aviv. It is not your regular restaurant category as they call themselves a ‘chophouse’, a term in the culinary industry used for referring to ‘restaurants that specialize in steaks, chops, and similar fare.’
You will notice the chophouse-ness of M25 as soon as you enter the restaurant. Large meats are displayed on the counter and they usually want to show what’s the special of the day. While most Tel Avivians are not heavy on eating meat, M25 have converted some foodies with their meat-packed menu.
Being named as one of the best restaurants in the world, the prices at M25 won’t break the bank. Tel Aviv is already a very expensive city but would you believe me if I tell you that the 600g prime rib at M25 is only US$10? Go to M25 and see it for yourself.
📍 Rothschild Blvd 142
💲 from US$65
Tucked in the famous Bauhaus area of Tel Aviv, Milgo Milbar is a seafood restaurant. Israel is blessed to be in the Mediterranean where there is an abundance of fresh seafood and Milgo Milbar is one of the most reputable. Chef Moti Titman uses the available ingredients that are available to Israel (depending on the season) and creates a Mediterranean-Middle Eastern explosive fusion.
Interesting dishes include the purple calamari on tzatziki (from the Greeks), a seafood kebab from the Middle East, and a little hint of Japan in their tuna sashimi with charred vegetables and black sesame tuile.
📍 Sderot Sha’ul HaMelech 27
💲 from US$45
Located in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Pastel’s world-class interior draws many foreigners and tourists to Chef Cobi Bachar’s menu. A fusion of French and local cuisine, Pastel’s plates star Parisian-style gnocchi with green chickpeas, mushrooms, and yellow wine at US$27.
Wine selections are from the regions of Piemonte, Italy and Jerez, Spain while the French wine selection is from Costières de Nîmes, Bourgogne, and Rhone. The Israeli bottles are one of a kind as they are not from the Golan but from the Negev and Judean Hills. There are 5 cocktails to choose from based on vodka, tequila, rum, and gin (US$17).
✈️ Ready for your trip to Tel Aviv? If you need more information about the best bars and restaurants in Tel Aviv, I’d be happy to update this post – just leave your questions below!