Some of the most unique and authentic places in Tel-aviv is the marketplace, one of the best ones is Shuk Hacarmel (Carmel market). this fascinating area is holding a big variety of restaurants, coffee shops, street food stands, Humus places that makes this area packed with food of any kind, cuisine and price range.
There’s a lot of mess in the Carmel market, you will hear the sellers shouting, the buyers chatting, a regular busy market commotion only intensified because it’s a middle eastern market.
It’s not easy always to find the location of the place you want to visit, best way is to ask, Israeli people are very kind and will always be happy to direct you to the correct street.
The below list is not the full one of course there are tons of stuff in shuk hacarmel however this is my favorite places, I divided them into a few sections to make sense of it all.
Restaurants in the Carmel market
A veteran restaurant that was founded in the late 90’s and keep a good quality of food ever since. the atmosphere is calm and relaxed with great home food in reasonable prices. make sure you go for the Mujadara, couscous, chicken liver or any of their great salads.in the Mitbachon you will find that the place is friendly and the staff will gladly assist you in everything you need.
One of the most colorful places in the market which holds all the goodies the market has to offer. the menu is seasonal with fresh products from the market and a daily special dish. In the Basta you can find a great crab burekas (filo leaves or yeasted dough with seasonal filling), fresh fish and seafood and a variety of internal cuts that usually you won’t find on your average menu.
The Bun is a cool Asian style restaurant in the north entrance of the market, it is influenced from the oriental street food with great fusion dishes like the Bun filled with oxtail or fish, the refreshing Asian salads and delicious soups like the Ramen.
In the Tel-aviv scenery there are handful amount of restaurants that existed 30 years ago, Papas is one of them with a great Italian menu including all the traditional Italian dishes, some with local interpretation. The pasta and Pizza are homemade and you can find a good variety. Among my favorites dishes in the Papas are the carpaccio, the sweet potato Ravioli with butter sage and the seafood pasta.
M25 – The meat market
This restaurant is operated by the same owners of the nearby butcher shop called the ‘meat market’. The quality of the meat is probably among the top 5 in Tel-aviv, the meat is aged in the butchery shop and you can choose your own cut from a display fridge in the restaurant. The owners of M25 have a long experience as head chefs in various restaurants in Tel-aviv so you can expect only the best. Prices are not cheap but you get good quality for your money.
Coffee shops in the Carmel market
Shefer Coffee shop
A calm and easy coffee shop that hides in one of the small streets of the market and serves mainly local customers. Shefer Cafe has great coffee, good sandwiches and great music, if you want main dishes like shakshuka or couscous you can eat this here as well. A very generous breakfast is served up to 12 noon every day.
Yom-tov Coffee shop
One of the best places to sit and relax over a good cup of coffee in the market area, the place is known to be a hipster place with a young and colorful atmosphere that turns into a real carnival over the weekends. there is a big variety of pastries and sandwiches, vegans will also find many dishes in the menu. Yom tov Cafe is highly recommended if you want to see the Tel-aviv hipster scene up close.
Located in the corner of the main Carmel street, MAE Cafe is a haven for a quick coffee and escaping the mess of the main street. The coffee is roasted and grinded from fresh beans of the highest quality. You can also buy coffee beans of different house blends for your home espresso machine.
Cafe Ba Shuk (Market Coffee)
Located in the middle of the market, Cafe Ba Shuk is a small coffee shop with amazing coffee, perhaps best in Tel-aviv.
The place is so small that people usually just grab coffee to-go or drinking one of the best espresso while standing looking at the market fuss.
The Arepas stand
In the center of the main street of the market there is a unique Arepas stand. This traditional venezuelan cuisine is a great choice for a quick snack, filled with meat cheese or chicken you will find that this corn pita is a full meal packed with all sort of goodies. prices are low about 25-30 nis per arepa.
A cheap and great falafel stand in the main street with a very low-price tag of 7 nis. For this price, you will find a filling falafel in a homemade pita with a variety flavors of soda made on the spot.
Bourika (Börek) center
bourika or Börek (in Turkish) is a filo leaf with egg and potatoes fried in deep oil, the innovation in this stand is that it’s packed inside a pita for take-away, so you can actually eat it while walking in the market. This is a delicious street food that you can’t really have enough of with a price tag of 10 nis per bourik.
Turkish authentic bourekas
The small bourekas shop is located close to the king george entrance and offering a wide variety of boureks with different fillings, the classic cheese bourekas, spinach and potatoes, all come with egg on the side and a soda. you can also find a great malabi in this spot. prices are 30 nis for a boureks and drink. The Turkish bourekas in this place is huge, making it a full meal along with homemade pickles, that’s all you need in order to get you thru the morning.
Dim sum stand
A small stand in the middle of the market that offers a large variety of Chinese dim sum options. there are a large variety of dim sum options with beef, chicken, shiitake mushrooms and a variety of vegetables. You can also find Japanese Gyoza and Siomai with different fillings. The prices are 5 nis per dim sum, you will need 4-5 to in order to make a meal out of it.
Hummus hacarmel (Magen david)
Hidden behind vegetables stands in the main Carmel street, there is a designed as a synagogue (that’s why it has all the star of David all over) lies down one of the surprising hummus joints in the area. Cheap prices of 13 nis per a hummus plate and 14 nis for ½ Kilo take-away portion. Hummus hacarmel is one of the best there is, made fresh every day until it’s finished around 18:00 daily.
The Syrian son
The original Syrian Hummus was a legend in Tel-aviv, one day he just closed its gates and nobody took over for a few years so you can imagine how happy all the hummus fans were when his son took over and opened a new hummus shop with his father’s recipes called the Syrian son. Price is 25 nis per plate, open until 14:00 afterwards, no more hummus left.
Shlomo and Doron
One of the oldest Hummus joints in Tel-aviv, it serves a large hummus plate and you can have different options like traditional hummus with fava beans, and some non-traditional like hummus shakshuka, mushrooms etc. Prices at Shlomo and Doron are about 22 nis per plate depends on your option.
A famous hummus from jaffa that opened a branch in the Carmel market, Kalabuni hummus has many fans and avery good price tag of 15 nis. The hummus is very smooth and in addition you will be able to find dishes like shakshuka and some more traditional food. make sure to add spices and lemon to get the full experience of this hummus.