Neve Tzedek is one of Tel Aviv’s oldest neighbourhoods, created as the city expanded to the north out of Jaffa. The old buildings and narrow winding streets give it the feel of a village and it’s now a premier residential district. Shabazi, the central street running through the neighbourhood, is packed with boutiques and eateries. My map here, neighbourhood map here. It’s a good street for a stroll and no stroll is complete without an ice cream…
Anita (Elementary A), 40 Shabazi Street, on the corner with Pines Street, www.anita-gelato.com
Considered by many to be the best gelateria in the city, and I have no reason to disagree. These two local flavours were wonderful.
There are lots of good restaurants in Neve Tzedek but this one had the best rep when we were in town in 2018, and a sea view…
Manta Ray (Advanced B), 703 Kaufmann Street, on the beach, www.mantaray.co.il
Manta Ray is a famous seafood restaurant overlooking Alma Beach. It has a terrace looking out to sea that is one of the best spots for sunset viewing in the summer, but our visit was in February and rain was threatening, so we got a table for five inside by the window instead.
The service was impeccable, our waitress was lovely, but the food was just okay overall, not amazing.
The best part was the mezze at the beginning (A). A big tray of small dishes was brought next to the table for us to choose from.
These were served with warm Balkan bread, and balsamic vinegar and olive oil for dipping, all lovely.
The cooking standard of the mains was a little disappointing sadly, not helped by the food getting cold on the unwarmed plates (a pet hate of mine). The Scallop and Shrimp on Kale with Apple Sauce, Asparagus and Bottarga Crumbs that I shared with Mark was okay but not what we’d hoped for (B).
The other three had the Mixed Seafood in a Black Cast-Iron Pot which was a huge portion of mussels, small crabs and various veg. Claire thought the crabs were overcooked and a bit mushy, as well as being quite small, and the others agreed (C+).
The 2017 Viognier ‘BlueC’ from Convenant Israel was excellent though (A) if a bit pricey at £40 for the bottle. As I mentioned in a previous post, the Israeli wine industry is in its infancy and the huge capital investment, along with the lack of a developed export market, means that costs are high. It is lovely stuff though.
So, an expensive place that could do better but the location is hard to beat. I’m sure you could have a lovely time here if you choose your food carefully, and get a good spot for the sun going down.
A last stroll along the beachfront next…