Thousands of students travel to Israel each year on the program Birthright, a free trip for Jewish kids ages 18-26. If you want to make the best of your experience while you are already halfway across the world, you should extend your visit and explore on your own (AKA, try the best food Israel has to offer). 

I stayed for 10 days after my trip and got to try restaurants beyond the typical recommendations. This list includes underrated restaurants in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and the beach town of Eilat for people looking to get the best meals Israel has to offer. 

Tel Aviv

chicken, avocado, salad
Hannah Skriloff
sweet, cake, cream, cinnamon, pastry, cannoli, strudel
Hannah Skriloff

Landwer's Cafe: this cafe is located throughout the country, including a spot with an ocean view right along the port. The salad creations at offer so many unique choices. Even the bread baskets served with the meal were impeccable! The best part yet—and this is crucial—was the the chocolate peanut butter rugulaThis is a must if you stop by.

Nalagaat Center: this experience is once in a life time. This restaurant is pitch black in order to imitate what it is like for the blind community. I had no idea what the atmosphere, my meal, or my waiter looked like. I know that doesn't sound appealing, but the laughter in the room from water spillages and the elevated sense of smell will last beyond the taste of food at a typical restaurant. 


Hannah Skriloff

Marzipan bakery: Located at the corner of the Mahane Yehuda Market, Marzipan is known for the best baked treats in Israel. The marzipan (as you can tell by the name) and chocolate rugula are to die for. Marzipan is basically a cake made of almond paste. Better yet, the best cherries and smoothies are located right around the corner (you know, to balance out your daily sweet splurge). 

Moshiko: This joint is located right on the famous Ben Yehudah street. Of course there is no shortage of places you can find good shawarma, but this was undoubtedly the best I had. Made with fresh ingredients and hot, crispy fries in your laffa, you can't go wrong with a quick pitstop here. 


cherry, ice
Hannah Skriloff

Fifth Avenue: This is no doubt a fun, energetic environment located in the main center of the town. Fifth Avenue is known for its Italian food, and its menu changes relatively often. The beef gnocchi was among the best pasta I have had (even in Italy). Their large fruity cocktails were a great way to create a fun vibe in the restaurant. The hanging disco ball also adds to the bar scene vibe later in the night. 

Of course, I went to all the staple restaurants and markets recommended for tourists. But, this list consists of trendy, delicious restaurants likely to become the new hottest spots!