(JNi.media) Condé Nast Traveler, which is part of a network of 20 print and digital media brands reaching more than 164 million consumers, focuses on literary journalism and hard news reporting. This month, it declared that Israel’s trend-setting city Tel Aviv has become a Mecca for herbivores. The magazine extols the city’s Carmel Market, with its “gleaming pyramids of eggplants, peppers, and cabbage heaped like pinups.” It is astonished by all the gastronomic influences: Russian, Polish, Arabic, Moroccan, Bulgarian, Iraqi, which “can coax a world of flavors out of the most humble potato.” And best of all, for the religious Jewish traveler, Tel Aviv’s abundance of no-meat, no-dairy restaurants are “kosher by default,” if you trust the owner, of course.
The article divides the eateries into outright Vegan and “veggie friendly.” Vegan food, in addition to being vegetarian, does not contain animal products and by-products such as eggs, dairy products or honey. The list of top notch, Tel Aviv Vegan joints is impressive (served here with choice lines from each):
Café Anastasia: tofu crepes, macadamia or chickpea omelets, and veggie scrambles.
Caffe Kaymak: fundamental bean soup is a medley of nutty al dente beans sitting in a sweet tomato broth roused by black pepper.
Nanuchka: hand-made dumplings, include a pastry pocket stuffed with potato, paired with eggplant salsa, as well as a pirashki filled with seasonal mushrooms.
Tenat (Ethiopian): crepe-like Injera bread, which you can wrap around the accompanying lentils, root vegetables, beetroot leaves, and potato salad.
Bindella: open ravioli piled with green-pea puree, mushrooms, and green-vegetable ragu.
Chiripom: Tip the party hat and out roll croquettes made of fried onion, parsley, and white potatoes.
Dallal: A forest-mushroom-and-mascarpone tortellini with hazelnut and truffled goat cheese makes for a rich starter.
Incidentally, Carmel Market, Shuk HaCarmel in Hebrew, is a vast, open air marketplace in old Tel Aviv, bordered by Allenby Street and Magen David Square. The market is open every day of the week, except Shabbat, and sells mostly food but also home accessories and flowers. Tuesdays and Fridays are the days when independent artists and vendors sell unique crafts, art, and jewelry nearby, along Nahalat Binyamin Street.