Soup in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv barely dips below 20 degrees centigrade, even in January, however, as they say, every dog has its day, and although most days are divine here, there are occasions where the weather is cold, grey and raining. On such days, there are few things in the world that will drag me from my hotel room in Tel Aviv to the street. I prefer to stay cuddled up under thick duvets reading a book, dreaming about sunshine.
There is something unique about soup, something uniquely lovely. I could guzzle gallons of that warm, hearty, thick fluid every single day. Meat soups, vegetable soups, fish soups, spicy soups, cheesy soups and obviously soups with wine. Bring me a couple of bowls and I’ll bring you my credit card.
There are dozens of phenomenal restaurants and eateries at which you can pick up a bowl or cup of soup in Tel Aviv, in stark contrast to the terrible imitation of soup available in the supermarkets. If you haven’t been there already then a warning: do not even attempt the store bought soup, it’s a sodium nightmare. The last packet of soup I dared to eat turned me off any “soup” mix from the supermarket for life, as I literally felt like I’d eaten an entire bowl of salt with shriveled up carrot waste.
Anyway, back to stuff that tastes delicious! Although the choices in the winter in Israel for soup are literally endless, I have compiled a short list of places to pick up great soups, eat in and take away. Here are my top seven places for Soup in Tel Aviv.
Seven stops to Soup Heaven
Starting with the traditional European “Jewish mother” chicken soup there is no better place than Keton at 145 Dizengoff. If you are looking for that chicken soup for the soul, intense nostalgia is provided here in several varieties. Enjoy a bowl of chicken soup straight out of grandmas’ kitchen with kreplach (meat dumplings), kneidlach (matzah balls) or lochshen (vermicelli).
Next door is Kiki (147 Dizengoff) which has been serving great vegan soup since 2013; they recently added many humus and shakshuka items to the menu. As their focus is moving away from soups, I’m somewhat suspicious they can keep to the high standards; however, it’s worth a shot for great vegetable and lentil broth.
Falafel Gabai is the Sephardic answer to Keton. Located on Bograshov, it’s a great place for mizrachi home cooked food in general and the soups are no exception. From Moroccan chickpea to Yeminite spicy meat soup, dip into some traditional Middle Eastern soups that are full of familiarity, feeling and flavor.
Chocolulu on Rabi Hayim Fital Street has the most delicious onion and mushroom soup on their menu although that’s about all you are going to get for soup variety. The rest of the menu is run-of-the-mill, but this soup exceeds expectations every single time.
Thai House is a Thai restaurant that all Tel Avivi’s rave about and so they should. It has a great menu and is conveniently located on Bograshov 8. Although I’m not a huge fan of their goose soup, the Tom Yam in shrimp and sea food varieties is truly heavenly. They also offer this in chicken and “fish” which is a little too non – specific for me, even if the spices and herbs cover up any distinct unpleasantness.
There are two places which I feel really cut a crust, or a bowl above the rest through both innovation and variety: Zuppa and Soupizza – both of which provide high quality, vigorous selections of soup-to-go.
Zuppa is an eatery where you literally build your soup meal from the type of soup through down to the very last crouton. The diversity on an average day is wide– choose from beef, tomato, pea, chicken and potato amongst several others and types of croutons, cheeses, rolls and salads to accompany your winter warmer at affordable prices ( between 20-30 shekels) . Located on both Ibn Gavriol 138 and 19 Ahad Haam.
Soupizza is a unique restaurant which blends two incredibly popular foods: soup and pizza. This may sounds a bit unsophisticated but actually this concept has worked incredibly well. Smack bang in the middle of Yehuda Halevi, Soupizza carries between 5-8 types of soup, as well as fantastic dough bread from an impressive selection of over fifty. The pizza isn’t bad either.