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10 great places to enjoy weekend brunch
Review: More and more Israeli restaurants are offering brunches, adopting the English term and devising separate menus.

Israelis love breakfast, and they are particularly fond of going out to eat it. They are also discovering the joys of brunch, especially over the weekend. The restaurants in this list either have dedicated brunch menus, or serve what are commonly considered typical brunch dishes, not just for breakfast but also into afternoon hours (at least until noon) on both days of Israel’s weekend: Fridays and Saturdays.

 

 

They also all have English menus, most of which may also be referenced online. Even so, this list can hardly be considered exhaustive; hotel buffets have been excluded, as well as restaurants that serve brunch on only one day of the weekend. Regrettably, this means that none of our restaurants may be certified kosher.

 

The information in each entry is grouped under six headings. All the restaurants serve full ranges of soft, hot and even alcoholic drinks; specialty drinks are mentioned under Beverages. Unless indicated otherwise, Price refers to the least expensive single brunch dish on the menu.

 

Finally, no attempt has been made to engage in a ranking exercise; the restaurants are listed in alphabetical order.

 

Bon apetite!

 

Brown 

Ambiance: Located in the upscale G Tzameret Mall in north Tel Aviv, Brown is a café that has morphed into a popular neighborhood brasserie: a white-tablecloth restaurant that retains a cozy coffee shop feel. It also has a lovely al fresco section.

 

Brunch hours: Served Fridays and Saturdays, 1pm-5pm.

 

Beverages: Eight specialty cocktails, excellent healthy smoothies.

 

Menu: Since the brunch menu starts in the afternoon, many of the starters reflect lunch choices. The main dishes comprise both typical brunch dishes—e.g., eggs Benedict and shakshuka—as well as dishes suitable for lunch, or even dinner.

 

Photo: Anatoly Michaello
Photo: Anatoly Michaello

 

Desserts are recommended here, especially the cheesecake, the Black Forest mousse, and the homemade ice cream.

 

Noteworthy: All the pastries, desserts, breads and ice cream are homemade. Brown's Kitchen is based on seasonal local raw materials, and the menu varies accordingly.

 

Price: Three starters and two main dishes for NIS 150 for two people, or NIS 85 for one person (starters plus one main dish).

 

Brown. Nissim Aloni St. 10, Tel Aviv. Tel. (03) 544-4024

 

Cafe Louise  

Ambiance: The only chain in our list of recommended brunch restaurants, with branches from the Galilee to Rehovot, including the greater Tel Aviv metropolitan area. The Ramat Hahayal branch has a pleasant al fresco area under awnings.

 

Brunch hours: Daily, including Saturday, until 12:50pm.

 

Beverages: Specialty shakes and fresh-squeezed natural juices, as well as mimosas and even exotic hot drinks. Cocktails and smoothies cost only NIS 10 with a meal.

 

Menu: The chain offers natural and vegan breakfasts for one or two, comprising eggs in a variety of ways as well as nine mezze. Most unusual is cheese kadaif with fried egg. The Norwegian morning croissant with smoked salmon and poached egg is so popular it may sell out.

 

Photo: Sarit Goffen
Photo: Sarit Goffen

 

Desserts include vegan and even sugar-free options.

 

Price: NIS 45.

 

Noteworthy: The slogan of the chain is “the wild side of nature;” Cafe Louise delivers healthy food that is tasty and inventive and has recently instituted a kids’ menu at the special price of NIS 25.

 

Cafe Louise. Harugay Malkhut St. 11, Tel Aviv. Tel. (03) 644-7497.

 

Delicatessen 

Ambiance: As the name implies, the restaurant exists alongside a deli shop and bakery, with tables upstairs as well as two al fresco areas, one on the verandah and another on the sidewalk.

 

Brunch hours: Fridays, 07:30am-5pm; Saturdays, 8am-1pm.

 

Beverages: Four specialty brunch cocktails (While the food menu is bilingual, the alcohol menu is in Hebrew only; for the most part, the knowledgeable wait staff speaks English).

 

Menu: There is a Grand Delicatessen deluxe brunch for two, which includes two eggs any style per person; dishes of assorted smoked fish, cheeses and crudités; fresh-squeezed juice, and coffee. Other popular brunch dishes are shakshuka, smoked salmon with latkes, and American-style bagel sandwiches.

 

Photo: Shiran Carmel
Photo: Shiran Carmel

 

There is a separate dessert menu which features many of the baked goods for which the venue is famous.

 

Price: The deluxe brunch for two represents excellent value at NIS 130.

 

Noteworthy: Delicatessen belongs to the acclaimed R2M group of restaurants, whose Brasserie R&M, CoffeeBar and Hotel Montefiore also offer brunches.

 

Delicatessen. Yehudah HaLevi St. 79-81, Tel Aviv. Tel. (03) 968-1010.

 

Greco  

Ambiance: The restaurant, not quite on the beach but subject to cooling breezes from the sea, cultivates the atmoshpere of a Greek taverna, complete with lively ethnic music.

 

Brunch hours: Daily, including Saturday, until 12:30pm (The dedicated brunch menu is in Hebrew only, but many of the dishes overlap with the English-language regular menu; additionally, the wait staff speak reasonable English).

 

Beverages: Greek morning specialty cocktails, five featuring Greek spirits.

 

Menu: Three brunch-only dishes are the sfougato, an omelette with a choice of fresh baby anchovies or zucchini; kiana, Greek scrambled eggs with tomato sauce, feta cheese, onion and parsley, served with grilled bread; and tiropita, the same as the classic spanakopita spinach boreka, without the spinach.

 


Other brunch dishes are taken from the regular menu, particularly the mezze section.

 

Similarly, the three morning desserts are all taken from the regular dessert menu: loukoumades, balls of fried dough with honey and cinnamon; kaimaki, goat yogurt ice cream with raspberry syrup and toasted almonds; and orange filo with yogurt cream.

 

 

Price: From NIS 42.

 

Noteworthy: Consider ordering one of Greco’s signature dishes, the 12 gods’ pastry; while not technically categorized on the menu as a dessert, it is sweet and delicious.

 

Java  

Ambiance: A unique combination of informal neighborhood café, bar and restaurant, located on the busy corner of Ben Yehudah and Jabotinsky streets in Tel Aviv.

 

Brunch hours: Breakfast/brunch is served daily until 5pm.

 

 

Beverages: A full bar offers virtually an unlimited selection of cocktails, but there is also a nice variety of smoothies.

 

Menu: Prominent on the extensive breakfast menu are two kinds of shakshuka, a Balkan version with feta cheese and eggplant, in addition to the standard tomato. Most remarkable, however, is the ricotta-stuffed French toast, a truly delicious variation.

 

 

There are also excellent desserts, such as the warm, sweet churros.

 

Price: From NIS 38.

 

Noteworthy: Java, recognized in a recent survey as the best coffee shop in north Tel Aviv, is known for its interesting promotions, including tax-free alcohol, and serving students free coffee during exam times.

 

Java. Ben Yehuda St 196, Tel Aviv. Tel. (03) 744-0466.

 

Kofinas  

Ambiance: A relaxing rural setting, with two spacious, bright and airy indoor areas, plus al fresco seating, surrounded by colorful trees and flowers.

 

Brunch hours: The restaurant’s morning buffet is served daily, including Saturdays, until 12pm.

 

Beverages: Three brunch cocktails are offered at very attractive prices.

 

Menu: The breakfast buffet is similar to what is familiar to Israelis from hotels: fresh bread and rolls, cheeses, spreads, preserves and salads. The buffet may be ordered with or without eggs/omelets made to order, and includes a soft drink and warm beverage.

 

 

Moreover, in addition to red and green shakshuka, there are two house brunch specials: the Madame Bella (sunnyside up eggs on toasted brioche with truffle cream, asparagus and mock bacon made from smoked lamb), and the Madame Florentine (sunnyside up eggs on toasted brioche with truffle cream, spinach and smoked salmon).

 

There is also a full dessert menu.

 

Price: The buffet costs NIS 59, while the brunch specials start at NIS 49.

 

Noteworthy: Kofinas is an Italian restaurant, among whose entrées are several that are also suitable for brunch.

 

Kofinas. HaShibolim St. 3, Moshav Zur Moshe. Tel. (09) 772-2672

 

Santa Rosa  

Ambiance: A suburban restaurant with a modern, California-inspired decor, and a pleasant al fresco area in the rear.

 

Brunch hours: Fridays, 9am-3:30pm; Saturdays, 9am-1pm.

 

Beverages: Five specialty cocktails, including classic brunch cocktails (mimosa, Bellini).

 

Menu: The dedicated brunch menu is divided into two categories, savory and sweet. Each order of a savory brunch dish includes juice and a bread basket (with butter, cream cheese with chives, and artichoke pesto) in the price.

 

Recommended among the savory dishes is the poached eggs on brioche, with a spread of smoked trout mousse; and among the sweet options, the French toast served with compote of seasonal fruit. The compote also accompanies the pancakes with maple syrup and crême fraîche.

 

There is also a full dessert menu.

 

Price: Savory from NIS 51; sweet from NIS 37.

 

Noteworthy: Chef/owner Chen Shamgar has brought US West Coast cuisine to her California bistro transplanted in Tel Aviv. She notes brunches often present competing healthy vs. non-healthy food choices, and strives to offer both.

 

Santa Rosa. Kehilat Saloniki St. 11, Ne’ot Afeka, Tel Aviv. Tel. (03) 940-1011.

 

Table Talk

Ambiance: The restaurant, in a distinctive, multi-storey building on a busy corner one block from Dizengoff Center, has a different feel on each floor: a lively bar on the ground floor, an intimate dining space on the second floor, and an outdoor terrace on the third floor.

 

Photo: Ernest Aranov
Photo: Ernest Aranov

 

Brunch hours: The breakfast menu served weekdays until noon and until 2pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

 

Beverages: Five specialty cocktails, select classics, and “low-proof cocktails.”

 

Menu: The restaurant specializes in continental and Russian cuisine. Accordingly, recommended dishes are the blini, Russian crepes with crême fraîche, cured salmon, and red ikra; and vareniki, potato-filled dumplings fried in butter and served with fried onions and sour cream. A more typical brunch option is the eggs Benedict, poached eggs on brioche and homemade hollandaise sauce, served with a choice of ham, bacon, spinach or Norwegian salmon.

 

Photo: Ernest Aranov
Photo: Ernest Aranov
 

The dessert menu features a sweet variation of vareniki, filled with cherries; and Brioche French toast made stuffed with mascarpone cream and dried fruit, topped with dulce de leche and fresh fruit salad.

 

Price: From NIS 28 (free soft or hot drink with the order of any dish)

 

Noteworthy: Table Talk prides itself on a cultural dimension. In addition to live jazz performances on Fridays, on the first Saturday of every month, the restaurant hosts a food festival with vendors selling specialty and ethnic foods.

 

Table Talk. Dizengoff St. 64, Tel Aviv. Tel. (03) 774-6655.

 

Xoho  

Ambiance: A funky, bohemian vibe. Indoor and outdoor tables for two, as well as larger ones that may end up being shared. A young, English-speaking, international staff.

 

Brunch hours: Served all day, every day, from 7:30pm (10am on Saturday) until 4pm. Closed Mondays. Weekends are crowded.

 

Beverages: Typical brunch cocktails (e.g., Bloody Mary, mimosa), Israeli beer in bottles, smoothies, exotic teas, chai, Mae coffee roasted specially for Xoho.

 

Menu: It is constantly being updated, but the Xoho classics will always be available: the egg and cheese bagel (the smoked salmon upgrade is recommended), the house burrito, the beer bread brekkie, and “build your own breakfast” (a.k.a., “two eggs your way”). Vegan options abound.

 

Desserts, like the warmed banana bread and the ice cream cookie sandwich, are a specialty; the sweet pancakes are the most popular lunch dessert. Spend some time browsing the bakery corner, which includes gluten-free options.

 

Noteworthy: Everything is made from scratch, including the spreads, the home-cured salmon, the ice cream, and all the baked goods—breads, bagels, cakes, pies, and muffins. Xoho was featured in the New York Times travel section.

 

Price: From NIS 39.

 

Xoho. Gordon St. 17, Tel Aviv. Tel. (072) 249-5497.

 

Yam 7 

Ambiance: Located on Herzliya’s beautiful white sandy beach, the restaurant’s verandah is an ideal place to relax and contemplate the endless Mediterranean, especially at sunset.

 

Brunch hours: Daily, including Saturdays, until noon. Weekends can be crowded.

 

Beverages: There are three specialty cocktails, prepared by the full bar.

 

Menu: There are a number of typical brunch dishes, most notably the house Croque Madam, smoked salmon or goose breast on brioche with Gouda cheese, tomato, spinach, poached egg and hollandaise sauce; and the English breakfast, chopped steak with spinach, asparagus and poached egg.

 

 

There are a number of tempting desserts, especially the Paris-Brest, rings of choux pastry sandwiching dollops of mascarpone cream, topped with berries.

 

Price: From NIS 54 (includes a choice of drink, including cocktail)

 

Noteworthy: Arriving just before noon allows your party to enjoy the best of both worlds: either the morning or afternoon menu.

 

Yam 7. Ramat Yam St. 122 (Dan Accadia Promenade), Herzliya Pituah. Tel. (09) 956-6950

 

Still hungry? Find other great candidate here

 

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