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Why Tel Aviv is Vegan Heaven

Tel Aviv's Vegan Scene is Booming

08.08.2016
Jodie Katz
Tomatoes on Birthright Israel

Walk through any shuk (market) in Israel and you can understand why this country is a great place for non-carnivores. The fruit and vegetables are seasonal and are some of the freshest and most gorgeous specimens you’ve ever seen. Mix that with the creativity of Tel Aviv’s chefs and you’ve got the perfect combination for vegan heaven.

Veganism is a huge food trend right now, whether for moral or health reasons, and chefs are creating special menus to cater to this trend. On many menus of the city’s top restaurants, you can find not just one, but several vegan options which you couldn’t have found just a couple of years ago. Aly Krimmer, a vegan and former Israel Experts employee who is moving back to the United States after living in Tel Aviv for three and half years, agrees. “Anywhere I go to eat in Tel Aviv, there’s always at least one vegan option if not more. Veganism has become so acceptable and widespread; I never have to worry if I’ll be able to find something to eat.”

There are also vegan restaurants popping up all over that are so delicious, they’re even drawing in a few closeted meat lovers. Miss Kaplan (Eliezer Kaplan St. 18) is currently the hottest vegan eatery in town, with its signature dish – the Carrot Dog – being touted by food writers, bloggers and foodies alike. Zakaim (Beit HaShoeva 20, on the corner of Allenby 98), consistently rated as one of Tel Aviv’s top vegan restaurants, offers vegan versions of Israeli comfort food, including shawarma from a variety of the best mushrooms. Order one of their impressive cocktails to have a refreshing and fun side to the delicious food. Want something quick? Visit Buddha Burger (Yehuda HaLevi 21) to have one of the city’s best Lentil Burgers, Seitan Shnitzel or Eggplant Parm. If you really want to indulge though, visit Seeds Patisserie (King George 97), the first exclusively vegan bakery in Israel. Some of their featured baked goods include their Rich Chocolate Cake, Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pie, a variety of seasonal fruit pies and “cheese”cake. On top of all of that, they have delicious pastries and salty offerings (burekas, “pigs” in a blanket and more), so you’re bound to leave Seeds with a full stomach and empty wallet.

Krimmer adds, “In Israel, there’s less of a stigma attached to being vegan. I don’t have to feel guilty because I don’t eat certain foods. I’m really going to miss living in Tel Aviv because of all of this.” So if you’re vegan and looking for a fabulous vacation destination with sun, sand, surf, a great nightlife scene and outstanding food, then Tel Aviv should definitely be top on your list. And if you haven’t yet been on a Birthright Israel trip, then join a Birthright Israel Culinary trip with Israel Experts and hit all of the vegan highlights in Tel Aviv on your free, ten-day trip to Israel!

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