Must-try eats in Tel-Aviv

There´s a nightlife district in Tel-Aviv´s ancient fort city, an old neighbourhood called Jaffa, with plenty of great wining and dining options. Happy hour at Raisa bar on a hightable outside people watching is definitely a highlight, but any bars on the streets running north-south in that pedestrian area can lure you in, depending on your mood and company.

Eating at Onza restaurant on a Monday or Frida means live music on the street, which is also where they set up their overflow tables, as the diners spill onto both sides of the road getting their fill of world-class dining. The wine list is one of the best in Israel, including local special varieties, and the food cooked by Turkish chefs Darhani and Magriso will impress any gourmande.

Mashya

The best restaurant in Tel-Aviv is hands down Mashya. Sit at the bar and chat with the bartenders, and be mesmerised by their cocktail making skills. They´ll always answer a question about the menu with a personal touch, and definitely trust any recommendations they have for food or drinks. If you have the time and money, I´d suggest going back twice or thrice so you can try all the cocktails and plates.

dazzle your senses (and your wallet) at the Carmel Market, which sells street food that could make even Michelin chefs jealous

Haifa is a pleasant surprise, especially the stretch of (Ben Gurion) street leading up to the Bahai garden terraces and the view from the top of the staircase down to the city and nearby port and train station. Eat and drink at Fattoush, by far the best spot on the strip. The ambience, atmosphere and full tables attest to it´s popularity, and the price and portions were generous, especially by Tel Aviv standards.

If you´re going to Nazareth or Tiberias, don´t expect much in the restaurant, bar or shopping scene, but it´s still worth going for the scenery and vineyard region in and around the Galilee region. Don´t pass up the chance to get into the private home cellars of some family winemakers for wine tasting. Another highlight is of course the Sea of Gailiee – you can get a natural foot fish spa by dipping your feet in from the shore, which seems to be sinking as fast as the Dead Sea, so its definitely worth going sooner rather than later!

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Ölverk: Pizza and Brewery

Hveragerði is definitely a happening place this summer, not only for me and thousands of scouts, but also for Laufey Sif and Elvar at Ölverk – the first geothermally powered brewery in Europe! They´ve just opened a pizza restaurant there, complete with the real-deal, wood-fire oven, and the family-run feeling couldn´t be cozier in this steamy hillside, country town. Their 9 month old son is often running around the restaurant, while Laufey works the front and Elvar in the kitchen. Elvar´s real speciality will be the brewery, set to open in September, since he worked for many years as the brewmaster at Ölvisholt brewery near Selfoss.

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Elvar checking on the wood-fire pizza oven

Since the brewery isn´t up and running yet, Elvar and co. are featuring a selection of craft beers from Ölvisholt, and a few international craft beers (one 750ml bottle with an alcohol percentage of 20% sells for a cool 14.900kr!). Once the brewery opens, there will be a daily tour and tasting (with food pairings too) of their 6 home made brews, and groups can also book private tours or events in their tasting room.

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Laufey and I checking out the brew room

If you can´t wait til then, go now to try one of their 15 savory (or 3 dessert) pizzas, cooked in an Italian wood burning oven. Definitely start with the breadsticks or zaatar flatbread with baked beercheese dip, which goes well with an ale called Sleipnir, appropriately named after Óðinn´s 8-legged horse. They have some typical pizzas (No. 5 is the most popular), as well as some vegetarian and stranger creations including bananas and coconut flakes as toppings. The dessert pizza toppings include nutella, salty liquorice sauce, mascarpone cheese, and an assortment of fruits, including some locally grown green-house strawberries.

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Ölverk beercheese dip, breadsticks and Ölvisholt pints

If you´d like to pop in, check them out at Breiðumörk 2 in Hveragerði (the kitchen is open til 22:00), or give them a call to book a table +354 483 3030. Find Ölverk Pizza & Brugghús on Facebook and Trip Advisor, and follow @olverkbrugghus on Instagram if you want to see more pictures of their delicious pizza creations or soon-to-open brewery.