Hiro Ramen Bar by Aharoni, 3 Kalman Magen St, Sarona Market
This tiny counter bar reflects an open kitchen with Aharoni himself cooking up a storm (as well as posing for selfies with his starstruck fans). The flagship ramen soup is composed of a warm bowl of intensely infused savory broth, rich pieces of ground meat, bok-choy, shiitake mushrooms, pickled daikon, sprouts, a soy-marinated soft-boiled egg, a generous heaping of noodles and hints of ginger. This is the perfect comfort food if there ever was one. Hiro also serves up a chicken version and a tofu version. Don’t miss the cucumber and chicken salad, made of small pieces of wakame (an edible seaweed), cucumbers, diced chicken, chopped peanuts and a Ponzu dressing, a citrus-based dressing with a light and tart taste. Other popular items are the Gyoza, light dumplings filled with chicken, green onions and shiitake, or the bok choy-filled vegetarian version. Be prepared to either wait in line for a seat or go early in the day; currently there is no option for takeout. 

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Vitrina, 54 Ibn Gvirol St (03-6960304)
Everybody should have a “go-to” food joint for when the burger or sausage craving hits. This tiny grill joint hits all the notes in all the right places; genuinely friendly service, a buzzing hip-hop vibe and everything is house-made. The blissful hamburger is equally big on size and flavor, plump and grilled to perfection. It is served alongside homemade beet ketchup and aioli and accompanied by a duo of lemony matchstick fries (grated lemon rind on top), made from potatoes and sweet potatoes. The selection of sausages is admirable: all hand-crafted, seasoned and plump and juicy through and through. With options like “The Berlin” beef sausages with cheese, the “Toulouse” a spicy beef and yogurt option or the “Haifa” smoked lamb sausages, there’s something for everybody.

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Totuma, 265 Dizengoff St (03-5168963)
This new Venezuelan hot-spot comes straight from the kitchen of Dalia Alhadef, the Masterchef contestant who introduced viewers to the well-loved Arepa, a light and airy pita-shaped flatbread made of ground-maize dough and filled with cheese, avocado and other fillings. At Totuma, you’ll find the “Pabellón” version; succulent, slow-cooked threads of meat in a pepper sauce with black beans, salty cheese and sweet caramelized slices of plantains (a starchy, savory version of bananas often used to make fries) or the “Colombiana”; ground meat with tomato, onion, garlic sauce and chorizo. The thinly-sliced plantain fries come with a Guasacaca salsa, AKA Venezuelan guacamole, and a black bean dip. A must-try are the empanadas, made of a light corn texture along with a glass of Chicha, a thick beverage, (a cross between a rice pudding drink and a milkshake garnished with a touch of cinnamon). Lines are still out the door so plan to go around 18:30 or so, right when it opens.

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Miznon, 23 Ibn Gvirol St (03-7168977); 30 King George St (03-6317688); 1 Hanechoshet, Ramat Hachayal, For deliveries (03581118)
Celebrity chef Eyal Shani redefined street food in Israel with Miznon, a pita-centered joint where culinary expertise meets with incredible ingredients. The atmosphere is loud and lively: just order your food, sit back, wait until the food is ready and someone calls your name. Just about anything you can fit in a pita is on offer here, including a rich and meaty minute steak, chicken liver, steak and eggs, kebabs and shakshuka. Vegetarians can find a good meal here, too, with a slow-cooked ratatouille and the simple deliciousness of a juicy head of cauliflower that oozes flavor through its simplicity. Don’t want to leave home? Order in, they deliver. They also have multiple locations in the center of Israel and even one in Paris!

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Truck Deluxe, 13 Ben Ami St (03-6296363)
While food trucks are still not a thing in Israel as in other countries due to the law, that hasn’t stopped the owners of Truck Deluxe, who simply installed their truck in the middle of the restaurant, giving diners the full truck stop experience of watching the food come out the window. The food itself is a carnivore’s dream, allowing you to mix and match meat cuts made using a plethora of cooking techniques. Smoky, slow-roast brisket, juicy strands of pulled pork, spare ribs and trailer trash burgers (an oversized burger slathered with bacon and melted cheese in a brioche bun). For the ravenous crowds, order a little of everything and taste through the selection. The sides include comforting mac & cheese, cob with cheese, fries and homemade sauces and just about every other classic American foodstuff you can think of (yes – they even have crack pie). Ravenous beachgoers will love the brunch, which includes food items such as brisket benedict, fresh cornbread and a hybrid of other classics.

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