Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Airport
Cafe Aroma was one of the first cafes in Israel to start offering gluten free bread. When I visited Israel in September 2011, before the gluten free craze started spreading, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Aroma offered sandwiches on gluten free bread. I was living in Paris at the time, where if you said you could not eat wheat, they pretty much spit on you. What a refreshing experience it was to sit and enjoy our haloumi cheese and grilled Mediterranean veggie gluten free sandwiches while sipping iced coffees and frozen lemonada!
Shlomo HaMelech St, Tel Aviv
HaKosem is a popular falafel and shwarma stand with outdoor tables, lively music and arguably the best falafel in town. They are one of the few eateries that offer gluten free falafel balls and gluten free pita bread. The falafel at HaKosem is soft and green on the inside from the fresh cilantro and brown and crispy on the outside. You can taste the deliciousness of the deep-frying in every bite! There is always a long line of locals waiting to get their HaKosem fix. They have an assembly line of staff set up in order to accommodate the high demand and will offer falafel ball samples while you are waiting in line.
Rabin Square, Tel Aviv
One of the first falafel places in Tel-Aviv to offer gluten free pita and gluten free falafel to customers, Falafel Hippo has a loyal gluten-free customer following. Falafel Hippo's hummus is really delicious and they are completely vegetarian and Kosher. They recently started offering vegan and gluten free shwarma made from soy. They gave me a taste and it was actually really delicious and tasted pretty authentic!
LaSagna is a dairy and kosher restaurant that has a separate menu dedicated to gluten free options. Their menu is split into three parts. Regular, gluten free, and whole grain- so they cater to many different diets. While it is fairly common today to have access to gluten free pizza and gluten free pasta in major urban centers, it's not often that you find gluten free lasagna, and in multiple flavors too! The lasagna is served in a hot ovular dish, so straight out of the oven that the cheese is still bubbling when it's set on the table. All of the lasagnas have a beschamel sauce base instead of a traditional tomato sauce base.
The gluten free salmon bruschetta was very nice and a generous portion. The gluten free bread had a slightly gummy texture but nice flavor and crispy toasted crust. The gluten free pizza was decent. It tasted like home-made pizza. I enjoyed that it had a thicker crust than most gluten free pizzas.
Meatos is a casual and pricey burger and steak restaurant. A large restaurant with a patio for outside seating, Meatos is a trendy and busy spot. It seems like it is crowded at all hours of the evening, so I would suggest making a reservation in advance. Meatos does not have special gluten free items like gluten free burger buns and gluten free bread, but they offer a separate gluten free menu, which outlines all of the items on their regular menu that are suitable for gluten free dieters. The menu offers the Meatos hamburger but specifies that it is served without a bun. The food is very basic and the service is not very attentive. Not a "special occasion" kind of restaurant, but solid food with no surprises.
Serena, Tel Aviv
Serena is a new beautifully re-furbished outdoor development in Tel Aviv with retail shopping and restaurants. On a Saturday night, we had dinner at Biga, an Israeli style cafe. We sat down at 11pm and the outdoor seating area was packed. The menus are on iPads with photos and descriptions of each dish. Each dish has an Israeli style twist, and breakfast is served all day. We ordered two types of Shakshuka, one with feta cheese and eggplant and the other with goats cheese and roasted red pepper. Shakshuka is a traditional Israeli breakfast dish- eggs cooked in a tomato and vegetable base and served in a hot skillet. The Shakshuka at Cafe Biga is normally served with challah bread, but there is an option for gluten free bread too. It looks like they use the same gluten free roll that Cafe Aroma uses. They offer sandwiches on this bread as well. Nothing to write home about, but it's always nice to have a gluten free bread option.
Our service was very bad. It took 20 minutes for a waiter to come to our table. We ordered the shakshuka well-done and it came out runny. The gluten free roll was very dry when it was served. After they baked the Shakshuka for longer, it was really delicious. Best of all, it was fun to be able to eat shakshuka for dinner!