Seven of the Best Shawarma Spots in Tel Aviv

By Sarah Mann | Published on 1/1/0001

Shawarma - the Middle Eastern food that no carnivore can eat and ever forget! Traditionally made using spiced meats (think chicken, beef, veal) stacked up on a rotisserie, then shaved off as it rotates, this delicious Levantine food is the perfect lunch snack, grab-and-go dinner option or 3am snack, when you have hunger pangs after a night on the town.

Usually served in a wrap/pita, but sometimes on a plate, it’s tender and juicy and the meat comes with accompaniments - salads, occasionally eggplant, perhaps rice, even fries, and then tahini or yoghurt sauce drizzled over it. Trust us, this is Israeli street food at its best. And the good news is that you can find it in every neighborhood in Tel Aviv.

How Much is Shawarma in Israel?

Tel Aviv’s not the cheapest place to eat out but a great way to make your buck go further is by gobbling up delicious street food. Typically, it’s going to cost you anywhere from 35 to 60 NIS ($10-16 US) for a great shawarma in one of the city’s many eateries, but the good news is that portions here are big and it’s going to seriously fill you up .

How to Make Shawarma?

Don’t be put off, because It’s easier than you think to make shawarma. And if you thought chicken was boring, then this recipe will make you think again. 

Let’s start with the spice mixture. You’ll need turmeric, cumin, coriander garlic, paprika and cayenne pepper - adjust the measurements according to your preference. Mix them together, add in some Greek yoghurt then take this marinade and cover your boneless and skinless chicken thighs (or breasts).

Leave for 3-4 hours in a zip lock bag, to let all the flavors combine, then fry or roast the chicken. Cook through and when it’s until golden brown, let it cool, before slicing it up thinly then placing it in a pita or a wrap, Add your salad, and finish off with a heap of tahini and some chopped parsley atop. It really is that easy!

Where to Eat Shawarma in Tel Aviv and Jaffa

There are so many places to find great shawarma in Tel Aviv, whether you’re looking for something simple, something kosher or something gourmet-style! Here are seven of the spots you shouldn’t miss, if you’re looking for something tasty and filling that won’t put too much of a dent in your wallet…

Yashka, Dizengoff Street 105 (corner Frishman)

Many say this is the best shawarma in Tel Aviv (a few say it’s ‘Out of this world’) and the fact that it’s always busy is a good sign. Like many fast food joints in the city, you pay first, then give your receipt to the guys behind the counter, who will make up your order. 

A winning combination of fluffy laffa (the Iraqi flatbread used for wrapping) and succulent chicken or veal means this is a real ‘go to’ spot on Dizengoff street. If you’re extra hungry, order a side of their delicious falafel. The only downside is that there’s very limited seating - but there’s always ‘grab and go’ so you can head down to Frishman Beach, which is less than a five minute walk from Yashka.

This spot is aso kosher, which is good for orthodox Jews who keep the religious dietary laws.

Jasmino, Allenby Street 99 (corner Ahad Ha’am)

With great prices and super fresh ingredients, get yourself down to Jasmino at lunchtime (there’s always a queue, but it will be full of locals and Israelis love to chat) for juicy shawarma. It’s a typical ‘hole in the wall’ lunch joint but with a twist - all the meat is chargrilled on a barbeque and diners talk about how much they love the taste of the charcoal as they bite into chunks of chicken, veal and lamb. 

And for those more adventurous, why not order the brains or the sweetbreads? Whatever you choose, there's either tahini or Amba (a spicy mango sauce) to finish it off. All you need to do afterwards is and find a bench outside to enjoy it, since there’s no seating. 

One Google reviewer compared this shawarma to Beethoven’s Symphony number 5 (‘Unique”) and another commented “this is more than street food; it’s food for life!” 

Essentially, Jasmine is a spot that really lives up to its reputation so don’t miss this one.

Mifgash Rambam, Rambam Street 3 (corner Ha Carmel)

A moment from the main street of the city’s Carmel Market (huge, busting, vibrant, and the perfect place to take a Tel Aviv food tour) you’ll find Mifgash Rambam, which really showcases the ‘gourmet street food’ conception.

What makes it so special? Well, a few things. Firstly, before the ‘main event’ you’ll be served with some starter plates, and they really are fantastic, particularly the chickpea salad. 

Then comes the main event - perfectly balanced shawarma, served in a pita, loaded up either with beef and chicken (an interesting combo) or lamb and beal, nicely layered, served with salad and drizzled with tzatziki, tahini and Amba. Oh - and they’ll throw in some fries for good measure.

Even better, there’s outdoor seating, so you won’t have to look for a bench! The general consensus? “Sensational”. Indeed, one Google reviewer said it was so good that after he’d had it for lunch, he came back the same evening and ordered it again! 

Shawarma Touro Premium TLV, Dizengoff Street (corner Bar Kochva)

Generous portions, excellent salads and clean bathrooms (not always a given in takeaway joints!) there’s a reason shawarma Touro Premium has a reputation for its menu. With fluffy laffa bread, melt-in-the-mouth meat slices and an array of salads and condiments you don’t find at your average shawarma spot, you’re assured of fair prices too (which in a city as expensive as Tel Aviv is always welcome). 

Touro Premium serves both chicken and veal shawarma, (ask if you want a mixture) and don’t forget to ask for fried onions (slightly caramelised - yum!) and spicy eggplant if you’re feeling adventurous. The owner really cares about the business and it shows in every detail, from the freshness of the food to the friendly and professional staff (who all speak good English). 

Haj Kalil, Shivtei Israel 91, Jaffa (corner Avodat Israel)

You can't visit Tel Aviv without spending time in beautiful, ancient Jaffa and once you’ve wandered the Artists Quarter, explored the famous flea market and strolled around the harbour, get yourself over to Haj Kalil for some local Arabic fare where they have both an ‘express shawarma’ area for takeaway and a dining area if you want to sit down and make a proper meal of it.

As well as the thinly-shaved slices of chicken in pita, if you sit down you can order beef skewers, grilled lamb chops and a range of fish dishes and the meal comes with complimentary ‘mezze’ - dish upon dish of fresh salads which could fill you up on their own. They also have a wonderful knafeh on the dessert menu and whilst they don’t serve alcohol, the pomegranate juice is outstanding.

A little on the pricey side but well worth it.

Ha Kosem, Shlomo Ha Melech Street 1 (corner King George)

Ha Kosem has almost legendary status in Tel Aviv, serving up food that is so delicious and well-priced that you’ll often have to queue for 15-20 minutes at lunchtime (trust us, it’s worth it). In the heart of Tel Aviv, it’s particularly popular for its falafel but that doesn’t mean you can’t satisfy your shawarma carving here. 

Whether you ask for it small or large (the large comes on a plate that will easily feed two people) the crispy meat, fried eggplant slices, fantastic salad options (they’re made regularly, in front of your eyes, so you know they’re fresh) will have your drooling. And whilst it’s not the cheapest place in Tel Aviv, this is shawarma you won’t forget in a hurry. 

In our opinion, Ha Kosem is definitely a place you have to visit when you’re in Tel Aviv (even more than once, because the menu is so varied). As one reviewer commented, “ten stars will not be enough - everything that I’ve tried was extraordinary.”

Dabush, Ibn Gvirol Street (corner Zeitlin)

Finally, another Tel Aviv eatery to check out is Dabush, today one of the most popular shawarma chains in Israel. It’s a casual place, overlooking Rabin Square, and is open from lunchtime until late at night, turning out fresh food regularly. Using both chicken, lamb and turkey meat (seasoned well and also with a hint of cinnamon) it’s well priced and the staff are friendly and helpful too.

Dabush has a pretty basic menu - order in a pita (small) or a laffa (large) and help yourself to their complimentary side salads and spicy pickled hot peppers. If you're really hungry, order some french fries as well! This isn’t a fancy joint and there’s limited seating, but it will certainly fulfil your cravings, especially in the wee small hours, if you’ve had a few drinks and find yourself somewhat inebriated and completely starving. 

If you;’re planning on visiting Israel and looking for ideas of places to see outside Tel Aviv, why not consider taking one of our many day trips? Whether you want to explore Nazareth and the Galilee, learn more about the history of the Old City of Jerusalem or see the ancient desert fortress of Masada followed by chillout time at the Dead Sea, then give us a call or send us an email and we’ll get back to you quickly.

You can also find out more about life in Israel - the people, the food, the culture, the history - on our blog.