You know it’s going to be a good tour when the only rule you are giving from the start is ‘if there is food in front of you, eat it!‘. I was really intrigued by Be Tel Aviv’s newest vegan tour. Having recently moved to a plant-based diet myself I was excited to try some new foods and to find out exactly why Tel Aviv is coined one of the best vegan friendly capitals in the world.
I wasn’t entirely without hesitation though. As someone who is quite sensitive to the issues surrounding veganism, I was worried this might be an attempt to shock people into conversion which I like to stay clear of.
From the start though our guide (and owner of Be Tel Aviv) Eviatar made the intentions clear.
‘There is no judgement here. We are not trying to turn you vegan. This tour is just a celebration of vegan food‘.
Sounds good to me!
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Vegan Tel Aviv
The vegan scene in Tel Aviv is hard to miss. On every street corner, you can find a plant-based restaurant. But I’ve noticed this spread beyond the city to the rest of Israel in recent years. Most restaurants have a dedicated vegan menu.
Israel is believed to be one of the most (if not the most) vegan countries in the world. I love that it was also recently declared to have the most vegan army in the world as well.
Our tour group, who came from all over the world – Norway, America, Israel and the UK – discussed why this might be. It was hard to pinpoint exactly. But we all agreed that the fact that Israelis enjoy good fresh food and that their diet is predominantly plant-based anyway by default definitely plays a part.
The tour took us to 3 different restaurants.
In each, we sampled a main and a side and the last also included sampling 3 deserts. We’d already been pre-warned to arrive hungry!
Each restaurant had a completely different vibe. The first, Zakaim, was served typical Israeli dishes, the bread and sauces all made from scratch at the restaurant. The second, Citizen Garden, felt like a trendy cafe serving complex super bowls combining different flavours. And finally, Meshek Barzilay was a fancier place with the dishes beautifully presented and very flavoursome.
What struck me most was just how different each dish tasted. Eviatar told us he wanted to break the misconception that vegan food isn’t tasty or to a high standard. And he did just that.
Conclusion of the Be Tel Aviv Vegan Tour
I was really impressed with this tour.
It covered a good range of topics surrounding veganism and brought a nice variety to the table. I left feeling very full and with a positive mindset.
Although already a convert to plant-based food, I was surprised that it changed my perceptions on what is possible with this diet. Especially when it came to deserts. They were incredible!
Time to get a bit more experimental with my cooking!
The tour runs throughout the week costing 189 NIS (around £40) and can be booked online. If you are doing a tour on a sunny day, I’d recommend following it with a lazy afternoon relaxing on one of the many Tel Aviv beaches!
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