17 Gordon St. Tel Aviv, Israel
Ideal for: Outing with Friends, Dates, Family Gathering.
One might think that finding good bagels in Israel would be easy. After all, aren’t we the ones who are known for our love for bagels and lox? I spent months trying to find a place with good bagels and good iced coffee without any luck. I even tried the bagels from the woman who screams at us at the Shuk HaCarmel (the market place in Tel Aviv). If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting this woman, she normally sits in the middle of the market and offers bagels to everyone who walks past her. Even after encountering this woman, I still wasn successful in my perfect bagel search.
After almost giving up, I came across THE place for bagels in Tel Aviv. On the very last day of my 6-month internship in Israel, I found this hidden gem thanks to my Masa Fam. Cafe XOHO is a small but cozy cafe located on Gordon Street, right across from one of my favorite frozen yogurt parlors in the world. When you walk into Café XOHO, you can’t help but smell the fresh bagels being made, and the coffee being brewed. I would normally make my own coffee at home, or run to the nearest Cofix (a cafe that sells everything for six shekalim, or $1.71) and get my cup of joe there, so being able to actually smell the coffee being prepared was a sensation that as a Latina, I truly missed.
Its menu has so many options, that it is hard to pick only one item. No matter what you order, you know you made the right choice. Especially if it is one of its bagels. The moment you bite into it, you realize that you have never had a bagel that is as good as this one. Believe me, I’ve had my fair number of bagels between summer camps, Bar Mitzvahs, and brunch with friends.
What makes it so special is that XOHO curates its salmon in-house, making the whole meal something fresh and different from what you are used to. The bagels are homemade as well, and the vegetables that are served are picked daily from the local market. There is something about Israeli vegetables that makes them so tasteful and fresh that every bite of them is a whole new experience.
Its sandwiches are also a must when visiting this café. Every one of them is filled with Israeli’s favorite flavors, without being overwhelming. This one, in particular, has feta cheese, pesto, assorted roasted vegetables, tomato, and arugula. If you are vegan, the restaurant can accommodate your food restrictions and use tahini or hummus instead. Actually, Tel Aviv is among the top vegan-friendly cities in the world! How great is that?
If you prefer something lighter but equally as delicious, its XOHO Caesar Salad is the one for you. I personally do not like to add dressings to my salads, and rather ask for them on a side, but this dressing was so light and refreshing that it makes this salad the perfect healthy alternative for a brunch. Plus, the fried egg and fresh anchovies turn this signature dish into something different and particular of this location while keeping this classic salad, well, classic.
To accompany your meals, I would recommend its Cold Coffee (do not confuse this with Ice Coffee, which is a frappé) or its Golden Milk Latte. I ordered the cold version of it to quench my thirst on a hot Israeli day, but warm is equally as tasteful. I recommend it during those few days in which Tel Aviv gets cold. Its Matcha Green Tea Latte, Masala Chai, and Hot Chocolate are also great options for drinks to go with your brunch.
Jewtina Tip: bring your Secret Tel Aviv card for a free cookie with your meal!
Teenu- Disfruta- Enjoy!