Tel Aviv is a vegan heaven, and now you can sample some of its delicious vegan food on a self-guided tour, using just your phone.
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The culinary scene in Tel Aviv goes way beyond the local Mediterranean food. The city offers just about any type of food you might fancy, plus very interesting and original fusion cuisine.
Foodies love Tel Aviv, and vegan foodies love it even more, because it’s just a perfect city for us vegans.
In recent years, it’s been going through a true (r)evolution, with more and more people choosing to go vegan and as a result, more and more businesses adapting their menus.
One of the reasons why I haven’t yet written a vegan guide to Tel Aviv on this blog is that the selection is just overwhelming!
Every time I come back to Tel Aviv from my travels I’m surprised to see how many new vegan-friendly places opened while I was away.
Last week I took a curated vegan tour of my own city using only a phone app to guide me. This is a new concept led by a young and promising startup called Bitemojo.
This new innovative app lets you take self-guided food tours in a growing list of cities around the world: Barcelona, Berlin, Rome, Budapest, Ljubljana, Singapore Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
The tours combine eating tasty local food with learning about the history and culture of the places you’re visiting. The food tours have different themes, with another vegan tour available in Berlin and a vegetarian tour available in Jerusalem.
Each tour typically includes about six small dishes at local eateries. The dishes (or “bites”, as they’re called in the app) are all small enough to leave room for the rest, but at the end of the tour you will be full.
As you follow the map from one stop to the next, the app tells you about various points of interest along the way, about the restaurants you visit and about the food itself.
Why go on a self guided tour?
When I was in Brussels last year, I wanted to take a special architecture tour, and found out it was only running on specific dates of the month. I happened to be in the city on a Saturday when the tour was running, but that was just a matter of luck.
As much as I love guided tours, they won’t always match your travel plans.
Self guided tours give you the benefit of planning when to go, at your own pace and with as much flexibility as you like. All you need for a Bitemojo tour is your phone. You can even stop your tour and continue it on a another day, as I did on mine.
The food and restaurants on the Tel Aviv vegan tour
The Bitemojo vegan food tour begins at the edge of Florentin, a Tel Aviv neighbourhood known for its bohemian-hipster vibe, cool bars and walls covered in street art.
You start the tour with a small breakfast (though you can have it later in the day of course): coffee and a chocolate ball. It’s a tiny bite, but as you’ll find during the tour, it is planned so that these tiny bites add up and leave you full.
From there, you just follow the map from one stop to the next. Following the map in the app was very easy and the eateries selected are all quite close to each other.
Next you get to sample some sweet potato chips at a lovely neighbourhood cafe. There were two alternatives to choose from at this stop: the chips or pickled beets. I went for the sweet potatoes.
Along the route, there are points of interest, marked with a star on the map in the app. When you click on each, you can read about the history, the people and the culture of the place. The info is also bite-sized 😉 It’s designed so you can read it on the go and I think that’s a clever choice.
Quite a few of these points of interest on this tour have to do with street art. You’ll see lots of it on the streets of Florentin, and the app will tell you about the works and the artists who made them.
The next stop on the tour serves french crêpes with a Middle Eastern twist. They are made of buckwheat and come with eggplant and tahini sauce.
The app gives you background information about the food, and so I sat down and read about the origins of the crêpe, while waiting for my freshly made bite.
At every restaurant on the tour, the staff were familiar with the app and were very friendly. The food is pre-paid, so all you have to do is show them your phone and click on “Claim this Bite”.
The crêpe was really delicious and at this point in the tour started to feel full. Luckily, with a self-guided tour like this, there’s no rush, you can walk around and explore the neighbourhood a bit more and take your time.
On the way to the next stop for another bite, the app will tell you about the most popular Middle Eastern vegan dishes – hummus and falafel.
There are tons of hummus places in Tel Aviv, but as you might expect, some are better than others and you need to know where to go. The one you’ll visit on this tour is exceptionally good and it’s definitely a place I will return to!
Towards the end of the vegan tour, it takes you to the Levinsky Spice Market, where the app tells you the story of the shuk.
By the time I arrived at the next stop, the place was about to close, and anyway I was quite full after eating all the other bites, so I decided to come back on another day.
If one of the eateries isn’t open when you visit, or if you’re too full, bites you didn’t claim will be converted into credits. It’s a very convenient system. You can later use the credits to get bites, either at the same city or any other city where Bitemojo has tours (more details about these credits later in the post).
The last stop is a cute little spice shop in the market. They have herbs, freshly ground spices, a colourful display of dried fruit and a selection of herbal teas.
For my last bite I picked delicious herbal tea (which I later bought some more of to take home, as it was so good), and you get a small packet of dried fruit to go with it. It was a sweet and pleasant ending for the tour.
There’s vegan food everywhere in Tel Aviv, but touring Florentin lets you learn about the history of one of the most interesting parts of the city. It’s got character that you won’t find anywhere else, and I think it was a good choice for this type of food tour.
Want to take a self-guided food tour too? Here’s how you do it and get a nice discount too:
How to use the Bitemojo app
Bitemojo is very easy to use:
1. Download the app and register (if you click this link on your phone it will take you directly to the app store / play store).
2. Browse the tours available.
3. Pick the tour you’d like to take.
4. Buy the tour on the app (they cost around 30 EUR each for about 6 bites). Use discount code BrightNomad to get a 10% discount!
5. Download the tour.
6. Take the tour whenever you like (but do check the opening times first… they appear in the tour description).
7. Go to the starting point and follow the map from there.
8. Show your phone at each restaurant and click “Claim this Bite”.
Here’s a video that explains how the app works:
Eat more great food around the world with BiteCredits
BiteCredits are simply points that you collect and can redeem for any dishes offered by the Bitemojo app.
One of the eateries on my tour was about to close when I got there, so I didn’t claim that bite that day. The app saved it for me, so I can chose to use it on another day or even in another city.
You can earn BiteCredits in different ways, for example by spotting bites. This means if you find food that you think should be added to a Bitemojo tour, take a picture of it and recommend it through the app. If they accept the bite, you will earn BiteCredits.
You will also earn BiteCredits for rating the food on the tours you take. After each bite you will be asked to rate it and when you do, you’ll get credits. You will also earn credit for reviewing the tour itself.
This credit system is super useful and allows for even more flexibility, and the gamification makes it even more fun.
If you want to read more, visit Bitemojo to browse all the tours. Don’t forget to use discount code BrightNomad for a 10% discount on the tours you order!
You should go on a tour if you’re looking for a unique way to explore the cities you visit and you want to enjoy the flexibility of a self-guided tour. You will appreciate the user-friendly app and the carefully selected delicious bites.
I was treated to complimentary self-guided food tour in Tel Aviv by Botemojo. The views in this post are my own. If you book a tour and use my discount code, you’ll get a discount and I will get a small compensation.