It is that time of year again – Hanukkah. The Jewish festival of lights is quickly approaching and that means it will soon be Sufganiyot season in Israel. Sufganiyot are donuts filled with jelly, eaten during Hanukkah. The traditional sufganiyah is a round donut, lightly dusted with powdered sugar and filled with strawberry jam, but nowadays there are endless varieties of these sweet holidays treats.
It is common practice during Hannukkah to eat fried foods (think latkes), to honor the miracle of light which occurred in the temple, when just a small bit of oil lit that should have only lasted for one night, lasted eight nights. Since the 12th century, it is common practice to indulge in fried foods to celebrate this holiday.
If you happen to be in Israel over Hannukah it is certainly worth enjoying a fresh sufganiyah – or two. And since the holiday of Hanukkah is eight nights long, there is no shame in eating just a few more. Here is a guide to the best sufganiyot in Tel Aviv.
A staple in Tel Aviv year-round, Delicatessen offers a little bit of everything. From a comfortable sit down restaurant upstairs, outdoor terrace, fresh cheese and charcuterie, takeaway meals, coffee, fresh flowers and of course, the bakery, there is something for everyone. The sufganiyot only come out once a year at Delicatessen and they sell out quickly! The donuts are made fresh daily, and they stick to the classic batch keeping it simple and delicious. Make sure to arrive early and stock up on the sufganiyot from Delicatessen, which pair just perfectly with a coffee.
Yehuda ha-Levi St 79/81, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Open Sunday-Thursday, 7:30am-8:00 pm, Fridays 7:30-5:00 pm, Saturdays 8:00 am -5:00 pm
Notable for their sufganiyot, Roladin can be found all over Israel with many locations – 43 to be exact all offering the same delicious varieties. Roladin was a bit of a game changer, pushing the boundaries on styles of sufganiyot and getting adventurous not only with their flavors but also with the presentation. Think Dulce de Leche, Banana Coffee and Tofi and of course, chocolate! The donuts are infused with a syringe of chocolate or custard filling which is literally injected into the fluffy dough just before consuming. If you are looking not only for the best sufganiyot in Tel Aviv but the most decadent and indulgent then a visit – or multiple visits to Roladin is a must.
While most sufganiyot are actually vegan they often contain eggs or butter. However, there is a special place where vegan sufganiyot in Tel Aviv exist: Cafe Xoho. A popular hub among the vegan community serving up fresh and creative breakfast, lunch and dinner plus plenty of baked goods, cafe Xoho pulls out their yearly treat offering vegan sufganiyot. Using natural ingredients to bring out the flavor of their donuts, Xoho offers unique options like an almond-butter and jelly donut or a lemon-zest infused donut coated in bright icing made from beets. They also, of course, serve the traditional jam filled donut for the purist.
J. L. Gordon St 17, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Sunday-Thursday 8:00 am – 6:30 pm, Fridays 8:00 am – 4:30 pm, Saturdays 9:00 am – 5:30 pm
Year-round Lehamim serves up a variety of pastries and some of the best bourekas in the city. Come Hanukkah season, Lehamim unleashes their endless count of fresh sufganiyot. A few simple varieties and a self-serve station to stock up on these sweet donuts. Additionally, Lehamim is open 24 hours, so in case you are in desperate need a late-night sufganiyah, and one of the best sufganiyot in Tel Aviv then a visit to Lehamim will surely satisfy your craving.
HaHashmonaim St 103, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Open 24 hours, Friday closes at 2:30 and closed on Saturdays
Some of the most popular and best sufganiyot in Tel Aviv, Shemo bakery has a long-standing reputation for their fresh and light sufganiyot. The difference between their jam-filled donuts is that they are baked rather than fried, bringing about a slightly different texture and flavor that is equally if not more delicious. If you are looking for a delicate yet filling sufganiyah, Shemo is sure to make your Hanukkah very sweet, indeed.
Yehuda HaMaccabi St 60, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Sunday-Thursday, 8:00 am -8:00 pm, Fridays, 7:30 am – 3:00 pm, Saturdays, closed