Café Hamanya, Tel Aviv

There are three great reasons to visit Café Hamanya in buzzing Basel Square. It’s vegan,  100% eco-friendly and delicious!

If you need even more reasons why not try the signature Tropical Bali Smoothie Bowl, sip on the fresh coconuts and feel transported to an exotic beach or just relax and admire the fresh sunflowers – hamanya means sunflower in Hebrew.

The location

Hamanya is in Basel Square in the Old North of Tel Aviv, just a 5-minute walk from the busy Dizengoff Street. The area is packed with coffee shops, bakeries and boutique clothing stores.

It’s a lovely spot to meet friends, sit in the middle of the square to soak up the Mediterranean sunshine.

The space

Given the growing popularity of Hamanya, you may need to queue for a few minutes until you’re seated. But there is a welcoming atmosphere, friendly staff and speedy service. With plenty of tables outside, and baby pink painted chairs, it’s the perfect place to sit and watch the world go by in the trendy Basel neighbourhood. Inside the restaurant, you can choose between wooden tables, benches and cosy low couches, or perch on the bar which faces a glass wall, looking out onto Basel Street. The relaxed music, and strong WiFi connection, encourages you to sit there for a while and enjoy the cool yet understated vibe – expect to find freelancers sitting there on laptops too!


The counter of raw vegan desserts on display will take your breath away.

Plus,  you can also order a takeaway so you can grab your food on the go. The artwork includes paintings of orchids, and plant pots dangle elegantly from the ceiling and line the walls inside.

The crowd

Hamanya is run by Shelli Shlayer, who also runs the popular Bucke Café. The crowd is mainly young locals with an interest in delicious plant-based cuisine and internationals who are desperate to check out Tel Aviv’s latest healthy hotspot. Dogs are welcome too!

The fresh juice test

They offer a wide range of bottled, cold-pressed juices including vegetable-based ones, but we went for the Morning Matcha Smoothie, which is made on-site from spinach, mint, matcha, maca, banana, kiwi, home-made probiotic coconut yoghurt, avocado and dried apricots.

What we ate

The menu is mostly plant-based, although it does offer an egg platter and cow’s milk upon request. It’s abundant in gluten-free options, refined sugar-free treats and raw vegan desserts, and the generous portion sizes will leave you feeling happily full. We shared the cinnamon porridge with walnuts and berries and the Hamanya platter – a selection of fried eggs (or a vegan omelette) with veggies, spouts, bread and spreads including green tahini.

I’ve tried all the smoothie bowls many times and this time went for the Aphrodisiac Smoothie Bowl.

It was  a wonderfully thick blend of açai, blueberries, lychees, cashews, ginger, maca, dragon fruit, vanilla and almond mylk, served in a coconut bowl and decorated with blackberries, buckwheat granola, walnuts and an edible flower.

The little things that make the difference

The staircase is lined with shelves of books, with titles such as “Urban Botanics” and “Living in Bali”, all flawlessly entwined in fairy lights. This eco-friendly eatery has no plastic in sight – they use metal and bamboo straws, and serve takeaways in paper boxes.

The bill

Hamanya Platter  52 NIS
Aphrodisiac Smoothie Bowl  45 NIS
Morning Matcha Smoothie  39 NIS
Porridge  42 NIS
Iced coffee  15 NIS





Amersham, Buckinghamshire: The Green Grocer at 91

I made a special trip to The Green Grocer in Amersham as rumour was it was worth the visit.

This charming café-meets-deli was created by Marcello Cinelli

and there are now three branches  (another in Amersham, and one in nearby Gerrard’s Cross).

I chose to visit The Green Grocer (91 Amersham High Street) as this branch is entirely vegetarian with plenty of delicious plant-based and gluten-free options – and it definitely surpassed my expectations!

The setting

A welcome addition to the old town of Amersham, The Green Grocer is the coolest place on the High Street. It features exposed brick walls, white kitchen tiles, plant pots with dangling leaves and a long wooden sharing table in the middle of the room.

There’s additional seating indoors and a small table outdoors on the cobbled street.

The eye-catching display of desserts will draw you in as soon as you step foot inside, with a stunning assortment of sweet treats (including vegan options) such as the pistachio and olive oil cake.

The little things

The café also sells a great selection of artisan products.

The shelves are stacked with jams, chutneys and wines.

I also really liked the chilled playlist of tunes in the background and the fact that the café is dog-friendly.

The fresh juice test

I chose the “Jack” juice – a mix of celery, cucumber, apple, lime and mint, which was wonderfully refreshing.

There are lots of other juice options, such as mixed berries, apple and lime, as well as hot drinks with non-dairy milks upon request.

What we ate

We shared two mains and two desserts. I was excited to see avocado, fried eggs and za’atar on the menu, which I ordered with GF toast, as za’atar is my favourite Middle-Eastern spice blend!

We also got the Ceres Bowl which was aubergine, garlic and rosemary roasted peppers, courgette, grilled fennel, butternut squash, hummus and sun dried tomatoes. This was followed by a peanut butter blondie and an exceptional ginger-caramel bar dipped in dark chocolate, which hit the spot perfectly!

What else?

The whole team of staff are warm and lively, and contribute to the buzzing vibe.


The bill

Avocado, fried eggs, toast – £8.95
Ceres Bowl – £11.95
Fresh juice – £4.50
Peanut butter blondie – £3.00
Caramel chocolate bar – £2.95

What we’d go back for…

The breakfast options – from toasted banana bread with nut butter, to wheat-free granola with coconut yoghurt, blueberries and pomegranate.

Certainly worth a return visit!