A Guide to Tel Aviv, Israel

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Looking for something fun, interesting or tasty to do in Tel Aviv? Whether you’ve come to Israel on your own, with a group like Taglit-Birthright Israel or with your family, the following is a list of hot spots not to be missed.

Tel Aviv

Photo credit: ronsho

1. Nachalat Binyamin Artist’s Market

Want to bring home a piece of Israel with you? Then Nachalat Binyamin Artist’s Market is a must. Every Tuesday and Friday, this pedestrian walkway turns from an average street into a bustling arts and crafts market. You can bring home everything from jewelry to Judaica, photo prints to pottery. This is the best place to buy beautiful and unique gifts for your friends and family.

2. The Dining Scene on Montefiore Street

Over the past year or so, Montefiore Street has turned into the hotbed of the hip Israeli dining scene. Check out one or more of these trendy and delicious restaurants nestled in the heart of Tel Aviv:

Cena – Located at Montefiore 42 and the youngest of the Montefiore restaurants, Chef Roy Oren’s restaurant focuses on Mediterranean flavors, while combining Italian influences and a Provincial touch.

Hotel Montefiore – This contemporary restaurant provides brasserie style cuisine with a Vietnamese twist and is located in a beautiful boutique hotel at Montefiore 36.

Yavne Montefiore – Bistro style restaurant located at the corner of Yavne and Montefiore streets. The chef, Jonathan Roshfeld is one of Tel Aviv’s most well-known and well-respected chefs.

Montefiore 7 – This restaurant, named after its location, is following the recent trend of “shuk” restaurants, where ingredients are brought fresh every day from the local Carmel Market and the menu is constantly changing.

3. What to do after hours?

Take in some tunes at Levontin 7

After finishing up a meal at one of the above mentioned restaurants, head over to Levontin 7, a funky bar with local hipsters featuring a variety of live Israeli music.

Join the “It” Scene in Tel Aviv

If live music isn’t your thing, but rubbing elbows with the who’s who of Israel’s art and fashion scene is, head on over to Radio EPGB on Shadal 7. This place is not only known for its patrons and décor, but also for the DJ’s every night to put on one of the best parties in town.

4. Get your caffeine fix

Tel Aviv is very well-known for its café culture, so whether you want your hafuch (upside down in Hebrew, but this is how the locals call a cappuccino) to go, or want to sit, sip, grub and gab for hours with a friend, here are a few of Tel Aviv’s best cafés.

LovEAT – with a few locations in Tel Aviv (Nachalat Binyamin 3 and Jabotinsky at the corner of Dizengoff), LovEAT features delicious, organic coffee along with many cold and refreshing drinks to help save you from the summer heat. Recommended, if you want to “take away” your coffee.

Sonia Getzel Shapira – Nestled in an alleyway off of King George Street, this hidden gem provides a quiet, zen-like atmosphere in a garden smack dab in the middle of one of Tel Aviv’s busiest areas. On top of their tasty coffee, their fairy-tale themed menu boasts hearty sandwiches and salads, and a traditional Israeli breakfast fit for a prince.

Café Kabash – Join the hipsters in the funky neighborhood of Florentine to drink your cup of Joe. Stay for coffee, some great food and a laid back atmosphere at Florentine 3.

Bakery 29 – Not only is the coffee to die for here, but so are the pastries and baked goods. And to top it all off, all of the proceeds go to help low-income combat soldiers pay their way through university.

5. A visit to Jaffa – new and old

Jaffa

Photo credit: ronsho

Visit to Tel Aviv is not complete without a stop in Jaffa, the place where it all began. This enclave is not only chalk full of history (ex. Jonah and the whale) with a beautiful, cobblestoned old city fit to get lost in, but also highlights the cultural evolution that Tel Aviv is constantly going through. After wandering around the old city and visiting the artists’ galleries, be sure to go to Shuk HaPishpishim (the flea market) to pick up some antiques and fun old Israeli paraphernalia. While there, stop for a bite to eat at Pua, a hip restaurant in the middle of the bustling market. Walk off your food by taking a stroll to the renovated port area with restaurants, bars, shops and beautiful scenery. If you feel you like it, you can follow the promenade all the way to Tel Aviv’s neighboring city, Bat Yam and take in the ocean views along the way.

Jonnalyn Pascual is a freelance writer for AbsolutelyIsrael, a Taglit Birthright Israel licensed tour operator providing Taglit Birth right endeavor by doing creative programming.

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