Mar 22, 2009

Tel Aviv - Insider Tips

Take a look at some of my favourite corners of Tel Aviv. Real life at its best.

Best Humous

Abu Hassan in the Old City of Jaffa – get there early, they close when the big bowl of humous is finished (usually early afternoon) All the staff from Galai Tsahal (Army Radio) eat there because there studio is just round the corner. Also try the masabacha – a kind of hot spicy humous which you eat with chunks of onion. The masabacha is so strongly flavored that the onion tastes like a sweet apple in comparison. Just don’t go on a date that evening. Address: 1 Dolphin St. (on the hill)

Real Life

My favorite corner is Levinsky and Nahalat Binyamin (further south than the well known Nahalat Binyamin Craft Market) Take a step back in time and see all the spices and nuts in big sacks. Stock up on saffron, cinnamon sticks, rose tea and vanilla pods.

Modern Judaica
Me! Art studio for Judaica in the Neve Tsedek quarter. I design and create contemporary Mezuzahs, Hanukkah Menorahs, Shabbat Candlesticks, Kiddush Cups and Seder Plates in stainless steel, pewter and anodized aluminum. Visitors welcome by appointment, email me at
Modern Kiddush Cups

Restaurant (celebration)
Herbert Samuel. Fantastic food. Called tapas, but that’s because the style is small portions to share – the type of food is eclectic. The olive oil that comes with the bread is so delicious you could drink it. Cool décor but unpretentious. Excellent service. Expensive, but not prohibitively so. Herbert Samuel Street (close to Dan Panorama Hotel)

Restaurant (budget)
24 Rupee. Satisfyingly hard to find. Sit on the floor on cushions, and feel like you are backpacking. Great for small kids that can’t sit still (like mine). They only serve one main dish – tali” – which is an Indian platter – theirs includes rice, chapatti, 3 types of curry and raita. Tastes just like the real thing. Veggie. Try the chai too. 14-16 Shoken Street (Industrial part of south central Tel Aviv)

The new craze to hit Tel Aviv. Whipped yogurt with a wide variety of fresh fruit, nut and chocolately toppings. Try Yogo on the corner of Ahad Haam and Nahalat Binyamin. Mad queues at the weekend. Or try the newly opened Yogurt Anita on 23 Shabazi Street in Neve Tsedek. They are the sister shop to the best ice cream in town (or anywhere in fact) Anita Cafe on Shabazi 42 (corner of Pines). Home-made Italian style ice cream, all real ingredients.

Visit the up and coming Gan Hahashmal area for young designers – very contemporary (read crumpled, unusual cuts, vintage style etc)

Airport Taxi
Another local secret - Hadar Airport Taxi 03-971-1103. These are the cheapest taxis to the airport, they are the ones that have taken fares from the airport, and rather driving back empty they pick up fares for about 20-30% cheaper than other taxis. I know they service Tel Aviv, Raanana, Herzaliya and Jerusalem, you would need to check for other towns.

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