If you love healthy food, then Tel Aviv is your city
We bring you seven restaurants and bars for delicious healthy dining in Tel Aviv, from typical Israeli dishes to international eateries. Treat yourself to a superb gastronomic tour while exploring one of the most fashionable cities of the moment. Tel Aviv is a modern, cosmopoli-tan and vibrant city with excellent cultural and leisure options, good weather, lovely beaches and numerous great value-for-money restaurants where you can eat delicious healthy food.more info
Jerusalem is a fascinating place. Strolling through its Old City – the cradle of Jewish, Christian and Muslim culture – is like walking across a set in some Hollywood blockbuster directed by Cecile B. Demille. This enclave breathes history in every stone holding up its temples and other buildings although, when it comes to travels, the capital of Israel has long been classed as a religious destination. Indeed, any pilgrimage to the Holy Land should include a fascinating tour of the city’s catacombs. In the following we reveal the most interesting spots in an alternative Jerusalem, pinpointing the bars and clubs in the renovated Mahane Yehuda market.
A meeting point for the city’s literary community, Adraba Books is Jerusalem’s bookstore for anyone seeking stories that go beyond official accounts. Over and above its café – worth commending in a country which does not stand out for its espressos, macchiatos and cappuccinos – it is noteworthy for its section of art volumes and its stock of titles in foreign languages, particularly English. Sderot Ben Maimon 5
Casino De Paris
Located in the heart of Mahane Yehuda – a refurbished market filled with colourful food stalls by day, many of which become bars and clubs with live music by night – stands the Casino de Paris, formerly one of the most popular clubs among British officers stationed in Jerusalem during the nineteen twenties. A century later it is now reliving its days of glory, and can count among its die-hards a large, motley crew of night revellers. The revival is largely the brainchild of Sha’anan Streett, the vocalist of Hadag Nahash, one of Israel’s most widely acclaimed hip-hop bands, and Eli Mizrahi, the owner of the nearby Machneyuda, possibly the best restaurant in the city. 3 Mahane Yehuda Street
Next door to a fast-food eatery, Gatsby is half-concealed behind a drab black steel gate, lacking any sign that might denote its presence. Despite its brief history (it opened just over a year ago), it is actually Jerusalem’s first cocktail lounge to re-create the ambience of an American speakeasy from the Prohibition era. It is stunning to see their barwoman wielding the cocktail shaker. As in other locales of this kind, you can only gain access if you know the secret code of the day, or else pretend to be a strayguiri– it worked with me. 18 Hillel Street
Lev Smadar opened in 1921 and is one of the most emblematic cinemas in Jerusalem. Hidden in an alleyway in the German quarter, it is honestly more difficult to find than Wally without his striped shirt. It features American, European and Israeli independent cinema and is frequented by the city’s arty crowd. All the movies are screened in their original version and local films are in Hebrew with English subtitles. 4 Lloyd George Street
Razzouk Tattoo Studio
Lost among the winding streets skirting the Jaffa Gate lies Razzouk Tattoo, the first and only tattoo parlour in Jerusalem’s Old City. Like almost everything here, the story of Razzouk Tattoo is fascinating. The Razzouks, a family of Egyptian origin, have been tattooing since the 14th century. In those times Copts would have a small cross etched on the inside of their wrist to gain entry to churches. After settling in Jerusalem, the grandfather, Yacoub Razzouk, opened his studio in the mid-20th century. The family tradition is now furthered by his grandson, Wassim Razzouk. 31 St. George Street
This club is ideal for dropping in on the night scene on weekdays. It has been operating for the last ten years and is one of the favourite sanctuaries of DJs involved in Israel’s electronic underground. It is also a place to feed on vinyls, graphic novels and other Israeli counter-culture publicity. It is also one of the few clubs in town where you can quaff on a pint of Taybeh, a Palestinian beer which is up there with the best German or Belgian barley beverages. 4 Aristobolos Street
This is the only openly gay bar in Jerusalem and a winner if you want to have a memorable night in the city. If you strike it lucky, you will happen upon one of their popular thematic parties from the 80s and 90s, soirées where the punchiest hits from those two decades will sound out one after the other. And, if you get too heavily involved in the revelry, don’t be surprised if you get carried off by one of the drag queens, who will lead you onto the dance floor. You’ve been warned! 1 Horkanus Street
Open since 1991, the Yellow Submarine is Jerusalem’s most emblematic concert hall, the venue where both good – and the best – stars (albeit, unknown here) of the eminently interesting Israel music scene have performed, as well as some of the leading international figures that have visited the country. In addition to their daily bowling schedule, this booster of local talent also hosts conferences and exhibitions, as well as being hired out for rehearsals and recording sessions. 13 Ha-Rechevim Street
Come and discover Jerusalem’s alternative scene – book your Vueling here!more info
Neve Tzedek the Bohemian Quarter of Tel Aviv
Neve Tzedek, which in Hebrew means “home of justice”, was the first Jewish quarter to be built beyond the walls of the ancient port of Jaffa, twin to the still inexistent city of Tel Aviv (which emerged in the 1880s). From the outset, it was a place of refuge of the some of the most illustrious figures of Israeli culture. Now, a century after it was founded, its bohemian atmosphere is still in full swing. Some of the houses in this quarter are veritable monuments, built in such styles as the Bauhaus or Art Deco, while its streets are studded with cultural centres, restaurants, shops, cafés and bars you simply must visit on your stay in Tel Aviv. Here are some of the standout venues:
Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre
A must-visit spot on any art tour of Neve Tzedek. Fronted by a large mural by David Tartakover, one of Israel’s leading artists, the Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre has four spaces which host performances by some of the foremost national and international dance companies. It is also the headquarters of the highly acclaimed Batsheva Dance Company. If you aren’t much moved by dance, you will certainly by stunned by the mesmerising interior plaza, the surrounding gardens or the Suzanne Café, one of the best spots in the neighbourhood to while away the afternoon chatting over a steamy cup of coffee. Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre, 5 Yechieli Street.
It is important not only to replenish your energies, but to do so where eating is raised to the heights of pure pleasure. In Neve Tzedek, Dallal is such a place. Located in the heart of the quarter, the cuisine at this restaurant draws inspiration from both nearby Jaffa and its Arab roots, and the Mediterranean. Sheer bliss on the palate. Make a point of getting there early and have a cocktail in their enchanting outside square. Dallal, 10 Shabazi Street.
Dating from 1886, this was the first building to be erected in Neve Tzedek. Aharon Chelouche, a landowner, jeweller and moneychanger, was one of the leading figures in Jaffa’s Jewish community in the late 19th century. A co-founder of this neighbourhood, together with Shimon Rokach and others, the erstwhile home of Chelouche is now one of the city’s paramount art galleries. While the works on its walls are fascinating, no less so are the views of the quarter to be had from the roof terrace. Be sure to go up to the top. Chelouche House, 32 Shlush Street.
At the end of Shabazi Street, the main and most crowded thoroughfare in Neve Tzedek, stands HaTachana, the Hebrew name for Jaffa’s old railway station. Built in 1892, HaTachana eventually fell into disuse and was closed for years. In recent times it was restored and renovated to house a number of cafés, bars, restaurants, shops and markets, turning the former train station into one of the liveliest points both in the district and the whole city. HaTachana, 1 Kaufmann Street.
This small wine bar, with a capacity of hardly 14 people, is sophisticated yet inviting and boasts an excellent wine list. Its standout items are imported from Spain and France, and it also features an exciting list of cocktails. It is the ideal spot for ending off a day’s sightseeing in Neve Tzedek. Jajo, 44 Shabazi Street.
Carmel Market (in Hebrew, Shuk Ha'Carmel) is a must-visit landmark for anyone arriving in Tel Aviv. Located on the edge of the Neve Tzedek quarter, it is a blend of a regular market, street market and souq, and is divided into two sections. The first houses stalls selling clothing, footwear, electrical appliances, etc. often at laughable prices. The highlight of the second and far more attractive section is an area of florists’ stalls, but it also has food stalls (fruit and vegetables, meat, cheeses, breads…), and those selling spices, which provide a fascinating explosion of colour, textures and aromas. 1 HaCarmel Street.
Nachum Gutman Museum of Art
Nachum Gutman, an Israeli painter and sculptor of Russian origin, was a cardinal figure in endowing Israeli art with a style of its own. Indeed, he departed from the European influences of his masters, which he regarded as inadequate for portraying the uniqueness of his country and its landscapes. His works are on display in various public buildings in Tel Aviv and, of course, in the Nachum Gutman Museum of Art as well. Nachum Gutman Museum of Art, 21 Shimon Rokach Street.
The journalist Shimon Rokach was the founder of a neighbourhood which at the end of the 19th century was part of the old city of Jaffa. Built in 1887, the Rokach family home is now an interesting museum devoted to that period. It is also the home of Lea Majaro-Mintz, Shimon’s granddaughter and one of the most widely acclaimed painters and sculptors in Israel. Rokach House, 36 Shimon Rokach Street.
Be sure to discover Neve Tzedek – book your Vueling to Tel Aviv here.
Text by Oriol Rodríguezmore info
Seven Ideas for Enjoying Tel Aviv with Children
Famous for its white silhouette and for being the city with the largest collection of buildings inspired by the Bauhaus (over 4,000), it is also renowned for its Mediterranean light, its multicultural, cosmopolitan milieu and its high standard of living. However, what is not so well known is that young Tel Aviv, founded in 1909, is a fantastic family resort where both the young and old can have a lot of fun. Why? The high birthrate – over three children per family – has prompted a large number of children’s facilities to be built in the city. Here are some ideas:
1. Kids might get bored with stone, the major feature of the old port of Jaffa, founded in 700 BC, which forms the original nucleus of present-day Tel Aviv. But you’re sure to win them over if you tell them it was here that Noah’s ark came to rest when the Flood subsided. This maze of well-preserved, winding streets has been exquisitely restored as part of a complete makeover. It throngs with craft shops, art galleries, cafes and artists’ studios, including the rehearsal premises of Mayumaná, a group known for its unusual way of making music using non-musical objects, such as rubbish skips, recycled objects, etc. If you start hearing weird sounds while out strolling there, they are obviously engaged in a full-blown rehearsal. Before leaving, make sure you take some amusing photos of Jaffa, like hugging the “hanging” olive tree or in front of the whale that swallowed Jonah. If you happen to be out walking at dusk, have a look at Tel Aviv’s skyline and the fishermen seeing out the day on the wharf.
2. Jaffa is the site of a pleasant Tel Aviv promenade, the Tayelet.The walk, which stretches for fourteen kilometres, starts at the old, millenary harbour and crosses Tel Aviv in a northbound direction. It can be done on foot, or by jogging, skating, skateboarding or cycling – municipal bicycles can be hired all over the city. All you need is a credit card, and that’s it! Don’t worry if you get tired of pedalling – we recommend a stop-off at one of the cafes opposite the beach, or having an ice-cream while seated on one of the benches along the promenade, where you can sun yourselves and soak in the atmosphere.
3. Tel Aviv is a coastal city with beaches where you can enjoy the warm Mediterranean climate. They are clean and lively and provide all the services – changerooms, showers, playgrounds and swings! All designed for soaking up the seaside, as here they can boast of over 300 days of sun a year. The family favourites are two in particular – Metzitzim, in the north, perhaps the beach of choice among locals, and the Jerusalem beach, which affords a perfect view of the Jaffa skyline. For interest’s sake, Hadatiyim is the beach where religious people go, while Hilton beach is preferred by surfers and homosexuals. To get into the swing of things, buy some typical wooden racquets called markot and get ready to spend hours playing on the beach.
4. A stroll down the Rothschild Boulevard is a must. Make sure to stop off at number 45, the domain of the Max Brenner Chocolate Bar. This is the Mecca of chocolate in all its shapes, colours and textures and their prices are well worth paying. The menu is so tantalising and so mouth-watering that the whole family is sure to give in to the temptation at any time of day.
5. Talking of food… somewhat less traditional are the products to be had at the Carmel Market, the best place for imbibing exotic flavours and aromas and discovering fruit, vegetables, sweets, multi-coloured spices, fresh fish, meat hanging from gigantic hooks and prepared food unrecognizable for many westerners. Strange aromas, sounds from voices and electronic devices, music and hubbub mingle in the air. Of course, the question most often heard is – What is this? Startled expressions at the new flavours are guaranteed, as are the smiles on realising that you can also find sweets in Israel! Even though they are a bit strange. But, don’t leave Carmel without tasting a pomegranate and orange juice… Mmm!
6. The Ramat Gan Zoological Center is a locally popular nature reserve where you can see exotic animals like giraffes and lions in the semi-wild. The park tour, measuring one square kilometre, is done by car, as if on a short safari. Be warned, though – the size is deceptive. The circuit is so well designed that it seems bigger than you imagine. If you don’t have your own car, you can hire one.
7. Hayarkon Park is a replica of New York’s Central Park in all respects, including appearance and size – it stretches over four square kilometres. We recommend taking a bicycle ride along the riverbank and having a picnic and, for dessert, a game of cricket – a popular game in Israel. There is also a lake where you can hire a boat, several ponds with ducks and even a climbing wall where you can try out your skills as a rock climber.
A place worth visiting with the family! Check out our prices here.
Text and images by Nani Arenasmore info