The Middle East Travel

The Ultimate Guide to Tel Aviv

When I planned a trip to Tel Aviv I had no idea what to expect. I was blown away by how much I loved this city. It has everything I look for when I visit a metropolitan, amazing restaurants, cool cafes and cute neighbourhoods to explore. Tel Aviv had all this plus the beach and sunshine. While there may not be a lot of tourist destinations to hit up there is plenty to do in Tel Aviv to keep you entertained.

Where to Stay

We split our time up in Tel Aviv and on our first few days we stayed in an Airbnb on Allenby street and while it was a great location it was really loud and not the nicest spot so I wouldn’t recommend it.

However when we returned after Jersulum we stayed in Old Jaffa in this really cool boutique Hotel called JOJO and I would highly recommend, the decor is super cool, beds are comfy and there is free tea, coffee and snacks. What’s not to love?

Where to Grab a Good Cup of Coffee

Nahat Coffee

This micro-roastery & Cafe is exactly where you want to go if you are looking for an awesome cup of coffee to kick start your day exploring. Nahat offers a selection of different roasts from all across the world and their baristas are more than happy to chat through what blend you might vibe with best. Nahat is also open on Sabbath if you happen to be visiting during this time.

WayCup Coffee TLV

WayCup is another speciality coffee spot that’s worth a visit. I ordered a flat white and it was delicious. They have two locations, the one just off King George Street was right by where we stayed so it was a perfect spot to start the day. Their croissants are pretty good too.

Cafelix
Calfelix is an artisan coffee roaster that opened up in the south of Tel Aviv back in 2011. Since then they have opened up a few more cafes across the city. The coffee here is amazing, you can tell they take their coffee seriously. I would definitely drop into one of their 4 locations. We visited the one in Jaffa which is one of their roasting locations.

Cafe Xoho

If you are looking for a coffee and brunch then definitely hit up cafe Xoho. They have everything from mouth-watering pancakes to delish bagels. You could also come here just for coffee and one of their very enticing sweet treats. After my breakfast I ordered one of their chocolate chip cookies and oh my god it was amazing. There does seem to always be a bit of a wait as the spot is very popular but the brunch is worth it.

Where to Eat

Port Sa’id

This is very much a casual dining experience, most of the tables are outside and the chairs are all mismatched, one could say it is very hipster. Which is why I loved the vibe of this place. I found it was a great spot to outfit stalk everyone as it seems to be the ‘it’ hangout place for locals.
Not only is the vibe awesome but it is one of the most highly rated restaurants in Tel Aviv and for good reason the food is amazing. We ordered the bread salad, baked potatoes and the chicken liver. In hindsight, it was way too much food but it all was delicious.

Port Sa’i doesn’t take reservations and from what I could tell from reviews there is almost always a wait. We came around 7 and we did have to wait about 30 minutes but it wasn’t too bad as you can grab a drink from their bar and sit along the street and chat.

Ha’Achim

Ok if you visit one restaurant in Tel Aviv let it be this one. Oh my god, it was amazing. You can sit outside with loads of fairy lights and enjoy the balmy evenings with a glass of Isreali wine, highly recommend their Rose. Or you can sit up at the bar and watch the chefs and bartenders work their magic. We got the fried artichoke, the special of grilled avocado with spicy toast and an amazing turnip dish with fetta that I have forgotten the name off. 100% recommend trying all, washed down with an Isreali wine of course. I’ve never had Isreali wine before but I always try my best to sample the local produce when I’m visiting a place and I am very impressed with what I have tried so far.

For Ha’Achim their website is in Hebrew with no English transactions which is the case for a lot of Israeli websites I found. However, I just wrote to them on Facebook and made a reservation that way.

Dok
Dok is the more upscale sister restaurant to Ha’Achim and is located just up the street from it. If you can’t nab a reservation at Ha’Achim then definitely try out Dok. It has a more cosy vibe to it which makes it perfect for date night. The food is equally delicious as it’s sister restaurant naturally. This place is a popular spot among locals too so you know its good.

Hummus Eliyahu
For Hummus this spot is a must visit! We were recommended this place by a local as one of the best spots in Tel Aviv for Hummus. The place is super cheap too so perfect if you are on a budget or looking for a quick bite for lunch.

Onza
If you find yourslef in Java looking for a good resturant then definately try out Onza. The vibe of the resturant is awesome as too is the food. Onza brings Turkish and Ottoman cusine and gives it a modren twist.

You can also book this spot pretty easily online here.

Sweet Treats

Anita Gelato
Anita is a must go for that post-dinner gelato. Renowned for the best gelato in town I can confirm this place lives up to the hype. It is also located in the super hip neighbourhood of Neve Tzedek.

Anita Yogurt
Right beside Anita Gelato is the sister shop Anita Yogurt and their speciality is, of course, fro-yo with as many toppings you can fit at no extra cost. This was my go-to when I wanted to cool down in the midday sun. I haven’t had good fro-yo since leaving the US but I can say that this is the best I’ve tasted outside of the States.

Hamalabiya
This is a little hut that offers up one speciality, Malabi. Malabi is a traditional Isreali desert that is best described as a milk pudding. This pudding is then topped with rose water, some sweet syrup, chopped peanuts, coconut flakes and biscuit crumbs. Surrounding the hut is a bunch of outdoor seeting, where you can relax with a drink and some Malabi.

Where to Grab a Cocktail

Imperial Bar

Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar was named among 50 of the best bars in the world and it is easy to see why. The tiny cocktail bar with its low lighting and jazz music gives off a real cosy vibe. The cocktail menu features the house speciality cocktails which all draw inspiration from the city itself. On the menu, the cocktails are accompanied by awesome illustrations which add to the allure of the cocktails.

Bellboy

Another cool cocktail bar to add to your list. Bellboy is near Ha’Achim so it’s perfect to hit up during happy hour before heading over for some dinner.

BuXa
Not just an average cocktail bar this spot is first and foremost an Art Gallery displaying the largest collection of designer toys in Isreal while also being home to a high-end cocktail bar. This spot is definitely worth checking out.

What to Do

Explore some of Tel Aviv’s coolest neighbourhoods

Old Jaffa

Once it’s own town until Tel Aviv got too big and started to expand, now it has become part of the city. Old Jaffa is an ancient port city with winding cobbled streets, art galleries craft stores and one cool flea market. The town is still an actively working port too. One thing you can do is take a free walking tour of Jaffa which will take you all around and explain the history of the place.

While you’re down there I’d recommend checking out the Flea market and some of the cool craft and boutique stores they have. If your looking for something sweet then head to Hamalabiya which specialises in a traditional Isreali desert malabi. Or just go there and chill with a beer, its a great people-watching spot.

Neve Tzedek

My favourite spot in Tel Aviv was the super cool area, Neve Tzedek. This is the perfect spot to come for some boutique shopping. The streets are also lined with super chic cafes and restaurants with some boasting some prime Alfresco dining again perfect for people watching. Neve Tzedek also hosts its own weekly farmers’ market in HaTachana. Not to mention it’s home to my favourite Gelato and Fro-yo spot Anita.

Florentin

Beside Neve Tzedek, is the up and coming hipster area of Florentin. Come here if you are looking for craft beer spots and live jazz bars. 

Lev HaIr

Lev Halr is known as the heart of the city and it is easy to see why. I really liked this area for its cool atmosphere. There is a tone of great restaurants and bars here so it is a great spot to come at nighttime. 

Camel Market 

The Camel market is quite cool and is the perfect spot to come if you are looking for a quick lunch. While there are vendors selling everything from souvenirs to clothes there are also a lot of people selling delicious food and selling fresh fruit and veg. The camel market is not only a tourist market it is also a place for locals which adds to the charm of the place.

 

The Beach 

Can you really go to Tel Aviv and not go to the beach?

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Awesome post! Keep up the great work! 🙂

  2. I really appreciate your help with my project!

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