I've never understood why Tel Aviv hasn't been higher up people's list of places to visit. Less than five hour from London, the city has a vibrant mix of restaurants, shopping clubs and a vast golden beach stretching the length of the city. If you're after some winter sun, modern Jewish food and bars open all night, this is a city worth visiting.
12:am The Norman Hotel
Located in the White City just off Rothschild Boulevard, The Norman is one of the top places to stay in Tel Aviv. The five-star hotel is housed in two stunning Bauhaus buildings. As well as the prized rooftop pool – for when you want a break from the beach – the hotel has two restaurants including an outpost of Japanese restaurant Dinings. Be sure to borrow the hotel’s bikes to pedal around town too.
23-25 Nachmani Street
Breakfast in Tel Aviv is a big deal and not just on the weekends. Locals flock to the various outposts of Benedict for their 24/7 breakfast offering. The freshly baked hot rolls smothered in chocolate spread is a favourite but of course, their eggs Benedict are must too. Rotschild 29
10am: Rothschild Boulevard
A walk along Rothschild Boulevard is a must. The best of the coffee houses is located by Kikar Habima – the Orchestra Square Garden – at the start of Ben Tsion Boulevard. It’s the place to grab a coffee and rugelach – a Jewish pastry that looks a little like a croissant.
1pm: Manta Ray
This cosy restaurant overlooking the sea is a firm favourite with locals and is consistently voted as one of the most popular restaurants in the city. Seafood is the thing to order at Manta Ray, along with a selection of mezzes. Try and grab a table on the outdoor terrace overlooking the beach.
Promenade 7 Koifman St
3pm: Café Noir
Right opposite the Norman hotel, Café Noir is quite an unassuming place perched on the corner of the street. However, this restaurant serves the best schnitzel in town. Order the café schnitzel or the chicken schnitzel with potatoes and a green salad. Try and bag an al fresco table on the terrace and watch the world go by. It’s a perfect spot to grab a bite to eat before heading to the airport to head home.
43 Ahad Ha’am
Located in the funky area of Neve Tzedek, Anita does same of the best gelato in Tel Aviv. They have more than 150 flavours of their handmade ice cream. They’re also extremely proud of the fact that they only use natural ingredients. Even more reason to treat yourself to a few scoops on the way back from the beach or after dinner.
25 Shabazi Street
7pm: Port Said
One of the coolest local spots, Port Said is located just opposite the largest synagogue in the city. Young Israelis gather outside sipping cocktails and tucking into the food by Israeli chef Eyal Shani. Expect a long wait but order a cold beer and perch somewhere for some of the best people-watching in the city. Be sure to also check out the large vinyl collection.
5 Har Sinai Street
9pm: Santa Katarina
Tucked a few doors down from Port Said, Santa Katarina blends into the background and you could be forgiven for thinking it was just a café. However this gem is serving some of the best food in Tel Aviv. Either sit outside on terrace or, if you want to be at the heart of the action, sit at the kitchen counter overlooking the clay oven. Don’t leave before trying the Jerusalem bagel.
2 Har Sinai Street
11pm: Hotel Montefiore
Housed in a 1920’s building on Montefiore Street close to The Norman hotel, this 12-bed hotel in the “Lev Hair” district is a swanky spot for a post-dinner cocktail. The art-deco bar and hotel lobby could be a film set from a Poirot film. Perch at the bar, sip a cocktail and watch the glamorous locals drift in and out.
36 Montefiore Street
This article was first published in Issue 13 of CODE Quarterly.