You don’t have to be Jewish to appreciate the fabulousness of Tel Aviv and neighboring Jaffa (though it certainly can’t hurt!). A relaxed vibe, sunny Mediterranean climate, fresh organic food, and eclectic population give the Israel seaside city a cosmopolitan energy that can really refuel the spirit when you’re hankering for an urban fix. For the footloose and forward-thinking traveler with penchant for food and fashion, here are some divine destinations to key into your itinerary.
Tam Hachaim- A Taste of Life Restaurant
43 Ben Yehuda St.
This pleasant vegan dining spot a few blocks from Tel Aviv’s best beaches calls out like a siren with the promise of fresh juices, healthy salads, and decadent faux-meat plates. Run by a friendly family of African Hebrew Israelites, A Taste of Life offers an uber-warm welcome and great prices. Come for lunch, then come back again for dinner!
64 Rothschild, Tel Aviv
Stylish non-leather shoes, revamped vintage dresses, and above-par customer service are what you get when you cross the threshold into Roni Kantor’s Tel Aviv and Jaffa boutiques. The sandals, pumps, and flats are not only cruelty-free and utterly adorable, but high-quality and comfy. Pop in and let the extra-friendly sales team help you piece together the perfect outfit for a wedding, night on the town, or your next job interview. If you’re in luck, Ms. Kantor herself will be in the house to answer all your burning questions!
31 Nahalat Binyamin
You may have noticed that there’s a theme running through all of our Tel Aviv recommendations: Friendliness! And that’s no different at Café Birnbaum. The staff here are incredibly warm and attentive, and the bottomless vegetarian lunch buffet is so good you’ll want to spend the whole afternoon shoveling hummus, pickled salads, pasta dishes, and creative vegetable dishes into your overstimulated mouth. Yum!
Shakespri /Green Bar
At this colorful, friendly juicebar, you can refuel with a tall glass of kale-beet-carrot juice, or the mélange of your choosing, for less than $5. Smoothies and fruit juices are possibilities outside of the green-drink spectrum. After you’ve juiced up, go “Dizengoffing”—otherwise known as window-shopping along the fun and eclectic commercial street. Don’t miss the Bauhaus Center, where you can learn about the local architecture and pick up a few souvenirs to take home.
Jaffa Flea Market
Walk south along the beachside promenade just beyond Tel Aviv and you’ll arrive in the old town of Jaff, an ancient seaport with one very popular attraction: Its flea market! Wander the narrow streets and hunt for vintage treasures, then pop into Puaa for a fabulous lunch of pumpkin dumplings in coconut curry sauce washed down with a glass of sparkling wine (or two).