Tel Aviving | Ido Liven





Tel Aviving

A few months ago, a British colleague writing for Metro contacted me asking for some help about the nighlife scene in Tel Aviv. Although I spend about four-five days a week in this city (most of the time looking for either a parking place or a left-turn) without even living there, I really can’t consider myself an expert on Tel-Aviv’s major.

Nonetheless, I couldn’t let him down. A generous advice by a good friend of mine (thanks, Oded!) helped me formulate the most up-to-date guide to Tel-Aviv’s off-the-beaten-track places. Next year Tel Aviv will celebrate its 100th birthday, and despite the many face-lifts and buttocks around its center, its young atmosphere is well kept mostly in the older areas. This way or another, in my opinion, for a person coming from abroad Tel Aviv nightlife is the best – and probably the only – attraction this city has to offer.

I have no idea how helpful this listing turned out to be, but if anyone’s around town, you might want to check the entries below, at least to get a glimpse at the dark side of Tel Aviv days.

A few notes:
  • You might want to grab the English version of “Time Out” Israel (There are Hebrew versions for Tel Aviv and Jersualem) just after you land at the Ben Gurion airport. You’re supposed to be able to find it in a stand next to the luggage pick-up. You can also browse through the brand new City Guide Tel Aviv.
  • You might notice that in general, the nighlife scene in Tel Aviv expands from the centre southwards and westwards. Tel Aviv has no competition with other cities in Israel when it comes to nightlife. Haifa and Jerusalem have their own local somehow-different scenes (which I believe are interesting as well).However, when it comes to restaurants (and maybe also cafes), there’s no competitor to Hertzeliya, a city just 30 minutes north from Tel Aviv, and in particular, its industrial zone in the west.
  • Your headache in Tel Aviv would likely to be coming from searching for a parking place, and not from over-drinking. However, don’t count on the public transportation to help you with that.
  • You would probably discover that although Israelis don’t tend to drink that much (obviously not as much as Brits…), the bars – mostly the bigger ones – usually keep a huge variety of beers. But at the same time, you won’t find more than two types of Israeli brewed beers (simply because we currently only have two of them…). However, the self-made beer scene has already arrived in Israel about three – maybe more – years ago, and I find it particularly fascinating. If you’d like to check out this field, let me know (I believe the best place to start checking on this would be the “Norma Jean” mentioned down here).
  • I have no idea what the guidebooks to Tel Aviv recommend on, but the places mentioned here are those condsidered to be the succesful ones in town (for now). They are all 2 years old at the most (well, maybe except a few).


so-called mainstream
(crowded, starts early): from neighborhood pubs through lounge-bars and pick-up bars to clubs and dance-bars

Landen
2 Shaul HaMelech str. (London Ministor)
Everyday starting 21.00
Audience Age: 25 and older
Gymnasia
77 Ben Yehuda str.
Everyday starting 21.00
Audience Age: 25 and older

Atara

32 Rotschild str.
Everyday starting 21.00
Audience Age: 25 and older

Villa Sokolov

4 Kaplan str. (Journalists house)
Everyday starting 20.00
Audience Age: 25 and older
Jerusalem Post review

Banks

13 Lincoln str.
Everyday starting 20.00
website
Sleezy (gets busy quite late, some may be defined more as clubs than bars, but entrance is free)

Mental

7 Shada”l str.
Everyday starting 22.00
Audience Age: 21 and older
Jerusalem Post Review

Ashmoret

10 Rotschild str.
Everyday starting 22.00
Audience Age: 25 and older

Breakfast Club

6 Rotschild str.
Everyday starting 23.00
Audience Age: 21 and older
Ha’aretz review

Abraxas
(the oldest in the list. since 1998 )
40 Lilinblum str.
Everyday starting 21.30
Audience Age: 25 and older
Intimate-but-attractive

Gilda

64 Achad Ha’am str.
Sun-Thu starting 20.00
Fri-Sat starting 21.00
Audience Age: 25 and older

Silon

89 King George str.
Sun-Thu starting 18.00
Fri-Sat starting 21.00
Audience Age: 18 and older
Tel Aviv Guide description

Armadilo

51 Achad Ha’am str.
Sun-Thu 18.00-02.00
Fri 20.00-03.00
Sat 19.00-03.00
Audience Age: 18 and older
Tel Aviv Guide description

HaShachen

192 Ibn Gvirol str.
Everyday starting 20.00
Audience Age: 25 and older

Dorothy Gale

16 Ibn Gvirol str.
Everyday starting 20.00
Audience Age: 25 and older

Eliezer

186 Ben Yehuda str.
Everyday starting 20.00
Audience Age: 18 and older
Cafes

Cafe Mersand

70 Ben Yehuda str.
Sun-Thu 08.00-00.00
Fri 8.00-20.00
Sat 10.30-00.00

The Little Prince
(Cafe and second-hand bookshop)
3 Simta Plonit str. (off King George str.)
Sun-Thu 9.00-22.00
Fri 9.00-16.00
My recommendations (one cafe and two bars)

Atnakhta

190 Dizengof str.
Sun-Fri 07.30-00.00
Sat 9.00-00.00

Norma Jean

23 Elifelet str. (Florentin Qtr.)
Sun-Thu starting 19.00
Fri-Sat starting 13.00

Salona

17 Tirtza str. (Jaffa)
Everyday starting 21.00
Audience Age: 18 and older


*** Last minute updates ***
Uptown (very recently opened and already the dominant Mega-Bar around)
Hanger 19, Tel Aviv Port

Clara
(about the same)
1 Koifman str. (Dolfinarium)
Sun-Thu starting 18.00
Fri-Sat starting 16.00
Audience Age: 18 and older

Black book
(if you can’t get enough of those sleezy places)
37 Menachem Begin rd.
Everyday starting 21.00

Riff-Raff (A truly off-the-beaten-track kind of bar, and yet packed with foreigners)
22 Grusenberg str.
Mon-Thu starting 22.00
Fri starting 23.00
Audience age: 18 and older

La Champa (nice neighborhood-tapas-bar)
52 Nahalat Binyamin str.
Sun-Thu & Sat 17.00-02.00
Fri 14.00-02.00
Jerusalem Post review

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