Tel Aviv

Home To More Tech Start-Ups and Entrepreneurs per capita than anywhere else on earth, Tel Aviv is buzzing with creative energy. Come sunset, the cities’ famously attractive residents venture out into a seriously vibrant nightlife. Beyond the parties, Tel Aviv has evolved into an exciting Foodie destination. Marchay Head of Content, Sophia, spends a few months a year here and takes us through her favorite places.


Checking In

My top choice is The Norman, a gorgeously renovated 1930’s Bauhaus building for which its “White City,” UNESCO-protected neighborhood is known. It has a beautiful garden for breakfasts and a rooftop pool to cool off in. The location is ideal, close by Rothschild Avenue where you can find several great restaurants, cafes and bars. I highly recommend having dinner one night in house at “Alena”. Chef Barak Aharoni’s food is both beautiful and delicious with seasonal Israeli ingredients on their best display.

Another great boutique option is Hotel Montefiore, perhaps best known for its legendary breakfast and gorgeous dining room. The beds are extremely comfortable and the book shelves are filled with interesting reads. Ask for a room on a higher floor as the restaurant and bar on the ground floor tend to be well visited in the evenings and the noise can travel to the nearby rooms..

I also like The White Villa which feels homey and is a more quiet, discreet stay. Inspired by Le Corbusier, original architect Samuel Barkai designed the house as a private residence in 1947. It now has a new life as an intimate boutique property without pretence but lots of character.

At the heart of Tel Aviv’s ancient and increasingly hip Jaffa neighbourhood, The Jaffa Hotel opened its doors this past summer.  The team behind the property spent ten years renovating and reconstructing the 19th century complex that was once home to a French hospital. The open lobby features a contrasting blend of mid-century furnishings and contemporary art by Damien Hirst. My favorite part of this property is the bar which is housed within a former chapel. It is breathtakingly beautiful and well worth a visit even if you are not a hotel guest.


Chef Yossi Shitrit’s restaurant “Mashya” is one of my all time favorite restaurants in Tel Aviv. With the city’s food scene growing and changing so quickly, I find myself always returning to this place for more. Chef Yossi has enormous passion for his craft, his dishes are modern with authentic touches from his Moroccan roots (his personal favorite dish is the Jerusalem Mix), bursting with flavor. Don’t miss the bread which is baked with three different types of flour and 16 spices!
Pastel is a brasserie beside the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. It shows how a good restaurant can complement a museum, similar to The Modern in New York and a great option for lunch or dinner. Chef Hilel Tavakuli’s resume includes Le Gavroche and Locanda Locatelli in London. The menu is thoughtful and interesting but it also includes crowd pleasers such as burgers and Caesar salad (perfect post museum visit with kids).
Abraxas North is a great for a casual, cool dining experience. Helmed by Chef Eyal Shani, who changes the menu twice a day, food is eaten directly from the sheet of paper that covers the table, without the intervention of a plate. The dishes are colorful, flavorsome and very messy. Opt for seating at the bar from which you can peek into the kitchen and chat with the bartenders.
Cafe Nordoy is a new addition to TLV’s dining scene. Located on the ground floor of the pink Nordoy Hotel, in a beautifully renovated, pre- Art Deco building, it has a distinct European ambience due to its meticulous, conservative design and attention to even the smallest details. Chic yet cozy, this restaurant serves delicious, bistro style dishes including a wonderful duck confit.
Santa Katarina presents sophisticated, creative takes on Mediterranean food. It is packed with irresistible details like the taboon (clay oven), all tied together with a relentlessly cool vibe. It is hugely popular amongst locals and tourists alike so be sure to make a reservation in advance.
Carmel Market – The crossroads for everything food in Tel Aviv: visit the Carmel Market to inhale a mosaic of smells from toasted spices to fresh-­baked bread. The stalls are filled with seasonal produce, piles of candy, mounds of halva, gold­-yellow baklava, and endless exciting small eateries in its alleyways – usually offering hummus, soups, skewers and cooked dishes. An absolute must for any serious foodie.


From photography and sculpture to painting and multimedia works, Israeli art galleries are rife with burgeoning talents and veteran artists, championing both local and international names. As an art junkie – I always try to visit as many galleries as possible but a few of my favorites are Noga Gallery (owner, Nachama is lovely and extremely intuitive when it comes to matching collector with piece), Rosenfeld Contemporary, Alon Segev Gallery and Zemach Gallery. To make the most out of my recent gallery hopping experience, I booked a tour with Batya who is a passionate art lover and Tel Aviv native. She offers wonderful customized private tours including artist studio visits.


With its unique, old-world atmosphere, Jaffa is completely different than the rest of Tel Aviv. Walk down the ancient alleyways of Jaffa’s Old City to the port where fishermen bring in their daily catch, artists exhibit their work in renovated warehouse spaces, and musicians perform to an eclectic crowd. Don’t skip the local Flea Market, “Shuk Hapishpeshim”, a Jaffa icon. After the “golden hour,” the late afternoon, the Flea Market morphs into a bustling bar scene, the streets fill with music, clinking glasses, and dinner chat, as beautiful vintage-wearing 20-somethings come ready to celebrate.

Nightlife in Tel Aviv
 Romano is a good night-starter and transitioning bar, where you can have a bite, stay for the DJ and drinks, then move downstairs to, a drinking and dancing spot in the courtyard. Imperial Bar is a speakeasy-inspired craft cocktail lounge  (currently ranked number 17 on the World’s 50 Best Bar list) that is reminiscent of a bygone era. Book a seat during happy hour. Located on the ground floor of a nondescript building on bustling Rothschild Boulevard, JimmyWho? is one of the city’s most formidable nightclubs with retro touches and a cavernous atmosphere.  The Block—a club some call the Berghain of Tel Aviv—is the final stop, even if that is after sunrise, where several world class Dj’s come to spin.

Israeli Wine 
The “Holy Land’s” modern wine industry began in 1882, when Carmel Winery was founded by Baron Edmond de Rothschild, of the legendary Chateau Lafite Rothschild in the Bordeaux region of France. The local wine industry has seen a major evolution over the last 30 years, however. If you have the time, consider taking a day trip to the Tishbi Winery in Zichron Ya’akov (a scenic coastal drive about 45 minutes north of Tel Aviv). The Tishbi Winery has grown from humble beginnings to an internationally known winery encompassing six vineyards. They offer wine tours and tastings, as well as chocolate tastings. Brunch and lunch is served in a beautiful, casual outdoor restaurant where you can enjoy a meal (paired with wine) under the vine leaves.


The Norman |  Nachmani St 23-25, Tel Aviv | +972 3-543-5555
Hotel MontefioreMontefiore St 36, Tel Aviv |  +972 3-564-6100 
White VillaBen Tsiyon Blvd 25, Tel Aviv | +972 3-602-8868 
The JaffaLouis Pasteur St 2, Tel Aviv | +972 3-504-2000 
Noga Gallery | Ahad Ha’Am St 60, Tel Aviv | +972 3-566-0123
Rosenfeld Gallery | Ha-Mif’al St 1, Tel Aviv | +972 3-522-9044
Alon Segev GalleryHa-Mano’a St 7, Tel Aviv | +972 3-609-0769
Zemach GalleryHei be-Iyar St 68, Tel Aviv | +972 3-691-5060
Batya Art Tours | +972 52 596 5550
Tishbi Winery | Binyamina Giv’at Ada | +972 4-638-0434
Romano & | Derech Jaffa 9, Tel Aviv | +972 3-571-9622
Imperial Bar | HaYarkon St 66, Tel Aviv | +972 73-264-9464
JimmyWho? |  Rothschild Blvd 24, Tel Aviv | +972 50-666-7337
The Block | Shalma Rd 157, Tel Aviv | +972 3-537-8002
Alena | Nachmani St 23-25, Tel Aviv |  +972 3-543-5400  
Mashya | Mendeli Street 5, Tel Aviv | +972 3 750 0999
Abraxis North | Lilenblum St 40, Tel Aviv | +972 3 516 6660
Cafe Nordoy |  Nahalat Binyamin St 27, Tel Aviv-Yafo |  +972 72-272-7279
Pastel | Sderot Shaul HaMelech 27, Tel Aviv | +972 3 644 7441
Santa Katarina | Har Sinai St 2, Tel Aviv | +972 58 782 0292



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