By day, the Carmel Market, one of the best markets in Israel, is a carnival scene: a clash of curious tourists taking their sweet time and impatient locals just trying to buy dinner. As fish guts and fruit peels are thrown into the main street and water washes away a long day’s work, the shuk becomes void of all shoppers and signs of human existence. Nightfall is when the magic happens. Nestled down the alleyways off the market are some of the best restaurants and hidden bars in Tel Aviv. We’re sharing our city’s well-kept secrets and recently discovered hipster hotspots (that are not in Florentine!) because they’re too cool to pass up, espacially The Space on a Tuesday, when the bar is transformed into an Israel jazz lover's dream. Bring some friends to Carmel Street, but just remember, the more on the down-low you keep these establishments, the less crowded they’ll stay.
Where to drink and eat around the Carmel Market
From the moment you enter through the giant, colourful doors marked 'Kartel', you know you've entered into a different realm. The music is always popping; with techno, house, hip-hop, and electronic disco on typical nights -- plus a weekly Jazz night, get dancing because 'there's no space like home'. On top of great music, The Space offers shareable munchies, stellar mojitos (from classic to more adventurous options like coconut and pineapple), and even houses a quaint art gallery in the back. Come for the music, stay for the hipster vibes.
With simple food options and affordable beers, tourists and locals continuously seek out HaMinzar for a lovely night out. With a young and stylish crowd, the vibe and energy is chill, so come prepared to take your time and bask in this calming setting. With mismatched tables and chairs, the unpretentious restaurant setting makes it clear that the owner’s focus is geared towards food and drink. Best of all, HaMinzar is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
This beloved spot right outside of Shuk HaCarmel makes a grand entrance in the new shuk with malabi, a custardy rose-flavored dessert served with your choice of toppings, from sauces and nuts to cookie bits. Their vegan version tastes just like the real thing—you’ll love the versatility of this dessert.
Locals know Ha’Basta as the place to try creative, well-executed food straight from the neighboring, open-air shuk. This is the kind of place where anything you taste will hit the mark. Creative dishes and an incredible wine list make HaBasta the place to go for a hyper local dining experience.
Step into this hipster paradise and try to see through the cloud of smoke as all the hip Tel Avivians drink their night away. Salon Berlin hosts mostly hipsters and Yemenite quarter residents in its snug space. Prices for alcohol are significantly cheaper than any other bars, earning them the proud title of as “cheap as in Berlin”. If you are looking for fine service, this may not be the place for you, but those looking for a unique Israeli/Berlin mashup have found their spot.
Venture down a dark alleyway to this Middle Eastern retreat, and make sure to arrive hungry. One of the top meat restaurants in the city just happens to be this unassuming, tavern-style eatery in the shuk. Featuring one-of-a-kind Israeli dishes, with fresh meat taking the spotlight, carnivores can rejoice in the deliciously juicy flavors, and a menu that changes daily.Prep your appetite and get your steak knifes at the ready - these thick cuts of meat are cooked to utter perfection.
This lively Carmel Market spot is a shakshuka haven, serving up fancy versions of the über-popular baked eggs in tomato sauce. Take your pick of any of the unique renditions of this local dish, such as the Spanish version with salami, spinach and chickpeas, or the Italian version featuring goat cheese and basil.
Opened by Shlomo in 1937, his grandson Doron carries on the legacy of serving this humble chickapea staple with no frills attached. Outdoor seating on a cobblestone street, with an atmosphere heightened by the sounds and smells of Carmel Market, Shlomo and Doron has a truly authentic feel.