Tel Aviv nightlife: boozing at the bars
Hidden inside the Imperial Hotel, the Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar is the top of the top when it comes to craft cocktails. This temple to the lost art of cocktail goes back to the source, featuring veteran bartenders from the younger years of the White City. With an Asian-colonial inspired kitchen and a wide range of music from jazz to rock n’ roll, it’s no coincidence Imperial was crowned Drinks International magazine’s ‘Best Bar in Africa and the Middle East.’
Chat to any local and they’ll whisper in your ears sweet nothings -- or everythings – about this important nightlife haven. If you’re into trends that haven’t become trends, because they’re so trendy, then Teder is the only place to be. Dive into an alternate world, where the cool reign and the grooves flow. Opt for this great cultural alternative to the mainstream commercial nightlife.
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.
As a former art gallery, the October bar maintained the artist mentality, creating timeless masterpieces—only this time they are presented in the form of food. Though presented as a bar, the venue’s three owners (all born in October) sought to include delicious food on their menu. With tasty nibbles like leek fritters smothered in yogurt sauce, you can’t go wrong. And the locals love it! Don’t let the name fool you either. October bar is not only an autumn amenity. This gem of a spot is open all twelve months of the year.
Founded in 2008 by one of the world’s most popular bartenders, Ariel Leizgold, 223 has retained its title as a star of the Dizengoff bar scene. Why not try the cocktail that first won Leizgold an international bartending title, the Passion Fruit 2006, made from vodka, ginger, apricot brandy and passion fruit? Or sample one of their prohibition-style cocktails like the Vieux Carré, with rye, cognac, sweet vermouth and bitters. Or, if you’re feeling truly adventurous, tell one of the professionally trained mixologists your flavor preferences and let them work their mixmaster magic. No matter what you choose, you can’t lose. Transcend time and place at the bar that raised the bar in central Tel Aviv.
Set in south Tel Aviv where Allenby Street meets Yehuda Halevi, this new-ish hangout haven has a certain mysticism, charm and rapture to it. It’s a two-level bundle of pure joy with a subterranean courtyard and staircase, a tiny misshapen dance floor and spirited ambience. It even has a vintage clothing store hidden within its labyrinth of rooms. Say the magic words, “Kuli Alma,” to any local and you’ll immediately make it into the cool books of Tel Aviv.
The hipster pups are filling this most beautiful lounge-bar in town, for...wait for it... healthy alcoholic beverages. Its interior is refreshingly decorated, yet still provides the atmosphere of the desired "we are cool" slot. So how did Phi reel in the Tel Aviv audience from Otsar, along with fresh hipsters, gays, and fearless partiers? The secret formula is probably their unexpected combo of healthy cocktails, a variety of seating areas, an urban garden style that will make your Instagram pop, and a New York atmosphere that lets you breathe between puffs of weed. The minimalist wood decor is reminiscent of a Japanese restaurant, without the cold and elitist aspect. Inside, the bar reveals intimate and cozy booths with soft romantic lighting. Situated between Alphabet and Social Club, at the end of the week, Phi becomes Alphabet's lounge wing, which receives the drunk Alpha refugees who want to get some air in the backyard and settle their stomachs with a Ginger-Kale-Arak drink. Those who combine the two places will find the Phi is almost perfect: there are almost no clubs in Tel Aviv that offer this sort of chill, Berlinesque courtyard. The beauty is that the Phi is not just for night crawlers; the inside tables contain seating for laptop loungers, and most importantly, the place is open during the daytime hours, so you can easily bring your eager beaver colleague from the United States to show ‘em some true Tel Avivian vibes.
Oh if the walls could talk! BuXa is renowned for its ultra mod contemporary art lining its chic walls, and ultra cool contemporary beverage list filling the bellies of locals and tourists alike. This trendy vibe and hipster lair shouldn’t deter you from experiencing Israel’s up-and-coming underground DJs stretching their talents across the decks. Hang out in the yard on the top floor, dance the night away on the lower floor or simply perch yourself at the bar chatting to night crawlers for the evening – the world is your BuXa.