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The diviest of dive bars in Tel Aviv

Well-loved, well-worn, well-aged...just like a bottle of fine kiosk box wine

By Jennifer Greenberg
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It’s easy to get lost in the glitter and glam of Tel Aviv’s cocktail bar and club scenes; however, when peeling the residual glitter out of your every orifice at brunch the next morning, it’s important to remind yourself where your loyalty stands. Of course, we are referring to the ol’ reliable dive bars that were always there–in sickness (alcohol dependence) and in health (alcohol independence). There’s nothing like a well-worn, unglamorous bar stripped down to its bare bones, serving up cheap, ‘unfanciful’ drinks to keep the paying customers happy. 

Dive into Tel Aviv's best bars off the beaten track

© Ziv Sade

1. HaMinzar

Bars Dive bars Tel Aviv City Center

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.

© PR

2. Salon Berlin

Bars Kerem Hateimanim

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.

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Silon
Silon
© Silon FB page

3. Silon

Bars Cocktail bars Tel Aviv City Center

Located on the bustling King George Street is Silon, an old neighborhood bar that has kept its unique character for the past 13 years. Although it’s considered an all time neighborhood bar, Silon still allows for a wild night out. The outdoor seating is great for people watching and talking, but inside you will need to work on your shouting skills, but the music is worth it. Silon serves delicious cocktails, including a Bloody Mary with a gin base rather than vodka that is definitely worth checking out, as well as certain beers otherwise hard to find in Israel. 

October
October
© Oren Ziv

4. October

Bars Lounges White City

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.

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Cheers
Cheers
© Or Gatt

5. Cheers Rock Bar

Bars Dive bars Tel Aviv City Center

Complete with old-timey music, loud laughter and conversation, and a pool table in back, Cheers is a quintessential neighborhood pub. You may as well be sitting in the American sitcom itself, drinking a 'third' next to Samuel "Mayday" Malone. Long tables centered around the bar encourage conversation between patrons and make it easy to keep the drinks flowing. 

Tepale
Tepale
© Eyal Marilus

6. Tepale

Bars Dive bars Tel Aviv City Center

Located in the heart of Tel Aviv, on one of its main streets, Tepale has authentic Tel Avivian vibes. With Israeli music playing, cheap alcohol and a welcoming crowd, Tepale will bring you into the fold of becoming a regular. Known for offering guests sunflower seeds and arak shots, free of charge, this bar knows how to treat its customers. And don’t miss their pitchers of cocktails. There’s nothing like a boozy brunch to cure that hangover with the hair of the dog or avoid it altogether by continuing that buzz through the weekend. As Tel Aviv becomes more and more sophisticated, it’s comforting to know there are places like Tepale left, where patrons can feel at ease.

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Geula Bar
Geula Bar
© Yifat Yogev

7. Geula Bar

Bars Mezcalerias Kerem Hateimanim

Geula Bar is a neighborhood pub located on beautiful Geula Street. Geula Bar offers one of the best happy hours in town, live music, including guest DJs almost every night, and a tasty bar menu. From 16:00-20:00 happy hour invites the public to enjoy 1+1 drink specials. Feel the breeze from the sea while seated in the outdoor area and relax with friends, a drink and tapas. Geula Bar prides itself on the friendly crowd of local Tel Avivians, and invites you to stop in to share the evening with them.  

Denim Bar
Denim Bar
© Anatoly Michaello

8. Denim Drinks First

Bars Dive bars Tel Aviv City Center

Denim Bar, also known as Denim Drinks First, packs a punch for a relatively small bar. The main goal of Denim is to bring the basics back to drinking. What does that mean? Well, Denim aims to steer clear of fancy and overdone cocktails and bring back the elegance of drinking a straight-up whiskey (of course, they offer a wide array of spirits, in case whiskey is not up your alley). So cozy up with a gin and tonic and munch on some comfort food that includes mac and cheese, cornbread with bacon butter, and a variety of sandwiches. 

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