Bookworms will fall in love with these Tel Aviv bookstore cafes.
The upbeat urban pace of Tel Aviv is undeniable. Sometimes, it’s nice to slip away from the noisy streets and into a quiet café or maybe a bookstore for some solace. Can’t decide which? You don’t have to with these bookstores that double as cafés.
The Little Prince
With an atmosphere as whimsical as the children’s book it’s named after, The Little Prince (‘Hanasich Hakatan’ in Hebrew) is the perfect place to grab a book, sit down and read away the afternoon while sipping on mint tea. With a huge selection of second-hand books at low prices, it’s no wonder their enchanting outdoor terrace is teeming with writers and literature lovers. On top of the impressive collection of Hebrew and English books, The Little Prince also hosts book launches, cultural events, and sporadic jazz performances.
19 King George St (03-5253632)
This bookstore café currently has two branches in Tel Aviv and features a wide array of subjects from fiction, arts, and culture, to philosophy and poetry. Keeping up with the White City’s hipster vibes, Bookworm (‘TolaatSfarim’ in Hebrew) also promotes independent authors and zines.Though the majority of their reading material is in Hebrew, scattered among the shelves are a handful of English titles for those traveling intellectuals. Buy a book, pick up a pastry and ‘cafe hafuch,’ and escape into the wonderful world of literature.
9 Rabin Square (03-5298499); 7 Maze St (03-5357907)
Greg Café (inside Tzomet Sfarim)
In Canada, you can’t check out of Chapters without a Starbucks Maple Macchiato. In the U.S., it’s Barnes and Nobles that pairs a Pumpkin Spice latte with your paperback purchase. Well, as of 2010, the Haifa-based chain Greg Café began to dominate malls across Israel after going into partnership with the Tzomet Sfarim chain of bookstores. Located right outside the sliding glass doors of Tzomet Sfarim on the second floor of Dizengoff Center, Greg Café is tailor-made for the more casual reader looking to alternate between people watching, espresso sipping and a light romance novel.
Dizengoff Center, (03-6205986)
Free Outdoor Public Libraries
Are you a professional nomad looking for a good read that won’t put your carry-on over the weight limit? Or perhaps you’re traveling on a budget and don’t want to invest in a novel you won’t finish? Either way, Israel’s got the solution for you. All across the country, community book carts are growing like wildfire, popping up in public spaces like parks, gardens, beach fronts and sidewalks. Their philosophy is simple: “Take a book, leave a book, or add a book.” With an equal selection of English to Hebrew reads, you can’t pass by one of these traveling book carts without scavenging through the most public of libraries.Whether you grab an iced coffee to go and cool down on a shaded bench in Gan Meir, or sip a hot brew by the beach while reading between the tan lines, make the outdoors your personal bookstore café.
Jennifer Greenberg is the Web Editor of Time Out Israel. She gave up her maple syrup addiction to move to Tel Aviv from Canada, but brought with her a knack for sophisticated diction, thanks to her grandfather who kept words like 'haberdashery' hip, cool and happening.