In Tel Aviv, coffee is more than just a drink, it is an important part of Israeli culture. A poorly prepared ‘café hafuch’ can ruin an entire day, which is why we’ve sipped espressos from north to south in search of the best Tel Aviv cafés. After much caffeine-charged research, we found a shockingly strong caffeine concentration radiating from the City Center. So, we’ve rounded up the most noteworthy central spots to pair the best cup o’ joe with equally delicious food and baked goods. Behold! A caffeine addict's guide to Central Tel Aviv cafés.
The best Tel Aviv cafés in the City Center
Cafelix is a beautifully designed cafe with expertly created coffees. From frothy cappuccinos to the steamy double-shot espresso, this spot is a hipster sipster’s favorite spot from morning to afternoon. Though the place is swarming with cuddly dogs, there’s still space to enjoy the superfast wifi and quality beans. The leader in the ever changing and evolving Tel Aviv coffee scene, Cafelix will fulfill your dire need for that first morning cup and cure your post-work sleepiness with an evening pick-me-up.
In the intersection where Rothschild meets Ben Zion, you'll find one of the best cafés in town. Just across from Habima theater lies this café meets kiosk that produces heavenly coffee drinks and sandwiches that will have you...well, just eat them and you'll find out. Named after its location, Café Habima with its signature graffiti, "We Love You Too", is the place to be if you are looking to capture the Tel Avivian vibe. The location is right on, the people are beautiful, the window displaying the freshly prepared sandwiches is mouthwatering and the general atmosphere suggests that no one really has a job in Tel Aviv. If the weather is nice, and it usually is in Tel Aviv, grab a blanket (you can ask for one) and sip your coffee right on the grass, soaking in the sun. Beware: the lines at the register are sometimes really long. But, once you order, you will get a colorful heart statue signaling to the waiter where you are seated and you will find it was worth the wait. Did we mention service here is everything?
At the adorable Café Xoho you can find hot BBQ tofu sammies, delectable veggie burgers with homemade pickles, vegan Benedict with brioche, sautéed spinach, spiced tofu with a creamy vegan hollandaise sauce and the much sought-after bagels, cookies, muffins and baked treats! With its funky Brooklyn style and the young, trendy vibe, it is impossible not to love this spot.
Whether it is three in the morning or three in the afternoon, step into this bustling spot for some tasty cafe food. Beyond the design and size, The Streets King George draws its character from the eclectic crowd. On the one hand, the local central Tel Aviv audience, and on the other hand, a large amount of passersby wandering through the neighborhood make this place their temporary culinary escape. The magic occurs when each finds his or her place in the cozy and inviting environment. Pick a massive and juicy burgers, healthy and fresh muesli, seasoned chips, or Israeli kebabs and rice off the extensive menu and melt into one of the comfy couches hidden away upstairs. No visit to Tel Aviv is complete without a midnight munchies drop by.
One of the best bakery chains in the city, Bakery has mastered the art of French pastries. Whether you come to pick up a crunchy, fresh-from-the-oven baguette or any of the delectable pastries like the caramel-glazed cream puffs and the creamy-rich mille-feuille, everything you pick here is memorable and worth the hype. Bakery also serves sandwiches and salads, making it the ideal place for your next lunch date. Check out their other locations at 13 Yad Haruzim St and 67 Weizmann St.
The Little Prince is the perfect literature haven for bookworms. Great for olim, it offers a wide selection of books in Hebrew, Russian, French, and Spanish, as well as an entire room of English literature. With many eclectic, peculiar books, The Little Prince is great for those looking to stray from the typical bookstore selection. The prices are affordable, which has earned this shop a loyal customer base. Get comfortable with a cup of coffee or a glass of cold beer while you browse, or curl up in its dreamy atmosphere to read your latest selection.
The perfect accompaniment to a brisk summer stroll down Tel Aviv’s Bialik Street is one of the most charming cafés in Israel. It attracts for its Israeli breakfast – salads finely chopped, jams, cheeses, eggs, but the neighborhood-coziness keeps you coming back for more. Nearby spots are Bialik House and the cultural Beit Ha’ir center, but hanging out there until the evenings witnessing live music bewitch the night is an unforgettable experience. Local musicians aren’t the only things on the menu - it’s the laidback spirit that turns it into a daily urban haven.
Just steps from the famous Rothschild Blvd, Nehama Vahetzi is a popular pick amongst the locals. With many vegan and vegetarian options, the cafe is always packed with Tel Aviv’s cutest and most stylish. While the dishes are not the cheapest, the beer is affordable and the experience is authentic. Plus, the cool vibes are free. With the perfect location, insane beet shakshuka, and breads baked in-house, Nehama Vahetzi is the place to sit, socialize, or just laptop lounge.
Lachmanina’s charm saw it grow from a single neighborhood cafe into multiple locations, and it’s easy to see why. A favorite with locals where the variety is incredible—especially the selection of loaves. Nut breads, caraway breads and sourdoughs are just the tip of the iceberg here. For those with a sweet tooth, try a fruit tart, a chocolate-filled pita or even a mini caramelized cream puff filled with delicious crème patisserie. Locals opt for the signature Nelson bread, a South African treat made from whole and dark wheat, sesame and sunflower seeds, bran and a touch of honey. Firm and tight, it could almost pass for cake.
Café Mersand has been a Tel Aviv fixture since they opened their doors in 1955, with the decor and recipes remaining constant since then. The place was designed by a Hungarian architect, aiming to recreate a classic European café. Along with aromatic coffee, Café Mersand serves up treats including raisin or brownie cheesecake, poppyseed cake and a Turkish breakfast that includes couscous, cheese, eggs and halvah. Part of the charm lies in the eclectic guests of Café Mersand: a mix of the old and the young, businessmen, musicians, hipsters, locals and tourists.