Not your average Israeli [ ________ ]

Time Out cracks down on the weird & wonderful, trending or “under wraps” food trends, markets, landmarks & more

Naked beach
© Shutterstock

For a country rooted in thousands and thousands of years of Jewish history, we value what the wise Tevye once coined: “Tradition!” Nonetheless, while Israelis continue to honor tradition, in more recent years, Tel Aviv, Jaffa, and beyond have opened up their minds to new, out-of-the-box innovations. From introducing contemporary elements into Israeli culture to grabbing hold of western food trends and not letting go, there are so many weird & wonderful places popping up around Israel. We invite you to open your minds to the endless possibilities and sample all of these otherworldly ideas.

Not your average Israeli...



Throw all caution – and clothing – to the wind and hang loose (literally) at these top places in Israel to be in the buff. We’ve weighed the pros and cons of where to slink down to our skivvies and less, and these four prime places made the cut.  Don’t be a prude, go nude!    1. Working Those Beach Balls © Shutterstock   Pro: You won’t have to worry about uneven tanning. Con: Getting sand where you really don’t want it.    While Ga’ash Beach is more of an ‘unkept’ secret, it still retains its charm. Located just north of Tel Aviv, the beach is named after the nearby Kibbutz. Ga’ash North is mostly a gay beach, paralleled with Ga’ash South, which does not specify. During any given summer weekend, you may find close to 50 naturists showing off their stuff. Looking for a skinny dip with a more ballsy adventure? Arsuf’s small nudist beach is popular among nudists due to its remoteness.     2. Mooning by Moonlight © Shutterstock   Pro: The moonlight gives your skin that extra glow.  Con: You aren’t the only creatures of the night enjoying the serene desert.    While no places are officially recognized as clothing-optional in the Dead Sea (yet), summertime in and around the area can inspire a different kind of naturist activity: moonlight nature walks. By day, the Dead Sea’s natural desert spots are packed with tourists, AND their kids. However, when the summer sun sets and the tourists retreat, these areas become serene, beautiful and perfectly warm. Wait

...falafel stand

...falafel stand

We get it, falafel is delicious. Yes, sabich is so sensual it can make you feel things you’ve never felt before. But, imagine a world outside these staples...a pita-centric world packed with new flavors, vegan cauliflower creations that will melt-in-your mouth, and meats so juicy they might even give you an orgasm. The Tel Aviv and Jaffa street food vendors have been on their game this year as they come up with new ways to elevate the fluffy pita, following in the footsteps of Eyal Shani, while Jerusalem is holding strong to their authentic roots, but also upping their game. Check out what these popular pita spots have to offer.

Ever bought handcrafted calendars from a seasonal pop-up Israeli market inside a Florentine club? Ever stocked up on warm weekend stews during those chilly winter months in the basement of a mall in Tel Aviv? Ever witnessed someone shape an intricate sterling silver wire bracelet in seconds in the middle of the street? If not, than these unique markets should be at the top of your shopping list. Take a break from Carmel Market's screaming vendors and cheesy gifts to experience the true Israel at these atypical markets. From art up north to homemade food to items that cannot be boxed into a category, here’s our list of the most unique Israeli markets. cream parlor
Restaurants cream parlor

As if the typical Tel Aviv ice cream parlors weren’t life changing enough, the White (pistachio) City has broken the (chocolate) mold this year with out-of-this-world frozen fusions. Imagine a marriage between ooey-gooey cookies and lotus gelato that would send Cookie Monster into cardiac arrest on Allenby Street or an ice-cream-pastry friendship on King George Street so complicated, Woody Allen might rename his cult classic, “When Hungarian Pastry Met Strawberry.” All this to say, these five Tel Aviv establishments have taken the typical twist or two-scoop cone to unimaginable places that every child at heart needs to explore. In the words of Willy Wonka, “Come with me / and you’ll be / in a world of pure imagination…” space
Art space

While tourists flock towards the iconic Tel Aviv Museum of Art or The Israel Museum in Jerusalem to cross off their ‘Israeli culture’ checklist, the true hidden beauty lies in Israel’s more quirky museums and Israeli art galleries off the beaten path. Just outside of Tel Aviv, the quaint city of Holon houses some unique museums that feature everything out-of-the-ordinary from Israeli fashion design to cartoons and children’s games. Inside the cultural capital, Florentine’s hipster haven opened Tel Aviv’s very first street art gallery. And, up by Mount Carmel, the Ein Hod Artists’ Village has the works of Marcel Janco, one of the founding fathers of Dadaism, up on display. These museums in Israel are worth a visit, especially if you’re looking for a change of pace from giant crowds and long lines.

...archaeological site

...archaeological site

Dating back thousands upon thousands of years, the archaeological sites of Ancient Israel are rife with intrigue and Jewish history. We all know about the top Israel attractions and world-renowned religious landmarks like the Wailing Wall and natural landscapes like the Dead Sea, but what about Israel's stranger features? From biblical giants and vegan and vegetarian utopias to Harry Potter's grave and prehistoric cavemen, welcome to the lesser known archaeological sites of the Holy Land.

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What other treasure is Israel hiding?