Tel Aviv is probably the only city in the world where it's easier to find vegan food than meat, or a higher populous of bikes than humans. As Florentin's self-prescribed hipster-itis bleeds over into Tel Aviv's most popular local areas, like the Great Synagogue and along Allenby Street, the White City is experiencing more beards, bikes, and blunts than ever before. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Here's our guide to all you need to know about the hipster epidemic and how to apply today.
Craft beers and hafuchy beards
A food for every hipster mood
The best Tel Aviv vegan restaurants
While 'being vegan' has become a trendy identifier in the last few years, the local Tel Aviv vegan restaurant scene actually has the chops to back up the goods. Thanks to Israel's climate and varying landscapes, harvesting tasty, healthy fruits and vegetables are a slam dunk (as proven by the colourful arrays at the markets) and diners get to reap the benefits. These vegan and vegetarian hotspots are here to help make our Israel a vegan-friendly Israel. Looking to cook up a storm in your own digs? Take advantage of the local offering and head to one of Israel's markets for a vegan foodie shopping adventure. Whether out and about or cooking from home, don't forget to wash down that tofu with a nice glass of Israeli wine.
The best bars and restaurants surrounding Tel Aviv’s Great Synagogue
Only in Tel Aviv – the cultural capital of Israel – could the grandest synagogue in town also be the most happening area to grab a drink or a quick bite. With funky chef restaurants like Port Said owned by Tel Aviv street food icon Eyal Shani, the tastiest Thai food in the city, and the juiciest burger in Tel Aviv just nextdoor on Allenby, the Great Synagogue is the focal point for a foolproof evening out. Not to mention, the area is home to a stellar Tel Aviv nightlife scene, spinning cool beats that draw the hipsters over from their Florentin cave. So come one, come all, come early because these popular bars and restaurants around the Great Synagogue fill up fast.
The best restaurants in Tel Aviv serving Indian dishes
Tel Aviv isn’t all hots guys and hummus. Their international cuisine game is getting stronger by the second, and now includes a handful of incredibly spice-packed Indian restaurants. Whether you duck into the locally loved Ma Pau, just steps from both the Great Synagogue and Shuk HaCarmel, or spice up your life with a curry stewed up by the Captain himself in Sarona Market, our suggestions for the best restaurants in Tel Aviv serving Indian cuisine include everything from a vegan restaurant on King George to a South African Tel Aviv street food fave.
The Eyal Shani checklist - the Cauliflower King’s must-visit restaurants in Tel Aviv
The celebrity Israel chef that made cauliflower ‘cool again’ has developed a monopoly over the local Tel Aviv street food industry. Eyal Shani has mastered the art of taking simple Israeli ingredients and transforming them into little bites of heaven. His Miznon on King George Street has redefined the pita, and his contemporary take at HaSalon brings the best vegetables and raw materials together in a slick, but hip manner. But the food alone isn’t what keeps Shani’s Tel Aviv restaurants booming, years after opening – it’s the loud and lively atmosphere, prime locations (like Port Said’s quaint spot beside the Great Synagogue on Allenby), and unique personality. Plus, with restaurants in Vienna, Paris, and even New York, the Cauliflower King is paving the way for accessible Israeli cuisine worldwide. Here’s a list of Shani establishments in Tel Aviv to check off your list.
Talk the hippest talk, walk the hippest walk
The 16 unwritten rules of biking in Tel Aviv...
...well, technically there are no rules. BUT, rather than being a cycling cynic, as both an optimist and an avid Tel Aviv biker, I would like to share my two(-wheel) cents with those squeaky clean new bike-owners ready to hit the road (and possibly a pedestrian or two). 1. Bike lanes are a suggestion more than anything. © Shutterstock 2. Streets and sidewalks are fair game - the trick is to alternate between the two as you see fit. 3. Invest in a kryptonite lock, you won't regret it. 4. If you're still nervous, lock it in front of the nearest 24/7 AM:PM - people are afraid to steal bikes in broad daylight, even if it's emulated by the bright grocery store lights. 5. Helmets? What are those? 6. Pay no heed to road signs. 7. Don't play chicken with the pigeons...they'll win. 8. If you can dodge traffic, you can dodge a ball. via GIPHY 9. Riding head first into ongoing one-way traffic is permitted. 10. Ignore the 5-10 average honks you'll receive on any given day. 11. If you're a Florentin-dwelling hipster, it's the unofficial law to own a bike - for form over function. 12. Learn to outrun the bus. 13. Treat every traffic light like a stop sign, if anything. 14. There's a reason Tel-O-Funs have a 30-minute cap - DON'T attempt to take one on a 30 km off-road ride. © Shutterstock 15. If you live on the fifth floor of a walk-up, it's better to haul it up those stair
Literary libations: the best Tel Aviv cafés that double as bookstores
The upbeat urban pace of Tel Aviv’s most bustling areas - from Dizengoff Street to Rothschild Boulevard - is undeniable. Sometimes, it’s nice to slip away from the noisy Tel Aviv streets like Shenkin and King George Street 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 scattered around the Israeli culture capital.
Barbershop quintet: the 5 best barbers in Tel Aviv
Whether you're just looking for a simple trim or a full-on shave - these throwback barber shops offer a range of amenities, from a good ol' whiskey in the chair to design-savvy details. And while you're at it, go show off your clean up at any of these local hipster cafes or get ready to mingle with your kind at these hipster bars - where a barb is basically a prereq.
The Prettimess Collective
With multicolored murals, tattoo parlors and hipster cafes, Tel Aviv’s hip Florentin neighborhood is an ideal playground for the unexpected. Amongst its many sub-communities is the Prettimess Collective, a community for like-minded artists. Prettimess is the brainchild of illustrator Boaz Sides aka UNTAY and the artisans behind DaSilva boards Ben Kaufman and Alon Meiri. © Yonil By opening a gallery they want to gather and showcase local designers, painters and illustrators who share a passion for the alternative street art scene. So rather than having a traditional gallery owner-artist relationship, Prettimess is one big family-style community that does it all. The artists are able to collaborate in harmony, bringing together their individual styles and create wonderfully surreal paintings (and boards) for the Telavivian streets. © Untay In fact if you look hard enough, you’ll start recognizing some of the murals around Tel Aviv, with recurring signatures such as UNTAY, DIOZ and Brothers of Light.
16 tell-tale signs you know you're in Florentin
1. People pose no threat to cats - they own the streets, not you. 2. Moustaches, beards, or some form of unnecessary facial hair are not just socially acceptable, they're compulsory. 3. It isn't unusual to find weed droppings in your hair after walking underneath the Florentin balconies. 4. They leave the 'e' off of Florentin. 5. There is a dive bar every step you take, not just every block. Also, don't be surprised if someone has chosen to express themselves with a contemporary dance routine smack dab in the middle of the bar. 6. The ratio of bikes:people oddly seems to be 2:1. 7. No one seems to sleep...ever. 8. The kids who grew up there are cooler than you. 9. The Florentin 'street art' is too intricate to be categorized as graffiti. 10. Art studios are more common than AM:PM grocery stores. 11. They can turn down your shek as they're all about the co-op – they even have their own bit-coin system.
A hipster’s guide to Florentin
Tel Aviv is the ultimate hipster destination. The hip secular city is at the center of Israeli art and culture, making it the perfect place for Urbanites to cultivate their creativity. Whether in the form of street art, vegan eating, or booming underground nightlife, Tel Aviv is rife with young hipsters looking to chill outside the mainstream. While Neve Tzedek has the vintage clothing and boutique stores part down, if you want in on the true “too-cool-for-school” experience, head to Florentin in south Tel Aviv. With our hipster’s guide to Florentin, you’ll be able to oggle at Israel’s first street art gallery, eat surprisingly authentic mexican food, check out Levinsky street and market, and stay at some funky hostels.
Other areas on the cusp of cool
Killin’ it on King George: where to hang out along Tel Aviv’s bohemian street
Running from the Carmel Market on Allenby all the way towards Kikar Rabin, King George Street is packed with local gems, each with its own unique bohemian flare. From the most raved about Tel Aviv street food establishment, Miznon, to the hipsterest of hipster bars this side of Florentin, to vegan cafés and even an awesome park, it’s impossible to get bored when wandering down King George. When in Tel Aviv, eat, drink, play, pay like the locals do. Heck, if you’re feeling adventurous, you might even think about getting a tattoo at Kipod, one of Tel Aviv’s top tattoo parlor.
HaKerem happenings: cool bars and restaurants in and around the Carmel Market
By day, the Carmel Market, one of the best markets in Israel, is a carnival scene: a clash of curious tourists taking their sweet time and impatient locals just trying to buy dinner. As fish guts and fruit peels are thrown into the main street and water washes away a long day’s work, the shuk becomes void of all shoppers and signs of human existence. Nightfall is when the magic happens. Nestled down the alleyways off the market are some of the best restaurants and hidden bars in Tel Aviv. We’re sharing our city’s well-kept secrets and recently discovered hipster hotspots (that are not in Florentine!) because they’re too cool to pass up, espacially The Space on a Tuesday, when the bar is transformed into an Israel jazz lover's dream. Bring some friends to Carmel Street, but just remember, the more on the down-low you keep these establishments, the less crowded they’ll stay.