While locals are no stranger to these five main rues and visitors will undoubtedly find themselves traipsing at least one–or all–of them, we’ve decided to break down these all-star destinations to the nitty gritty of what’s not to be missed–plus a little history for good measure.
Rothschild Boulevard (aka "Kiosk Krack")
This tree-lined boulevard is an afternoon stroller's dream and dates back to Tel Aviv's very beginnings. It's name honors philanthropist and Zionism supporter Baron Edmond Benjamin James de Rothschild (1845-1934).
The fun facts
• Originally, nobody wanted to live on Rothschild Boulevard as it was Tel Aviv's first water well. Once filled with sand, it became the most expensive street in the city and a major tourist attraction.
• Its iconic trees were inspired by a visit from Winston Churchill in 1921, whereby an anxious mayor Dizengoff uprooted mature trees from neighboring areas to plant down the middle of Rothschild to add a wow factor.
While traveling by foot is the best way to experience the boulevard's beauty, the #20 bus also connects Allenby to Habima via Rothschild.
Independence Hall (16 Rothschild Blvd)
Any Birthright guide will tell you that this historical landmark's a no-brainer. Step back in history to May 14th, 1948 to the day the state of Israel was founded and imagine yourself in Ben-Gurion's shoes as you walk past Theodore Herzl's preserved portrait and the original rendition of the nation's flag.
Ibn Gvirol Street (aka "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly")
Ibn Gvrirol Street
While there is very little poetic to say about this honking, bustling, never ending commercial street, it is named after Solomon Ibn Gvirol (1021-1070 CE), an 11th Century Andalusian poet and Jewish philosopher who published over a 100 poems in his day.
The fun facts
• According to writer Raymond Scheindlin’s research for his book “Wine, Women, & Death: Medieval Hebrew Poems on the Good Life”, Ibn Gvirol was considered a social misfit – a particularly fitting description of the Tel Avivian street in his namesake and its contemporary goings-on. Today, the loud and obnoxious hub is a stream of bracelet bars and hole-in-the-wall street food stops with traffic galore. But you can’t avoid it. Something necessary like getting to the ministry of something or other always brings you back.
• In his poems, Ibn Gvirol was self-described as short and ugly.
• His best-known poem, Keter Malkut ("Royal Crown"), is considered one of the greatest poems in all of Hebrew Lit and is a whopping 900 lines of prose.
Almost every central bus heads down or through Ibn Gvirol at some intersection or another – but the 26 or 126 are your best bet.
Vitrina (36 Ibn Gvirol St)
All your juicy burger cravings will be banished at this trendy joint – where even the most self-described burger snob can’t get enough. Douse that bun with fancy purple beet ketchup and garlicy mayo plus add sides like sweet potato fries topped with parmesan.
Tommy & Annika (1 David Hamelech Blvd)
Just off of Ibn Gvirol, this magical little toy shop inspires kiddies big and small (and playful adults) as they explore themselves packed with unique and original toys. Expect scientific and fantastical games, adorable backpacks and greeting cards, and plenty of high-quality play things for all ages - plus an upstairs haven for innovative weekly classes and workshops.
Crab ravioli from Brasserie (70 Ibn Gvirol St)
While a smattering of the Brasserie’s dishes could very well be huddled under this umbrella, we are going for the crab ravioli for its simple poise, delectable pink peppercorn cream sauce and sheer quality of ingredients.
Allenby Street (aka "A Night To Remember...or Forget")
This personality-packed street is named after General Edmund Allenby (1861-1936)–nicknamed "The Bull"–who led the British Empire’s conquest of Jerusalem from the hands of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century.
The fun facts
• Allenby Street used to house the hottest Super Club in Tel Aviv: Allenby 58, which hosted the best local and international DJs from 1994-2000
• When General Allenby first came marching in with his platoon and was informed of the street's name, he immediately made a U-turn
• The street was originally given the name Derech Hayam
Catch the #4 bus that runs along Allenby from the Ben Yehuda junction all the way to the New Central Bus Station.
The Great Synagogue (110 Allenby St)
This iconic synagogue has been a part of the city's religious center since the early days of settlement. While many come from far and wide to worship inside, even more locals flock from near and dear to worship its perimeter, blessed with culinary treasures, worthy of prayer.
Jasmino (97 Allenby St)
Sick and tired of the same old slightly-below-average shawarma? Restaurateur Shaul Tevet's unexpected gem is a simple, yet sensational pita paradise, offering four charcoal-grilled options (kebab, chicken, housemade sausage, and veal heart) served fresh to order.
We Must Shop (30 Montefiore St)
The owners have worked in fashion companies all over the world, from New York to Russia. They design some of the clothing themselves, while also exclusively importing fine garb from Japan and Korea. Their online selection is enormous, so don’t fret about finding something you like - there’s something for every style and taste. Prefer to try clothes on before purchasing? They just opened a new boutique stop on Montefiore Street and the clothes look even better in person.
Ham and Cheese Toast at HaMinzar (60 Allenby St)
You might know it as a grilled cheese, toastie, or croque monsieur, but there's only one version Tel Avivians live by: HaMinzar's "Ham and Cheese Toast" composed of buttery bread, bubbly cheese, and topped with the ultimate deadly sin: ham.
King George Street (aka "Bohemian Bliss")
King George Street
There is something innately local about King George Street. The iconic street that makes up the White City's urban core gets its name from King George V who reigned during the British Mandate.
The fun facts
• Every Friday from mid-morning to late afternoon, a "doggy adoption" centre is set up along the Gan Meir park fence boarding King George Street.
• The headquarters of the Israeli right-wing Likud party is located on this street inside the Jabotinsky House (38 King George St).
Catch the #25 or #125 bus that runs along the entire street between Carmel Market and Masaryk Square.
Gan Meir (Between King George St and Tchernichovsky St)
At first glance, Gan Meir is not the most pleasing on the eyes. Dig deeper, however, and this oasis of green is the epitome of parks: a dog park, grassy picnic-perfect area, basketball court, pint pong tables, pond, public library, Landwer Café, and Gay Center.
Dizengoff Street (aka "Sleazy Deezzy")
This rambling rue is named after the city's very first mayor, Meir Dizengoff (1861-1936), and one of the country's forefounding Zionists.
The fun facts
• While studying chemical engineering at the University of Paris, Dizengoff met Edmond James de Rothschild (another big shot personality), who sent him to Ottoman-ruled Palestine to start a glass factory that would later supply bottles for Rothschild's wineries.
• In modern Hebrew slang, Dizengoff has been turned into a verb and lehizdangeff means 'going out on the town down Dizengoff.'
Catch the #5 monit sherut going up and down the street - from Rothschild Boulevard to Ha'TaRuach Street, just before Tel Aviv Port.
Brooklyn Pizza (276 Dizengoff St)
You can take the Hasids out of Israel, but they'll end up in Brooklyn anyway - Brooklyn Pizza that is. Fold that oversized cheesy triangle in half and grub like a serious New Yorker, and prepare for unbuttoning your jeans after their piping hot calzone oozing with Nutella hits your lips.