The best of all worlds

Around the world in 6 continents: Israel's best international venues

Most of us like to think that our personal globetrotting adventures rival few of those around us, but thankfully, there are are more than a few genius Israelis who were so inspired by their travels, they brought back the true essence of places around the world in the form of eclectic boutiques, home-cooked classics and even wildlife. Here’s an international travel itinerary rife with authentic hotspots – from NYC to Melbourne – all sans the worries of jet lag, airport mazes, and a lack of vacation days from work. Once you catch that wanderlust bug, there is no going back

An Israeli salute to: Ethiopia, Africa
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An Israeli salute to: Ethiopia, Africa

Ethiopia Gili Yalo, 36 years old, is a musician who combines his Ethiopian roots with jazz, funk, soul, and world music     Favorite word in Amharic: fek’er (love) - Favorite word in Hebrew: Ahava (love) - © Michael Topyol   Gili Yalo discovered music at the age of four during his arduous journey from Ethiopia to Sudan, and eventually, Israel. The young Yalo sang the whole way there and his musical path only flourished once arriving in Israel, where he continues to produce new material – “Israel is a very tense place. It makes you get up every morning and do your very best to try to stay relevant.” Yalo admires the Israeli music scene, though wishes he could import the scenic Ethiopian landscape (featured in his just-released, self-titled debut solo album’s music videos) to match. On most nights, you can find him at Rothschild 12 or the Jackson in Florentine, or at an under-the-radar bar in Neve Sha’anan owned by Eritrean and Sudanese refugees where he loves to “hang out and explore new cultures.”    Catch Gili’s album release show at the Barby on December 20. Find a local slice Embrace the rhythms of West Africa at Tel Aviv’s weekly drum circle hosted by TamTam at the Dolphinarium Beach every Friday afternoon. Throw all caution–and cutlery–to the wind and dip into the Kerem for a traditional Ethiopian meal at Balinjera. The charming eatery offers vegan and veggie casseroles, meat dishes, authentic beer, and a colorful array of side dishes. This communal

An Israeli salute to: Japan, Asia
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An Israeli salute to: Japan, Asia

Japan   Eri Nakamura, 33 years old, is a ballet dancer and costume designer for the Batsheva Dance Company     Favorite Japanese word: Sakana(fish) - Arabic word: Habibi (this word always comes with smile) © Roee Dori       Eri has called Tel Aviv home for the last NINE years, having decided to stay in Israel for love (she is the partner of Ohad Naharin, the celebrated Israeli choreographer). She says “the fish in the Kiriyat Sefer Park pond swim the same way as fish swim in Japan,” and when she sees the cloudy sky and rain in Tel Aviv it makes her nostalgic for the Land of the Rising Sun. If she could transport something to Tel Aviv, it would be the ‘onsen’ (hot spring baths) from Japan. In Tel Aviv, she spends her early mornings having coffee at Lachmanina, with lunch and snack breaks at Neroli (“the best organic store ever”) and finds solace resting at home, playing with her daughter Noga, and cat. Her costume designs can be seen in Last Work, Yag and Venezuela by Batsheva and Adam by Roi Asaf, And Still by Daniel Agami and Burnt Room by Noa Tsuk and Ohad Fishof.     Find a local slice      Hibino is an immaculate design store and gallery perched over Ahad Ha’am Street, with traditional and gorgeously minimalist Japanese objects like mini Ikebana bowls, artful wooden mobiles, ceramics, beautiful papers and colored pencils.  Like a present within a present, Tonari, a clothing boutique, expertly-curated with designer Japanese labels, sits inside Hib

An Israeli salute to: Argentina, South America
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An Israeli salute to: Argentina, South America

Argentina     Magali Bursztyn, 27 years old, is a Community Manager at Google, Waze, the world’s largest community-based navigation and real-time traffic app developed right here in Israel     Stop-latino.com delivers Cerveza Quilmes – the iconic beer will transport you to Buenos Aires   Magali flew from Argentina to Tel Aviv six years ago and immediately fell in love with its vibes. “The people, the city, the nightlife, the freedom. I just loved it!” She finds it easy to relate to Israelis: “They are very passionate like us; sometimes aggressive, sometimes intense, but most of the time, it comes from love,” however, Magali misses the architecture, her family and friends, Rutini Malbec wine, and most importantly, Sunday football matches. “There’s nothing like going to watch a game in Argentina. Passion at its best.” Fortunately, Israel embraces Latin American customs, cuisine, and cocktails. Grab your cameras! You’re in the presence of a celebrity: Magali is a Dizengoff creature of habit, so much so that the Johnny Boy bar named their Fernet with Coca Cola mixed drink (a common combo in Argentina) the “Magali” in her honor.  Find a local slice   If you’re craving a little taste of Argentina, Como en Casa delivers home- cooked classics like empanadas, tartas, and Milanesas (plus dulce de leche desserts). No hassle, no hunger, just delicious, regional fare. Ditch the camels and feel right at home with the Tapirs, an endangered mammal indigenous to South Am

An Israeli salute to: Australia & Antartica
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An Israeli salute to: Australia & Antartica

Sydney   Tamar Pross, “36 and loving it.” Founder of Citizen Café, a textbook-free ulpan focused on language & Tel Aviv culture    “Pita is the perfect vegemite vessel. They stole our Blundstones, we can have their bread” (Sybilla Ferguson, Melbourne) © Steve Winston   Tamar has bounced between Australia and Israel her entire life – with some stopovers in London, Paris, and New York just “to make life more interesting.” While she now calls Tel Aviv “home,” she always sets aside time for an episode of Offspring to stay connected to her Aussie roots. As a determined entrepreneur, she decided to ditch the textbooks and classroom setting for a more immersive Hebrew learning experience, and opened up an ulpan of her own. When not running Citizen Café, cycling along Rothschild Boulevard, or chain-sipping hafuch, she loves hanging out with her Australian friends; “I feel like I am back in Sydney with the ‘no worries’ attitude.” If she could import one small thing from Australia it’d be all of the wildlife because there is “nothing like the animals [there]. They make humans seem so boring.” Find A local slice   If Finding Nemo taught us anything, it’s that sea turtles are a) radical, b) they live to be 100, and c) they love ridin’ the EAC to Sydney. Betset Beach, Israel’s northernmost beach, harbors a sea turtle nesting spot for those missing Crush and the gang.  Tee it high, let it fly at Caesarea’s Neot Golf Resort, which boasts the velvety greens of an 18-hole golf

An Israeli salute to: France & Belgium, Europe
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An Israeli salute to: France & Belgium, Europe

France & Belgium     Rachel Samoul (Aix-en-Provence) and Charles Peguine (Antwerp), both 59, owners of the Tel Aviv branch of Palais des Thés, a specialty tea shop, founded in Paris in 1987      “I swear, French has become the national language of Israel...right after Hebrish” © David Benardete   Rachel moved to Israel 30 years ago because she “wanted to be away from my parents and I stayed because I felt at home.” Here, she met her husband, Charles, “the tea master, as we like to call him at home.” Although she misses the “politeness” of her native France, she loves to update her French blog Kef Israel, have her matcha latte at Cafe Xoho and shop at Aviva Zilberman. If she could import something, it would be calissons, the confectionery of her hometown of Aix-en-Provence. It’s a stark contrast to Charles, a marine biologist-turned-tea-entrepreneur, who would bring MUJI to Israel because he is a big fan of Japanese aesthetics (his tea of choice is the Japanese Spring Tea). When he is not hawking tea bags in their stunningly organized shop, he is catching films at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque.  Find A local slice    Proprietress of all things chic and French, Elise Juilliard stocks her namesake stores and Numero 13 in Neve Tzedek with covetable European labels like Essential Antwerp, Antik Batik, Paul & Joe Sister, Vanessa Bruno, A.P.C.  Montefiore Boutique Hotel is a mandatory culinary experience for lovers of meticulous food and impeccable style. The tasteful

An Israeli salute to: USA, North America
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An Israeli salute to: USA, North America

California Adeena Sussman, 46, from Palo Alto, works at the intersection where “cutting board meets keyboard,” co-writing cookbooks like Christy Teigen’s Cravings, a New York Times #1 best-seller “From the U.S. I’d import the postal service, New York bagels, and voice volume modulation” Although she grew up in a Jewish Orthodox home on the west coast, Adeena ended up here after falling for Her Israeli blind date in NYC. The recently married couple live right by the Carmel Market: “I am a ride-or-die shuk girl. I always thank my husband for not allowing this third entity to get in the way of our relationship.” On chill days you’ll find her swimming laps at Gordon Pool, grabbing a bite at M25, HaBasta, or Haluzim 3, or scooping hummus at Shlomo & Doron in the Yemenite Quarter. While she misses “true seasonal weather” and “hitting the open road for days or even weeks without reaching a foreign border,” she considers Israel’s “special Friday afternoon/evening atmosphere – that collective sense of an entire nation taking a deep breath, slowing down, and relishing time with food, family, and friends – a true national value.” Find A local slice    Indulge in the Eggs Benedict on Fridays at Coffeebar. At the sleek cafe-restaurant Delicatessen inhale the steady stream of gourmet American products – plus they DELIVER (hello, American-style).  Head to stationary stores like Papier and Notbook, which sell craft papers, journals, and other gift-wrapping ephemera. For hitting