The Best Bars in Jaffa

The nightlife and bar culture is buzzing in Jaffa
The nightlife and bar culture is buzzing in Jaffa | © Mariusz Szczawinski / Alamy Stock Photo
Sarah Pritzker

Tel Aviv is famous for its buzzing nightlife, but Jaffa gives it a run for its money. Offering everything from live music to the best craft beers, Jaffa is home to more vibrant bars than you would expect from a small port city.

Jaffa may be small but tucked away along its ancient winding streets are bars of every description: cosy bars for a laid-back night out with friends, bars with dedicated patrons queueing out the door each night, bars with delicious food and more beers than can be counted, and bars that shake up the best cocktails this side of the Mediterranean.

1. Beer Bazaar

Bar, Cafe, Market, Pub, Israeli

Beer Bazaar shop in Jaffa
© Boaz Rottem / Alamy Stock Photo
The Beer Bazaar Jaffa is the place to go to find the best beer in Israel. It’s famous for its collection of more than 100 different types, including draught beers, Israeli craft beer, international beers and even a few that are brewed on-site. But the Beer Bazaar isn’t only about the beer, it also serves cocktails and other drinks. It’s right next to Jaffa’s outdoor flea market, which is convenient; it also means the food is made from the freshest ingredients. The vibe is laid-back and the service universally praised.

2. Shaffa Bar, Tel Aviv-Yafo

Bar, Pub Grub, Israeli

Café by day and hopping bar by night, Shaffa Bar is popular with locals. It’s a low-key eatery and bar on the fringe of the flea market. Don’t expect anything fancy; do expect an amazing atmosphere. The food draws on culinary trends from around the world, so don’t be surprised to see Irish sausages alongside Thai curries. Mingle with Jaffa’s beautiful young things, do some people-watching and be part of Jaffa’s multicultural community.

3. The Cuckoo’s Nest

Bar, Cocktails

Drinking in a bar that is part art gallery and part cultural centre isn’t something that happens everywhere in the world, but that’s what defines the Cuckoo’s Nest, which is complete with atmospheric lighting and graffiti on the walls. The live stage hosts local bands, the contemporary art on the walls is created by local artists and changes every week, and the rooftop bar is the only one in the neighbourhood. There’s nowhere cooler to sip cocktails and nibble on bar food. It’s a truly unique Jaffa experience.

4. Akbar

Bar, Restaurant, Beer, Cocktails, Israeli

The service at Akbar is prompt and friendly, the ambience warm and cosy, and the food comes in generous portions; it’s the perfect place for a night out with friends. Akbar is located in a tiny side street next to Jaffa’s flea market, and, once found, it’s hard to leave. Along with great music coming from the jukebox, there are pub games such as dominoes and classic backgammon – or sheshbesh, as it’s called in Jaffa. It’s the ideal destination for a relaxed drink in a welcoming setting.

5. Margoza

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Cocktails, Israeli

A good bar needs awesome music, attentive service and delicious food – and Margoza checks every box. What really makes it stand out, however, are its bartenders, who mix the best cocktails in Jaffa. Everyone behind the bar at Margoza really knows how to mix a drink and can suggest the right local beer or mix for any mood. Just a few steps away from Jaffa’s flea market, Margoza is close to all of Jaffa’s main sights. It’s a great spot to absorb the laid-back Jaffa vibe, unwind from a busy day or kick off a fun night out.

This is an updated version of a story created by Ilana Sivan.

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