Before Tel Aviv, there was Jaffa, and the White City’s older sister has a character and a presence all her own, which is versatile, laid back, and welcoming. During the day, the market is full of tourists buying souvenirs and locals drinking their coffee in the pedestrian streets surrounding the busy main avenue. At the port, the boats sway, and at the nearby beach, surfers catch the city’s best breaks. Galleries open their doors in Noga and Kedumim Square. But as the sun sets and the stalls begin to close, a new energy flows through the neighborhood as the espresso machines are turned off and the cocktail shakers are taken out. Here are the best places to visit after the sun goes down in Jaffa.
Bar, Restaurant, Israeli, $$$
Shaffa Bar | Courtesy of Shaffa
Tucked into the wall, and often spilling into the street, Shaffa on Rabbi Nahman is right in the heart of the Shuk’s beating heart. Café by day and locals’ favorite watering hole by night, this spot’s reputation has only grown over the years. The crowd changes day-to-day, but the atmosphere is always energetic and it isn’t uncommon to make new friends at the bar. Here, you can enjoy house cocktails and beers, but the real star of the show is the friendly staff inside.
One of the few dance bars worth paying the occasional (albeit small) cover charge, Anna Loulou is one of the most fascinating spots in Tel Aviv. Self described as ‘the other side of the flea market,’ Anna Loulou hosts some of the most intriguing events in the city. From Arab queer parties to hip hop nights, this bar is a tribute to the multi-cultured tapestry and different identities of the region. At the bar, find Palestinian beers, and in the back, find tables surrounded by the area’s diverse community (when they’re not too busy dancing).
Container Summer Menu Delights | Courtesy The Container
This gallery-bar-restaurant-music venue is as ambitious as it sounds, showcasing different art monthly, crafting delicious menus, and hosting some of the best Israeli acts, from indie artists to funk groups and DJs. Located over the port in Hangar 2, The Container is a hot spot and a great place to start the night. Here, you can find locals, visitors from out of town and tourists from out of the country. The large industrial space offers free shows several times a week and a great energy for groups.
Once named simply after the street it is on, Samuca Bar calls the arches of Old Jaffa its home. The beautiful space is alive with vines growing from the walls, the occasional art exhibition and a laid back Mediterranean vibe. A spot that transforms itself from café to bar at night, Samuca is also a wonderful place to listen to local music and drink cocktails. Samuca is a sweet little secret for jazz, folk and Latin music lovers and is an experience unlike any other in Tel Aviv.