Bursting with life, packed with shops, food stalls, restaurants, bars, and coffee shops, King George is without a doubt a street where Tel Aviv’s heart beats at full pace. At the same time, it is full of corners where slowing down and taking a break from the city’s hustle and bustle is an easy task. Alternate the pace, and soak in some real Israeli vibes around this unique street.
A delicious breakfast at Café Sonya is the ideal starting point before exploring the neighbourhood. Though the entrance looks rather inconspicuous from the outside, once you have stepped through the doorstep, this lovely café surprises visitors with a beautiful, shady, and calm courtyard and offers a delicious selection of shakshukas, salads, home-made lemonade, and sandwiches. With its laid-back, oriental ambience, colourful mosaic tables, and friendly staff, Sonya’s is the perfect place to relax and recharge before jumping back into urban life.
One of the loveliest streets in Tel Aviv is Bialik street. Just a stone’s throw away from King George, this quiet little street is lined with beautifully restored buildings, both Bauhaus and eclectic architecture, many of them rich with history. Get some insight on Israeli culture and stop by the Bialik House, home of Chaim Nachman Bialik, Israel´s national poet. For another dive in the past, head further down to the end of the street to Beit Ha´ir, the old Town Hall, where the times of Tel Aviv´s first mayor, Meir Dizengoff, come to life.
For art enthusiasts, tiny Bialik street has even more to offer. The Rubin Museum, former residence of famous Israeli painter Reuven Rubin, is located there. This small museum is packed with colourful paintings that vividly portray Israeli landscapes and people. Plenty of photographs there are a testimony of Jewish immigration in the days of the Israel’s foundation. A reconstruction of the painter’s atelier and a video featuring the artist himself complete this cultural experience.
A shortage of flavourful and tasty middle-eastern street food is certainly not an issue around King George street. The problem is rather when facing countless options. Two great spots are HaKosem and Miznon. Taste the Falafel at HaKosem, the ‘magician,’ and you will most definitely be back to try Shawarma, as well as almost everything else on the menu. It’s a perfect place for take-away, but there’s also a nice sitting area outside. The long queues are not an issue, as they have a perfect system to serve everyone in no time.
Another great spot to experience the typical, and slightly chaotic, Israeli atmosphere together with delicious local food is Miznon. Their soft pita stuffed with fresh vegetables, meat, or baked cauliflower is truly fantastic. Waiting patiently for the food, while taking the risk of filling up with their out-of-the-oven pita slices, tehina, or pickles, available for every customer’s disposal, is part of the experience. Not to forget the creative style of the interior and the friendly staff that make this place well worth a visit.
There’s no need to visiting a museum for a journey through the country’s history. Historic photographs in The PhotoHouse not only portray the streets of Tel Aviv in their early state, but also give fascinating views on everyday life, landscapes, historical events, and the settling history in Israel. With regard to Tel Aviv, the large collection of posters, magnets, books, and more confirms that the spirit of this sunny, laid-back and friendly city and its inhabitants has not changed over time.
For everyone who is enchanted by the calming effect of bookstores and the smell of old books that stretch from floor to ceiling, reach out for the Little Prince bookstore and coffee shop. In this little gem, you can browse through a large selection of books of all topics and languages at leisure. Just sit down at one of the tables surrounded by bookshelves in the cozy backyard, have a chat with friends, or just enjoy spending time by yourself with a book while sipping a coffee from the associated café. What more can a book lover’s heart desire?
A shady spot on a bench under palm trees, a stretch of green to lay down and rest your burning feet, a covered area to do workouts, or a place to watch dog-owners playing with their four-legged friends – this is what you’ll find in Meir Park. Probably not as oft-quoted as the HaYarkon Park, but don’t underestimate its power to seduce with the central location and tranquility. The Landwer Café is hidden behind trees, but sitting on the terrace with a cool drink and enjoying the scenic view of the garden makes you almost forget that you’re actually just a few steps away from the city’s heartbeat.
After a long day out in the city’s streets, you might want to let the day end with a nice drink and some live music. There’s a perfect option to do so at Ozen Bar, located close to the corner of Bugrashov street. This live music bar offers live local music and concerts on the first floor, as well as a lively bar. It’s a great place to explore the local music scene in a urban and casual ambience. If you arrive earlier, you’ll have the pleasure of taking advantage of happy hour.