Tel Aviv’s clubbing scene has blossomed over the years, garnering international recognition for its diverse nightlife venues. Certain underground club venues in Tel Aviv rise to prominence each year, but there are a few that are inarguably the best, both for locals and tourists.
The Block is the longest-reigning king of the Israeli club scene. Its allure comes partly from its story—thriving six years strong even after a government closure—and partly from its sound system, which was named “one of the five best sound systems in the world” on England’s BBC Radio 1. Located near the New Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv, the Block attracts visitors by the hundreds. The enormous club spreads across three different rooms. The main room plays the headlining event of the night, and, unlike almost every other clubbing space, smoking is forbidden here. The Squat is a secondary dance room that tends to play more house music, and the Lounge Room offers a chilled out, world music-infused vibe so club-goers can relax before regaining momentum to go back to the party. The most important rule at The Block is respect. The club embraces everyone who comes for the love of music—no matter their sexual identity, gender, race or religion. A sign on one of the walls reads “Respect the music,” in hopes dancers will do so rather than using cellphones and ruining the vibe.
Bootleg took over the Maxim Cinema Club and turned it into a bass-pumping basement that seems both perpetually crowded and unimaginably hot. The low ceilings, long bar and plethora of stand-and-drink spaces give the dance club a humid, congested vibe, but that’s just the reason people come to The Bootleg in the first place. It may not be a breath of fresh air, but it’s a refreshing escape from the average pace of day-to-day life. The atmosphere is far from mainstream, but its location is as central as it gets, located right by Dizengoff Center. The dance floor may be crowded, but it’s also loaded with energy, and the electric lights on the low ceiling pulsate in time to the beat to get everyone grooving.
The Breakfast Club earned its name from being a heralded late-night spot for people looking for a venue as their appetizer, entree or dessert for a long night out. A lot of traffic comes through the club as many people tend to come and go. The entrance to the hidden basement dance floor is through a black curtain that sections off an antique hipster lounge bar from the boisterous bass downstairs. The actual dance floor is not as large as the ones at Bootleg or The Block, but it holds its own for the midnight owls who like the dark ambiance and pulsating lights that get them going through to the early hours of the morning.