There isn't anywhere else in the world quite like Tel Aviv. The beachside cosmopolitan city is dripping in vibrant history and renowned for its surprising party scene. Sun-kissed locals work hard and play harder, fuelled for kick-on’s by hummus, chutzpah and the cool Mediterranean breeze till the early hours of the morning.
Following the success of Netflix's The Spy, which follows the exploits of Israeli spy Eli Cohen, we put boots on the ground in TLV to uncover the city's hidden nightlife scene only a true world-traveller would know about.
The ancient city is filled with world-class restaurants and watering holes, but they can often feel near impossible to find. Considering Israel has gifted us Natalie Portman, Bar Rafaeli and Gal Gadot, it’s not hard to imagine the good times to be had by stumbling into the right places. The trick is knowing where to look - or who to ask!
So after you’ve had a hit of paddle ball ‘matkot’ on the beach, explored the cobblestone alleyways of Old Jaffa Port, and grabbed a coffee in the bohemian hood of Neve Tzedek; be sure to retrace your steps, this time looking out for the gems below.
A graffiti-clad vaulted door is the novel gateway between the unassuming street-side exterior of Romano House and the absolutely heaving hipster hangout within.
An entire internal block in the Florentin district has been transformed into a food and nightlife hub. Bars and restaurants line multiple levels of the building, surrounding the huge open-air courtyard. Eyal Shanii's Romano, the mastermind behind Miznon and other TLV favourites, takes prime position on the first floor dishing out delicious meals oozing in Tahini to guests literally overflowing into the corridors.
In-house radio station Teder FM, ensures the courtyard is always buzzing with music, DJ’s and year-round pop-up’s.
The Whiskey Bar & Museum
With a start-up culture second only to Silicon Valley, it’s no wonder Tel Aviv could dream up something as whimsical as a Whiskey Bar & Museum in a former Mossad bunker.
The stone-walled underground tunnel in Sarona is illuminated by over 1000 backlit bottles of liquid gold. Sink into a worn leather chesterfield and enjoy tasting varieties from over 13 countries including left-field whisky producers like Hong Kong and India. Tastings are served in Glencairn glasses with the option of purchasing the entire bottle if you decide to settle in for the evening. You can even organise a workshop with mates in the private room, with blind tastings in the dark.
The decadent menu boasts meats smoked on-site and desserts harnessing delicate whisky flavours and aromas.
This excellent cocktail bar is tucked away in the Berdichevsky Hotel and recently cracked The World’s 50 Best Bars list.
In true Speakeasy form, the staff members push around prams that double as drink trolleys and never break character; their discipline from their compulsory army days makes sure of that. Cocktails are perfectly mastered and arrive in seriously stunning form. As if the concept of Bellboy wasn’t unique enough, its bar within a bar, dubbed ‘Butler Bar,’ is concealed behind a trap door, providing a more intimate time for a maximum of 12 guests.
If all your nights are booked up, know that they offer an excellent cocktail brunch.
You’ll easily pass this spot dozens of times when strolling by the cafes of the charming, tree-lined Rothschild Boulevard. What you must do while in Tel Aviv, however, is make it a priority to head up the stairs after dark for a guaranteed party with groovy beats to match.
A go-to for locals, at Speakeasy you can rub shoulders with a great crowd on their secluded rooftop bar with epic views of the city. Note: its booze-spiked icy poles make it a solid summer option.
Just when you thought the bustling Carmel markets were done and dusted for the day, persist through the empty boxes and hosed down streets until you find the tiny HaBasta and its tables sprawling out onto the street.
The name literally means “market stall,” and despite not being a speakeasy by definition, the place is a certified crowd-pleaser that serves quality food straight from the source. While the food menu constantly changes, the wine list consistently remains one of the best in town.
You might miss the entry on the street but you’ll definitely recognise the pose-worthy entry stairwell on Instagram.
We're not sure if it's even possible to have had enough shawarma and falafel in Tel Aviv, but if that's the case, Goat has you covered with some of the best sushi in the city. This bar is so hot right now, with a crowd as good looking as its signature hand rolls. Lights and beats descend on the space as the night goes on making it a perfect one-stop-shop for a great night out.