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.