Ultratravel U.S.

Spring 2014

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On par with beachside cities, like Barcelona, Rio or Miami Beach, Tel Aviv draws tourists to its exquisite coastline for more than a tan and a wicked game of Kadima (paddle ball). Bordering the ancient port of Jaffa, Tel Aviv is a sprawling city with many distinctive neighborhoods, each with its own calling card. Of late, three neighborhoods have emerged as the most rapidly developing—Kerem HaTeimanim, Neve Tzedek and Noga. KEREM HATEIMANIM Kerem HaTeimanim, Hebrew for Yemenite Vineyard, is ground zero for culinary- focused travelers in Tel Aviv. The neighborhood is home to Tel Aviv's Carmel outdoor food market, as well as Yemen, Moroccan and Egyptian food stalls along the cobblestone streets. For the truly adventurous, accept an invitation to dine in the kitchens of local residents. In recent years, the coastal-adjacent neighborhood has seen an influx of contemporary culinary and hospitality concepts, leading to a blend of historic and modern unlike any other in Tel Aviv. Hotel Montefiore: Hotel Montefiore is one of Tel Aviv's most sought after room reservations. The boutique property is housed in a meticulously restored 1920s, heritage building with just 12 rooms. If you can't book a room, be sure to stop in at the hotel's bar or restaurant. Breakfast is a main event in Israel, and the hotel's restaurant is a great place to join in the experience. 36 Montefiore Street. Beer Bazar: Childhood friends Lior Weiss and Yuval Reznikovich opened Beer Bazar amidst the open-air fruit, vegetable and just-about-everything-else stalls in the Carmel Market. The bright green, eight-seat outdoor bar specializes in Israeli microbrew beers, with more than 80 selections—some with obscure ingredients, including chili peppers, pomegranate and date honey. 1 Rambam Street. Eden House Premier: Finding the Eden House hotel—just a few blocks from the beach and the marketplace—is the first challenge; resisting the freshly baked cakes and pastries at its award-winning restaurant is the second. Don't beat yourself up if you give in. This is a city to indulge your culinary cravings, and the brunch at Eden House is high on the list of must-tries. The hotel is of the boutique variety, with uniquely appointed rooms modeled after the hotel co-owners' Russian grandmothers' homes. 11 Yishkon Street. Café Sheleg: Sheleg, Hebrew for snow, is one of Tel Aviv's hipster haven cafés. Pack up your laptop and notebook and spend hours sipping on strong coffee and nibbling on fresh salads and vegetarian options in an airy space with Beach House music emanating from the kitchen. 44 Geula Street. Geula Mini Bar: Tel Aviv's first true speakeasy, MiniBar is an intimate establishment founded by one of the lead bartenders from the city's ever-popular Imperial Cocktail Club. The hard-to-find locale is worth the effort with drinks like the Taragon Smash, House Flip and Red Snapper. 49 Geula Street. NEVE TZEDEK The first neighborhood of Tel Aviv, Neve Tzedek, which means Oasis of Justice, was once considered an eyesore. But, after years of architectural restoration, Neve Tzedek today is akin to New York's West Village, boasting high-end boutiques from Tel Aviv's leading fashion and jewelry designers, as well as art and antiques galleries, all set within a charming neighborhood lined with trees and notable Bauhaus, International and Colonial-era architecture. Brown TLV:Israel's only Design Hotel, the 48-room Brown TLV is a mecca for the hip and stylish. Recently the Garden Lounge opened, hosting weekly guest DJs, and the Saturday afternoon "Doses" party is a fixture among the city's savvy internationals. The hotel also has a rooftop bar where you can take a dip in the Jacuzzi, sunbathe or book a spa treatment. 25 Kalisher Street. Meshek Barzilay: Meshek Barzilay is Tel Aviv's premier organic vegetarian restaurant. It first existed on a family farm in Hod HaSharon, a city north of Tel Aviv, before Merav Barzilay relocated to Neve Tzedek last year, bringing her family's fresh produce with her. The restaurant recently launched a new menu where each month of the Hebrew calendar will feature new dishes using fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables. 6 Ahad Ha'am Street. Dallal: Dallal is a beautifully designed restaurant offering a French-inspired menu and an adjacent patisserie and garden atrium frequented by Tel Aviv's fashionable crowd. This is the perfect spot to meet for afternoon tea or an aperitif. 10 Shabazi Street. Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance: The Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance is Tel Aviv's acclaimed center for modern dance performances and art exhibitions. A network of courtyards that are open to the public connects the sprawling multilevel campus. Its numerous performance spaces host more than 750 productions each year. 6 Yehieli Street. HaTachana Tel Aviv: It's hard to find a place that hasn't had a previous life in Tel Aviv. The city's numerous ports now house galleries and restaurants. A few years ago HaTachana, Tel Aviv's original train station, was transformed into a complex of restaurants, cafes, shops and gathering places. There's also a monthly vintage market held in the open- air venue. 2 Kaufman Street Popina: Popina, a dimly lit, rustic space, is one of Neve Tzedek's recent additions. The menu is on the progressive side with dishes like Smoked Goose Breast Pizza, Gin & Tonic Tartar and Pumpkin Jam Ravioli, and there is an extensive wine and cocktail list. 3 Ehad Ha'am Street. NOGA A quaint, village-like neighborhood on the cusp of Neve Tzedek and Jaffa, Noga reflects the city's historic waves of architecture styles dating back to the Ottoman rule over Palestine, to Bauhaus and International style. Recently, economic development in the area has led to new luxury residential properties springing up in the neighborhood. However, Noga maintains a Brooklyn-like vibe, teeming with design and fashion boutiques founded by Israeli artists and designers. The picturesque square at its center makes for a great gathering spot to begin your stroll along the cobblestone streets that wind through the neighborhood. CafeLix: CafeLix is at the helm of the slow-roast coffee movement in Tel Aviv, with its flagship cafe in Noga also serving as an in-house rotisserie. 15 Sgula Street. HaStudia: If you'd prefer not to take home a souvenir from the local market—how many evil eyes and hamsas does one person need?—try your hand at crafting something of your own. HaStudia, a new pop-up workspace for local and visiting creatives and artists, offers DIY and up-cycle art classes, including shelf-making, beer brewing and lamp-making, and can provide you with the tools and materials you need to make your very own souvenir. 4 Ditza Street Bloomfield Gallery: Perhaps you're so charmed by Tel Aviv that you're thinking of taking up residency. Should that be the case, head to Bloomfield Gallery for custom furniture produced on-site by brothers Ofer and Gilad Shahar. 3 Nahum Street. Naomi Maaravi: Leading the wave of Tel Aviv fashion exports is Naomi Maaravi. Her boutique is filled with custom styles, many of which are repurposed menswear looks turned into womenswear. You can just about guarantee that you won't run into anyone else wearing the same socially conscious, chic look. 9 Ruhama Street. THE BEST WAY TO EXPERIENCE A CITY IS WITH A LOCAL, and second to that is having a local plan your trip. Ask your travel agent to connect with Eager Tourist and add some local flavor to your Tel Aviv experience. The bespoke Tel Aviv travel-planning service curates itineraries with its network of architects, athletes, chefs, designers, musicians and night owls, leading travelers through kitchens, creative workspaces, design studios in the White City. Contact your travel agent today to explore Tel Aviv and its new neighborhoods. 30 ultratravel ultratravel 31 TEL AVIV'S NEXT GENERATION The White City has lived many lifetimes; here are three neighborhoods emerging for the next one. BY TALI JAFFE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 City Spotlight 1. On the street in Noga 2. The Beer Bazar in Kerem Hateimanim 3. Custom furniture at Bloomfield Gallery 4. The lively scene at Brown TLV in Neve Tzedek 5. A private terrace at Brown TLV 6. Eden House's balconies afford views of Kerem Hateimanim 7. Hotel Montefiore, housed in a restored 1920s building in Kerem Hateimanim 8. Designer Naomi Maaravi in her eponymous boutique in Noga 9. Jaffa's ancient, winding streets border Noga 10. HaTachana, Tel Aviv's original train station, is now a complex of shops and restaurants 11. Geula Street, is a main east-west thoroughfare in Tel Aviv 12. Jaffa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, is the perfect place to take in the sunset. PHOTOS BY ROSS BELFER (1, 2, 8, 11)

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