An Evening Of Un-Attractions

Tel Aviv isn’t one of those classic tourist attraction cities like Jerusalem or Rome. That’s great actually – there’s no to do list so you can finally relax and have a blast. There are, however, some quirky un-attractions scattered around town. Here’s a suggested walk perfect for exploring the city on a cool evening in a strange mood.

Start off at Rabin Square in the heart of town. Tel Aviv doesn’t have much open space, so appreciate it while you can. We’re here for the Tel Aviv City Hall though. Big and communist looking, it was built in 1966 in Brutalist style. Yes, that’s correct, stare at it and feel its concrete totalitarian brutality!


Head to small & sleazy Masarik Square right around the corner to check out the duck statue. It was unveiled in 2009 in honor of satirical author and cartoonist Dudu Geva. The duck was his staple character, a symbol for optimism and silliness (it says “always an optimist” at the bottom of the statue). He, and I mean the duck, was made an honorary citizen of Tel Aviv in 2008 with another duck sitting on top of City Hall to commemorate the event. Grab a coffee or beer in one of the nearby cafes or just relax on a bench next to the ugly fountain with locals and their pups.

Walking on along King George st., take a right on Zamenhof right to Dizingof Square. On your right you’ll see Cinema Hotel Tel Aviv, a cinema converted to a hotel as the name suggests, but the main event is Yakov Agam’s Water & Fire kinetic fountain. It was built in 1986, neglected for years, and finally renovated a year ago.

This fountain may appear in your guide book, but it is a definite un-attraction. It puts on a “show” with orchestrated water squirting to the sound of classical music and…fire. Fire! Fire! The flame thrown from this colorful neo-kitschy fountain comes as a big surprise . Watch it and have a laugh with the punks and hobos who frequent the square. Showtimes are daily at 11:00, 13:00, 19:00, and 21:00.

Venture on through Pinsker and take a left on Trumpeldor right through Meir Garden. It may look fishy in the dark, but it’s totally safe. Take a right on King George and stop after several blocks when you see the mighty obelisks at Simta Plonit.

This alley, and the one parallel next to it, were built by millionaire businessman Shapira Getzel back in 1922. Walk to the end of the alley where you’ll see the palace Shapira built for his love, Sonya, including a lion-in-Zion statue at the front to protect the property. It used to have red glowing eyes back in the day, wish they would restore that! If you’re hungry and lazy, try Sonia Getzel on the parrallel Simta Almonit, an awesome cafe with a huge secret backdoor garden.

Go up to Allenby and take a left. Take another left on Balfour street and enjoy a detour of attractive architecture. Go right on Melchet up to the small King Albert Square where you will see the Pagoda House. Take a seat on a bench and enjoy this weirdly awesome structure. It was built back in 1924, a time of aesthetics long before the Israeli concrete box was invented. Look closely and notice the eclectic styles – Doric columns meeting Islamic arches topped with a crazy Asian pagoda.


These days the Pagoda House is owned by Robert Weil, a Swedish Jewish billionaire, though I’ve never seen him or anyone inside the house. He has replaced the Synagogue that used to be on the first floor with a swimming pool + sauna combo. Typical. This is one of the most expensive properties in Tel Aviv and Israel.

Ending our tour with a surprise, walk on Montifiore, take a right on Nahalat Binyamin, and left on Gruzenberg right to Gruzenberg Parking Lot. Stroll right in and head up to the top floor for an urban view of the city. It’s open 24/7, so you should always be able to get in and out, worst case through the car entrance. If you fancy a drink to take it all in, try one of the bars back on Nahalat Binyamin. Take some random turns and find your own un-attractions. The city is full of them.


Street Life

Tel Aviv wouldn’t be a city that never sleeps without coffee, a lot of coffee. It’s dotted with cafes to chill and recharge your (mobile) battery. You actually have to choose where to get your fix. Life in Tel Aviv is hard.

Try The Streets on the corner of King George & HaNevim. It’s one of the city’s buzziest cafes where lovely waitresses serve a mix of locals from high schoolers to moms with trolleys. Outside smokers puff away their troubles while upstairs students are Facebooking on their laptops.

What makes The Streets different than the rest of them is a paradoxical combination between high quality & keeping it real. Set in a busy corner in the heart of Tel Aviv, its feng shui is energetic and a-happening. You know they take their coffee seriously though since espressos arrive with a shot of sparkling water on the side.

Food is a little pricier than your average neighborhood cafe, but also tastier. Even the fries are excellent and you can get a beer when you’ve had enough of the black liquid. There’s a vegan menu plus lunch and nighttime specials.

The Streets is open 24/7, a great place to relax with WIFI before a late hour flight. There are 2 other branches at 20 Ashtori Hafarhi near Bazel street and 114 Ibn Gvirol Street.



Once upon a time, when I was a lowly analyst on Wall Street, I somehow scored an invite to a very fancy, very expensive banker dinner. Since I was living on Nine West shoes and Mentos at the time, I was psyched to actually have a meal that consisted of more than one course. Which is how I found myself, after a couple glasses of wine, announcing to the entire table that I had the biggest sweet tooth of all time.

But talk is cheap. Especially for bankers. So what better way to settle this claim than a $100 bet that I couldn’t eat the entire dessert menu. Yo, have you ever been to a NYC steakhouse? They serve slices of cake so big that each one comes with their own steak knife stabbed right into the middle of the goddamn slice.

But I’m a woman of my word. Half an hour later I was $100 richer, a whole lot fatter, and felt like this:


Here’s my point. I know good patisserie when I see it. And I saw it last weekend at a party in Tel Aviv, when I had a macaron that stopped me dead in my tracks. It had a perfectly smooth outer shell that gave the tiniest bit of resistance before melting in my mouth and giving way to a gorgeously gooey, chewy middle layer. I was in bite-size almond-flavored heaven.

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Meet Le Macaron, creator of the best macarons in Israel. Classically trained at Ecole Bellouet Conseil, Noam Polonsky – who looks like he belongs on the set of the movie 300 – is the pastry chef and owner of what was until now, the best-kept secret among Tel Aviv dessert fanatics.

Noam’s macarons run the gamut from traditional (rose, fleur de sel) to fun (bubble gum, cookies & cream) to my favorite – the exotic and slightly crazy (green tea, ispahan). But what they all have in common is that every single macaron is made by hand and on that same day.

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He creates his mouth-watering macarons for events like corporate functions, girls night in, or I’m-sorry-I-forgot-your-mom’s-birthday. Le Macaron accepts a limited number of orders every month and does free delivery for the Tel Aviv and Ramat HaSharon area. If you can’t place your order for this month, try again on the 1st of each month, as they typically hit capacity by mid-month. Macarons range from 5-10 nis per piece based on the size of your order. Hey, perfection isn’t cheap, but neither are you.

By phone only – 054 431 9568.


GREEK NIGHT FOR ALL – HaMezeg bar Tel Aviv

   HaMezeg (Ha-me-zeg), noun

Translation – temperament [tem·per·a·ment]

1. The combination of mental, physical, and emotional traits of a person; natural predisposition.

2. Unusual personal attitude or nature as manifested by peculiarities of feeling, temper, action, etc.

3. The act of pouring beverages.

4. An awesome bar in Tel Aviv.


Established in early 2012, HaMezeg, located in Ibn Gabirol St. at the corner of Ha-Bashan St., is a popular northern Mediterranean tavern which revolutionized TLV’s drinking culture, as the first bar to introduce the now popular unlimited quality drinking model. The bar offers 5 very lucrative drinking plans from 60NIS to 129NIS (and all shots are only 8 shekels!) so you’re bound to get wasted.

Choose your plan, we’re going in.


Greek Night

On Monday nights the bar transforms into a Greek Taverna. Well not really transforms, more like decorated with Greek flags.

He: Greek night! Takes me back to my college days where I would spend many Sunday mornings wondering why I’m on my friend’s porch and where did my shoes go.

She: Yassou! <breaks a plate>

He: Naturally I chose the “Awesome Mezeg” plan and started pounding Weihenstephan with tequila shots. You can’t really go wrong with any Mezeg plan. The beer, wine, liquor selection is great and Tomer the bartender, who became my bff after 2 beers and 3 shots, was more than accommodating.

She: we ordered 3 dishes: Mazetim- 3 small plates of your choice served with bread, an Eggplant in the oven-comes with tahini on top and a Saganaki- a Greek dish of feta cheese grilled in lemon on top of tomatoes and olives. I just like saying it… saganaki! Sounds like a ninja.


He: The food went well with the drink and music. If you’re not familiar with Greek music, you’re missing out. It elevates the energy levels with joyous authentic Mediterranean sounds. Oh and they had a belly-dancer! A cute one too! No sure if it’s Greek or relates to anything at all but a belly-dancer is a win regardless.


The Vibe

She: No smoking inside! Win! It’s nice to finally sit at the bar, being able to do the basic act of breathing…

He: People are chill and friendly. Even when the place is packed you don’t feel overwhelmed by the combination of locals, small groups of friends, girls who came to relax and guys who are trying to get in their pants.

She: At 10pm the place was packed with a beautiful crowd ages 23+. The variety of sitting arrangements made it easy for anyone to find their spot. You can sit on the deck outside (smoking area), with a group of friends inside or at the bar.


Final Score

She: We are sooooo becoming regular clients of HaMezeg. This place is at a great location and has yummy food and cool atmosphere. Even a non-drinker high on life girl like me had tons of fun on Monday Greek night and my BF finally found a place to take me out to.

He: I honestly didn’t know what to expect before this night, I had my doubts about any place this north on Ibn Gabirol, let alone a popular bar that puts in work from 7pm until late. But I must admit, with a bit of help from Jose Cuervo, the Mezeg won me over.

A place to pregame early or spend a whole night at the bar, the Mezeg is flexible enough to provide a fun night for the “no-I-am-not-drinking-tonight” person as well as the “where-did-the-last-two-hours-go-and-why-is-this-guy-telling-me-about-his-pet-frog” type such as myself.

Either way, chances are you’ll end up drunk and happy by the end of the night.


*All images were taken from HaMezeg’s fb page.