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A piping hot glass of TLV please – Cafe’s In Tel-Aviv

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]round these parts you’ll never see a coffee house sitting empty, any time of day this staple in any Tel-Avivis life will be flooded with people in lovey dovey pairs, in laughing groups of friends, or alone floating away into their laptop to cyberspace.  We, the people of TLV, do not like being branded and our coffee shops are definitely one way we prove it, they are each unique and lovely in their own charming little way and there is one for everyone, there’s a reason a reason why Starbucks didn’t make it here.  We love our coffee shops and they love us back; they are literally like a second home to any Tel-Avivi.  There is no real reason why we are so addicted to coffee shop living (it’s not like we’re in Amsterdam), we just are; it’s a part of our culture.

Taking it one step further, it’s almost a rule here that sitting at a coffeehouse for less than two hours is not acceptable; there’s procedure.

First: you may have to wait a few minutes to grab prime spot (all coffee houses have smoking and non-smoking indoor/outdoor areas—to each his own), usually while you wait a host/ess will bring you something to drink, like a glass of cava on the house.

Second: before ordering you sit, chit chat with friends, “foursquare”/”tag” yourself/ “instagram” a picture at that coffee house (in case anyone wants to join),  delve into doing whatever your there for, and then order food/coffee.

Third: you eat/drink, hang around for a while and until it seems like the scenery, the people and the staff have completely changed it’s not time to go.

Fourth: you order the check, completely ignore it once it gets to the table, go about whatever you’re in the middle of and when you’re ready you pay.

Fifth: look around you make sure you haven’t missed anything or anyone; take a deep breath, smile at the hostess and leave.

Finding a coffeehouse in TA is not hard, there’s one basically on every corner, and to be frank, I don’t have any favorites, I love them all, it just kind of depends on the mood of the day.  So to make sure that you all can get in on the action, here’s a breakdown of 3 spots that, I think, deserve honorable mention, each one has its own personality, just like all of us, so whichever one sounds like it suits you most, go for it!

Can I have one Coffee please? TLV Cafe's

WHAT: Tel-Aviv Coffee houses

Jeremiah

We’ll begin with Jeremiah. This coffeehouse is a seen and be seen type of scene, it’s always packed and it just swept old north Tel-Avivians right off their feet.  The food is good, they definitely have some dishes that will make you want to come back just for that and the coffee is nice and fresh but more than anything, this place has an undeniable good energy about it, it’s a haven for the good looking and pseudo celebs that are looking to get some attention, when club hoppers have nowhere to go during the day, they come here.  The staff is great and if they get to know you it’s even better, because otherwise you may find yourself waiting for a table (especially on weekends) for up to half an hour, but it’s worth it just to soak up the good vibes.  Jeremiah lives up to their motto “eat, drink, play.” and is definitely a hot spot and a place where the people are even hotter than the coffee in your cup.

WHERE: Dizengoff 306 (corner of Yirmeyahu street)

WHEN: Sunday-Friday 7:30 `til whenever, Saturdays—9:00 `til whenever (they will never close the door on you but the kitchen closes around 1:00 a.m.)

LoveEat

Next is LoveEat, a coffee house that’s based on the idea that you should love your body with the food you’re eating, keeping it simple and healthy.  Tel-Avivians LOVE this joint, especially the “tree hugger” types.  The organic coffee is a hit with everyone and you feel like the food was injected with love.  Also,  the vibe of this coffee shop is fresh and environment friendly, right down to the chairs made out of recycled materials and re-usable cups that when purchased automatically give you 10% discount off of coffee there…for life.  It’s a really vibrant yet soothing place to enjoy a great meal, awesome coffee, fresh shakes and juices, and yummy deserts, that don’t make you feel like you’re committing a crime.  LoveEat has captured Tel-Avivians hearts and has cultivated a distinct style for the new wave coffee drinker in our fair city, it is for sure worth a visit if you’re in the mood for a coffee house with a twist!

Great Style by Loveat

WHERE: 1. Barzilai st. 1 (corner of Mikve Israel)

2. Nahalat Binyamin 3

3. Dizengoff 232

WHEN: 1.Sunday-Thursay 6:00-00:00, Friday 6:00-18:00, Saturday, 8:00-00:00

2. Sunday-Thursday 7:00-00:00, Friday, 7:00-18:00, Saturday, 9:00-00:00

3. Sunday-Thursday 7:00-00:00, Friday, 7:00-18:00, Saturday, 9:00-00:00

Sonya

Last stop: the heart-stopingly charming, and ever so quaint Sonya. Tel-Avivians young and old flock here for a home away from home kind of feeling. It’s “conveniently” located in a small ally way, away from the noise of the city and from the moment you walk in you feel like you just came to visit a friend.  The entrance with the bar and a display of funky vintage knick knacks and pins/magnets for sale leads to a huge shady garden where all the handmade mosaic tables are setup for your dining pleasure, it’s sort of like entering an alternate universe, very Alice in Wonderland.  Upon sitting down y our are immediately greeted by a friendly face and a nice cup of tea or cold drink (depending on the season) it’s just something to get your juices flowing while you browse through their menu of deliciousness.  The ambiance here is so laid back and relaxed you feel like you want to take a nap after eating.  Sonya is more than a coffeehouse it’s an experience.

Ahhh, Chill time at sonya's

WHERE: Simta Almonit, 1 (off of King George st.)

WHEN: All week long 9:00-00:00

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Bet Ha’amudim Bar & Food – The House of Columns

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n the heart of the city, 200 meters from one of the most hectic junctions of Tel Aviv, you can find small, local corners of magic and sanity. One of those places is a charming coffee shop called “the house of Columns”.

Named after the old structure it’s in, “the house of Columns” rests on rambam st. no. 14, just by the corner of nahalat Binyamin.

[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]On the calming balcony, you can feast your eyes on the people passing from and to the market, while having a coffee, a freshly diced Arabic salad, or a beer.[/quote]

The mornings can start with a nice shakshuka breakfast and a tasteful jazz playlist and as the day goes by you can come for a beer and some Israeli tapas at sunset and feel the energy of the night arrive.

The menu, all vegetarian, makes the place good for kosher eaters, and offers everything homemade and simple, starting with good Mediterranean breakfasts and salads, toasts, lasagna, small thina or eggplant salad tapas, freshly squeezed juices and cakes.

On Tuesdays and Fridays the place is always vivid with colors as Nahalat Binyamin hosts the arts and crafts fair, and Saturday evenings have their unique magic as the week is about to commence.

Great Mediterranean tastes - House of Columns

The house of columns offers diversity mixed with friendly service and a neighborly vibe and can always be a nice place to rest your feet, and fill your stomach.

The experience changes by the time and day but one thing is for sure…its always a pleasant one.

“the house of columns”, rambam st. no. 14.

Opened sunday – Thursday 10:00-01:00

Friday until sunset and from Saturday at 19:00.

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Getting Around In Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv can truly be defined as a city that never sleeps and neither does its transportation.  Whether you need to get to work early in the morning or your coming home from a night out (also early in the morning), there will always be multiple ways for you to get to your desired destination.  Let’s break it down.

What: You have your taxi cabs (‘monit special’), your minibuses (‘monit sherut’), Dan buses, and of course, rent-a-bike.
When: Just like in any city, you’re always in a rush to get somewhere.  There is always transportation in Tel-Aviv for when you’re on the go.
Where: You’ll never find yourself in a part of this city stuck without a ride.

Beginning with the quickest way to get anywhere, anytime there are your run-of-the-mill taxis crawling all over the streets of Tel-Aviv, not to mention the numerous cab companies that you can order a ‘special’ from for door to door service.  While being most convenient, this means of transportation will definitely not be as convenient on your wallet.  Any true Tel-Avivi will tell you to only take a taxi cab when it is necessary.  A cab will cost you anywhere between 25-40 shekels, depending on where you want to go in the city, not to mention cab drivers are notorious for taking advantage of tourists by telling them they are giving them a “deal” when they don’t use the meter and charge you a flat price.  Save the bucks for a beer or an overpriced salad at a coffee shop.  It’s worth it now and then, but don’t make riding in ‘specials’ a habit.

Sometimes it's best to spoil yourself with a "special"

On to buses!

Dan bus line is the main line running through Tel-Aviv.  Like our monit sheruts you have 5 and 4, which take basically the same path from one end of the city to the other, only with specific bus stops.  Other than that there are a plethora of lines to ride all through the city and you can even call *3456 or check out their site www.dan.co.il before hand to ask which line can take you closest to where you need to be.

The other bus lines that run in Tel-Aviv are Egged, Metropolitan and Kavim, which run through the city and to surrounding cities, just in case you may want to leave, for more information visit their websites.   Other than that Dan also offers night bus lines (kavei layla) which run from 12:00 a.m. (when the regular buses stop) until the wee hours of the morning, for hours and bus routes check out www.kav-layla.co.il , make sure you do this with a Hebrew speaker, the site has no translation!  To sum up buses in Tel-Aviv, for the most part they are alright, pretty convenient location wise and definitely cheap, but a word to the wise, they are not always reliable and can be quite the time suck with their long drawn out routes, also if you’re a claustrophobic, stay away, buses have no passenger limit and you can find yourself jammed in there like a sardine at peak traffic hours.

Just use your visa and take one...TLV Bike Rentals

The best way to see the city however is by bike! There are a number of spots to rent a bike all over the city and now you can even rent a bike from the city!  With different stations in different neighborhood Tel-Aviv decided to set up some brand new bikes and all you have to do is swipe your credit card and you can rent one by the hour, a pay as you go sort of thing, either locking it up at one of the many other stations all over the city or using your own lock so you ride as you please.  It’s not always easy to navigate the busy street/sidewalks of the city but well worth it, good exercise, fresh air, and a fun way to really get to know Tel-Aviv.  Be warned however, riding in the hot summer sun is no picnic, stay hydrated!

So now you’re armed with all the tools you need to get around our fair city, no excuses!  Now get out there and explore and remember if for some odd reason none of the above work out for you, just walk, you can pretty much get from one end of the city to the other using your legs within an hour…thats the beauty of living in the smallest big city in the world.

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Sex and the TLV

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]nyone who has been to Tel Aviv at least once knows that its fine citizens have a slightly different approach to life than most, here in our sun soaked haven it’s all about fun , fun, fun.  The excuse “it’s the middle of the week” is not valid here, on any given day at any hour you can find people lounging on the beach, the coffees houses packed, and the bars booming, and when it comes to everyone’s favorite pastime, sex, let’s just say fun, fun, fun doesn’t even begin to cover it.

The monogamous relationship is becoming a thing of a past, sure here and there you can find a happy couple in their mid-twenties, but for the most part their on the fast track to becoming extinct.  Tel-Avivs amazing weather, crazy nightlife, beautiful people and happy go lucky vibe definitely has an impact on the average twenty-something’s sex life.  Being open minded is the key to surviving the sex jungle that is Tel Aviv, anything goes, guy/girl, girl/girl, guy/guy, guy/girl/guy, and well you get the point.   It’s all about being free and easy here; no strings attached.  Let’s break it down and keep it simple—guys vs. girls.

Mmmm Sexy

GUYS,

the typical Tel-Avivi guy, no matter which category he falls under (hipster, mainstream, surfer etc.) only has one thing on his radar, girls and he only wants one thing from them, sex.  They will literally charm the pants off of them and before you know it ladies, you’re waking up in a strange bed next to guy who gives a wink and sends you on your way.  Now, to be fair, they don’t usually mean any harm, speaking by experience, they guys of Tel-Aviv are sure that girls think exactly the same as they do and are usually completely perplexed by the idea that speaking with the opposite sex can lead to anything more than a one night stand. [typography font=”” size=”19″ size_format=”px” color=”#f47a62″]Warning:[/typography]  Tel-Avivi guys LOVE tourist girls, because let’s get real, they’re easy and they’re short term.

GIRLS,

the average Tel-Aviv chick is definitely a force to be reckoned with.  These beauties don a tough exterior, a soft interior and deep down they all have a fiery temper that no man wants to encounter.  Girls in this neck of the woods have a pretty nonchalant attitude towards sex or pseudo dating, you know, “just hanging out”, but from what I have witnesses these ladies don’t want to be toyed with.  Tel-Aviviot are pretty confusing and hard to read, they won’t ever tell you what they really want, so don’t feel bad if you find yourself dealing with a girl who tells you she in to one thing (i.e. no strings attached) but acts like she wants another (i.e. a boy-toy).   So guys if you’re in it just to score, you should be up front, the girls will probably go along with it, but don’t start taking numbers and getting lovey dovey if you know it’s just for the night.  [typography font=”” size=”19″ size_format=”px” color=”#f47a62″]Warning:[/typography] These girls are fierce and travel in packs, you mess it one of them and you mess with them all.

Tel-Aviv is dripping with sex, there are erotic stores on main streets, bars on every corner, bikini clad bods roaming around and hotties that ooze sexual tension coming your way, how could anyone hold down a steady relationship and keep their eyes from wondering?    So, just like your favorite soap opera, this city is filled with young, carefree, impossibly good looking people, which means there are bound to be hook-ups, break-ups, one night stands, and drama on an hourly basis, the only difference is that your favorite TV drama is a guilty pleasure, sex in this city is just a way of life. [typography font=”” size=”19″ size_format=”px” color=”#f47a62″]Warning:[/typography]:  This city is not for the weak at heart…or for those who lack contraception and the only thing you need to keep in mind is that no one, not girls and definitely not guys, in Tel-Aviv is looking to find “the one”.