[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!
WHAT: Tel-Aviv Coffee houses
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.)
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!
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
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.
WHERE: Simta Almonit, 1 (off of King George st.)
WHEN: All week long 9:00-00:00