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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.

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THE ONE MACARON TO RULE THEM ALL

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:

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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.

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Burekas Galore

Got the munchies at a funny hour? No problem. Tel Aviv is a champion of 24/7 eateries.

Take Mama’s Burekas. It’s a warm joint down on King George, not far from the Allenby intersection, where you can stop by any time, any day, and satisfy your cravings with a Mediterranean specialty – hot scrumptious burekas (börek).

Forget about your generic supermarket burekas. Mama’s serves huge freshly baked burekas served with tahini, crushed tomatoes, pickles, skhug, and the optional boiled egg on the side.

Choose your favorite filling from cheese, pizza, potatoes & mushrooms, or grab one that just came out of the oven. You can also try yemenite pastries such as malawach, jachnun, and ziva. Vegan options available.

Mama’s Burekas has a laid back diner kind of atmosphere. People from all walks of life sit at the bar and munch away at their luscious delights. The staff is chatty and the TV’s always on. It’s the perfect place to wind down after a crazy night. You can even have a nightcap.

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Effi Sabich – Tel Aviv’s finest Sabich

“Effi Sabich” – Tel Aviv’s finest “Sabich”- is located at 2 Tshernichovsky st. (on the intersection of Tshernichovsky and Alenbi, opposite “The Carmel Market”).

Effi doesn’t simply make his famous “Sabich”. His work involves engineering and constructing the dish while using the “Tehina” in the same way a painter uses his palette. Standing bent, quiet and focused, Effi handles every order as if it was his first, planning how to reach the perfect balance between its ingredients.

After admiring Effi’s never-ending devotion, comes the tasting and the inevitable addiction.

“Effi’s Sabich” – start memorising.

Ingredients: Pita, fried eggplants, an egg (usually a brown one), Humus, Tehina, vegetables, purple cabbage, “Amba” (mango sauce), “Schuge” (hot sauce), pickles, cooked potato, fresh chopped parsley, fresh chopped onion, “Sumak” (Rhus coriaria sauce) and lemon sauce.

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Tips to the newcomer’s:

A. If you are into spicy foods then treat yourself to extra “Schuge” (no extra charge).
B. The Humus and Tehina can be replaced with cheese.
C. Whole-Wheat Pita is also available.
D. Good old times’ “Gazoz” is highly recommended.

Enjoy!