Givatayim is a far cry from my old neighborhood in Tel Aviv. Thank goodness for Viola. Many visitors find it odd that there are two cafes by the same name and with the same owners within a block of one another. Like their counterparts in Tel Aviv, these Sheinkin coffee shops are always full with patrons. Big Viola is more of a place to see and be seen (insofar as the people watching scene goes in Givatayim).
Sheinkin in Givatayim is a relatively quiet street: there are no funky shoppers buzzing back and forth, there are almost no problems in finding parking. This is a neighborhood cafe and the individuals you'll observe are your neighbors. Big Viola caters to families, golden oldies, semi-hip 30-somethings, and a trickle of teens. The service at this branch is erratic: sometimes you'll happen upon a friendly waiter, other times you'll kick yourself for asking for 'just one more minute' to order. Up the road at small Viola, the service couldn't be better.
Small Viola has an intimate atmosphere, and by your second visit it's as if you're on a personal basis with the staff. It's unsurprising that most people who come to Small Viola choose to sit inside, where an old piano stands at one end of the cafe and a glass display featuring all the delicious pastries takes center stage.
Big Viola: 33 Sheinkin Street, Givatayim; Small Viola, 49 Sheinkin Street, Givatayim.
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