Top 5: Hottest people watching spots in Tel Aviv

In TA the people are just as hot and flavorsome as the food; check out the best cafes and restaurants to watch locals do their thing.

November 8, 2012 12:37
3 minute read.
Dizengoff: Bagels & Coffee

Dizengoff: Bagels & Coffee. (photo credit: Kayla Robins)

Dizengoff: Bagels & Coffee

Whether you’re craving a turkey sandwich, baba ganoush or a New York-style bagel with lox, Bagels & Coffee is the place to go. And since it’s located on the corner of  Dizengoff Center, you can enjoy your you-choose-the-goods sandwich on a bagel while you watch people go in and out of the mall, laden with shopping bags, from a safe distance.

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Bagels & Coffee (Kayla Robins)

Since it’s across the street from the mall, the hustle and bustle flows past the umbrellas and tables, which are separated from the sidewalk with short walls of plants. This allows for abundant people-watching opportunities without being in the center of the action. 

End your bagel with a hot or iced coffee, an iced passionfruit juice or a sweet pastry.

Optimal people-watching time: After work or early Friday afternoon, when most people have time to shop.

69 Dizengoff
(03) 620-3162
9 a.m.-2 a.m.

Shuk HaCarmel: Food Bar

What better place to experience Israel then in the center of Tel Aviv’s largest marketplace?  Food Bar, located next to the infamous Turkish bourekas stand, offers bar-stool seating that looks out on the swarm of residents and tourists bargaining and searching for fresh produce, meat and fruit. 

Food Bar (Kayla Robins)

You can watch your food being made and choose what toppings you want.  Ask someone who works there, and he’ll tell you to go for the meatball kabob, but the beef kabob comes in a close second. 

Don’t expect a fancy meal with good conversation, though.  The food is quick, and shouts of, “two shekels, two shekels!” from the stand next door are constant, but the marketplace culture is vibrant and enthralling.

Optimal people-watching time: Friday when everyone rushes to get their shopping done before Shabbat.

38 HaCarmel
Open when the shuk is

Marina: La La Land

If you’re in a lounging mood, enjoy the salty fresh air at the marina at La La Land.  Located on Gordon Beach, you can pass a crisp fall day by choosing from a variety of salads. 

Tel Aviv beach (Reuters)

Munch on some foccacia to start the meal, or as your main course.  La La Land is on the beach, so you can take a dip to cool off or watch everyone else enjoy the sand and water.

You’ll probably be able to overlook a game of matkot, the Israeli paddle-ball game.  It also turns into a bar at night, for those looking for a relaxing, hip scene.

Optimal people-watching time: Saturday morning or afternoon, when people flock to the beach.

Gordon Beach
(03) 529-3303
Every day 7 a.m.-last customer

Kikar Rabin: Brasserie

The Brasserie is one of those place that many Tel Avivians swear by. Owned by the impressive hospitality group, R2M, Brasserie and its Parisian-style dishes, cosmopolitan vibe, and round-the-clock filled seats brings the best of Tel Aviv to the tabletop.

Brasserie (Courtesy Brasserie)

The place is open 24 hours a day and packed almost the entire time providing quite the variety of crowds. Located right on the historical Rabin Square and Ibn Gvirol, this isn’t a place to miss.

Optimal people-watching time: Weekend brunch times, when Tel Avivians enjoy their weekend Israeli Breakfast.

70 Ibn Gvirol                  
(03) 696-7111
Hours: 24 hours a day

Jaffa: Haj Kahil

The restaurant Haj Kahil near Jaffa' clock tower is run by a family that has been in Jaffa for over 120 years. You will find Galilee-styled Arab cuisine such as stuffed lamb-neck, leg of lamb, fabulous Haleb-style kebab, siniya with tahini or tomatoes, mahmar, with fresh seasonal salads for starters.

Jaffa (Courtesy)

They’re served alongside a great range of skewered meat and steaks, and of course the succulent knafeh and atayef desserts. The Jaffa clock tower sees an endless amount of tourists everyday all swarming around past Haj Kahil.

Optimal people-watching time: Saturday when the streets of Jaffa are bustling.

Raziel, 18, (Clock Square), Jaffa
Phone: 057-942-8347

Taste TLV is the ultimate culinary guide for dining in Tel Aviv.

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