Cafe' Scene

Shine is almost always full, and is constantly packed on weekends.

Shine 38 Shlomo Hamelech Tel Aviv 03.527.6186 Sun-Thurs 8:00-00:30; Fri 8:00-17:00; Sat 10:00-00:00 Shine is almost always full, and is constantly packed on weekends. Not a resident of the Frishman area, I usually see the cafe while driving past it. And I always remind myself that I would like to visit. And so, on Monday after work, I drove there to enjoy an afternoon coffee and snack. It's easy to see why this haunt is so popular. It's stylishly designed, yet has a friendly atmosphere. There are three seating options: Outside on the sidewalk under umbrellas, inside at the bar on cushy stools, or inside in a glassed-in porch. The bar section is not a place for heavy drinking; the ambiance here is sunny, likely because of the bright turquoise bar and mint-colored walls. Inside the solarium section, everything is clean white - the tables, plastic chairs, sofa and walls are all white. The motif is clever - design examples from magazines have been pasted on parts of the walls. There's a see-through holder with design magazines for perusing. And for no apparent reason there's a punching bag hanging between the bar area and the enclosed porch. The music during my visit was a mix of chill-out folk/world beats. I plopped myself down on a plastic chair at a table overlooking Frishman Street and immediately went into 'relaxed' mode. I was dismayed to see the coffee was Danesi - my taste buds just don't care for this brand. That said, the snacks - a zucchini mousse and side salad - were flavorsome. For a Monday afternoon, Shine was humming along admirably. To my left was a couple on what seemed to be a second or third date; behind me were two women chatting about their weekend; two tables over was an English-speaking couple with a baby in tow; near the punching bag was a 20-something guy with a book. This cafe is what Tel Aviv is all about. (Oh yeah, and breakfast is served till 5 p.m.)