Taste of Tel Aviv

Discovering the hidden secrets of the White City.

The InterContinental David Tel Aviv hotel (photo credit: PR)
The InterContinental David Tel Aviv hotel
(photo credit: PR)
Known as “the city that doesn’t sleep,” Tel Aviv has a vibrant nightlife with endless choices. So for the inquisitive tourist, both domestic and foreign, there might be sensory overload when figuring out how to spend your time there.
The David Intercontinental Hotel has to come to the rescue, however. It has begun to offer an exclusive, well-researched and handpicked Insider Experience that is designed to reveal the secrets behind the bursting culture of Tel Aviv – from food, fashion and architecture to history and art.
The base for the experience is, of course, the hotel itself, which provides guests with high standards that include a very professional staff and luxurious suites with spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea. The hotel is located at the southern tip of the city, abutting the trendy and historical area of Neveh Tzedek and the Tahana compound.
The hotel also has a huge outdoor swimming pool, spa and gym, large events hall, restaurants, shops and 24- hour room service.
After some pampering, it was time to summon the energy to start the Israel Insider Experience.
Carmel Market
Carmel Market is located along Carmel Street, just a short walking distance from the David Intercontinental. The market sells mainly fresh fruits, vegetables, spices and local specialties. Guided by the Master Market team, the tour started off with an Israeli wine tasting and a le’haim (and a few more wine tastings during the tour).
A kit is provided with water, a tasting pass, a wine glass and the traditional shopping cart that makes you feel like a local. We discovered many secrets of the market and had a rich tasting experience that lit up all the senses, from the colors and aromas of the spices to the sweet taste of the halva. The food tasting included falafel, herbs, olives, halva, tehina and hummus. During the tour, we also heard about the history of the places and the shop owners’ dreams of becoming well known for their specialties.
The two-hour tour is followed by a generous meal. The tour is given in Hebrew, English, Russian and Italian.
Architecture tour
Tel Aviv is also called the White City, referring to the unique Bauhaus architectural style from the 1930s that was brought to the city by German Jewish architects. Accompanied by accomplished architect Hanan Pomagrin, we learned about the influence of the Bauhaus style on Tel Aviv’s urbanism. We visited the Bauhaus museum in Bialik Circle and heard about the current exhibition.
Our tour ended with a surprise visit to Pomagrin’s Bauhaus designed house, where he presented some of his unique projects.
Restaurant tour
The first stop on our Tel Aviv culinary night was at Jajo, a trendy, intimate wine bar in the Neveh Tzedek neighborhood. We sat at the bar with our cocktails, enjoying the warm ambience and the great music in the background. (Not kosher.) Next, we went for appetizers at Hatraklin, a cozy restaurant with a lovely garden.
The place specializes in high-quality meat dishes and an outstanding selection of local boutique wines. The special twist here is that they place a hot stone on the table so you can cook the meat to your preference, giving the customer a special handson opportunity. The food was unique, and every dish had a special touch. I had fresh bread right out of the oven, a healthy green salad and ravioli. We weren’t surprised to learn that Hatraklin is the No. 1 rated restaurant in Tel Aviv according to TripAdvisor. (Not kosher.) Our final visit was the Social Club, a modern bistro on vibrant Rothschild Boulevard.
This restaurant is the happening place for young professionals, and the scene is very trendy and lively. The menu offered a nice variety for a social environment at the bar.
For the main course, I had the well-made gnocchi with mushroom cream sauce. For dessert, I chose the hot chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream, and it definitely topped the night off! (Not kosher.) The next morning, we enjoyed the fabulous breakfast at the David Intercontinental Hotel. The choices are endless, from eggs, pancakes and salads to fruits, pastries and waffles. We sat at a beautifully set private table and enjoyed all that we could eat.
For reservations call: (03) 795-1111. www.intercontinental.com/telaviv The writer was a guest of the David Intercontinental Hotel.