Friday, November 14, 2014

Shopping in Tel Aviv: Ramat Aviv Mall

For those looking for a swankier shopping experience than those you can get in the locations we have previously mentioned here on the blog (Sarona, Dizengoff Center, Azrieli, Gan HaIr and Nachalat Binyamin), Ramat Aviv Mall is a good choice. You will find stores that are hard to find elsewhere in Tel Aviv in this mall, from Longchamp to Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs.

Generally, the stores are slightly more upscale than the ones you find in other malls in the city, and if you are looking for a store that you like, but find hard to find in Tel Aviv otherwise, it may very well be worth checking if they have it here (happened to us with Kiehl's!). However, this is not a place we recommend for bargain hunters, for obvious reasons. (There are some other places better suited for bargain hunters in the city, however)
The mall houses nice coffee shops and restaurants on top of the stores you will find there, as well as some embassies, and it is located in Ramat Aviv, a part of town most tourists go to if they want to visit either the University, or the Diaspora Museum or the Eretz Israel museum. Ramat Aviv is fairly easy to get to from central Tel Aviv, even though it may look like it is far away, thanks to direct bus lines that take you straight here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Finding your way in Tel Aviv - A word on street signs in Tel Aviv

Traveling to a country where another alphabet than the one you is used to can seem a bit scary (we've been to China, so we know what we are talking about!), but if not being able to read street signs worries you when you are planning a trip to Tel Aviv, you should know that most street signs, and definitely all street signs on major roads in the city actually have the name of the street or place on them in both Hebrew, Arabic and Latin (or English, if there is a need for a longer explanation for some reason).
People who read Arabic often complain that the Arabic parts are not completely correct, and there are some funny street signs if you just look at the English parts, too, but for the most part, we find the English names and instructions on street signs to be correct and understandable.

This obviously makes it much easier to get around the city on your own, as a non-Hebrew speaker, so with this post, we mainly want to reassure anyone in this position that there really is no need to worry should you not read Hebrew. Most tourists who visit the city actually don't, and the manage just fine anyway!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Restaurants in Tel Aviv: Jeremiah

There are tons and tons of coffee shops in Tel Aviv, but Jeremiah, on Dizengoff 306, is one of our favorites right now. The decor is nice, yet not over the top, the dishes good, filling and tasty and we have always had a nice time sitting at this coffee shop, especially during the weekends, when their breakfasts are well worth going all the way to the Namal (almost) for.
The restaurant has a Facebook page you can visit if you want, and you can see their menu before you go as well (Hebrew only), here. There are English menus at the actual coffee shop, though, so there is absolutely no need to be fluent in Hebrew in order to order something here.
We would definitely recommend going to Jeremiah if you are in the mood for typical coffee shop food, because everything here is nice, even if not the most memorable you have ever had.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Restaurants in Tel Aviv: Breakfast at Eden Bistro

As you may know, if you have been reading this blog for a while, like most typical Tel Avivians, we are constantly looking for the best breakfast in Tel Aviv, since breakfast is really one of the more important meals in this city. And when we visited Eden Bistro, the restaurant part of the charming Eden Boutique Hotel, recently, we certainly found another contender for this title!
Not only is the restaurant, as well as the rest of the hotel, super charming in a Parisian classic way, the way they serve the food at Eden Bistro is also really charming (not a lot of attention is paid to how things are served in a lot of Tel Aviv restaurants, but Eden Bistro is definitely an exception to this rule!) and the place is located in Kerem ha Teimanim, the Yemenite Vineyards, in Tel Aviv, which is really a very charming neighbourhood to visit anyway. So the surrounding is lovely in every way when you eat here, but the food is not half bad either!
The portions are really huge and the dishes original. You can also check out their menu online (here) if you want to see what they can offer you before you go.

We shared their The Rendevous meal for 2, which was a great choice, because you got to try several of their specialities by doing so. (what is pictured below is just part of the meal, however, since they serve it in several different rounds)
We highly recommend this place for everyone looking for a really nice breakfast or a Parisian feel in a restaurant i Tel Aviv. This really is a very unique place!
The bisto is located on 11 Yishon Street in Kerem ha Teimanim.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Restaurants in Tel Aviv: Gedera 26

The Carmel market area is not one we normally frequent, unless we go to the market itself, which we do only a couple of times a year (we do highly recommend the market for tourists, however, since all tourists we have taken there have absolutely loved it!). That's actually a shame, however, since there are some amazing restaurants on the small streets around the market. One of them is Gedera 26, a restaurant we had been hearing about for years, but it was only recently that we decided to go there for lunch.

The interesting thing about this particular restaurant is that it combines Swedish and Iraqi food in the menu, since the owner/chef has a Swedish father and an Iraqi mother, so he cooks things he knows from his childhood, that he spent in both Israel, with his mother's Iraqi family, and in Sweden.

Both the oriental and the Scandinavian dishes are well prepared and tasty, and since most people do not know both Swedish food and Iraqi food very well, even if they might know one of these cuisines, we'd guess that almost everyone can find something interesting and new to try here.

We should mention, however, that the menu changes daily, since what they serve depends on what's on offer in the market nearby. So you might not always be offered your favorite dish if you become a returning guest.

The staff is super friendly and when we ate at Gedera 26, even the chef came out to speak to us, so we definitely liked the service, and the cute look of the place too!

We will definitely go back, preferably as soon as possible!

(the restaurant is located on Gedera street 26, hence the name)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Restaurants in Tel Aviv: Little Italy Picnic - Italian Picnic Market in Sarona

We mentioned in the previous post that we went to Sarona today, but what we didn't mention, since we thought it deserved a post of its own, was that we actually ate at a newly opened restaurant with a very interesting and unique concept there too. The restaurant is actually part of Little Italy - a complex of 4 different restaurants (you can read about all of them here, if you read Hebrew) in Sarona, and the idea is that they give you a picnic basked (that you later return, of course), filled with Italian style goodies, that you can eat either at a table like this:
Or on the grass, since they can give you a blanket as well.
We really liked the concept, as well as the food (we tried some pizza and pasta with meatballs), which is really delicious, although definitely not kosher, if that matters to you, and we met some friends in the restaurant, too, who had tried the ice cream on offer, and loved that too. So it seems both the food and the desserts are worth trying!
We will definitely be coming back to Picnic, and we look forward to trying the other Little Italy restaurants in Sarona in the future as well!

Shopping in Tel Aviv: The Sarona Complex

We are not really sure when the Sarona complex opened partly (because it is still not completely open), but when we passed the area today, on our way to the more established Azrieli shopping center, we noticed that some stores in the much awaited Sarona shopping area were already open, so we decided to go there to see what it was like. And while the Sarona area is far from "ready", we have to say it looks very promising so far!
First of all, it is a nicer area to walk around in, at least in the spring and fall (in other words: when it is not too hot!), than most other shopping areas in Tel Aviv, for the simple reason that it is outside. There's also playgrounds for kids, some greenery, a fish pond etc., making this a perfect location for anyone going shopping with kids too.
The historic buildings of Sarona have also been renovated really beautifully, so we would actually say that the area is worth visiting even if you are not shopping, but we suspect it will be pretty crowded at least in the beginning when it opens, which will probably make that a bit less enjoyable.
There are several restaurants (including some really good ones, like Rustico) and coffee shops in the area as well, so you can really make a day of it if you do decide to come here. The area is located very close (we are talking a very short walking distance) to Azrieli Center, but has less, yet more unique stores than the big mall, in our opinion.
So we will definitely be coming back when Sarona is fully ready! For now, we'd say that around half of the stores/companies are open.