Fabulous food and drink is never hard to find in Tel Aviv, which has become something of a world class restaurant capital. Streets such as Rothschild Boulevard – an elegant avenue lined with imported oak trees and named after the famed Jewish family of financiers – are brimming with cafes and restaurants.
The waterfront eateries at the Old Port (that was given a makeover in the early 2000s by the Tel Aviv municipality) also reward a visit while the historic Old Railway Station (HaTachna) is home to to a whole host of fashionable dining venues including Vicky Cristina, (www.vicky-cristina.co.il/en/) – an outdoor tapas and wine bar named after the Woody Allen film, that’s currently the hottest ticket in town.
But you don’t have to spend a lot to eat well. Hummus – aka the humble chick pea dish – is dirt cheap and tastes sublime, especially when slathered on a hunk of pita bread. Benedict (www.benedict.co.il/en) is another place where you can live the high life, without paying the vertigo inducing rates.
It would be easy to spend all your time in downtown Tel Aviv but it’s worth venturing to the ancient port city of Jaffa, just south of the city, to see the contrast between slick Tel Aviv and its shabby-chic neighbour.
Once the unofficial capital of the British Mandate of Palestine, today Jaffa is famed for its flea market and for serving as a film location for the hit US TV series Homeland.
Exploring Jaffa from your Tel Aviv base is safe and easy – simply a hire a bike (cycling is the best way to get around) and stick to the designated cycling lanes.