South Tel Aviv, The Norman Tel Aviv's Suggestions

South Tel Aviv is not the quintessential tourist spot, but for the more adventurous, a fascinating urban landscape hiding many gems waiting to be discovered.

 

Guests at The Norman Tel Aviv who are interested in going off the beaten tourist track but want to stay close to the boutique goodness of The Norman, have the chance to explore an area that, once neglected for decades, is in full-swing towards being fully recharged and revived .

 

Since the early 90's, the region south of Yehuda Halevi and Harakevet has seen a steady influx of families moving in amongst the  many artists and students,  as well as visitors from Africa, China and Southeast Asia whom all add to the lively and changing character of this stimulating neighborhood .

 

The street art paving the way through the Florentine neighborhood (south of Eilat Street, east of Elifelet) is a real feast for fresh eyes. The Norman can arrange a tour with graffiti artists willing to unravel the secrets of this small quarter, decoding the sometimes surrealistic and many times political images, but if you're happy to saunter off alone, here is a rough guide to get you started.

 

Levinksy Market:  located on Levinsky street, between Hertzl and Ha’aliya Streets, is a gourmet's paradise flaunting a range of local flavorsome treats, spices, nuts, dried fruits and fusion cuisines. Levinsky Market echoes with the legends of migrating recipes and the stories of the people behind the counters.

 

Some stores & eateries to look out for:

 

Yom Tov Delicatessen: In the late sixties the Yom Tov family moved to Israel from Turkey, bringing with them a variety of local flavors and family recipes that have continued to delight.

 

Café Atlas: Founded in the 1920's by Greek immigrants from Saloniki offering an amazing selection of spices and an array of healing plants.

 

Baklava Mahrum from Nazareth: Features the sweetest most authentic Middle Eastern tastes. Baklava will never be the same again!

 

Nayeb’s Chef House: The tastes and smells of an authentic Persian home kitchen beckon you here from down the street.

 

Cafe Kaymak:  A vegetarian coffee shop that over the years became a popular spot among trendy Tel Avivians in the mood for debate and people watching .

 

Falafel Eli: For the last twenty years, Falafel Eli has been a favourite spot with locals in search of  fresh falafel and shwarma feasting.

 

If you're in the mood for ‘off-beat’, the Florentine neighbourhood  is unquestionably one of the most up-to-the-minute areas of Tel Aviv. Reminiscent of the meatpackers district in New York with young artists and designers emerging against an industrial backdrop of old. The nightlife down here is all you'd imagine it to be.  Bloody Mary for breakfast anyone?

(Image source: Wikipedia)