The biggest marketplace in the city, Carmel Market is renowned for its food stalls featuring local specialties – from falafel, to artisan breads, olives and exotic spices.
The Templer settlement of Sarona was one of the first modern agricultural settlements in Palestine and became a model for the Jewish pioneers. In August 1871, the Templers purchased 60 hectares of land from a Greek monastery north of Jaffa. Part of the Plains of Sharon (after which it was named), near the River Audsche (Yarkon), it was four kilometers from Jaffa. In October 1871, the foundation stones were laid for the first houses. Extreme hardship and disease took a heavy toll in human life during the first few years. Malaria caused the deaths of 28 of the 125 settlers of Sarona in 1872 alone. In an effort to dry the marshy land, 1,300 eucalyptus trees were planted.
By 1889, 269 people lived in Sarona. There were 41 homes, a communal hall, a winery, workshops, barns and sheds. The Sarona colonists brought modern farming tools and practices to the Holy Land. They focused on crops and products they could readily sell. This “agriculture-for-profit” was an economic innovation in a land that for centuries had practiced only self-sustaining farming. Grain crops and dairy industry first, then orchards and vineyards were planted. Faced with a shortage of financial resources for infrastructure development, the community introduced Frondienst, a compulsory work system where every male member was required to do a certain number of hours of community work each month. The building of roads, development of land, roads and drainage and community facilities could thus be scheduled. Researcher and author Sven Hedin wrote of his visit to Sarona in 1916: “…many plants were in blossom. They mainly grow grapes, oranges and vegetables, like in old times they also produce milk and honey.” Today it has become one of the most sought out districts in Tel Aviv which is undergoing a complete revival of its history into a commercial area with luxury brands, restaurants, cafes and entertainment centers.