A night out on Dizengoff Street
Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv is one of the city’s most iconic streets, it is also described as the “Champs-Élysées of Tel Aviv”. Named after Meir Dizengoff, the first mayor of Tel Aviv the street was built during the 1920s as part of the original Tel Aviv urban development plan. Today Dizengoff Street has seen something of a revival, with cafes and restaurants, boutique clothes stores, and numerous design shops. Bars lined up like pearls on a string. A good starting point for a convenient bar tour.
There are so many high level bars in Tel Aviv and luckily I managed to visit a few of them. Here is a short summary of when I popped in to Dizengoff Street and had a drink or two.
Why go there? Because it is a cosy bar with comfortable bar chairs offering classic drinks and also quirky ones paired with tasty dishes. It is a mixology shop during the day and a cocktail bar at night.
A warm welcome awaits you. Tel Aviv’s hospitality is amazing and, ladies, the Israeli bartenders are so H O T ! I always felt appreciated and in good hands. I started the night with a strong and bitter drink. The Bitter Fall, made with rum, bourbon, coffee liqueur and Campari suited me perfectly. If you want to update your minibar in your hotel or at home you can buy a barrel aged Negroni, Vesper, Rob Roy for take-away or a Cubed Old Fashion.
The atmosphere is elegant yet laid-back with a dash of romantic lighting. The drinks range from classy to quirky.
Some of the drinks are beautifully dressed and presented in awesome vessels. Like the Palapa, served in an enormous eggshell with a mountain of whipped cream. It is a nice play on a Pina Colada and went down well. The mountain turned out to be a light and vegan lime espuma.
If you walk further down Dizengoff Street to number 223 the cradle of Tel Aviv bar scene awaits you. The name of the bar is simple, it is the number of the building. In 2008 Ariel Leizgold, the most awarded bartender in Israel’s history, opened 223.
How about a journey back to the time of Prohibition?
Just step inside, and welcome to the 1920s when speakeasies were the hideaway of pleasure people who wanted to escape the alcohol ban of the prohibition. Imaginary heavy cigar smoke is in the air. In reality the walls wear pinstripes and the bartenders are dressed in white shirts and black bow ties. The décor is elegant and sophisticated. The bar is made of wooden-planks and stocked with high-quality products. 223 is focussed on delicious and playful twists on classics alongside the highest level of hospitality.
Since my Tel Aviv trip, “comfort food” is my new favourite word, food for the soul. I had not a single bad dish and every bar offers tasty food. I was in a sweet sour mood and opted for a Bee’s Knees. Gin, lemon juice, honey, an easy drink from the Prohibition era. A wonderful concoction at 223 where gin, sun-kissed oranges, homemade honey liqueur, bee’s wax and maraschino meet in a shaker. A must-visit bar.
Jasper Johns is an American artist and considered as one of the major pioneers of pop art. In this case it is a small bar with a long bar counter. No sign indicates the bar’s whereabouts so keep a sharp eye out to find it.
The bar is a well balanced mix of music, fun and fine drinks. And there is a secret door for the cocktail pros.
I had a proper Boulevadier and as dancing is not my thing, after a few drinks I forgot about it. When I passed the secret door I found myself in another bar. This place is about music, great drinks and cheerful bar staff. There are also some tasty bits & bites. I was there to finish my night as they close in the early morning hours. From 6 to 9 pm they also offer Aperitivo. This story is short but the experience was all the bigger. Shake, shake, shake your booty!
Further down the bustling Dizengoff Street you can explore another innovative bar concept. You’ll know you’re at the right place when you see the sign saying “The East Jaffa Perfume Company”.
Spicehaus is a cross between a pharmacy and a perfume shop.
The skeleton that greets you at the entrance, huge wooden cabinets stocked with jars and pharmacy bottles and the bartenders dressed in lab coats indicated the “cocktail bar pharmacy”. As soon as you step into the bar you are surrounded by the scents of herbs and the aroma of tropical fruits. Cocktails are served in potion bottles and can be ordered in small, medium and large. That’s good medicine. The main ingredients are homemade and the food is also delicious. I liked their focus on the little details. Don’t miss the bathrooms experience.
There are more bars to discover. I was totally pleased and satisfied with the ones I visited. The best nights start with a good cocktail and a smile. Le Chaim and enjoy Tel Aviv!