The Best Bars in Florentin, Tel Aviv's Art District
Florentin's bars combine an easygoing attitude with top-notch cocktails | ? Brent Hofacker / Alamy Stock Photo
Wander the rugged, colourful streets of Florentin in downtown Tel Aviv in search of authentic craft beers, inspiring cocktails, soulful live music and a blissful atmosphere.
Unforgettable nights in Tel Aviv are easy to find; they lie in wait within the most easygoing and unpretentious locales in town. In this fast-paced city, Tel Avivians are ever eager for the ‘backseat’ lifestyle – slow, stress-free and effortless – and while they are certainly masters of going with the flow, they never compromise on the best. Locals love Florentin for this very mindset; its cool cocktail bars and street-style beer joints with antique sofas in the middle of the street make this neighbourhood the perfect starting point for great travel stories.
Satchmo has a large selection of whiskeys | Courtesy of Satchmo
A traditional whiskey bar on Vital Street, Satchmo is among the first to have opened its doors in the pulsing heart of Florentin. Familiar smiling faces are common here, as locals make up the regulars. In an intimate and cosy atmosphere with soft lighting and the voices of timeless singers in the background, people come together to enjoy Satchmo’s impressive selection of Guinness draft beers and more than 60 spirits sourced worldwide. Happy hour specials run from 7pm to 9pm daily. Although limited in space and often busy, there is adequate seating at the bar and at tables on the gallery level.
This online radio station had been broadcasting music in pop-up style from a different place in Tel Aviv every summer for six years, until it finally found a home in the bohemian courtyard of Romano House, an old textile complex. From this downtown hub decked in cascading plants and neon yellow lights, Teder.FM now broadcasts all year long with an impressive following of music lovers moving to the rhythm of live DJ sets. Israeli beer and pizza are the go-to here.
Word on the street is that Perla is not merely a neighbourhood bar but a ‘Per La People’ sanctuary with drinks and spirits from all over the world and great DJ sets combining Israeli playlists. Here, the beer menu is arranged by shades of craft from light to dark, with at least 20 varieties to choose from, plus 100 whiskies and 300 types of alcohol. Great side snacks include the salami sandwich and tapas specials served in bitesize portions. Everyone has a front-row seat during sports league events, thanks to the 100-inch screen in Perla’s court.
Berlin in Florentin seeks to emulate the easy-going bohemian atmosphere of the German capital | Courtesy of Berlin in Florentin
Israelis love Berlin for its laid-back, über bohemian atmosphere and very late nights out. It is no wonder then that Boris, the owner, was inspired to open a bar infused with the same vibe. In the heart of Florentin, situated alongside Sarah Bukhman Square, skilled mixologists offer great cocktails alongside friendly conversation. An impressive variety of budget-friendly beverages includes chilled beer from Israel and beyond, a selection of spirits and various wines. A very, very ‘Happy Hour’ is offered daily between 4pm and 9pm.
Just brushing Florentin on the north side is Abraxas Bar, a definite go-to for shared menus and well-made cocktails, complete with live music events and frequent appearances by international DJs. The atmosphere is fiery and vibrant every day of the week, but the waiting staff and bartenders never seem in the least bit phased. Bar snacks are served on baking sheets and strips of brown paper, curated by celebrated chef Eyal Shani, and ‘Magic Hour’ runs weekdays from 7pm to 8.30pm – just be sure to book.
At Agnes, the only constant is change. Each week, the house beers change to introduce new styles, flavours and special limited editions, with emphasis placed on artisan beers from across the country. The burger menu changes, too, according to the chef’s moods, with weekly rotations and flavourful ingredients. Perhaps the only element that stays the same is the music, an endless playlist of smooth blues that promises a finely curated night out. Happy hour on draft beers runs between 7pm and 9pm, and after 1am house burgers are two for one. Reservations recommended.
Meydale Bar serves up comfort food inspired by American diners | ? David Sasson
Inspired by American diners and following the Yiddish term for ‘Young lady’, this neighbourhood pub and kitchen is a bit of everything global and local. The menu is generous and affordable, with starters, pizzas, sandwiches and home-style recipes as well as vegetarian and vegan options. Meydale’s comfort food is well-matched with the selection of beers, cocktails and Israeli wine. Happy hour, from 4pm to 9pm, rings in craft beers at special prices while all other drinks are two for one. Sports fans can watch live broadcasts in the lounge downstairs.