Category Archives: Happy Hour

Beer Bazaar- It’s always Israeli Craft Beer’oclock

The hallmark of a good craft beer is the distinctive local flavor it adds to the base of grain, hops, yeast and water. Israeli craft beer, virtually nonexistent until a decade ago, now is available in more than 100 styles. The taste of Israel inside each bottle hints of locally sourced herbs and fruits such as mint, rosemary, date, passionfruit, mango or citron.

In 2013, Beer Bazaar opened their doors for the entire craft beer enthusiast community. Originally opening a small hut in the middle of the exciting Machane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem and Carmel Market in Tel Aviv, their goal was to provide three local drafts on tap and a place to find local beers by the bottle. Over the past two years, they have expanded to four Tel Aviv locations.

My favorite Beer Bazaar is located on Yishkon street next to the Carmel market. This Beer Bazaar branch serves over 7 drafts on tap featuring a few house brews made off-premises and an assortment of local beers. Their drafts cost 23 NIS for a third of a liter and 29 NIS for half a liter.

With over 100 beers from dozens of Israeli microbreweries to choose from, there’s something for everyone who likes beer and wants to try one they can’t find elsewhere. Since many Israeli microbrews are sold close to the breweries, it may be more difficult to find a Jerusalem brew like Shapiro’s Stout in Tel Aviv, so a central location to sample Israeli beers is a nice way to drink your way around the country without spending hours on the road. You can drink Bazelet from the Golan or some passion fruit infused brew from the Negev without leaving the same barstool. All bottles at the bar cost 26 NIS, a fair price compared to other local bars.

Recently, Beer Bazaar implemented a new Happy Hour at all their locations. Between 5PM-8PM, when you order a draft beer you receive a bottle of one of the 6 crafted beers brewed by Beer Bazaar. While I tend to prefer to enjoy a 1+1 happy hour deal, I also enjoy having craft beers at home which would be tough to find at your local supermarket.

For those looking for some food while drinking your beers, Beer Bazaar provides different Israeli theme bar food options. Their menu consists of fish entrees, pizza, meat sandwiches and healthier options such as grilled eggplant. While their food is tasty, I come here for the craft beer.

Whether you are trying o take a break from the craziness of the market or enlighten friends with the advancement of Israeli craft beer, Beer Bazaar is a great place to knock back a few beers during the day or at night.

Locations:

BeerBazaar Machane Yehuda :Etz Hayyim St 3 Jerusalem ( KOSHER)

BeerBazaar Yishkon: 36 Yishkon Tel Aviv

BeerBazaar Levinsky 13 Zvulun Street Tel Aviv

BeerBazaar Basta Rambam 1 Tel Aviv

BeerBazaar Rothschild Rothschild Boulevard 142 Tel Aviv

Hours: Sunday- Thursday : 10AM-12AM and Friday 10AM-7PM

Saluf and Sons- A Nostalgic Yemenite Experience in the White City

One of the special and unique experiences that Tel Aviv and Israel provides are the varied cultures. In Israel you can find Jews from Morocco, Russia, Ethiopia, Belgium, the United States, pretty much from every corner of the Jewish world. One of the oldest Jewish communities is the Yemenite community. If you want to enjoy delicious and affordable Yemenite food, music and culture, Saluf and Sons creates an exciting Yemenite culinary experience.

Located on Nahalat Binyamin street, Saluf and Sons is located at the halfway point between the Carmel shuk and the trendy Florentine neighborhood. While there is many other home cooking “style” restaurants in the area, Saluf and Sons kitchen offers unique and delicious entrees that are the perfect mix of fresh and spice.

The Yemenite meat soup is the most expensive dish on the menu, costing 35 NIS. This delicious dish comes with rice and a secret sauce made on location. Their most famous dish is jachnun, which is served with tomato sauce and a spicy hard boiled egg costing a 21 NIS. Another very popular dish is the malawah, offered in two different styles. The Yemenite, which is served with fresh tahini, tomato sauce and a hard boiled egg, and the Eastern style which is accompanied with delicious hummus, tomato sauce and spicy pickles. Each Malawah dish costs only 21 NIS.

Other dishes include the Yemenite kubah, spicy soups, couscous and rice based dishes. The majority of dishes are available either with meat or vegetarian. For those who can’t make it for lunch, they offer a happy hour special where all the dishes are half price.

For those looking to have a drink with their meal, they offer three different sizes of  Goldstar draft beers; a small beer costs 11 NIS, a half-liter is and 25 NIS and a liter is 52 NIS. Don’t be shocked while indulging in these delicious Yemenite dishes to receive free arak shots.

While most of Tel Aviv’s culinary scene is increasing in prices, Saluf and Sons reminds you that sometimes it’s best to go back to your roots.

NOT KOSHER

Address: Nahalat Binyamin St 80

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11AM-11PM, Friday 11AM-PM

Mezcal- The Oldest and Best Mexican Food in the White City

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Mexican food is a relatively new phenomenon in Tel Aviv over the past 5 years, yet is a natural development generated by a rising Mexican and American ex-pat community. In this promising realm of cuisine, it is Mezcal, owned by of Ziv and Esther Erlich, which claims the culinary throne. Unlike the standard restaurant that caters clearly to the local restaurant crowd, Mezcal seeks to shed light onto the authentic flavors and manners of cooking that have differentiated the Mexican kitchen from its regional counterparts.

Mezcal is located in the Florentin neighborhood of Tel Aviv. For non locals, this is basically Tel Aviv’s hipster neighborhood. It’s full of art studios, tattoo parlors and some very cool restaurants and bars. The inside of Mezcal is awesome in its own right, featuring bright Mexican artwork, colorful high-top tables, a huge bar, and upbeat Latin music.

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The menu recommends ordering two or three dishes each and sharing. We went with 2 orders of enchiladas (verdes and rojas (32-34 NIS), supreme nachos (42 NIS), the chimichanga (32 NIS), the burrito (46 NIS), and the fish tacos (35 NIS). The food came out as it was prepared, so we had the nachos first and then after finishing up our delicious margaritas, the rest of our order came out.

Unlike most Mexican restaurants around Tel Aviv, Mezcal cooks their own toasted tortilla chips which provide an authentic taste. Despite the size of nachos which tend to be smaller than most nachos you find in Tel Aviv, they are much richer in flavor. The nachos supreme is made with homemade tortilla chips and black beans, melted cheddar cheese,’ pico-de-gallo, pickled jalapeno, guacamole and sour cream. This dish is a great starter with Mezcal’s famous margaritas.

Margarita

Speaking of margaritas, Mezcal features the most extensive selection of imported Mexican tequila anywhere in Tel Aviv, serving over thirty varieties. They also serve a number of imported Mexican beers including San Miguel, Modelo, Dos Equis, Carta Blanca, and Corona. Between 5-8 pm Sunday through Thursday they offer a happy hour deal which includes 1+1 for draught beers and 50% for cocktails when sitting by the bar.

At night time the bar turns into one of the biggest party spots in Florentine; with young people packed onto the sidewalk enjoying delicious tequila with a unique Mexican experience. The average crowd at Mezcal tends to be people in their later twenties or early thirties. Now back to the food…

Mezcal

The enchiladas rojas and verdes were covered in a creamy hot sauce, queso fresca, sour cream, and red onions, and stuffed full of shredded chicken, beef or mushrooms for those looking for a vegetarian option. Overall, as a self labeled enchilada enthusiasts, I’d say these were the best enchiladas in Tel Aviv – the sauce had the right amount of chipotle flavor, and the creaminess was super generous.

The first thing I noticed when the tacos came out was the guacamole. Most Mexican places in Tel Aviv use the prepackaged kind of guac, you know, the kind they have at fast-food places that tastes nothing like fresh avocado. The fish tacos came in pairs, perfect for two diners since you can have one of each. I am not going to beat around the bush here but the tacos are small, so I recommend ordering a few different tacos or order it as a starter. Mezcal offers 4 kinds of tacos: fish, shrimp, slow cooked beef stew and shredded chicken. I recommend ordering a few plates of tacos as they won’t last long on your table.

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For those like me who love burritos, Mezcal might be worth the trek just for their burritos. Unlike the majority of Tel Aviv’s Mexican establishments, they provide a filling burrito that is stuffed with rice, black beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, pickled jalapenos and your choice of barbecue (slow cooked beef), chicken tinga or sautéed mushrooms.  If you aren’t drooling yet, I saved the best for last. Mezecal’s chimichangas are stuffed tortillas filled with chicken/beef or peppers, mixed with beans, cheese and rice.  They are fried to a crispy golden brown which is topped with fresh sour cream, and mild salsa.

After years of hearing great things about Mezcal from my close friends, I wish I paid visit years ago. While new Mexican places will come and go, sometimes it’s best to return to the original Mexican restaurant in Tel Aviv. In summary, Mezcal offers Mexican food enthusiasts the most unique and authentic Mexican experience in Tel Aviv. Don’t forget to order the margaritas and the fish tacos – you won’t regret it.

NOT KOSHER

Address: 2 Vital Street

Hours:  Sunday-Saturday 12PM-1AM

Shenkin 50- It’s Game Night Every Night-CLOSED

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When people think of Tel Aviv nightlife, the first thing that pops into their heads are the fabulous beach bars and the exciting night clubs found in the city. Over the past few years, the more relaxing bar theme has exploded throughout Tel Aviv. A few weeks ago a new and unique bar opened, a first in Israel that provides many board games of your choosing while enjoying a great drink.

Shenkin 50, the newest addition to the bar scene, has brought some life to the café filled streets of Shenkin. While during the day it is your typical café, at night it provides a bar experience like no other in the white city. Jon Abel, one of the owners, explain how this idea came along, “The idea for the bar came out of the need for a local bar in the Shenkin area, the street that used to be one of the best in Israel has become dead over time. We felt a bar on Shenkin was needed, but also one where people can relax and enjoy themselves. We wanted to provide people with a different experience than they could find anywhere else in Tel Aviv and knew offering board games would be a fitting option”.

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When you first walk into the Shenkin 50, the first thing you see is the mountain of board games that are available. Among them are Cards Against Humanity, Settlers of Catan, Monopoly, Risk and Jenga. Practically any board game that you can think of is at your choosing. On the weekends, the bar tends to fill up with groups of gamers, so I recommend you reserve ahead of time for your favorite game.

Other than the board games, they have a very interesting alcohol and bar food selection. On draft they offer two different beers – Jems 8.8 and Taybeh. The owners explained why they chose these beers, “Jems is a great company, offer great beers and the 8.8 appeals to the type of crowd were aiming for. Taybeh was a more obscure choice but on taste alone, it’s one of the best brewed golden ales. Taybeh is unpasteurized so the consumer is not getting any of the chemicals and preservatives that your typical beers will have while remaining very smooth and tasty”. Both beers on tap are offered in 1/3 of a liter and ½ liter. They also offer different offerings of Jems beer by the bottle.

For those looking for stronger drinks, I recommend you try their espresso martini. It’s made with fresh coffee, grounded on location. Other delicious cocktails are a cosmopolitan and, the local favorite, Jerusalem Arak and grapefruit Juice.

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They provide different interesting bar food as well. My favorite is their nachos, unlike most bars which offer Israel nachos (typically Doritos tortilla chips and salsa) they put their heart and soul in each plate of nachos. Shenkin 50’s nachos are made with fresh corn tortilla chips with melted cheese, jalapenos, sour cream, black beans, onion and avocado. One of the more unique food items that they offer is a Herring sandwich; I recommend you drink a glass of Singleton whisky along with the herring sandwich.

Overall, if you are looking for a nice relaxing night out with your friends or looking for something different, Shenkin 50 is the newest and the place to go to.

Address: Shenkin 50

Hours: Thursday-Saturday 7PM- 1AM

Changos-CLOSED

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When people think of the trendy Florentine neighborhood in Tel Aviv, the first thing that comes to mind is it being a center for Tel Aviv’s “hipsters”. From the funky cafés to the eclectic bars, Florentine has become one of the trendiest places in Tel Aviv. Mexican food has been a recent arrival to Florentine, but none have generated much excitement. However, last summer Changos opened their doors and has provided an enjoyable and tasty Mexican eating experience.

Located on Washington Boulevard, Changos displays unique artwork throughout the restaurant which meshes perfectly with the Florentine feel. The seating options are however limited, with the majority seating indoors and a few tables outside. Once you sit down and order, you know that you have arrived at the Mexican restaurant that you have been searching for.
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Picture taken by @mankochka

Like most Mexican restaurants, you can start your meal with a tasty margarita. They offer delicious frozen margaritas (very strong!) in different flavors, such as lime, pineapple and strawberry.

Over the years,I’ve told my friends here in Israel that they have no idea what real nachos are. Most places give you Doritos chips and salsa that has no zest and some guacamole. Changos offers nachos, made with homemade tortillas chips with refried beans, different kinds of salsa, sour cream guacamole and of course melted cheese 28 NIS.

Moving on to entrees, they offer different kinds of tacos (Fish, Beef, Chicken and vegetarian), which are made to perfection. I recommend ordering the beef taco, marinated with veal, cooked on the grill with onions, coriander and salsa. Each taco costs 15NIS or if you live life dangerously,  3 for 40 NIS. For those looking for a non-meat taco try the mushroom taco, made with portobello and champion mushroom cooked on the grill with tomatoes and seasoned with fresh pepper. Each taco costs 13 NIS or 3 tacos for 34 NIS.
Picture Taken by @mankochka

Now onto my favorite part of their menu, Burritos! They offer possibly the best chicken burrito found  in the Middle East. The chicken is cooked on the grill with rice, beans, onions, coriander, salsa and last, but not least, pineapples. The combination of the sweetness of the pineapple and the spiced chicken make a perfect burrito.

For those looking for something different and who have tough stomachs, try their tasty chili relleno which includes jalapenos, cheese, fried pepper and onions, costing. 30 NIS. They also offer different traditional Mexican desserts.

Overall you can’t go wrong with any dish on their menu. After experiencing Changos,  you will be sure to make the trek back to the Florentine area more often,

NOT KOSHER

Average Price: Up to 50 NIS

Address: Washington Avenue

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11AM-Midnight, Friday-Saturday 9AM-Last customer

Top 5 Happy Hours in Tel Aviv

Until recently, most Tel Aviv bars happy hour specials were rare. Unlike the U.S. business culture, where after work you grab some drinks and food, in Tel Aviv, people head home and then have drinks after dinner. However, recently, the happy hour scene has erupted in Tel Aviv. I will be highlighting my top 5 best Happy Hours in the White City.

Louis- Malkhei Yisra’el Street 4

My favorite of Tel Aviv’s happy hours bar is Louis Bar, which is located in the heart of Tel Aviv, right across Rabin Square. In Tel Aviv, where you have so many different options where to start your night of drinking, Louis has to be on top of the list. When I first started to date my girlfriend she raved about this bar next to Rabin square that her friends always met at. After a few visits I become a regular. Whenever someone asks me about a fun and well priced happy hour, Louis bar is always one of the first options.

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Like most bars that offer happy hour in Tel Aviv, Louis Bar offers great drink specials with tasty bar food. They offer a buy one get one free and 50% off of all food, and have one of the most wide-ranging beer menus in the area. Unlike most bars, their beer glasses come in a pint (410 ml) or a baby (290ml)

They also offer an excellent and varied food menu at the bar. Having tasted the majority of the items on their menu, their best bar food consists of thin pizza, hamburgers sliders and their famous sloppy Yossef (yes, they offer their Israeli version of sloppy Joe).

MILA- Dizengoff 164

Mila Bar is located in the heart of Dizengoff Street, next to the corner of Ben Gurion and Dizengoff.  In Tel Aviv, where there are so many options where to start your night of drinking, if you don’t have Mila Bar as your destination, chances are that you probably won’t end up there. Over a year ago, my friends and I were looking for an early happy hour and randomly found Mila Bar. We have been spreading the word about their happy hour specials ever since.

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Their 1+1 happy hour specials are well advertised throughout the bar. Opening in the early evening and going til 9:30 pm, their drinks are “buy one get the next one free”. They also offer happy hour food specials that are very tasty and compliment the drinks.

223-Dizengoff Street 223

223 is located in the old north section of Diznegoff street right before Nordau street. In recent years the cocktail bar trend has taken Tel Aviv by storm. 223, though it was one of Tel Aviv’s original authentic cocktail bars, still provides some of the best cocktail and mixologists in Tel Aviv. The bar design presents a 1920’s New Orleans bar feel and their staff is dressed for the part making 223 one of the more interesting choices on this list.

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223’s happy hour special is 1+1 on all cocktails and beers from 6PM until 8PM. If you get to the bar early enough I recommend taking an outside table which will present a great people watching experience on the exciting street of Dizengoff.

Café Nona- Ibn Gabirol 44

While walking down the busy street of Ibn Gabirol, there are so many different bars to choose from. One may ask what makes this bar bette  than the other one a half block away?. Unlike most Bars around Tel Aviv, Café Nona presents a unique concept with their discounted drink specials.

345433-5Café Nona is situated a little south of Rabin Square and is well known for its drinks specials until 2am. Indeed, Café Nona is open 24 hours a day; but I am highlighting their alcohol specials. Unlike most bars in Tel Aviv that might offer a few hours of discounted drinks in their happy hour special, Café Nona, from Sunday through Thursday until 2 am, their entire bar is 50% off. The bar has different types of draft beer cocktails and they staff will gladly make any kind of drink you might want. The bar staff is very friendly which usually comes with free shots of Whisky, Arak or Vodka. They have a in-depth food menu as well which is well priced.

Shem Tov- Masaryk 14

Shem Tov is located a half block away from Rabin Square on Masaryk. This quiet bar has been a nice quiet secret for the locals who are trying to take advantage of the early evening happy hour specials. Shem Tov is a friendly and quiet bar that is a perfect place for friends to grab some drinks and not worry about getting a table.

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The owners of the bar know their clients very well, as they offer their happy hour special as early as 6PM until 8PM throughout the week. Their Happy hour specials include 50% off all drinks and food on their entire menu. So of their great deals include a half liter of beer for 15NIS, a glass of Glenmorangie single malt whisky for 30NIS and sirloin Carpaccio for 19NIS.

Louis Bar- It’s Time For Happy Hour

Until recently, most of the well known Tel Aviv bars did not offer a happy hour special. Today, the happy hour scene has erupted in Tel Aviv.

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One of my favorite of Tel Aviv’s happy hours bars is Louis Bar, which is located in the heart of Tel Aviv, right across Rabin Square. In Tel Aviv, where you have so many different options where to start your night of drinking, Louis has to be on top of the list. When I first started to date my girlfriend she raved about this bar next to Rabin square that her friends always met at. After a few visits I become a regular. Whenever someone asks me about a fun and well priced happy hour, Louis bar is always one of the first options.

Louis Bar is not a new bar in the crowded bar scene in Tel Aviv. They opened their door over 6 years ago and have made a name for  themselves as one of the better “chill” bars to grab some drinks and eat some tasty bar food. The staff is super friendly and works very quickly even when full. The waitresses will always remind you about the end of happy hour, making sure you take advantage of their deals. Their happy hour starts as early as 4 p.m. and the ends at 9 p.m. I recommend getting there by 8 as the bar tends to fill up with locals looking to take advantages of their great deals.

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Like most bars that offer happy hour in Tel Aviv, Louis Bar offers great drink specials with tasty bar food. They offer a buy one get one free and 50% off all food, and have one of the most wide-ranging beer menus in the area. Unlike most bars, their beer glasses come in a pint (410 ml) or a baby (290ml)

They also offer an excellent and varied food menu at the bar. Having tasted the majority of the items on their menu, their best bar food consists of thin pizza, hamburgers sliders and their famous sloppy Yossef (yes, they offer their Israeli version of sloppy Joe).

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My Happy Hour Order:  a pint of Pauliner with a sloppy Yossef. The sloppy Yossef goes extremely well with the wheat beers – one of my favorites.

Address: Malkhei Yisra’el Street 4

Happy Hours: 4 p.m.9 p.m.