Tel Aviv markets: the best places to go to experience Israeli culture.
You can’t visit Tel Aviv without a trip to one of its many markets. Markets are an integral part of Israeli culture, and fun places to explore. There’s nothing like spending an afternoon at the shuk (word for the market in Hebrew) sampling delicious Israeli street food or haggling for that hamsa necklace you’ve been seeing everywhere. While the markets can be an overwhelming bombardment of sights, smells, and sounds, they are something every visitor to Tel Aviv must experience at least once. From street food and fresh vegetables to handmade art and jewelry, you’ll find it all in the Tel Aviv markets. Not sure where to start? We’ve rounded up our favorite markets for you so you know the best places to go!
The Carmel Market
Shuk HaCarmel, or the Carmel Market, is hands-down the most famous of the Tel Aviv markets. One of Tel Aviv’s must-see places and a classic Israeli shuk, the Carmel Market is huge, spanning the entire length of Carmel St. You can find everything – and we literally mean everything – here. Fresh fruits and vegetables? Got it. 7-shekel falafel? You’ll find it here. Elephant pants, hamsa necklaces, candy and dried fruit by the pound? Yepp. Tupperware, toothbrushes, flip flops, phone cases? They have those too. Our best tip – don’t forget to haggle! Everything is overpriced for a reason – sellers know you’re going to try and haggle down the price, so don’t be afraid to try! And if you don’t have much luck with one seller, don’t be afraid to walk away. Chances are, you’ll find someone else in the market selling the same thing. Follow this link to view a 60sec video we produced on the Carmel Market.
Nachalat Binyamin – Artists Market
Around the corner from the Carmel Market is Nachalat Binyamin, an outdoor pedestrian mall where twice a week (Tuesdays and Fridays), artists and designers set up their stands with their handmade goods. The Artists Market is the largest arts and crafts market in Israel and brings together handmade goods from around Israel. You’ll find unique jewelry, works of art, Judaica, pottery, soaps, and more. Items at the Artists Market tend to be a bit pricier than in the Carmel Market. Remember that the quality is higher and you’re likely getting a one-of-a-kind piece. Some artists may give you a good deal if you chat them up or agree to buy multiple pieces!
A little out of the way lies Sarona Market, an incredible food market (so incredible we wrote an entire article on it! Check it out here). Surrounded by beautiful gardens and upscale restaurants, Sarona Market is an indoor gourmet food market filled with restaurants featuring cuisines from around the world. Sarona is hands-down one of the best places to go in Tel Aviv. Take yourself on a DIY food tour of Sarona, as many of the stands and shops offer free samples! We recommend the following:
- Via Rustico, for delicious thin crust pizza with a variety of toppings
- Mexicana, for burrito bowls and margarita slushies
- HIRO Ramen Bar for the “buns special”
- Fauchon, for delicious 6-shekel macarons
You’ll also find some interesting little shops along the way. Explore an organic food store, a lavender-based body/skincare shop, and a boutique liqueur and oil store (where you can try sample after sample after sample!).
Jaffa Flea Market
Flea markets definitely aren’t for everyone, but if you’ve got some time and are willing to hunt for those hidden gems, you can find some seriously amazing stuff at Jaffa’s Shuk HaPishpushim, or Flea Market – it’s one of our must-see places! The main square of the market has vendors selling tons of second-hand items. You can also expand your search to the streets surrounding the market square to find tons of shops with incredible antiques, and even more with trendy clothing and accessories. Jaffa is definitely one of the coolest places to go in Tel Aviv and is totally worth exploring. Like the Carmel Market, don’t be afraid to haggle at the Jaffa Flea Market!
Pro tip: Antique shopping making you hungry? Hit up Hamalabiya in the main square of the Flea Market for a delicious Middle Eastern treat! Malabi is a dairy-based custard (but they also have a vegan version made with soy that’s just as good!). You can get it in different flavors such as rosewater (a classic), vanilla and cinnamon, or caramel. Yum!
The Rothschild/Allenby Market is Tel Aviv’s newest market, having just opened in January 2017. It’s full of cool things to see…and eat! Similar to the “street food eatery” style of Sarona Market, the Rothschild/Allenby Market is a food market housing some incredible places to eat – and best of all, it’s in a super convenient location at the corner of Rothschild and Allenby. Take yourself on a gourmet round-the-world food tour, and try dishes from restaurants featuring Mexican, Asian, and British cuisines…and more! We recommend the following:
- Chipsea King, for authentic fish and chips
- Asada, for sushi and sake
- Tatos, for delicious stuffed baked potatoes
- Bunny Chow, for South African dishes with an Israeli twist
Make sure you also leave room for dessert – you don’t want to miss out on gelato from The Gelato Factory, malabi from Hamalabiya (that’s right, they have a location here too!), or cookies from Bingo.
So there you have it – our guide to the best of the Tel Aviv markets. Looking for more recommendations on the best places to go or cool things to see in Tel Aviv? Chat with Gooster, your tourist buddy, instantly on Facebook Messenger for your personalized recommendations and tips for travelers!
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