Tel Aviv’s bar scene is as famous as its party scene. Israelis love drinking, but are generally more chilled out about it than their European counterparts. Hanging out in bars is more about socialising than knocking back drinks, though that may also be because alcohol is really expensive in Tel Aviv.
Locals may generally drink (local, excellent) wine with their meal, but bars are generally more about beers and spirits (in shots, often called “chasers” and drunk after a beer). There are a few cocktail bars in town, which are suitably pricey, but do serve a mean drink.
Going out in Tel Aviv
This is a late city. Go out before 22:00 and most places will be dead, though many will be open and offer the benefit of a happy hour. If you want to feel the buzz, though, try a time closer to midnight.
Most bars are open till the early hours and some will stay open until “last customer”, though if you are that last customer, make sure you keep ordering drinks and tipping your waiter or bartender well, or you may experience some of the infamous Israeli rudeness. Dance bars are often open till morning.
Here today, gone tomorrow
Tel Aviv is a very fast-paced city. New bars burst onto the scene, draw the hip crowd for a few months or longer, and then often disappear as the cool crowd drifts away somewhere else. The following bars are among the rare ones that are consistently cool, but as new places appear all the time, you probably want to buy the full DIY Tel Aviv guide to keep up to date.
Tel Aviv Bars
Herzel 16 * 03-5544300 * Mon – Thu 11:00 – last customer, Fri, Sat 8:00 – last customer
Free live music by local alternative and / or unsigned artists pretty much every night. Great food, drinks and vibe.
Allenby 60 (down the side of the building) * 03-5173015 * Around the clock
A bar that’s a scene. Tel Aviv’s long-running casual mecca where you can just turn up and have a drink 365 days of the year.
Imperial Cocktail Bar
HaYarkon 66 (inside the Imperial Hotel) * 0 73-264-9464 * 18:00 – 2:00 daily
Tel Aviv’s best cocktail bar. There are finally some very decent other contenders, but this place is still the first one you should try. Retro speakeasy vibe, Asian-fusion food, nice music, and a unique vibe. The Happy Hour is a good deal.
Photo by jbukrke601