Shalom Life | January 20, 2015

5 Tel Aviv Underground Bars Worth Hunting Down

The Israeli cultural capital is famous for its edgy nightlife scene, but some of the best bars in town are hidden away

By: Ben Jacobson

Published: January 19th, 2015 in News » Israel

Photo: Tel Aviv gastrobar

Credit: Sivan Askayo via Trover.com


After a long day of touring Tel Aviv, or even an afternoon spent lying on the beach, it’s time to go out and commune with locals at their favorite watering holes. Tel Aviv is famous for its edgy nightlife scene, but some of the best bars in town are somewhat hidden away.

Here are our five favorite underground bars that you should seek out for a great night out.

Rothschild 12's Speakeasy-Like Ambiance

Hidden in a back entrance off of a main road, Rothschild 12 offers a diverse menu and a New York speakeasy-style ambiance. If you’re there on a Tuesday or Saturday, you may catch a live set by a jazz ensemble, indie band or a local DJ.

The best way to find out what’s happening at Rothschild 12 is to check out the bar's Facebook page, where management posts in English about upcoming gigs and parties.

Mazal Arieh 5's Jaffa Samba

This bar/café is situated amongst the alleyways of Old Jaffa overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. When the weather is pleasant, you can sit out on the patio under stone arches. The owner is really into Latin jams, so there is a retro neon light in the shape of an electric guitar decorating the bar and a huge collection of Brazilian CDs and DVDs.

On Friday nights there are live performances of samba music. The venue’s Facebook page is regularly updated in English.

Kuli Alma's Legendary DJ Sets, and Pizza

Kuli Alma is lauded by many as offering the best music in TLV, and serving the best pizzas. Located at Mikve Israel 10 (keep that address handy because you won't find it otherwise) it boasts an indoor and outdoor bar, with its walls covered in graffiti and other types of visual art, and plays some of the funkiest music in the city. Definitely a staple of Tel Aviv's nightlife scene.

Moonshine's Heartland Dive

Moonshine is an American bar transplanted to Tel Aviv. A gigantic American flag dominates the décor, and the menu includes items like Buffalo wings, corn dogs, s'mores and sloppy Joes.

The cocktails here are based on genuine mixology principles, employing local herbs, fruits and spices. The owners watched American films about the Prohibition period before they opened up, hoping to recreate that illicit underground feel in their bar. You may not feel like it’s the '20s, but the music will certainly take you back to the United States.

Par Derriere's Couched Garden

Par Derriere is the place to go if you are looking for a little romance. It’s a wine bar meant for enjoying the good stuff in a moonlit garden with cozy couches and intimate corners. Whimsical touches include Moroccan-style lamps and a Pacman screen built into a table.

A variety of live events take place at the bar, with an emphasis on Friday night music performances. Don’t be fooled by the unassuming doorway; the courtyard inside is a treasure.

Don't Be a Stranger

Get the most out of your upcoming trip to Israel by exploring the underground nightlife scene. There's a lot more happening here than the concierge at your Tel Aviv hotel might know about. Start by exploring these five places, and you're likely to discover much more.


UPDATE: It's been brought to our attention that Michatronix, which was previously on this list, has shut down. It's since been replaced.

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