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Tel Aviv/Florentin

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Florentin is in Tel Aviv.

Get in there

Florentin is in the south of the city, bordering Neve Tzedek and Jaffa.

Foot: Walk south about 10 blocks on Herzl Street from the junction with Rothschild Boulevard.

Car: Take the west Kibbutz Galuyot exit from the Ayalon Highway. Turn right on Herzl Street. Florentin Street is two junctions north of the Kibbutz Galuyot / Herzl junction. Like everywhere in Tel Aviv, parking is scarce.

Bus: Take the 1, 2, 3, 129, 19, 18 or 25 buses.

See

Florentin is a run-down but beautiful area, full of old, often colourful, Bauhaus buildings in various states of disrepair, however many of them are currently being renovated and restored to something approximating their former glory. The area is being completely redeveloped, and some construction of new apartment blocks is also taking place. This has caused some controversy with the locals who want to preserve the culture and atmosphere of the area. Some local people complained that the redevelopment plans did not include any green space for residents (there are no green areas at all in the vicinity).

In the past few years, Florentin has become a hub of trendy bars, coffee shops and restaurants. Lately, some of the old industrial workshops and tiny factories have closed (as have some of the more hippyesque places, e.g. the shanti rooms on Florentin Street), and are being replaced with hip boutiques, sushi bars and new bars/ restaurants.

Do

Florentin is a mostly residential neighborhood with a mixture of young Israelis (including students, artists, designers), older families, and a decreasing number of foreign workers.

There are a large number of small, privately owned bars, restaurants and coffee shops , many of which are open very late, and even all night. Florentin still has a lot of wood-working and furniture workshops, although in the center many of these are closing and are being replaced with an eclectic mix of upmarket designer boutiques selling everything from custom-made t-shirts, designer clothes, tattoos, home decor and design and much more. There are several small art galleries, offering a range of styles such as modern art, sculpture, and installation pieces.

On the outskirts of the area, to the South, there are some nightclubs in the traditional Tel Aviv grunge style i.e. contained in falling-down shacks.

Buy

If you are looking to buy accessories for your home, but not from a large chain, you will find lots to choose from in the small independently owned stores on Herzl Street. These sell everything from bathroom and kitchen accessories, mezuzot, hand-painted items, door handles, and more. Herzl Street is famous for its bespoke furniture stores, where you can buy all types of furniture at a range of prices and qualities, even made to your specifications. Further up Herzl Street, there are small toy shops, and clothes stores for bulk purchases. Most of these stores claim not to sell to individuals, but if you see an item you like, you can always try haggling.

Nachalat Binyamin Street offers tiny stores selling everything from cheap household accessories like clothes hangers and ironing boards, to specialist kosher butchers and cheese stores. The Lewinsky Street junction is famous for its spices and teas, seeds and Turkish delight etc, and you can hear the store owners advertising their wares in Hebrew and Arabic.

There is a twice-weekly (Tuesday and Friday morning) art and craft market on Nachalat Binyamin street, just at the edge of Florentin.

Eat Drink and Be Merry

  • Bugsy - is a small bar/cafe/restaurant, depending on the time of day. Named after famed mobster Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel, Bugsy features a rather wide variety of food. Particularly recommended in the morning is the 'Bugsy Brunch' consisting of steak, eggs, salad, bread and sweet potato wedges. The coffee and drinks are excellent. At night, the restaurant becomes a bar as well, and is often packed. Corner of Florentin and Washington.
  • Yoko Sushi Bar - eat a quick snack of freshly-made sushi. Florentin Street.
  • Sub Coch Milega[1], 22 Ha-Mashbir Street (Florentin), 03-6813412 - Popular budget Indian restaurant with very authentic food (you sometimes see Indian visitors to Tel Aviv eating there with enjoyment!). One of the best places in Tel Aviv for vegetarians.
  • Hummus Beit Leichem - Vegetarian, Kosher Hummus Restaurant on the corner of Florentin and Vital Streets.
  • Basilicum - Great freshly made pizza with myriad toppings, open very late. Your pizza is made in front of you according to your specifications, usually with a lot of style. Florentin Street.
  • The Hummus Bar - home made hummus, meat and vegetable dishes. Small wooden tables and chairs. A sort of trendy take on the Israeli workman's cafe. Vital Street.
  • Perla - Slightly more upmarket (but not much), beautifully designed modern bar/ restaurant. Florentin Street.
  • Florentin 10 - Coffee shop and restaurant by day (check out their business lunches), bar by night. Florentin Street.
  • Lenny's - a popular coffee shop and (at night) bar. Vital Street.
  • Casbah - a laid back, indoor/outdoor spot with good indy music, moroccan inspired dishes, and wifi. Florentin Street.
  • London Bakery - you can't sit here to eat them, but you can buy amazingly good, very rich cakes baked on the premises. Vital Street.
  • City Break - coffee shop serving great sandwiches with bread freshly made on the premises, cakes and salads. Herzl and Florentin Street.
  • Udna - a great, chilled-out pub.

Also on Nachalat Binyamin street, you can find Persian restaurants owned and run by Jews who came to Israel from Iran.

Sleep

  • Subkuch Milega, 22 Hamashbir st, +972-3-6813412, [2]. A complex with guest house, restaurant and bar. you can sleep in an 8-bed-dorm for 70ILS per night or in a private double-bed-room for 160ILS.


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