gap year in israel

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If you have chosen to spend your gap year with Aardvark in Tel Aviv, or even if you are based in Jerusalem and are visiting Tel Aviv, there are sure to be times when you are after a cup of coffee. Whether it’s for a quick injection of caffeine before your next task or you are looking for a place to relax and chat with friends, it is essential to know of at least one or two good coffee shops.

You don’t have to venture to far from the Aardvark office, before you hit Levinsky 41. Nestled into the famous Levinsky Market, Levinsky 41 is owned and operated by Benny and his team of friendly baristas. You may even catch an Aardvark participant serving up a cold brew or two. This shop holds a special place in our hearts because our participants helped build this iconic coffee shop.

You are sure to spend sometime around the Dizengoff shopping centre and if you are in need of a place to escape the hustle and bustle then Cafelix is ideal. It is located on Shlomo Halmelech, just a few minutes’ walk from the shopping centre, and is an oasis of calm. When you enter you will be hit by the aroma of fresh coffee, cookies and cakes. When you order you will see the barista personally grind new coffee beans, which have been roasted in house, and make you a delicious cup of coffee.

Those that enjoy sitting in slightly eccentric places will probably enjoy a trip to Café XOHO. The bright blue awning on Gordon Street will certainly call out to you and when you move inside the colourful mosaic tables and the beach wood entrance create a highly energetic atmosphere. Every table and chair in the café is unique with no two alike and there are piles of books provided which you can peruse at your leisure. Don’t miss the chance to take a look at the weekly specials on the large green chalkboard and sit back and enjoy the eclectic and colourful atmosphere.

If it’s the kind of day which calls for sitting outside then take a look at the coffee kiosk at the corner of Rothschild and Maze streets. This is the ideal place to either grab a quick coffee and move on or sit for a while and enjoy the scenery. Normally the lines are very short and the service is excellent and at the same time the coffee is a very reasonable price. You are also likely to encounter a few Tel Aviv locals (and their dogs) which only makes the experience even more enjoyable.

It won’t take you long to discover the neighbourhood of Neve Tzedek, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful areas of the city. Of course there are a number of options for coffee within Neve Tzedek but it is certainly worth taking a look as Meshek Barzilay on Echad Ha’am Street. The shop is fronted by simple French doors and you will be fooled into thinking that you are entering a small café. However, once you hit the second set of doors you will realise that it is a bustling large café complete with open air seating. The place is built upon the idea of nature with all organic ingredients, plenty of natural light shining on the wooden tables and a fantastic atmosphere built from friendly staff and customers.

Of course, sometimes you won’t have the time to properly enjoy these coffee shops and will just want to grab a takeaway coffee and be on your way as quickly as possible. For this there are loads of different options and you are unlikely to ever be stuck without a coffee shop within a few minutes’ walk. In this situation you may want to look for either a Cofix or a Cofizz, both of these chains serve perfectly drinkable coffee and best of all everything they sell costs just 5 shekel so you can pick up a coffee and a cake for 10 shekel and be on your way. And we are so grateful that a branch just opened right across the street from the Aardvark office.