Have you ever wondered about the ‘Jaffa’ part of Tel Aviv – Jaffa? Jaffa, or Yafo, is one of the oldest ports in the world: the port from which Jonah left in the story of the Whale, the entryway to the Holy Land during the time of the crusaders, and the main settlement spot of the Jews from when they were kicked out of Israel during the time of the Roman Empire. This ancient city has been the residence of a variety of different people and nationalities, making it all the more interesting and beautiful to visit and spend time in. Even more enjoyable, are the assortment of bars and nightlife options this old city as to offer.
Where: HaGimnasya HaIvrit 7, Jaffa
If you want to go to a place which you can Instagram, then I would recommend going to Raamsses. Raamsses has both an Instagrammable, ancient exterior, and Instagrammable food and drinks options. Everything that a social media user might want. The best part – it’s completely affordable for those of us who aren’t made of money. Raamsses isn’t just a sit-down bar and dinner kind of location, there is a DJ who pumps music all night for anyone who wants to dance and a fun, young vibe.
Where: Rabbi Yohanan Street, Jaffa
If you want to watch a bunch of really cool bartenders mix delicious cocktails, this is your place. The bartenders at Margoza are cocktail artists, there’s no other way to put it. Margoza serves some of the best cocktails in Jaffa, hands down. And if you’re not a big fan of cocktails, then they can suggest the best beer or wine to suit any occasion. Either way, they will take care of you.
The Cuckoo’s Nest
Where: Noam Street 3, Jaffa
This place is a unique gem of Jaffa’s bar scene. Part bar, part art gallery – located in an antique shop – the Cuckoo’s Nest is a quirky bar at the end of the famous flea market. The Cuckoo’s Nest boasts a large selection of drinks and a delicious food menu to go alongside. This cute little bar has regular art exhibitions, lectures, movie nights and live music – something for every night of the week. All you have to do is show up and enjoy what they have to offer.
Where: Nakhman Street 2-3, Jaffa
If you’re wandering around Jaffa’s Flea Market (Shuk HaPishpeshim), then a good place to stop for both a day time and an evening drink is Shaffa Bar. Shaffa Bar serves up a delicious assortment of local food, featuring seasonal ingredients and unique dishes. During the days, the bar turns into a cafe and low-key eatery that is a popular food spot for the locals who come to the Shuk. At night, the bar features a great lineup of live bands, Arabic music and cool vibes. The perfect place to end a day of shopping at the Shuk.
Where: Nakhman Street 2, Jaffa
Right down the road from Shaffa Bar is Akbar, and it’s the perfect place to meet with friends at the end of a long day. Located down a tiny side street off the Flea Market, Akhbar is one of those places that once you find it – you want to come here all the time. What makes Akbar enjoyable is the mixture of listening to live Arabic music and playing the assortment of board games, such as dominoes and sheshbesh (backgammon) while you are waiting for the generous portions of food that can be eaten here. Akbar is the place you go to listen to live gigs, including Arabic music, Latin, Afro Pop and Middle East electro pop – a fusion of the different sounds you will likely hear in the streets of Jaffa.
Where: Olei Zion Street 7, Jaffa
Tel Aviv’s famous Beer Bazaar has made its way to Jaffa. This bar is a favorite of Tel Aviv locals. Originally located in Shuk HaCarmel, the Bazaar is famous for serving more than 100 different types of Israeli craft beers. They even have their own brewery in which they make their own beer.. If you’re not a big fan of beer, don’t fear, they also serve cocktails and other beverages to suit any patron of the famous Bazaar. Being located right next to Shuk HaPishpeshim (the Flea Market) also makes it an ideal place to get some food, made from the fresh ingredients from the Bazaar itself. If you can’t make your way to the Bazaar while you’re in Jaffa, the Beer Bazaar is also conveniently located at the Shuk Hacarmel in Tel Aviv, Machane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem and a few other locations.