Monday, January 4, 2010

A Day on Ben Yehuda Street

Lately, in our ventures out and about, we were surprised to find many new shopping and dining options on the lesser known Ben Yehuda street. This street, the unpopular older brother of Dizengoff, once known only for double parking and retail stores now has many new (and "ancient") boutiques and restaurants amid a French and American clientele. We went out on a mission to rediscover this long forgotten stretch of Tel Aviv and found what we think is the next best thing.

Gallery 74 at no. 74 (Ben Yehuda st.) is an old antique store that seems to have always been. Yet somehow every time we pass by the store window we glaze over the cluttered objects and neon lighting inside. We finally got through the door and learned that it specializes in early 1900s silver judaica among other great finds. Its the perfect place to find a 1940s filigree silver mezuzah.

Persepolis at no. 60 is another dusty old antique store. It is mostly filled with junk and fake nic nacs, BUT anyone for some old Iranian torah cases? These ornamented antique cases can reach the four digit range (in $). Perfect for the Jew who has everything.

Once Upon a Time (Hayo Haya) at no. 72 is the resident second hand clothing shop.

Anavim at number 126 has a good wine selection (and fair prices) and offers tastings on Friday afternoons. We bought a bottle of 2002 Reserve Marques de Caceres Rioja but have yet to enjoy it. The store also has a branch on 21 Yirmeyahu st.

Deja Vu, no. 121, is the only place in northern Tel Aviv to find a decent pair of spectacles. Half of us buys their glasses here, black, plastic and Anne et Valentin. The store carries Cutler and Gross, Theo, Mykita and more...and the other half of us finds the owner tres cute. (French spoken)

Other places on Ben Yehuda:

no. 116,  Nedunya: kitchen antiques.
no. 36, Alaska Furs: a long lost fur boutique.

Great eating options:
no. 69, Frank: German frankfurters. tel: 077 411 3150
no. 98, Ma Poule:  a kosher rotisserie selling roast chicken and baked potatoes. tel: 03 522 0424
no. 106, Wineberg: wine bar with excellent tapas and sandwiches. tel: 03 522 3939
no. 120, Mika: the usual Tel Aviv bistro. tel: 03 529 8764
no. 122, Dolce Melody: real Italian ice ream store which we consider the best in town. tel: 03 527 4008

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