When it comes to neighborhoods in Tel Aviv, few have charm and atmosphere that compare to Neve Tzedek. A historically iconic part of Tel Aviv, Neve Tzedek is well over 100 years old though it maintains a vibrant and youthful energy thanks to continued attraction from Tel Avivians and tourists from all over the world. Residences, bars, shops, and restaurants can be found in abundance, with eclectic décor, taste, and a lively social atmosphere.
Established in 1887 by a group of Mizrahi Jews, Neve Zedek preceded the founding of Tel Aviv by 22 years and emerged as an answer to the overcrowding of Jaffa. Jewish Families were drawn to the area and small developments were added to the neighborhood.
In the early 1900s, artists and writers took up residence in Neve Tzedek. Among them were notable individuals that include Nobel prize laureate Shmuel Yosef Agnon, as well as Hebrew artist Nachum Gutman. The first yeshiva in Neve Tzedek was maintained by Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook.
Characterized for its low-rise buildings and narrow streets, Neve Tzedek exhibits heavy influence from Jugendstil, Art Nouveau, and Bauhaus art movements. Homes are luxurious by comparison to what Jaffa had featured from residents at the time and even today, Neve Tzedek remains one of the most affluent areas of Tel Aviv.
As development continued away from the core of Jaffa, more affluent Jews relocated to newer developments in northern Tel Aviv. Neve Tzedek found many of its buildings at the time left abandoned and, as neglect set in, many of these pristine buildings fell into disrepair. After WWII the neighborhood became a haven for Mizrahi Jews, though it was officially characterized by a slum according to Tel Aviv officials. Plans to demolish low-rise buildings in the region and build high rise apartments emerged, but were later abandoned in favour of placing the neighborhood on preservation lists. As a result, the streets were revitalized, gentrified, and again filled with the arts, culture, and trendy spots for visitors and residence to frequent.
Boutique services, galleries, and craft shops are in no short supply in Neve Tzedek. These fixtures line the narrow streets of the neighborhood and provide all manner of unique goods and social experiences. Estheticians, clothing stores, art galleries and more deliver a welcome reprieve from the hustle and bustle of greater Tel Aviv. Shabazi Street reigns supreme as the main thoroughfare in Neve Tzedek and the majority of activity happens there.
There are small parks and gardens located throughout the region, but perhaps the greatest cultural fixture is the Suzanne Dellal Center. The center is a home for contemporary and classic dance. Individual performers and entire companies regularly sell out shows here. On the periphery are plenty of eclectic art galleries and cafes to spend time in between shows. The center is really one of the first cultural establishments to put down roots in the neighborhood. Opened in 1908, the center was created in Bauhaus style with a sprawling piazza that has earned recognition from architects the world over. Treat yourself to an iconic performance at the center and enjoy a coffee with dessert at the charming Café Suzanna located adjacent to the complex.
Other notable fixtures of culture you may want to visit include the Nachum Gutman Museum, the Shabazi-located ceramics studio of Samy D., the historical Rokach House, and Clouche House gallery space.
There are simply too many great restaurants and eateries to name them all, let a handful of solid recommendations suffice. If you are after a meat-filled and mouthwatering experience, the Hatraklin Bistro at Heichal Hatalmud 4 delivers delicious European and Mediterranean cuisine alongside an expansive wine selection.
For Israeli-focused fare Meshek Barzilay will deliver exactly what you are after. Enjoy everything on your plate with dishes designed not only for carnivores, but vegetarian tastes as well.
Popina delivers a welcome mix of Mediterranean and European fusion with an open kitchen and fun seating that keeps everyone open to socializing over great food and drinks.
Looking for something from the fire? Try our NG, the essential Neve Tzedek steakhouse and BBQ join, Mediterranean-style. Great atmosphere and décor lend even more to an experience you won’t soon forget.
Dallal offers an outdoor experience you won’t want to miss. Both restaurant and thrilling nightlife venue, you can enjoy bites as well as wine and brews from the talented bar staff all night long if you like.
Another roofless joint that can’t be ignored is found at Bicicletta. Providing incredible vibes and opportunities to make new friends at every turn, indulge in a unique experience at this hotspot that’s a hit among locals and out-of-towners alike.
These are just two examples of the unmistakable nightlife that makes up Neve Tzedek has to offer. Discover more about this and other iconic Tel Aviv neighborhoods at Tel Aviv Insider.