Thanks to our Delicious Intern Asya for this great round up of how to enjoy your Tel Aviv Pride Week.
With the first days of summer, Pride Week is confidently taking over Tel Aviv, as tens of thousands of visitors are landing each day for the weekend's events. What can be better than being in the White City on the beach cruising from one party to another, with a few sightseeing breaks now and then (and obviously a Delicious tour ;). We also know all too well how overwhelming the hot weather and the crowds can be — which is why we decided to make this recommendations list for the week: the best parties and, obviously, the best food. Enjoy!
Thursday, June 8th
This is the day to save your strength — you have a big adventure ahead of you tomorrow! Go to the beach. Wander around the streets and do some shopping while you can: all the boutiques will be closed on Saturday. If you are in a serious party mood and just can’t wait, for an intense celebration, head to the Water Park celebration (think: DJs on slides). Shuttle buses are available from the city center. For a more relaxed evening, start with an aperitif at Jasper John’s bar, famous for its twists on the classic cocktails (the happy hour is from 6 to 8 pm). Afterwards go to Goocha restaurant right down the street (you may need to book a table in advance — like in any place this weekend for that matter) to be impressed with the most simple grilled fish. If you want to pump up the energy into the night, check out the weekly techno party in Block club. Tel Aviv's massive live DJ venue is located in the slightly shady Central bus station.
Friday, June 9th
It's Parade Day! Energize for the day with a proper breakfast. Breakfast in Israel is treated with respect: pastry, salads, cheese, shakshuka, omelettes and any delicacy you can imagine. The breakfast can last a couple of hours, with lazy chitchat, kids and dogs running around and waiters bringing more and more iced lattes. Try to get to Cafe Sheleg — a small venue right off Allenby loved by local gay community.
Pass a couple of blocks to the north to Meir Garden and the Tel Aviv LGBTQ center where the parade traditionally begins. This is where the official part takes place. If you’re not a fan of the speeches, duck in for a snack at Miznon across the street — the place is famous for its interpretations of a traditional pita sandwich. Take the one with steak or the vegetarian version with ratatouille, and don’t forget baked cauliflower, it’s delicious.
11 am — 2.30 pm
The Parade. Brace yourself for the heat and crowds, and go have fun! Follow the floats first to the north along Bograshov and Ben Yehuda Streets, then all the way down the promenade to Charles Clore Park. If you need a break — just turn left and walk 10 minutes to the Carmel Market. Find one of multiple juice stands and get a cup of fresh pomegranate juice. Or find the Beer Bazaar stall and go for an ice-cold local IPA. There are plenty of options is you feel hungry as well: kebabs, Yemenite breads, tacos, burgers — you name it. Although a bit heavy for mid-parade, we suggest M25 Restaurant with amazing steaks made of the best cuts fresh from the butcher.
M25 Restaurant Simtat HaCarmel 30, Mon–Thu 11am–11pm, Fri 11am–4.30pm
The Parade culminates with a party at the Charles Clore Park on the water, which will last from 3 pm until dawn. Be careful, the sun can be exhausting, so don’t forget to drink water (the beer is always good for you but it doesn’t count, drink your water!). In the distance you will see Jaffa, so if you are up for another break, saunter to the Old City of Jaffa and the Flea Market where you can buy some new digs for your night out. Get lost in the stone-paved streets to end up at Abu Hassan with a plate of the best hummus you’ve ever had. If you didn’t get there in time, just pass a few blocks to the family Greek Albi restaurant and join the local crowd for lunch. Souvlaki here is the best in the city and the fish is always fresh.
Abu Hassan, Ha-Dolfin St 1, Mon–Fri, Sun 8am–3pm
Head back to the city center via Derech Jaffa street and enjoy a glass of wine and snack at Joz v'Loz on the way. Mixed crowd, small room lit by candles, occasional live piano music and daily changing menu — you’re gonna love it. After a drink and a snack, take a quick taxi ride to Cinematheque which hosts International LGBT Film Festival during the week (tickets must be booked in advance!). In case the movie left you starving, walk a couple of minutes to Ha'Achim for the impressive Mediterranean cuisine and authentic cocktails.
Back Up Plan
Not far from Charles Clore is the city's best Happy Hour (6–8 pm) at the Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar. Imperial made it to the World’s 50 Best Bars list for a reason — go for classic cocktails or just let the bartenders surprise you, you won’t be disappointed.
You’ve done sightseeing and shopping, you’ve done the parade, you’ve done culture at the Film Festival. The only thing left is dancing away the night ahead! The first stop is the pop-up of the legendary Evita, which closed a year ago but is coming back just for the special occasion. This time the DJs will occupy the roof of Abraham Hostel. The mouthwatering scent wafting on the roof is probably carnitas being cooked in Taqueria across the street — truly delicious, especially when accompanied with some mango margaritas. Breakfast Club nearby is the next stop — the small space on the Rothschild Boulevard is always bringing the best techno and the best crowd. It can get hot inside, which is good — but if you need a break and some fresh air, find a table on the terrace of the noisy Port Sa’id bar overseeing the Great Synagogue. Cool down, catch your breath and continue to Shpagat — the hottest gay bar in Tel Aviv. This is where we leave you — the whole city will turn into a rave. Follow your guts and Tel Aviv won’t let you down!
Saturday, June 10th
Hungover? Yeah, better take the day off and relax by the beach. If you revive and are still in a mood for a party, check out the artistic Kuli Alma, best known for live music and its hipster aura. The biggest female event of the weekend is taking place of the beach based, open-air venue, Clara.