Fashion and Coffee at Shuk Bezalel

by Sarah on November 19, 2010

cafe near shuk bezalel

When my friend Nava suggested we go to Shuk Bezalel, I agreed, not because I’m fond of shopping  but because it is impossible to say no to her hypnotic enthusiasm.  While Nava was browsing for colorful scarves and chatting with the merchants, I practiced my street photography, following her around like a paparazzi. From behind my lens I noticed another side of the bustling outdoor market.

shuk bezalel with nava

shuk bezalel tel aviv

Tel Aviv’s has plenty of upscale boutiques for the fashion conscious but Shuk Bezalel, it turns out, is just so much more fun.  This market has been around since 1920, sharing the city’s history and integrated within it. Prices are fair, the atmosphere lively and there are plenty of options for any fashionista.  It also has the dynamics and character that can never be found in hastily built malls where the turnover is high and the sales clerks always seem too sugary nice.

shuk bezalel tel aviv

shuk bezalel

Here people zig- zag across side roads taking shortcuts to their favorite stall or rummage through huge jumbles of items on clearance sales.  Owners sit out front swapping tales with old timers while others observe the world quietly from the back of their stores. They keep an eye out for customers, competition and shoplifters. Clothes, accessories, toys, household goods and useless trinkets  jostle for attention, tempting anyone passing by.  Even for me this market seem to awaken some nascent love in shopping and at the end I put down my camera and joined in. 

cafe sonya tel aviv

 In the vicinity there are a plethora of eating options from bourekas shops, bakeries, cafes, swarma joints, falafel stands and sabich sandwich shops.  We visited café Sonya (named after Sonya Getzel Shapira, a prominent resident of the city  ) nestled away from the commotion of the early morning . Sonya serves a typical Israeli breakfast, but it has the Tel Aviv bon vivre with its chic décor and shady outdoor garden. It’s a pleasant place to escape the city chaos.  We also passed by another café called The Little Prince, one that seemed to have a European student vibe and where books are available while you’re waiting for coffee.

Thank you Nava for being the best Tel Aviv guide! For more pictures of the shuk please visit my other blog. Also, for tips on how to stuff grape leaves please visit Nisrine’s wonderful blog, Dinners and Dreams.

Shuk Bezalel

Located between King George and Bezalel Roads, Tel Aviv

Sonya Getzel Shapira Cafe

Café/Garden/Gallery

Simta Almonit 1

Tel Aviv

Open all week 9:00-24:00

0775261234

www.cafesonya.co.il

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Nisrine@ Dinners & Dreams November 19, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Shuk sounds similar to souk; I guess it’s Hebrew for market? It’s true that it’s much more fun to shop somewhere like this than at an upscale mall sometimes. The photos at the cafe are very Mediterranean and enticing!

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Yael the Finn November 20, 2010 at 12:51 am

Such nice pictures you got! I visit that area often and even used to live there in the 80′s,which meant I passed it on a daily basis. So many things I have found there! It would be a pity to see that go if the plans with the new buildings go ahead.

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Marina Goldstein November 20, 2010 at 8:09 am

Sara, I loved your blog!!!!! it’s amazing!

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Sarah November 20, 2010 at 8:25 am

Marina, Thanks! Love the way Nava brings together such a diverse group of people

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nava November 20, 2010 at 8:13 am

Sara< being with you at the time seems so much different then reading about it and seeing the great images! it was lovely morning we must always make a point to collect points to share for memory making love it ~~

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Sarah November 20, 2010 at 8:23 am

thanks Nava, perhaps because of you, I’ll end up being a city girl ;-)

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Yael November 20, 2010 at 10:00 am

what a pretty post. I got to go do some shopping there. now that i’m unemployed I’ll have the time :)

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Sarah November 20, 2010 at 10:08 am

Yael, and that’s exactly what we’ll do I hope!

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Joan Bergeron November 20, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Thank you for the lovely pictures ..For once I went shopping and didn’t spend any money.

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Grace @ Sandier Pastures November 20, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Is that you with the cowboy hat on?

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Sarah November 20, 2010 at 10:10 pm

:-) no, I am the one in front of her blocking her path with my camera

Reply

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