Drinking In...Tel Aviv
A bar must offer more than a few pretty-looking cocktails and congenial bartenders to achieve noteworthy status in Tel Aviv. The nightlife-happy city is full of party haunts pouring inventive drinks till the wee hours of the morning. Those that stand out pair the requisite appealing cocktail menu with cutting edge mixology, charming décor, and the promise of an experience that can't be enjoyed elsewhere. The following bars present all of the above, making them our top picks for where to drink in the other city that never sleeps.
223: Founded by renowned Israeli mixologist Ariel Leizgold, the bar is a sea of stylish party hoppers and barkeeper dressed in Prohibition-era threads. 223 has a knack for reinventing classic drinks, like the gin martini. Their award winning version combines gin with muddled ginger, squeezed lemon juice and house-made passion fruit puree. Another favorite is their take on the Piña Colada, made with rum and coconut puree, then sweetened with pineapple syrup and Thai Grenadine.
Hamara: Housed in popular restaurant Raphael, this drinkery was designed by Arik Ben-Simhon as a nod to the original Hamara bars in Maghreb. Upholstered bar-stools, low lounge sofas and heavy curtains make for a plush, relaxing setting. DJ Fankyfish performs every Sunday night at the smoking friendly haunt, as guests enjoy cocktails and wine.
JimmyWho: Known simply as "Jimmy" to the locals who frequent it, this Rothchild Street bar boasts three settings to enjoy cocktails in: a spirited bar ideal for mingling, a trendy bar apt to inspire dancing, and a quint private bar in the back. Adding to the ambiance is Jimmy's packed calendar of live performances, and late-night food menu.
Messa: Renowned the world over for its exquisite cuisine, this culinary gem benefits from the vision of chef Mosh Aviv. The white-on-white dining room provides a luxe backdrop for a five course meal, with the sleek black bar attracting a late-night crowd. Highlights include expertly mixed Old Fashioneds and Negronis, and Aviv's signature watermelon tipple.
Next Door: While visitors of this bar may initially be drawn to the restaurant it calls home -- popular small plates eatery Meat Bar -- a few hours at the cozy spot quickly make it a choice place to unwind. Those who frequent Next Door arrive to see their favorite bottle of alcohol waiting for them, labeled with their name.