The bustling port of Tel Aviv-Yaffo may be most famous for its coastal paths and endless nightlife, but in the eastern edge of the city, locals and visitors alike are buzzing about Sarona—a transformed residential neighbourhood with a culinary focus.
The original Sarona complex was established 140 years ago, when German Templers moved to the Holy Land to establish an agricultural colony. During World War II, the area became a British military base until Israel gained independence and the site became a temporary home for the country’s first prime minister.
In 2006, the Tel Aviv city government approved the restoration of Sarona, and three years ago, the district’s newly renovated and preserved historic buildings were unveiled. Now, the area is reborn as a serene residential oasis of modern apartment buildings, chic boutiques, coffee shops, playgrounds, and as of July 2015, the country’s largest culinary destination: Sarona Market.
Unlike traditional markets, which showcase local and seasonal Israeli produce, Sarona Market takes a more modern approach with 18 chef-driven eateries serving both regional and international cuisine. Open seven days a week (including Shabbat), the stylish food hall channels long-standing gastronomic destinations like London‘s Borough Market, Vancouver’s Granville Island, and Barcelona’s La Boqueria. Sandblasted old brick surrounds the hundred or so sleek shops, while high top tables are interspersed between seating areas and vendors, acting as excellent vantage points for surveying the diverse and plentiful range of offerings.
Unlike traditional markets, which showcase local and seasonal Israeli produce, Sarona Market takes a more modern approach with 18 chef-driven eateries serving both regional and international cuisine.
Practical shoppers can pick up pantry staples at Mahane Yehuda Nuts or Pulse & Spice, purchase kitchen accessories at The Cook Store, stock up on sweet sesame halva at Halva Kingdom, or take a cooking class at the Bishulim School. For a quick bite, familiar food options are available—Meat Bar Burger, Basher Fromagerie, and Hummus Abu Hassan are some of the famous Israeli food institutions that have set up outposts in the market. International favourites like gourmet delicatessen Fauchon Paris (the French company’s first and only location in Israel) are also making their way to Sarona.
Those who wish to navigate in a more leisurely fashion should consider starting their perusal at the Tasting Room, which provides several Israeli wine options to sip while you shop, or the Beer Market, where one can get a taste of Israel’s growing craft brew industry. From there, the market’s most popular vendors are well worth the wait: Segev Concept (innovative twists on Israeli cuisine), Free Style Ramen (noodle bowls from Israeli celebrity chef Israel Aharoni), and Frost (sky-high skewers of chocolate-coated waffle cubes) are all tempting options.
Finally, if the crowds become too much, stop at Picnic for portable Italian goodies such as pizza, pasta, and salads—the nearby parks provide the perfect picnic setting.
No matter what you choose to dine on, arrive hungry—Sarona Market is sure to satisfy.
Sarona Market, 3 Kalman Magen St., Tel Aviv, Israel.
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