Time for Some Birthday Ideas, Tel Aviv Style
Spending your birthday in Tel Aviv? Here's how to set up the party
So, the year is 5780 and a happy family are celebrating a birthday in Tel Aviv. Sound like some sort of dystopian future? Nope, that family is yours, and you’ve either been cryogenically frozen or you’re now adhering to the Israeli calendar, which started less than 6,000 years ago. Anyway, you may feel like 6,000, but you’re actually just turning [insert number lower than 6,000 here], so get out of bed in your Plum home, grumpy face, (that’s you, not the name of your accommodation) and get a new perspective on the world. You’re in one of the holiest countries on Earth, although Tel Aviv doesn’t really feel like that. It’s even more modern than you, as of today, and its energy will make a success of your birthday.
It can be stressful planning a birthday, especially in the heat of a Tel Aviv summer. Don’t worry, we here at Plum Guide are here to walk you through the process of Tel Aviv birthday ideas, from the ideal presents to where to throw the party.
Where to eat
When it comes to celebrating a birthday, you can’t really go wrong with a restaurant, can you? For high-end local food, book a table at the OCD Restaurant, which has an obsessive-compulsive attention to detail. Seafood is on the menu at the Kitchen Market, while meat and wine make for something a little more romantic and traditional at the acclaimed Hatraklin Bistro Meat & Wine.
You can’t say cheap and cheerful, can you? So, if your group wants something more affordable and, perhaps, fun, hit up Saluf and Sons for tasty Middle Eastern specialties. Other Israeli favourites include the Falafel Hakosem, the House of Hummus (we're getting hungry writing this, why didn't we stock up on hummus beforehand?) and the Bocca Bocca.
Where to drink
Sometimes it’s easier to throw a party in a bar…or at least the after-party. The Potion Bar has an eclectic drinks menu and puts on special themed evenings, such as Pirate Nights. Yay, organised fun. Try the cocktails at the Spicehaus or go dancing at the Abraxas Bar. If you’re looking to dance into the early hours, try the exclusive Solo Club Tel Aviv or the more down-to-earth Alphabet Club or The Block. If you’re reading this in a post-corona period (well, it can’t be a pre-corona time, because it’s already happened at the time of writing), you could always do a Zoom party at your Plum lodging. Stick on some Céline Dion. All By My…
Where to explore
Unless we have truly delved into the aforesaid dystopian future of the year 5780, you’ll still be allowed to go on nice outdoor trips…away from all those horrible contagious zombies. You could gather friends at the Metzitzim Beach, take a trip to the old city of Akko or see the gardens of Haifa. Take a group trip to Masada or go float on the Dead Sea. Israel and its historic cities are your oyster (be aware that oysters are not kosher, but you can still find them).
Where to shop
The souks are a great place to look for original and traditional presents you might not find in standard stores. Rummage through the Carmel Market and haggle with vendors of carpets, candles and handicrafts. If you get a little peckish while you browse, you’re certainly in the right place. Pick up some falafel or shawarma from the stalls, (before forgetting what you are there for, and stuffing your face with Middle Eastern snack after snack. Did someone say baklava?
OK, so the souks and their delicious food were a bit of a distraction, there’s no shame in that, we’ve all been there. Full of falafel, waddle on down to one of Tel Aviv’s lavish shopping centres. The Nachalat Binyamin Pedestrian Mall is right by the aforementioned Carmel Market and has a whole load of open-air passages with cafés and restaurants and- oh, it’s happened again. Let’s try to avoid the food stalls of the Dizengoff Center, the Ayalon Mall or the Ramat Aviv Mall, which are modern and impressive shopping centres packed with shops sure to provide you with the ideal birthday present inspiration.
It’s not all souks and shopping centres, but streets and side alleys. Sheinkin Street is lined with a mixture of big brands and independent boutiques, while Dizengoff Street has a great range of upmarket fashion attire. Meanwhile, it’s a delight to shop in the affluent and serene streets of Neve Tzedek, where you’ll find all manner of jewellery, art and home décor.
If you're sold on celebrating your birthday in Tel Aviv, take a look at these homes big enough for the whole party.