The Levinsky Market is a cultural gem in the heart of the trendy neighborhood of Florentin in southern Tel Aviv. It may not be the first stop for a typical tourist in Tel Aviv, but the combination of exotic spices and unique personality could draw anyone into this market, or shuk. A very popular spot for locals, it is one of the best places to buy spices in Tel Aviv. In just five blocks, visitors can eat their way through the market’s widespread culinary history, sampling pastries, called burekas, sipping Ouzo or even downing salted fish.
History of the Levinsky Market
Courtesy of kitchener.lord from Flickr
As Jewish immigrants from Greece began to settle in the neighborhood of Florentin around the 1930s, spice stalls, shops and eateries began opening up, featuring Balkan spices and cuisine. The area saw an influx of Iranian immigrants after the creation of the state of Israel. They brought their own flavors with them, adding shops and food with a Persian influence and the market continued to expand. Today, visitors can find a busy marketplace full of bakeries, restaurants, and shops selling items from dried fruits and nuts to household goods and materials.
Visiting the Levinsky Market
The market runs along Levinsky Street, beginning at the corner of HaAliya Street and ending near HaMashbir Street. Strolling by the captivating aromas, visitors will experience a mixture of shops and business, from new to old. Café Atlas, founded in 1924, sells spices and healing plants along with very tasty coffee and tea. Yom Tov Delicatessen features meat, olives, cheeses and jams, as well as very popular Turkish halva. A short walk away, Shuk California is most famous for its selection of nuts and unique dried fruit. And this is just the beginning…there are so many more shops and restaurants to explore and discover along the way.
Although Tel Aviv is best known for its beautiful beaches and thriving nightlife, the city also offers intimate markets like this to explore and should not be missed. Check it out Sunday through Thursday, morning through evening. The market is closed early afternoon on Friday through Saturday.
The Levinsky Market is about a 10 minute walk from the New Central Bus Station of Tel Aviv.