- Levinsky St, Tel Aviv
- Tel Aviv City Center
- Paid parking is available
It might not be the biggest, or the most attractive one, but the Levinsky Market, or Shuk Levinsky,” has a magic of its own and is considered the indisputable king of spices, herbs, seasonings and special Balkan delicacies”. Most of the little shops are run by second or third generation Turkish, Greek and Bulgarian Jews that came to Israel in the 1950s.
It is located in close proximity to the Florentin neighborhood (some consider it a part of Florentin) and a lot of the hype of that trendy district has overflowed into Levinsky Market.
The market is a culinary wonderland. Best known for its spice stores, the market is a veritable cornucopia of edible delights with spice stores, bakery stalls offering a selection of bourekas, shops, delicatessens with a variety of cheeses, cured olives, pickles, spreads and many, many other specialty goods.
Many “Hmaras” have been opened in the area recently (for example Dalida on 7 Zvulun Street and Ouzeria on 44 Matalon Street). For those not familiar with the term, a Hmara is an Arab word difficult to translate to English but it’s mainly used to describe a little bar or a hangout. The only thing you need to know is that a Hmara is a happy, joyous place where alcohol and good food are always found in abundance.
So what’s there to do in Levinsky? Start your visit with the wonderful hand-made marzipan pastries at Albert’s patisserie at 36 Matalon Street, then get your morning coffee at the Tony and Esther Café at 39 Levinsky Street. You might want to buy some spices and herb blends at Pereg Spices at 46 Levinsky Street to remind you of the Middle Eastern flavors, and you could also buy your kitchen utensils and other wonderful cooking gadgets at the Kitchen Works store at 115 Nachalat Binyamin. After that, just stroll around and choose a nook to hang out in. And just before you head home, don’t forget to visit one of the great Hmaras mentioned above.
One of the best ways to experience the Levinsky Market is on an organized tasting tour. Tasting tours allow visitors to enjoy the best of what the market has to offer.
The Levinsky Market is open from Sunday to Friday. To see the market at its busiest, go on Friday morning, before the onset of Shabbat. For a more relaxed experience, it is recommended to go between Sunday and Thursday.