Jan 24, 2013  By Jewish National Fund  Category: Travel,

Tel Aviv Nightlife Crawl

As seen in Conde Nast Traveler

Tel Aviv Nightlife Crawl

HaOman 17, Tel Aviv
HaOman 17
You won’t need earplugs for Tel Aviv’s latest nightlife sensation: the exhibition “Night Stamp” at the gallery in Beit Ha'ir (the old city hall). The show, mounted by the Tel Aviv municipality itself, is a dip into the legendary exuberance of Tel Aviv’s clubland as dreamt up by nightlife icon Shimon Shirazi. Fittingly, New York’s own Amanda Lepore flitted into town for opening night a few weeks ago.

Many of show's images of frenzied nights were taken (perhaps by the one person not so drunk that he couldn’t hold a camera) at 1 HaOman 17 (88 Abarbanel St.),Tel Aviv’s biggest club. The action starts late inside this former warehouse in the gritty south end of town (note: it’s huge but hard to find, so a taxi is a must). If you’re lucky you’ll be visiting when popular Israeli DJ Offer Nissim is spinning there. Nissim is famous for his dark tribal progressive house beats and mean Madonna remixes—he opened for Madge at the first concert of the MDNA tour, in Tel Aviv, last year.
Some of the best Tel Aviv nights out begin, naturally, with the alcoholic beverage of your choice. Your first stop on the tipple circuit should be any of the large bars around the lower and generally ebullient reaches of Lilienblum Street and Rothschild Boulevard. Or start where the trendy bohos are at 2 Port Sa’id (Har Sinai 2). It’s a groovadelic drinkery that takes its name from the Egyptian coastal town and is located, ironically enough, behind Tel Aviv’s Great Synagogue. Both the interior and terrace fairly ooze retro flair (funky background music emanates from vinyl here) and you can make yours an uncomplicated arak cocktail or beer before moving on to one of numerous watering holes on trendy Nahalat Binyamin Street nearby.

Hot spots there include the newish 3 Soda Bar (Nahalat Binyamin St. 43), where you'll find a healthy serving of sizzling dance sounds and Dr. Pepper-based cocktails, and 4 Shpagat (next door, same address), the city’s new go-to gay spot (more bar than club) in a former ballet studio that offers funky stadium-style seating and modern electro beats pumped out at a decibel level that will not preclude flirting with the abs-olutely fabulous bartender.
Remember that Thursday tends to be the wildest party night in Tel Aviv, because it’s like Fridays most everyplace else (Sunday being a work day in Israel), and that’s when bars and clubs of all stripes really start to fill up. But most any night will do at the 5 Block (157 Salame St.), which, despite its location essentially inside a bus terminal in the shadiest part of town, draws big name international DJs like tinkerer-of-Björk-tunes David Morales. And in a boisterous side street with no remarkable Bauhaus architecture whatsoever you’ll find the 6 Zizi Club (7 Carlebach St.), whose PAG lineline being the local idiom for "themed club party"—on Fridays is the city’s hottest electro night and attracts a loyal, fashion-conscious and not infrequently gender-bending crowd.

The 7 Milk and Breakfast Club (6 Rothschild Blvd.) has nothing to do with either (you expected things to make sense? This is the Middle East!), but is one of the best spots to shake it on the way-after-hours side. It puts on a Thursday line with a loyal gay following. For more of an Arab acoustic flavor hit the 8 Anna Loulou Bar in Jaffa (Hapanini St.) on Wednesdays. Pair wicked libations with equally wicked electronica and hip-hop beats at the underground (literally) 9 Michatronix club (28 Ben Yehuda) or the very hopping and decidedly non-kosher 10 Deli (47 Allenby St.), a secret dance club lurking behind a streetside sandwich counter. And to see just how reluctantly clothing and the dance floor mix in Tel Aviv once the weather warms up—well, check back with me around Passover.