The Ultimate Guide
To The Yemenite Quarter

The Yemenite Quarter, also known as Kerem haTeimanim, is one of the most authentic and well-preserved areas in Tel Aviv. It was founded in 1906 (even before Tel Aviv itself) by immigrants from Yemen.

Housing here was cheap and modest: one-story shabby buildings with flat rooftops can still be found on the streets of Kerem. Some families have lived there for decades, many of them opened little cafes right on their doorsteps. Those cafes are the best places to try local food: hummus, falafel, jachnun, yemenite soup and many more.

What makes this place unique is total absence of any borders between home and public space. Tables of the cafes can occupy half of the walking area, many people keep doors of their houses open during the day, and a private party can easily transform into a street party with hundreds of participants.
There are places in Tel Aviv that constantly attract tons of people with no obvious reason. One of these spots is located in Kerem. It is called Yom Tov ("Good day" in Hebrew). Three words describe this place the best: coffee, people, and atmosphere. The charm of this place is in the way it makes you feel absolutely local while you are sitting at one of its tiny tables (usually quiet close to other guests of the cafe), sipping your coffee and watching passersby.

Address: Yom Tov, Yom Tov 30
Remember I said this area was one of the oldest in town and well-preserved? Hummus Shlomo & Doron is a perfect example of this. This place was founded in 1937 and, in my opinion, they serve the best hummus in Tel Aviv. Try to come here early because by lunch time you won't find a single place available. Order hummus with beans and an egg and take shaluf instead of pita (shaluf is a thin yemenite bread).

Address: Shlomo & Doron, 29 Yishkon, Kerem HaTeimanim
Хумус Шломо и Дорон
Another place where you must try hummus is Hummus Magen David in the center of Carmel market. The decor of this spacious place with old books on the shelves and a scroll of the Torah on the wall resembles a synagogue. Its clientele is really diverse: from workers of the market to tourists from all around the world. But even here the price is average: it's $7 for a big plate of hummus with a few pitas.

Address: Hummus Magen David, рынок Кармель

On one of the inner streets of Kerem you will find an explicit graffiti with naked girls. Sorry, but that's not a strip-club. It's just bar called Kartel. Its walls were given to the fantasy of local artists Ghostown и Broken Fingaz. Naked girls, gangsters, and psychedelic illustrations are their favorite subjects. To make the image in your head even more picturesque I will add that once this place was a slaughterhouse.

In spite of all this crazy prelude I must say that Kartel is a cool bar with a nice atmosphere and good live music at nights. Totally worth visiting.

Address: Malan 43, Kerem HaTeimanim
The Space, Tel Aviv
Unofficial slogan of Salon Berlin is "cheap as in Berlin". Indeed, this is one of the cheapest bars in town. This place suits everyone, from local hipsters to young travellers who are always into getting drunk on a budget. Happy Hour here lasts till 10pm - rare thing for Tel Aviv - and offers 1+1 on all alcohol.

Address: Salon Berlin, 15 Najara, Kerem HaTeimanim
Yemenite Food In The Yemenite Quarter
You can't really discover Kerem without trying Yemenite food. What's on the menu? Yemenite soup, skhug, hilbe, jachnun, malawach and other traditional Yemenite dishes.

Classic Yemenite soup is made of beef meat, potato and a spice called Hawaij (mix of black pepper, cumin, cardamom, cloves, turmeric and coriander).

Skhug is a Yemenite hot sauce flavored with coriander seeds and leaves, cardamom, cumin, parsley, and chilli peppers.

Hilbe is a dip made of Fenugreek seeds or leaves, garlic, lemon juice, and various herbs and spices. It is considered to be very good for health (lowers blood sugar, helps in healing of wounds, gives strength), but it is very smelly! If you eat too much of it hilbe's smell can follow you for days, so be careful with it.

Jachnun is a slow-cooked rolled dough usually served with an egg and skhug.

Malawach is something similar to a pancake, but consisting of thin layers of puff pastry brushed with oil or fat and cooked flat in a frying pan. Usually served with tahini, za'atar, olive oil or even honey.
Places to try Yemenite cuisine

Maganda - traditional Yemenite restaurant existing since 1965. Here you can try almost all dished described above.

Address: Rabbi Meir 26

Balinjera - another unique spot in the Yemenite Quarter. It is an Ethiopian restaurant with Injera (called Lahoh in Yemenite cuisine), as the main dish. It is a pancake-like bread served with several spreads.

Address: Malan 4

Shimon Melekh haMarakim - if you speak Hebrew you already know the specialty of this place from its name, which translates like "Shimon, the King of Soups".

Address: Yehya Kapah 28

Chez Shimshon is a Yemenite vegetarian cafe that belongs to a wonderful guy called Shimshon. This place looks more like the kitchen of his our house than as a regular cafe. Shimshon always personally meets guests, has a small chat with them, and tells the story of this place that exists already for 25 years. Unfortunately, he says, he had to sell his cafe and in two years there will be some store or even a parking on its place.

The walls of the cafe are decorated with the posters and photographs that Shimshon brought from his travelings. He will gladly tell you about them while making your shakshuka and pouring you a bowl of hot, freshly-made soup.

Address: 27 Yehya Kapah
The Yemenite Quarter is a great place to discover original Tel Aviv, before all the fancy restaurants and hotels, with its hospitable residents and owners of small stores and cafes, and of course with its authentic Middle Eastern cuisine.

Where to find: between Allenby and Geula Streets and Carmel Market.