Grocery Shopping in Shuk Hacarmel after Volunteering

One of the perks of volunteering during your internship in Israel in a major city is the proximity of exploring all it has to offer when you are done with your duties. This is true about any city, however, Tel Aviv is a leader in the variety it has to offer – from the beach to museums and of course – the culinary scene.

However there is one specific aspect that brings in the essence of this city, it’s local markets. The markets target the tourists but also the locals. They hold pieces of the past and gimmicks of the future while leaving you in the present with their scents and tastes. 

Checking out these markets should not be treated like an ordeal or require much planning. These are places that should be visited as you are headed out for a quick bite or casually right after work to stock up the fridge with groceries and spices. 

One of our favorite markets (or Shuk in Hebrew) is Shuk Hakarmel. It is the largest market in Tel Aviv, very vibrant and noisy. Its traders sell clothes, vegetables, electronics, toys, meat, candy and is one of the cheapest places in the city. The market is also home to bars and restaurants where you can taste local delicacies while still enjoy the bustling atmosphere. 

The Shuk’s narrow streets get especially busy during Thursday and Friday as locals stock up on supplies for the Sabbath all the while more people come in to experience the shopping frenzy.

A few places where you should experience the food

  • Hummus Hakarmel: This place is more well known as Hummus Magen David. It’s situated in a small space designed like a synagogue with colorful window panes on the main market route. This is the cheapest hummus in Tel Aviv and is one of the richest and tastiest.
  • M25: An excellent meat restaurant which aside from the obvious pieces also serves succulent Kharis (roasted pitta filled with kabab). The prices are not inexpensive, but worth it.  
  • Pasta Basta: A fast-food pasta place but unlike traditional fast food, everything is fresh and made inhouse. The rest of the ingredients are acquired directly from the market and the dishes are appetizing and flavorful. 
  • Shukshuka: Known for being a “hole in the wall” shakshuka restaurant at the end of Shuk HaCarmel. This restaurant offers not only the best shakshuka in town but a great experience as well. 

The best produce and spices shops:

  • Kocholani Spices: The Kocholani brothers specialize in ingredients from the South American kitchen like coconuts, salsa sauces, unique spices, and any other components for those craving Latin American delights. 
  • Davka Gourment: In the center of Hakarmel street, this store holds a huge variety of boutique local and European cheese. Also, it sells Halva, a sesame and sugar-sweet treat. 

This is a great start to experience Shuk Hakarmel and step outside of your comfort zone, during your Israel summer internship, to try all it has to offer.