January 13th 2015
Want to shop where the locals shop? Visit the Carmel Market (Shuk haCarmel) in Tel Aviv. Running along Carmel Street between Magen David Square and Allenby Street and adjacent to the culturally rich Neveh Tzedek quarter, the Carmel Market is the city’s largest and busiest marketplace. The Carmel Market is within easy walking distance to the southern beaches of Tel Aviv and the Old Train Station compound, so consider building a day around these local attractions. Just make sure to leave the shopping for last so you’re not lugging your purchases around all day!
Plan to spend a few hours meandering through the alleys and soak in the Middle Eastern market experience. Everything you purchase is guaranteed to be fresh and flavorful. Heaping piles of colorful, seasonal and locally grown fruits and vegetables make brilliant photos. Listen for the distinctively Middle Eastern sound of vendors shouting out the competitive prices of their wares. Have fun learning to haggle. On Tuesdays and Fridays on nearby Nachalat Binyamin Street, handcrafted art, jewelry, wooden toys, glassware and other crafts are sold by independent artists and vendors flanked by creative buskers.
At the Carmel Market, you can get to know some of the local cuisine by ordering yourself a portion of shakshuka, the tasty egg and tomato sauce dish. Pick out the stuffed, flaky bourekas of your dreams, and enjoy it with pickles and a hardboiled egg.
Open every day from Sunday through Friday, the Carmel Market also specializes in home accessories, flowers and souvenirs. Clothing, street food and various tchotchkes are also available. Like other local markets around the world, the meats, cheeses and fish are fresh daily. Kosher consumers should be careful to look for an official certificate of Kashrut. If you’d rather enjoy the market when it’s not overly busy, you might want to come mid-week. Thursdays and Fridays are much more crowded, as local shoppers come to purchase what they need for Shabbat.
The vibrant colors, ethnic mix and exotic flavors of the Carmel Market are enough to leave any visitor wanting to come back for more.