Tourist Tip #344 / Tel Aviv Bookstores That Double as Cafes

If you're looking to curl up with a book while nursing a hot beverage, several spots in Tel Aviv can hook you up.

Now that beach season is nearing an end and the temperature is dropping – as is the rain, on occasion – the time has come to curl up with a good book and some hot coffee or tea. Luckily there are several places in Tel Aviv that allow you to do just that: Leisurely read a page-turner while nursing a hot beverage and munching on a tasty snack. Some places allow patrons to "borrow" a book while at the establishment, but in some cases you might need to buy the book before cracking it open. Best to ask first.

Café Noah is a neighborhood coffee shop, close to Tel Aviv’s lovely Rothschild Boulevard. It primarily attracts locals who camp out there with their laptops. The café has a small library that includes books and magazines – some of which are in English – that can be read as one gazes out at Ahad Ha'am Street. Be warned: The tables are small and the place gets crowded, but the atmosphere is pleasant. For people who need more elbow-room or prefer to be outdoors, there is the cozy front courtyard, which is surrounded by luscious foliage. Opening hours: Sunday-Thursday 7:30 A.M. to 10:30 P.M. and Friday 7:30 A.M. to 5 P.M. 93 Ahad Ha’am St., Tel Aviv. Tel. 057-943-9838.

Bookworm (Tolaat Sfarim in Hebrew), a bookstore-café, has two branches in Tel Aviv that feature quality books on art, philosophy, and culture as well as poetry. Both branches also offer zines and independently published books, and also stock a limited selection of titles in English. Some of the volumes, located on special shelves, can be read while one sits over a cup of coffee, but most of the books in the store must be bought before you can get croissant crumbs on them. The Mazeh Street branch is situated in an attractive renovated building with a quiet patio. Opening hours: Sunday-Thursday 8:30 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. and Friday 8:30 A.M. to 4 P.M.

Bookworm, 9 Rabin Square, Tel Aviv; tel. 03-529-8499. Bookwork, 7 Mazeh St., Tel Aviv; tel. 03-535-7907.

At the Little Prince café and bookstore, recently reopened in a new location on King George Street not far from the Carmel Market, you can find a huge selection of second-hand books at low prices. The place, which attracts writers and students of all ages, arranges book launchings and other cultural events, as well as offering light meals. Opening hours: Sunday-Thursday 10 A.M. to 10 P.M. and Friday 10 A.M. to 6 P.M. Tel. 03-525-3632

If you insist on a stroll along the beach before sitting down with a good read, you might want to make your way to the two-story Tzomet Sfarim bookstore at the Tel Aviv Port that includes a branch of Café Greg. Here you can find a large selection of books in English, art and coffee-table books and classics at low prices. Opening hours: Sunday-Saturday 8 A.M. to midnight. Hangar 20, Tel Aviv; tel. 053-710-3011.

Dan Keinan