Tourist Tip #58 / Levinsky Spice Market

Spice up your vacation with some exotic flavors from this small, lively market in Tel Aviv.

The colorful Levinsky market is regarded as one of the best places to shop for spices in Tel Aviv, and maybe even the whole country. Professional chefs, amateur gourmands and curious cooks all head here to take their pick from a huge range of hard-to-find spices, herbs and dried goods.

Situated on Levinsky street (between Herzl and Ha’aliya streets), the market may only be a few blocks long, but is still a feast for the senses. It is packed with overflowing sacks of legumes and rice just begging to be touched, fragrant aromas hanging in the air, and proud displays of brightly colored spices vying for your attention.

You’ll also find a selection of aromatic coffees and teas, and an abundance of dried herbs, from garden-variety types to others with medicinal uses. Other tempting delicacies include juicy olives, perfumed baklava and exotic dried fruit like kiwi and papaya. There’s also a delicatessen selling smoked fish, cured meats and specialty cheeses.

Many of the stall owners are Iranian Jews, who set up shop after arriving in Israel following the 1979 Iranian revolution. As a result, you’re likely to find a plethora of Persian specialties on sale, as well as a few restaurants serving Persian food. The narrow side streets branching off Levinsky also have a large concentration of kitchenware stores, textile shops and lighting warehouses.

Moti Milrod