This past summer, I lived in an apartment on Ben Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv, Israel. I had the incredible opportunity of interning for an African Refugee Women’s Collective called Kuchinate (check out these women's heartbreaking, yet empowering stories at

On my days off work, I explored the trending restaurants and hotspots around Tel Aviv. If you’ve been to Israel before, but want to feel more like a local Israeli, rather than a tourist, I suggest checking out these cool places

Tamara Yogurt

sundae, chocolate, ice cream, cream, ice
Melissa Simon

Especially on the brutally hot and humid summer days, Tamara frozen yogurt is a must-try. Whether you grab it on your way to the beach or treat yourself after dinner, you definitely won’t regret it. Tamara is nothing like any typical frozen yogurt place in the States.

The toppings range from candied cashews and pecans to dates and Halavah to endless choices of fresh fruits and chocolates. My favorite topping is the warm, melted Nutella and rich white chocolate sauce to top off my yogurt.

Melissa Simon

Tamara also sells various flavors of pure fruit Popsicle bars, such as coconut, coffee, mango, and cheesecake. The place attracts many young teens (most of whom are taking photos of their yogurt for their Instagram) and the line is always out the door.

Sarona Market

seafood, fish, vegetable
Melissa Simon

Sarona Market is an indoor mini mall that contains numerous restaurants, dessert places, and other shops selling dried fruits, spices, wine, etc. A couple popular places I suggest trying are Segev Concept (the cauliflower salad is incredible) and Ze Sushi (the sushi sandwiches are awesome).

cheese, honey, bacon
Melissa Simon

The place you definitely can’t miss out on is Frost, which serves ice cream and stacked mini waffles on a stick topped with Nutella sauce and your choice of fruit or chocolate toppings. Frost not only tastes incredible, but will also get you the perfect Snapchat story to which everyone can’t help but reply back.

Eden Fine Art

chocolate, birthday cake, cake
Melissa Simon

There are hundreds of art galleries on Ben Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv. The one that particularly stood out to me was Eden Fine Art located on the corner of Ben Yehuda and Frishman.

The bright colored pop up modern art immediately caught my eyes when I originally walked by. The gallery is 2 stories and each masterpiece is alluring and unique.

Café Xoho

cheese, bagel
Melissa Simon

Looking for a restaurant for Sunday brunch with your best friends? Café Xoho is definitely the place to be. From the healthy granola bowl and chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast to the Xoho Ceasar or Tofu Banh Mi vegan dish for lunch, you will definitely be able to find an entree you love.

My personal favorite is the warm banana bread and fresh cream cheese bagel. Café Xoho is known for making their very own homemade bagels. The place is cute and trendy and always poppin’ so make sure to stop by…but be prepared for a long wait and line out the door.

Raphael Jewelry 

Melissa Simon

Raphael on Ben Yehuda Street is one of the many jewelry shops located in Tel Aviv. The store sells beautifully beaded and diamond-filled bracelets with Hebrew letters, stunning necklaces and rings, decorated mezuzahs, unique Kiddish cup sets and Shabbat candles, colorful decorations to hang in the home, and much more.

The owner and employees are cordial and helpful -- their customer service is truly outstanding.

Tel Aviv is seriously the city that never sleeps. There are hundreds of restaurants, shops and galleries that are totally worth seeing. Discovering the non-touristy attractions this summer allowed me to feel more apart of the Israeli culture and community.