While working on your Hebrew, the true practice takes place in the local community. Citizen Café OOlpan doesn’t only want you to speak like locals, they want you to speak with locals in your everyday encounters in Tel Aviv. What better way to embrace the Tel Avivivan lifestyle than to dive headfirst into their greatest community activity: sipping ‘café hafuch’ (‘cappuccinos’) with friends in the neighborhood café. These four Tel Aviv cafés are perfect for practicing your Hebrew with friends, baristas, or the kind stranger seated beside you.
The Little Prince
Not only is The Little Prince’s King George location in the running for the best used bookstore in Tel Aviv, it has an incredible hidden patio. Weave past endless walls of literature in every language, and step into the whimsical world waiting out back. The little backyard patio is the perfect place to practice your Ulpan with classmates, the staff, or go bold and meet the bookworms of the White City. Order a coffee, hot tea, or delicious bite, and try out your newest Hebrew vocab. If you’re up for the challenge, pick up a Hebrew book and try leafing through – children’s books are a good place to start.
19 King George St (03-5253632)
NOLA American Bakery
This American bakery offers the perfect balance of new and nostalgia. The ooey-gooey treats will immediately make you feel at home, creating a comfortable setting to practice a slightly less comfortable language. Sit outside on the energetic Dizengoff Street and work on those Hebrew phrases with a friend (check out our guide to 7 essential Eizeh phrases for inspiration), while watching the passersby. NOLA is not only a great space to speak the local language, it is a great place to people watch…or more so, people listen. Open your ears to the local lingo happening all around you. After all, understanding Hebrew is essential to speaking it.
197 Dizengoff St (03-5230527)
Don’t be thrown off by the abundance of North Americans and other native English-speakers flooding the quaint Café Xoho every weekend for brunch. This café has two key benefits for budding Hebrew speakers: a) they have communal seating, allowing for maximal conversation practice in a comfortable community environment, and b) the Gordon Street establishment turns off their wifi on Shabbat, eliminating the possibility for procrastination. Take advantage. Learn how to order Jewish staples like bagels and schmear in Hebrew, then practice your new slang with the person sitting next to you as you wait for your food to arrive.
17 Gordon St (072-2495497)
Café Habima (aka ‘We Like You Too’)
This coffee kiosk takes their java seriously. The magic spot on Ben Zion Boulevard is packed with thirsty Tel Avivians, dog walkers, families and friends, taking a break from the sun to revel in some much-needed shade. The small tables surrounding Café Habima are sparse enough to hear yourself think – and speak , perfect for practicing your Hebrew. Plus, there is something about the outdoor vibes and fresh air that provides brain fuel to help you retain and reuse the local language. Café Habima is also one of Citizen Café OOlpan’s partners. Encourage a friend to sign up for CC and win a NIS 100 gift voucher to this perfect outdoor kiosk – what better reason to visit.
31 Ben Zion Blvd (03-5287570)
Sip like a local, speak like a local. Grab those last available spots in our April courses before they all fill up!
Written by Tamar Pross, CEO & Founder of Citizen Cafe