If you’re a hardcore market fan, and love digging in deep into Israeli/Middle Eastern shuks (markets), then do we have the ultimate market challenge for you – HaTikva market in south Tel Aviv!
Now, we must warn you, this one isn’t for the fainthearted. There are even plenty of Israelis who’ve never set foot in this little market, set in the earthy and cheap (meaning it has a reputation for poverty and crime…) HaTikva neighborhood, which is otherwise known in Hebrew as Schunat HaTikva. But if you love meeting the locals and love the sights and sounds of a real market in action, this one could be for you.
Definitely not on the typical tourist trail, this market is as authentic and as close to the bone as you can get. And don’t expect your tourist looks and your expensive camera to get you any favors; none of the stallholders or locals will likely look twice…people are just so much more interested in getting their shopping done.
Possibly the best way to describe HaTikva market is a poor man’s HaCarmel market (one of the must sees in any visit to Tel Aviv). You’ll find plenty of great fresh produce at great prices (though the locals will always complain that the prices are never as cheap as they should be!), as well as a number of hidden away restaurants serving up some awesome home-cooked food with a Moroccan or Iraqi flavor…
Our top tip: start at the main entrance to the shuk (the easiest way to get to the shuk is to head down to the end of Yigal Allon Street, turn right, and you can see the entrance to the shuk 100 meters down on your left), stop by at the Asaluf Yemenite Bakery, maybe 3 or 4 stalls into the market on your left. Great local food, and great atmosphere, with plenty of locals supping a beer and holding conversation (loudly…). Once fed and refreshed, head down the main market lane and see what you can find!
As far as we’re aware, HaTikva market is open every day except Shabbat.
For a little taste of what to expect, check out this video…