Editor’s note: Israel announced that it is reopening to tourists on Nov. 1st. In celebration of this we are sharing a few of our off the beaten path favorite spots.
Tel Aviv is a city bustling with energy — it has beaches, a vibrant nightlife, hundreds of coffee shops, restaurants and bars. There’s a reason why they call it the (other) city that never sleeps.
But every so often you can find a spot that makes it feel like you’ve stepped into another world for a while.
That’s the Little Prince Cafe/Bookshop on King George Street. Adored by locals, Little Prince is a cozy coffee shop nestled within Tel Aviv’s busy streets.
The front is so unassuming, you probably wouldn’t think to wander in, but once you do you’ll be met with a one-of-a-kind charming bookstore coffee shop experience.
The quaint indoor area of the shop is lined floor to ceiling with books.
It’s a “literature heaven for bookworms,” according to local blogger Jennifer Greenberg.
Especially for bookworms who don’t just read in Hebrew. Little Prince offers books in Hebrew, Russian, French and Spanish in addition to an extensive English literature section.
Not to mention, the books you’ll find at Little Prince are unlike the ones at chain bookstores in Israel. From comic books to collectibles, their (thousands of) books are sourced second hand and you can donate books in exchange for store credit.
You can even find bits and pieces of Israel’s history in vintage signs, maps and posters.
One of the reasons Little Prince is so popular amongst local book lovers is because the prices are actually affordable, one of the staff explained. Once a year, the store hosts a used book fair that includes rare volumes for deeply discounted rates.
Perhaps the most special part of the hip cafe is the garden patio, which is tucked behind a doorway at the back of the shop.
Outdoors you can grab a seat on mismatched vintage tables and chairs and enjoy Israeli breakfast under the tall shady tree.
If you take a moment to people-watch, you’ll experience Israeli culture like never before.
One man browsing the outdoor bookshelves, consulting something (probably the price) with the book clerk, a table of older gentlemen with coffee mugs, immersed in a high stakes round of sheshbesh (backgammon) at the back corner, a couple of tourists asking for the English menu… It’s written on a scrappy piece of paper, but this is the only one they have, says the waiter.
I think it’s fair to call Little Prince Tel Aviv’s local treehouse. It’s the sort of place a hobbit might feel at home. A dreamy, nostalgic testament to its literary namesake with that extra Tel Aviv magic.
Originally Published Nov 2 2021 09:06AM EDT