Buzzing with middle-eastern vibe, full of knick-knack vendors, souvenir stands, spices, fresh veggies, fruits, food places, coffee shops, and a lot of noise, the Carmel Market can be also an overwhelming experience. In this guide, we aim to give a local perspective on how to best experience this balagan (mess in Hebrew) and leave with a lot of great memories.
The selection of vendors in this list is based on our personal experience. Their products have been proven to be of good quality and are known as doing fair business. At the end, you will find a few tips for getting the most out of your market experience.
#1 Souvenir stands
Entering the market from Allenby Street, the first part of the market will be filled with cheap clothing and knick-knack shops. This is where you practice your bargaining skills. See some tips at the bottom for bargaining.
#2 The Nargila Shop HaCarmel St. 27
Known as hookay and nargila, these water pipes are used for smoking flavored tobaccos (shisha). You’ll find here nargilas of various designs and related equipment.
#3 Amrani Nuts and Dried Fruits
HaCarmel St. 15
The oldest shop at the Carmel, founded in 1935. Besides dried fruits and nuts you can also find rare excotic spices and consult with Nachli Amrani.
#4 The Halva Kindom
HaCarmel St. 17
Halva Kingdom was founded in 1947 by the grandfather of the current shop owner. The Halva recipe is from Morocco and hand-made with traditional methods. The shop offers a huge selection of Halva.
#5 King of the Spices
HaCarmel 19. corner with Malan St.
The selection of rice and other mixed spices is enormous and the vendor will offer you to taste. Great shopping experience and one of the best gifts.
#6 Nazareth Sweets Baklawa Shop
HaCarmel St. 21
When they mean sweet, they mean really sweet. Remember when buying, that most people can eat one small piece.
#7 Tikva’s Fresh Fruit and Veggie Juices
Rambam St. 2
The absolute favorite. Tikva will mix you anything according to your mood and health status. Don’t be shy to consult her if there aren’t too many people in line. Everything is super fresh, pealed and juiced at order.
#8 Falafel Rambam
Rambam St. 2
They say eat where the locals do. You’ll see lot of vendors having their lunch here. A great place with nice service. And you can chat while you stand around eating your falafel.
#9 Beer Bazaar, the first branch
Rambam St. 1
One of the perks of being on vacation is that you can drink beer during the day. Beer Bazaar has the largest selection of Israeli craft beer, an absolute must.
#10 Middle-eastern Cart
Where Rambam St. meets HaCarmel St.
This cart offering middle-eastern goodies is a fairly recent addition at the Carmel. Hot Sahlab or Malabi is what you should end your tour with.
#11 Hummus HaCarmel
HaCarmel St. 13
Designed as a synagogue to the last detail, this Hummus place definitely deserves a stop by.
#12 Cafe Cohen
Yishkon St. 32
Open 9:00-15:00. Get freshly roasted coffee. If you are lucky, you can enjoy on a Friday afternoon a masterful concert performance by the owner, Shlomo Cohen.
#13 The Burika
HaCarmel St. 42
It’s deepfriedlicious! Everything deep fried and wrapped in filo kind of pastry, put with some veggies and traditional spicy sauce in a fresh pita bread. Kobi the owner has the real market spirit and the food is not to be missed. Very cheap, very quick and hot.
#14 Fresh Fruits and Veggies Section
From around Rambam St. and towards the sea is where you can find a large selection of fresh fruits and veggies stands.
#15 The Druze Corner
HaCarmel St. 1b
Traditional authentic Druze pita with Labane cheese and cut salad. If you’re lucky, you will see the women preparing the pita bread.
Tips for a great Carmel experience
- Shop at places that have a price tag.
- Talk to the vendors, asks questions.
- Learn a few Hebrew words.
- Souvenirs, clothes, anything without a price tag, bargain.
- When bargaining, set yourself the price that is worth for YOU.
- Check your change.
- If you don’t like the price, don’t buy.
- If a vendor is not nice, don’t buy.
- Keep your wallet and mobile phone at a safe place.
- Nobody can eat more than one piece of baklawa.
- Smile 🙂
Gabi Berger is a Tel Aviv based photographer, specializing in travel portraits. She’s a founder of travel photography service site My Israeli Memories.