Benny and the (soda water) jets

Don’t blink; you’ll miss it.

A 4×4 hole-in-the-wall with back-lit jars stacked up against a white tile wall and a vintage espresso machine; a line twenty deep of people waiting to place an order. Benny smiling in the window; waiting to greet you with his slight Spanish accent.


You’ll happen upon Cafe Levinsky 41, and you won’t quite be sure what’s going on from a distance. You might even pass it; but don’t. You’ll be missing out.

Here, from this tiny stand Benny serves coffee and small baked goods, but more importantly he serves the most beautiful gazoz you will ever see.

Gazoz is an old-school Israeli beverage made of sugary-sweet syrups and soda water, but Benny’s is different.

All of his syrups are homemade with real seasonal fruit, flowers, herbs, and the occasional surprise ingredient you can’t quite distinguish. He concocts these fizzy pick-me-ups on a whim; no menu, no recommendations- he just knows. You never get the same thing twice, but no matter what you get it’s always delicious.

Take it to go and stroll through the Levinsky spice market. While you’re at it, have some bourekas from Bourekas Penso across the way. You won’t regret the carbs, I promise!

Cafe Levinsky 41
41 Levinsky St., Tel Aviv

About the Author
Closing in on six years living in Israel I still shirk away from traditional fare. Though chickpeas are probably a major Israeli food group, you won't find my fork near a falafel ball or my pita near a plate of hummus. Instead, I've come from the original Lone Star State (Texas) to discover all of the other things you can eat in the other Lone Star State (Israel).
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