Tiny Atlas Quarterly, Tel Aviv, Flora Tsapovsky

Photography by: Liah Chesnokov
Written by: Flora Tsapovsky
Title & Illustration by: Alex Hollender

Tiny Atlas Quarterly, Tel Aviv, Flora Tsapovsky
Tiny Atlas Quarterly, Tel Aviv, Flora Tsapovsky
Tiny Atlas Quarterly, Tel Aviv, Flora Tsapovsky
Tiny Atlas Quarterly, Tel Aviv, Flora Tsapovsky
Tiny Atlas Quarterly, Tel Aviv, Flora Tsapovsky
Tiny Atlas Quarterly, Tel Aviv, Flora Tsapovsky
Tiny Atlas Quarterly, Tel Aviv, Flora Tsapovsky

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv, to many visitors, is all about the beaches. Being on the coastline is an undeniable perk, but Tel Aviv is larger than its most marketable feature. In fact, a big percentage of its nondescript charm (ask any local, and they’ll lovingly tell you Tel Aviv is in fact ‘ugly’) lies in the city’s inner neighborhoods, along its dusty boulevards and among its shabby-chic Bauhaus buildings. One of those neighborhoods is Florentin - located in the south of Tel Aviv, between historic Neve Tzedek, leafy Rothschild Boulevard and sketchy Tahana Merkazit. Florentine is neither stylish, sketchy or picturesque - it’s a lived-in Tel Avivian neighborhood with rows upon rows of 4-stories apartment buildings, and a myriad of bars and eateries dotting the narrow streets. During the day, it’s a hectic hub of small houseware stores, fabric wholesalers and repairs businesses and at night, it’s a popular hangout for food, drinks and people-watching, free of pretense and always welcoming.

Within Florentin, micro-hoods evolve around the more popular businesses. One such area is Levinsky, a maze of spice shops, delis and emerging hip restaurants. In big cities, one popular place sprouts more openings nearby; Levinsky developed this way,too. One after another, trendy restaurants and kiosks have started appearing here in recent years, and HaHalutzim 3, a blink-and-you-miss it restaurant, was one of the first ones - named after the street it’s on, ‘halutzim’ in Hebrew aptly means ‘pioneers’. Eytan Vanunu and Naama Szterenlicht, the couple who own it, dreamt of opening a small restaurant for some time, and the result looks like someone’s adorably cluttered and happening living room. Mismatched chairs and vintage plates, an open kitchen and only a few seats, permanently occupied.

HaHalutzim 3 and its creators live the Levinsky pace every day. Vanunu, the chef, and Szterenlicht, front of the house and supporting consultant, don’t need to go far to shop for fresh ingredients for the restaurant - almost everything is available a few blocks around it. A typical week can start with a colorful ‘gazoz’ drink from the tiny, hole in the wall Cafe Levinsky 41 — an edible, drinkable bouquet of fruits, herbs and bubbles is created on the spotin an elaborate, mouthwatering process. Then, the morning sun disappears upon entering the low-ceiling, intimate spice shop Chavshush Ariye, a long-standing neighborhood institution. Dried Persian lemon, cumin and chili fragrances float in the air, bags upon bags of powders and herbs fill the shelves. Lunch sneaks up quickly, and a crumbly burekas (philo and cheese pastry from the Balkans), preferably from Burekas Levinsky, is an instantaneous, messy comfort in a paper bag. Then, the two are ready to head back and start orchestrating the dinner menu. The menu is an Israeli-European affair, merging buttery rich pastas and feta-sprinkled fresh salads, fresh fish with hearty stews. These days, Israeli cuisine is almost impossible to define, but there are a few constants - fresh vegetables, olive oil, open fire roasting, fresh ocean fish and seafood, herbs and bold flavors. On a sunny afternoon, Vanunu makes gazpacho and lentil salad, blitzing fiery tomatoes and chopping onions, mixing yogurt and olive oil. Outside, cars are tightly parked by the sidewalk, bicycles pass, nothing seems too slick. Like HaHalutzim 3 itself, Levinsky is authentic and humble, and neither need to work hard to keep you coming back.

Tiny Atlas Quarterly, Tel Aviv, Flora Tsapovsky
Tiny Atlas Quarterly, Tel Aviv, Flora Tsapovsky
Tiny Atlas Quarterly, Tel Aviv, Flora Tsapovsky
Tiny Atlas Quarterly, Tel Aviv, Flora Tsapovsky
Tiny Atlas Quarterly, Tel Aviv, Flora Tsapovsky

Halutzim 3 lentil salad

  • 1 pound black ‘caviar’ lentils
  • 1 white onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks
  • Bay leaf
  • Cumin
  • Peeled garlic cloves
  • A handful of raw almonds
  • A handful of lemon pickle
  • 1 tbs hot green pepper (like jalapeno)
  • A bunch of cilantro
  • A bunch of parsley
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • Atlantic salt, freshly ground pepper
  • Goat yogurt
  • Olive oil

In a thick pot, heat the oil and brown the vegetables (celery, garlic, onion and carrots). Add lentils and spices, add 1 inch water above the lentils, and cover with a lid. Bring to boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes,until lentils are soft. Discard vegetables and cool. Mix cooked lentils with lemon, almonds, hot pepper, greens, chopped tomato, salt and pepper. Season with olive oil and serve on top of yogurt.

Tiny Atlas Quarterly, Tel Aviv, Flora Tsapovsky

HaHalutzim 3 gazpacho (for a big party)

  • 1 chili pepper
  • 10 tomatoes
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Salt, pepper, sugar
  • Olive oil

Whizz all the ingredients in a food processor, while adding olive oil until the mixture turns silky smooth.

Tiny Atlas Quarterly, Tel Aviv, Flora Tsapovsky



HaHalutzim 3

An intimate restaurant by Eytan Vanunu and Naama Szterenlicht.


A romantic, candle lit restaurant with an outdoor garden, serving elevated Mediterranean fare.


A brand new, family-owned spot serving authentic Thai food.

Cafe Kaimak

A tiny coffee shop perfect for breakfast.

Cafe Levinsky 41

A tiny kiosk serving delicious sparkly drinks.

Chavshush Ariye

A chaotic, authentic spice shop run by a family.

Burekas Levinsky

A bakery specializing in crumbly, savory phyllo dough pastries.


Florentine House

A urban, minimal boutique hotel in the heart of Florentin.

Dream Bauhaus

A spacious loft with a clawfoot bathtub and exposed brick walls.

Lily and Bloom

A new and polished boutique hotel just outside of Florentin.


Haim Rafael

This is the best deli in the neighborhood, offering pickles, charcuterie and smoked fish.


Explore the neighborhood with Tel Aviv’s bike share system. The green bike stations all over Florentin, available to rent on hourly basis.