Let’s face it:
large dance-floors and concert halls are nice, but sometimes all you need is just a small local pub where you can have a beer with yourself(or with a close friend), and maybe to bitch about your life-problems to a friendly bartender, or to engage in small-talk with a random bar-mate.
In this blog-post, I gathered 5 small bars in Haifa, that are perfect just for that.
The Eli’s is located Downtown. It has a large showcase window, through which you can see the backs of the musicians that perform when you’re passing it by from outside. From inside, it looks like this kind of old-school Jazz/Blues bar from the 50’s. It is small, warm and crowded. It has Jam nights, and Jazz nights, and open-stage evenings once a week.
The live music attraction(which is also, usually, for free) adds a lot when you’re looking for additional entertainment to your bar-crawl, except for the regular drinking and talking.
House playlist: mainly a mixture of 60’s and 70’s blues and rock, 20th century jazz, and a little bit of 80’s-90’s hard-rock.
A downer: There’s a mandatory order for each person if you want to sit there. But that’s understandable considering the fact that the place is relatively small and crowded.
Recommended drink: A good old pint of British Newcastle OR a pint of the Israeli brand Goldstar Unfiltered.
If you want to have a beer on the bar alone by yourself without feeling weird or anti-social – Charlie is the place for you. It’s that kind of place that you can easily chit-chat with the bartender, and to exchange sarcastic jokes with Charlie himself, even if you’re not the best at starting conversations with strangers. If you’re a little bit braver, you can also easily start a conversation with your neighbors on the bar. Just be laid-back, and friendly, and fun – that’s the spirit of the place.
Another thing: I think that Charlie is the bar with the largest concentration of people from English-speaking countries. And if you stay till late enough, you might witness some drunk Britt strip-dance on the bar, while other customers throw money at him and shout “go, go tiger!” (true story)
House playlist: mostly Post-Punk, New-Wave, and Indie stuff.
A downer: these guys are practically pushers of alcohol. The moment you’ve finished your drink – be ready to be encouraged to order another one, and then another one, and then another one… And they’re so friendly and outgoing, that it’s really hard to refuse – so the next moment you might find yourself striping on the bar yourself. Also, as a relatively small place – they have mandatory order for each person as well.
Recommended drink: Without any doubt, a good cup of Guinness. Some sources(specially one notorious Guinness expert whose first-name begins with R and ends with N) claim that Charlie has the finest Guinness in the entire Holy Land. The same sources claim that the secret is in the place’s Guinness tap, which is pouring the Irish stout in the best way possible.
Located in the reconstructed and beautiful Turkish Market area, Downtown, Dovrin is a great place to hang out in. The place is generously decorated with wild-humor posters, even in the bathroom – that can definitely very entertain you while getting drunk. The crew is also very friendly, like in the Charlie(in fact, its founders were working in Charlie before starting their own thing), but unlike the Charlie, they are not so pushy about the drinking part. In the Dovrin they won’t give you the disappointed eye if you say you don’t want another beer. Nevertheless, they are ready to participate with you in the house’s drinking challenge – just ask the waitress, or the bartender. Also, as far as I noticed, the Dovrin has much more of studential environment than the pubs that were mentioned before – meaning, I’d say that most of its clients are students, or at least in that age.
House playlist: Indie pop/rock with a little bit of electronic.
Recommended drink: A cup of Magners, OR the local beer brand – Alexander Ambrée. The green beer in the picture, by the way, is St. Patrick’s Day special.
Located in the German Colony area, this place that is basically a beer heaven. With a choice within
more than six taps sixteen taps(thanks, Emil) of high quality beer. The walls of the Dunk are decorated with different certificates and awards that are deeming it as the best beer pub in Haifa. And indeed, the job of pouring beer from the keg is treated in this place with the utmost seriousness and respect. All the beer is poured in a slow and patient method, that creates the affect of a beautiful foam-head(as it can be seen in the picture below). The prices are also very affordable, and as the bar opens up at noon, it is the best place to hang out after work(or during lunch brake) and to have a good mag of beer.
As the place is even smaller by size than all the other bars listed above, also the feeling of friendliness in the bar is very strongly felt. It is very easy to engage in small talk with your neighbors at the bar or at the near tables, as well as with the bartenders.
Another interesting thing is the part of the very strict House Rules(that are very visibly hanging above the bar) – one of them, for example, does not allow to mix beer with something else(other kind of alcohol, or syrup, juice etc). Another rule forbids more than 6 people to sit together(this includes even siting on near tables that will allow them to interact with each other like a single gang). If you don’t follow the house rules after 3 times that you’ve been warned, the owner of the place might as well just hand you the check and tell you to leave.
This sounds harsh, but that’s part of the nonchalant magic of the place. Unlike other bars, where you’re not sure if the bartender is extra-nice to you only because you’re supposed to pay him or because he really likes you, at the Dunk you won’t have such confusion. If you’re being stupid or an asshole, the pub’s staff will let you know that. But if you’re cool(like most of the customers there) – you will definitely enjoy there.
House playlist: mostly Classic Rock.
A downer: even though as I said before, the strict house rules are part of the special environment of the place – sometimes it might be still a bummer that you can’t come with a company larger than 6 people to that bar.
Recommended drink: It’s really hard to pick one beer out of the impressive collection of the bar, but I personally like the most – Alexander Porter. In the picture: Winter Ale.
HaMakolet, which translates from Hebrew as “The Grocery” is probably my favorite bar in Haifa, and maybe even in the whole Holy Land. Its rawness reminds me a little bit that of the bars Downtown(like Eli’s and Dovrin), only that it’s really located in the pastoral Kababir neighborhood in the Carmel Centre, and surrounded by green trees and a park. The bar originally began as an offshoot of the neighborhood’s popular “Shtaim Sukar”(“Two Sugar”) café, and is still located just the next door to it. Nevertheless, HaMakolet definitely has its own vibe, and its own style. The music is warm and happy, the bartenders are extra-friendly and outgoing. The general feeling of the place is that of regular, old-school bar, but with a local twist.
House playlist: Neo-Psychedelia, Blues, Rock, Jazz, Indie. 60’s/70’s/90’s/Modern .
Recommended drink: Home-made Arak shots in tastes. They are amazing – just try them. They are very tasty, and also unique for this place.
All the beer photos are taken from my tumblr blog The Daily Beer.