During the 1930s, Tel Aviv was home to a small group of Jews from Saloniki, Greece. David Florentin was considered the leader of the group which, together with his pioneering activities for developing the city, earned him the nickname 'David Palestina’. Most of the working class immigrants settled in the southern Tel Aviv neighborhood now-called Florentin, after David Florentin’s nephew Solomon Florentin, who was the first contractor in the area.
Before long, a range of spice shops and eateries opened up across the neighborhood, specializing in Balkan cuisine - and that’s how this marketplace came to be what we know today. Legend even has it, that the first spice blends for early-State home cooking were created in, by and for these neighborhood residents.
With the creation of the State of Israel, an influx of Iranian immigrants to downtown Tel Aviv brought with it new tastes and herbs from Persian cooking. And as the population grew, so did the market place, developing from its nuts and spice stalls into a bustling, commercial marketplace with luxury stores and gourmet restaurants.
Today, the Levinsky Shuk spreads across Levinsky Street, between HaAliyah Street and Herzl Street. Like its range of culinary tastes: far-reaching. Among the stores to visit are dried fruits and nuts, bakeries, delicatessens and restaurants. Certain shops and restaurants are unique to the Levinsky Shuk. The magic of this market place lies in its many legendary tales of culinary growth and discovery, stories that continue to appeal to local residents and well-known chefs alike.