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Retzif HaAliya HaShniya St 1

Category: Best RestaurantsTags: Cafe and Guest Reviewer

The appropriately named Vista Coffee is a one-year-old kiosk located at one of the best spots ever for a refreshment stand: the cobblestoned promenade that curves around Jaffa’s natural seaside outcropping and gently conducts visitors to the Port of Jaffa—their likely destination with its marina and well-loved seaside restaurants. What an appealing idea. Imagine sipping your ice coffee or blended limonana (delightfully mint-green in hue and garnished with real spearmint leaves) while you perch next to the old stone sea wall and watch a pink sun sink into the listing Mediterranean horizon. Behind you, soft jazz wafts from Vista’s speakers, while in front of you an exquisite sea breeze breaks the heat of the day and serves as the perfect natural air conditioner. What urban setting could possibly offer a more pleasant scene for sipping?

When you first notice the kiosk, you circle it, typecasting in your mind, wondering if it’s one of those fast-food stands with run-of-the-mill fare and not-so-great coffee. And then you see the menu posted outside, creative and elegant in both design and concept. At first glance the coffee drinks listed seem comfortably standard for a high-quality Beit Cafe. But your eyes come to alight upon a few intriguing twists—like Vietnamese Coffee, an infusion of espresso and condensed milk with roasted peanuts atop; scrolling down further, seasonally hot or cold Sangria; and then something called Vista Coffee, a house-blended signature concoction of coffee comingled with chocolate. Abundant combinations of fresh fruit/vegetable shakes round out the bottom half of this pleasantly succinct menu.

There are the munchable items, too, for lunch or snacking. A freezer full of paletas will aid in cooling you, and highly recommended: chilled malabi made locally in Jaffa, featuring a surprise candied nut crunch on top.

You know, a cafe like this really wouldn’t have to try hard. Not only is its location scenic, but it’s one of the only sources of take-away refreshment both to and from the most popular tourist areas and beaches of Tel Aviv (being on Jaffa’s section of the Tel-Aviv-Jaffa Promenade). But the effort put forth, as well as the creativity of Vista’s offerings, is directly attributable to owner Sagi Ginat, an experienced restaurateur with both international and local Jaffa Port successes to his name. Sagi is confident enough to offer the unexpected on his menu because he knows his business; he also knows coffee, and in that regard Vista is proud to employ its own beans, roasted in Israel.

To Sagi and his fun-loving, friendly team of baristas, presentation matters, and they go the extra mile in providing an excellent product always with a smile and relaxed humor. Cortado lovers will appreciate the beautifully shaped liqueur glass into which the intense infusion is poured. And If you want to see coffee art in action, watch Sagi make the heart design in the milk foam appear with hardly a flick of his wrist.

The seaside setting, the locally roasted coffee, the compelling menu, the friendly staff—don’t be surprised if you find yourself looking for excuses to come to Jaffa and enjoy this unique cafe experience again and again!


Reviewed by Alicia Gansz.

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