96 Ben Yehuda
Sun-Fri 9:30-1; Sat 10:30-1
Frozen yogurt has become the ultimate go to dessert; it’s healthy, refreshing and with endless combinations to create, it’s always a fun venture. When you think there’s no way it can get better, a more playful, comfortable and creative place comes along, Tamara Yogurt, on the corner of Ben Yehuda and Gordon, has given new meaning to the wonderfully fun world of frozen yogurt. With a cozy pillow-lined couch overlooking Ben Yehuda Street, swings attached by thick ropes hanging from the ceiling to frolic in while you eat your yogurt, and sleek modern chairs spilling out onto the sidewalk, Tamara has created the ultimate frozen yogurt experience.
The beautifully designed interior is only half the fun. The decorative bowls of fresh apples, pomegranates, bananas, and persimmons adorn the interior and the vast selection of toppings that lay behind the glass counter will have your imagination running wild. Whether you’re in love with sweets or crave something savory, Tamara Yogurt is truly a frozen yogurt haven. Toppings range from dried cranberries, raisins, golden raisins, granola and the like, fresh fruit such as red apples, green apples, melon, pomegranate, kiwi, grapes, sabra, dates, persimmons, strawberries, and bananas to Oreos, chocolate cornflakes, milk, white, and dark chocolate chips, to toasted coconut, sugar coated nuts, chopped pecans, and halva. Wipe that drool off your chin, because that is not even the complete topping selection. The fruit selections are constantly changing, as Kobi, the young and hip owner of Tamara Yogurt, prides himself in only serving fresh and seasonal fruit, all of which is grown here in Israel. Once you have all the solid toppings on, you can choose from several different liquid toppings to smother on top, including, tehina, strawberry sauce, and hot chocolate lava.
You could easily spend hours staring wide-eyed at the glass counter, inventing tasty combinations in your mind. Knowing that there are no limits on toppings makes it an even more joyous experience. At Tamara yogurt they so thoughtfully put fruit at the bottom of the yogurt cup, therefore after scoping out the colorful array of toppings you can finally decide what flavor of frozen yogurt to bedazzle. Once the dry toppings such as nuts and chocolate chips are put on top and the sauce is drizzled to finish, you have a frozen yogurt that has a spoonful of toppings with each bite, layered from top to bottom. If that’s not enough assortment to get your juices flowing, flavors are constantly revolving, with new flavors always being developed. The tangy, light fro-yo is specially created in-house using a formula developed with the assistance of an Italian chef. While I prefer the tartness of the original (natural) flavor, which is always available, other delicious flavors that have been available recently are mild mango, pomegranate (to celebrate the new year), and currently in the works, pneapple. Kobi is definitely an innovator and, in order to spice it up a bit, he continues to experiment with new and exciting flavors.
What lingers in my mind is how Kobi was able to get the formula down so well. Everything makes absolute sense when I find out that Kobi is an original partner of the 3 Tamara juice stands all located in central Tel Aviv. Although there are hundreds of juice stands in Tel Aviv (one at almost each quarter mile), Tamara juice remains to be one of the most popular and well known stands in Tel Aviv. With the best selection and imaginative fruit combinations, it’s the go to juice stand for Telalivians, Kobi knows that positive energy, quality ingredients, and a cheerful attitude is the way to satisfy our every need. In fact excellent quality, great service, and a visually appealing environment are the staples behind Kobi’s business philosophy. Having a basis to grow from, Kobi jumped on the frozen yogurt bandwagon after listening to a friend’s constant praise of Pinkberry in New York and LA. Because he is so familiar with the neighborhood, Kobi was able to quickly secure a location, open up shop, and bring with him his wonderful and loyal neighborhood clientele. Tamara Yogurt is no typical ice cream shop. It is a creative haven. Customers are challenged to express their individualism by creating their own unique combination. And when all is said and done, you get to enjoy your beautiful and refreshing fro-yo while swinging along to the beat of the music.
The only thing that we are left wondering is who is this magical yogurt destination named after? Kobi discreetly admits that Tamara is an old love. Is the gigantic, wall sketch of a dark haired girl clad in a pink-polka dot dress a caricature of Tamara? Kobi smirks and replies, “Not really. Kind of. Maybe.” Either way, she clearly symbolizes the little bit of youth in all of us. So as you grip your icy treat in one hand, the rope swing loosely wrapped around the other, let your inner-child shine and never be afraid to be creative!
Update: Tamara also currently offers a vegan flavor of frozen Acai for dairy-free customers to enjoy!
Written by Andrea Mann
Photos: Brian Fischer