In the heart of Middle Eastern Africa lies the ever-vexed country of Israel, home to the biblical land of Jerusalem. Our story, however, will take you on a gastronomical voyage through Israel. Pointing out some of the exclusive food in Israel that you must relish when one plans to visit Israel. One may have already heard about some of these delicacies, but we are going to unravel how Israelis do it differently. So, grab your forks and knives and join us for an intriguing read on 7 best food in Israel to savour when journeying across the country!
Best Food In Israel To Try – Top 7
This crumbly fried chickpea gallate is a popular snack across the Middle Eastern region. Several Middle Eastern countries have laid claims to the origins of this epic fritter. However, the only evident records suggest that this bean fritter was first made in Egypt. Also, Israel’s version of falafel in some instances witnesses the use of fava beans in the falafel mixture. In the streets of Israel, one will find small food carts and window restaurants serving a falafel wrap stuffed with hummus, tahini, pickled veggies and salad. These falafel wraps are a must try!
Best spots: Falafel Hazkenim (the old one), Falafel Dvora, Falafel Kaduri, Falafel Shalom and Falafel Moshiko are some of the popular shops in Israel to try some excellent falafel.
Hummus is the national dish of Israel and is one of the must-try food in Israel. It is a paste/dip made using deshelled kernels of garbanzo beans/chickpeas. The beans are soaked overnight in water and then have their outer shells removed. These soaked-up beans then go into a massive mortar and pestle along with cloves of garlic, tahini (sesame sauce), salt and olive oil. The resulting paste is a smooth and airy work of art. Several variations include the use of fava beans and roasted eggplant in the garbanzo mix.
Best spots: Ali Karavan, Hummus Said, Abu Marun, Imad Restaurant and Hummus Eliyahu are some of the popular spots in Israel to try this legendary paste of gooey goodness.
Following must-try food in Israel that is readily available at Georgian-Israeli bakeries is the famous Khachapuri. This delectable Georgian breakfast dish is one that leaves everyone in awe with the use of its premium ingredients and flavour. It is a tub of unleavened bread that serves as a bowl for flavour-rich ingredients like mashed potatoes, cream cheese, garlic butter and fillings like squid, prawns, spinach and beans. The bread goes into a wooden oven, and the juicy boat of cheesy goodness that comes out is then topped with a soft-boiled egg yolk. Khachapuri is one of the top favourites at brunches across Israel.
Best spots: Hachapuria Restaurant at the Yehuda market, Maya’s Khachapuri at Haifa Bay and Khahapuri House at Sarona Market are some of the top places to try this delicacy.
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This one is for lovers of sliced fried aubergine, in pita bread with hummus, boiled egg, tahini sauce and Israeli salad. Israeli salad is a combination of diced onion, cucumbers, tomatoes and bell peppers. For the dressing, the salad is drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice with salt and pepper seasoning. The salad offers a nice crunch to Sabich along with a creamy texture that comes from the fried eggplant. This food in Israel has a very nonchalant vibe to it and was brought over by the Iraqi Jews who came back to the promised land back in the 1950s.
Best spots: HaKosem in Tel Aviv, Sabich Aricha and Mifgash HaOsher in Tel Aviv are some popular spots to enjoy Sabich.
Hamantashen cookies are a celebratory delicacy made on the Jewish holiday of Purim. Purim commemorates the salvation of the Jews from a Persian official who intended on slaughtering Jews in ancient Persia. This mouth-watering delicacy often houses different fillings. Some of them ranging from jams made of figs, prunes, dates, chocolate, different types of cheese and even Nutella. Traditional kosher hamantashen cookies are made in oil (no butter) owing to the strict dietary requirements of a Kosher meal.
Best spots: Biscotti, Lehamim Bakery and Piece Of Cake in Tel Aviv are some popular places to enjoy Hamantashen cookies.
This is another food in Israel that has foreign influence, specially made around Hanukkah. These fried jelly-filled fluffy doughnuts were brought over by European Jews, which later became a part of the Hanukkah tradition. The tradition also became popular after the ‘Menorah Oil’ incident, which popularised this sweet snack. Often made during, and to celebrate the eight days of Hanukkah in Israel.
Best spots: Delicatessen, Cafe Xoho and Lehamim in Tel Aviv are a few popular places serving this fluffy doughnut.
The final delicacy to try when on a food tour across Israel is the famous Israeli Halvah. The tahini halvah is a sweet, crunchy, and nutty treat eaten as a dessert or as an afternoon snack. It is made from sesame seeds, sugar syrup, and butter. The tahini halvah is not only delicious but also has many health benefits. The sesame seeds are rich in calcium and vitamin E which promotes bone health. The butter contains vitamin A which helps to improve vision and skin elasticity. Tahini halvah also contains iron which helps to build red blood cells that promote healthy circulation and energy levels.
Best spots: Some of the best bakeries making these wonderful delights include places like Al-Amad and Mahane in Yehuda Market.