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Delicious Foods You Have to Try in Israel

February 3, 2020

Middle-Eastern-style dining means food spread out across a table and shared by everyone. It means what’s mine is yours, and what’s yours is mine. It means extra chairs set out for strangers, who are welcomed as part of the family.

Often, our best memories are of the times we’ve shared a good meal and enjoyed great conversations and laughter.

That’s what Israeli food is all about: nourishing guests and loved ones and enjoying the good things in life.

One of the best parts of traveling to Israel is exploring authentic local foods. If you’re planning on a trip to Israel, your taste buds are in for a treat!

Israeli Breakfast and Shakshuka

They say the most important meal of the day is breakfast, and, believe me, you’ve never had a breakfast like this.

Served to you “buffet style” is this luxury breakfast of cooked eggs, a selection of cheeses, salty olives, roasted antipasti-style vegetables, a selection of quality bread, tuna and egg salads, and a classic Israeli salad (cucumber and tomato with salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice). You’ll also choose from fruit platters, sweet and salty pastries, and, of course, Turkish coffee and teas with which to wash it all down.

A typical, traditional breakfast that you can find anywhere is shakshuka. Soft or hard eggs are prepared in a skillet in the center of a boiling, tomato-based sauce with olive oil and fresh herbs and spices such as parsley, cumin, and paprika. Sometimes red peppers, hot peppers, and cheese are added. Typically, a bread basket is provided on the side so you can scoop up bite after bite of that mouth-watering yumminess.


Shakshuka, Israeli Breakfast Dish

Shakshuka, Israeli Breakfast Dish


Hummus, Meat, and Everything in Between 

Once you’ve been seated at an Israeli restaurant, you’ll be spoiled with a variety of salads such as beetroot, shredded sweet carrots, eggplant in mayo, bulgur and tabbouleh, as well as a basket of warm pita bread and deep dishes of tahini, fresh hummus (chickpea dip), and olive oil.

Just when you were wondering if that was the entire meal, the waiter will come out carrying skewers of lamb meat or spring chicken grilled over coals, juicy kebabs, rice with lentils, and french fries. Try Samir’s Restaurant in Ramla or Hatzot restaurant in downtown Jerusalem

If you like the sound of that but want it on the go, a shawarma or falafel stand is the place for you. You can have your choice of falafel balls or shawarma – thinly cut lamb or chicken roasted on a slowly turning vertical rotisserie or spit served in a pita pocket or a lafa (flat round bread) and rolled up with condiments such as hummus or tahini and salads. Some call it the burrito of the middle east

Israeli Lunch

Israeli Lunch


Everyone Has a Sweet Tooth

No meal is complete without a few dessert options to satisfy your sweet tooth. Knafe is a hot, traditional Middle-Eastern dessert. Soft cheese is roasted in a little hand-sized pan, then layered with thin, noodle-like pastry and soaked in sugar syrup. If that alone doesn’t make you salivate, it’s topped off with a small mountain of nuts like almonds and pistachios. Halfway through the first bite, you’ll be ordering another one. We recommend Baklawish in Mahaneh Yehuda, Jerusalems outdoor market or Haburika at the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv. 

Another tasty treat that originated within the Jewish community in Poland is the rugelach. It can be found at any local bakery. Buttery dough in a triangular shape is spread with chocolate and nuts, rolled up and baked into a crispy delight! They’re best eaten when they are fresh out of the oven.

You could also try one of Israel’s favorites: Malabi, a rosewater milk pudding made with rice, rice flour, sugar, and milk. It’s often served with pomegranate syrup, pistachios, and nuts. And for our vegan friends, there is always the option of a coconut milk-based Malabi. Try Hamalabia, a malabi stand in the flea market in Jaffa





Foods and flavors are part of what makes touring in Israel an exhilarating experience and give you the best feel of the local Israeli culture. Everywhere you turn, there are new tastes to discover.

Join one of our daily tours in Israel and enjoy this beautiful country with our experienced guides. Dine on the best cuisine the Middle East has to offer. Take it from us, you’ll want to share Israel’s greatest tastes with everyone you love, and that’s exactly how Israeli food should be eaten.



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