With Jewish diaspora cooking combined with Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, Israeli foods are fresh, tasty, and flavorful. Whether you’re into street food or gourmet meals, Israel has got some delicious food for you to
With Jewish diaspora cooking combined with Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, Israeli foods are fresh, tasty, and flavorful. Whether you’re into street food or gourmet meals, Israel has got some delicious food for you to try! Here are 8 mouth-watering foods you should try while visiting Israel.
These deep-fried balls of ground up seasoned chickpeas and beans or a combination of both is one of the most popular street foods in Israel. Crispy on the inside and moist as you bite into it, falafels can be a snack on its own or are usually served in pita bread with hummus and tahini dip- a creamy paste made from crushed sesame seeds. The filling options range from delicious salads and sauces, including the classic Israeli sliced cucumbers and tomatoes salad or other stuffing such as cabbage, carrots, fried eggplant, and pickled vegetables. Falafel is like Starbucks for Israelis – just walk down the streets of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, or any other city, and you’ll soon stumble upon a falafel stand!
Available on nearly every menu, shakshuka is the ultimate traditional breakfast in Israel. This dish, presumed to have originated from North Africa, is made with poached eggs in a tomato sauce with garlic, chili peppers, cumin, cayenne pepper, paprika, and olive oil. This simple yet flavoursome dish is cooked and served in an iron pan with a loaf of warm crispy bread or pita to dip into the sauce. You can also visit the famous spot, Dr. Shakshuka in Yafo, just down the road from the flea market, to enjoy this savoury and spicy tomato dish. Once you taste shakshuka, you might want to try more Israeli-influenced recipes!
Shawarma is another iconic Israeli street food. Have you ever seen those revolving vertical rotisserie or spit with meat? That’s shawarma, a tasty delicacy consisting of lamb, mutton, beef, veal, chicken, or turkey meat cut into thin slices and roasted slowly. It is either served in a laffa (Levantine flatbread similar to naan but bigger) or pita topped with hummus, a variety of salads, or optional additions like sliced pickle or onions. This quick bite of Middle Eastern goodness can be a perfect snack to bring to the beach or enjoyable as a midnight snack as well.
Kanafeh is a popular sweet Arabic dessert made of shredded kadaif noodles or fine semolina dough. It is a cheese pastry soaked in a sweet syrup, drizzled with a few drops of rose water syrup or orange blossom, and topped with crushed pistachios. It is usually served toasty and fresh on a round metal platter. Some cafes also serve it with ice cream or yogurt on top.
5) Baba Ganoush
Eggplant is the heart of Israeli cuisine. Whether its smoked, grilled, charred or as a salad, you’ll find it cooked in various ways in any traditional Israeli breakfast or even lunch and dinner. Baba ganoush is a classic dish made of roasted eggplant mixed with spices such as coriander, cumin and other ingredients including garlic, lemon juice, onions, parsley, mint, and cilantro. It is usually drizzled with olive oil on top and served with pita or lechem bread. Its smokey, smooth, and creamy texture also goes beautifully with other meat or vegan dishes.
Sabich is another favourite in Israel. It is a pita stuffed bread with fried eggplant, hard-boiled eggs, tahini, hummus, Israeli salad, onions, and parsley. The sandwich is served with tahini sauce and amba – a spicy mango pickled paste drizzled on top. Be ready to wait in line for you to have one! There’s just something about the way they make sabich, providing an ideal blend of flavours in every bite!
Malabi is a creamy, milk-based dessert in Israel. The pudding looks pretty simple but delightful! It is made using rice flour or, more commonly, cornflour and milk, doused in sweet raspberry or rose water syrup and topped with nuts and shredded coconut. The perfect balance of sweetness and creaminess of malabi makes it an excellent ending to a delectable Mediterranean meal. This sweet treat is available as street food and also offered in upscale restaurants.
A trip to Israel is incomplete without having halwa. Known for its sandy and smooth texture, this sweet treat is made of sesame paste, sugar, and nuts. You can find it anywhere in the country or at the carmel market in Tel Aviv. They are also available in different flavours including, lemon, marbled chocolate, cinnamon, raisin, coffee, pistachio, etc. This yummy and addictive delicacy is perfect as an afternoon treat alongside a nice, warm cup of tea or coffee.
Food in Israel is indeed a mouthful of adventure with the most delicious flavours. Don’t forget to try some of these tasty dishes during your next visit!