May 12, 2017

Eat your way through Israel: 5 mouthwatering hotspots that will have you coming back for seconds

Friends, family and a healthy feast. You'll find it all in Israel                                                                   Photo © Shutterstock

Israel is a food-lover’s paradise – relaxed, vibey restaurants serve up a sumptuous mix of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and North African dishes that are as heavy on flavour as they are on healthy ingredients. The nation has the world’s highest concentration of vegans and plant-based restaurant menus. So go ahead, eat your way through Israel’s culinary cities (almost) guilt-free.


Head to Tel Aviv's Jaffa Market for a bounty of olives and other fresh foods                           Photo ©AdobeStock/Ned Soltz

Make sure to hit up the street eats in this fun, youthful coastal city – especially at night. To experience the best of Israel’s modern culture, fish dishes and grilled meats, head to Jaffa flea market after dark. A stone’s throw from Jaffa’s touristy Old City, the second-hand antiques market with craft stalls and outdoor restaurants has become a hub of Telavivian nightlife and a favourite among locals.


Veer a bit off the beaten track to find the vineyards at the foot of the Carmel Mountain                Photo ©AdobeStock/Noam
It’s home to Israel’s rich and famous, loved for its beaches, historic amphitheatre and impressive Roman aqueduct. Built up by Herod the Great more than 2 000 years ago and dedicated to Caesar Augustus, the area was governed by Pontius Pilate of Biblical fame. But for foodies, the region’s drawcard is hidden 15 minutes north: the vineyards nestled in the Carmel Mountain Range. The town of Zichron Ya’acov is home to some of Israel’s most famous grapes and offer wine tasting tours for thirsty travellers. Venturing off the beaten path has never been so rewarding.


Like to halvah something sweet? Take your pick in Nazareth                                              Photo ©Szymanskim/AdobeStock

Once a small town made famous as the childhood home of Jesus, Nazareth is a modern culinary hub for Arab cuisine and up-and-coming chefs. You won’t want to miss Hama’ayan Square, dotted with notable restaurants such as Sudfeh, Mejana and Tishreen. Be sure to try the halvah, tahini and baba ganoush!


Breaking bread in Galilee                                                                                                                   Photo © Goats in the Wild
A Holy Land hotspot, Galilee holds significant religious clout among Christian pilgrims – it’s the region where Jesus is reported to have walked on water and delivered his well-known Sermon on the Mount. When it comes to local food, Galilee’s olives, cheeses and wines will have you walking on air. At few places is that more apparent than locally-owned Goats in the Wind near Moshav Yodfat, an organic goat cheese farm and restaurant that’s run by eco-tourist volunteers from around the world. You’ll dine picnic-style and cross-legged on Turkish rugs and cushions, surrounded by a green canopy of carob trees.


Hummus, Israel's unofficial national dip                                                                     Photo ©AdobeStock/Annapustynnikova

If you didn’t get a chance to sample the infamous hummus of Tel Aviv (or just can’t get enough), drop by the original Pinati restaurant in Jerusalem on the corner of King George and HaHistadrut streets. Dubbed “the most authentic of Israeli foodie experiences”, this flagship eatery has additional locations scattered throughout the capital. Pinati will give you a true taste of Israel – and it’s often standing room only. On any given day, you’ll find it jam-packed with locals from all walks of life, seduced by its signature chickpea dipping spread.

Go here with Sure: Sure Travel’s trusted partner Inspirations Travels and Tours can help you experience the best of the Holy Land with their Bibleland Tour , Essence of Israel Tour or Highlights of Israel Tour. Let them show you the sites, so you can focus on what’s next up on the culinary itinerary.


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