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Introduction to Israeli Cuisine

Previously, the only popular staple foods in Israel were only falafel and hummus. However, there has been a shift in the last decade, and today, Israel has leaped bounds to occupy a seat among the food trendsetters of the world and a top destination for food aficionados. In the last few years, a large number of individuals have settled in the country from all over the world, and along with them, they brought new ideas which they have experimented with the original traditional recipes that have been passed down across generations, to birth the new fusion cuisines that have launched Israel to fame.

While popular gossip advertises Tel Aviv as the food capital of Israel, replete with incredible cafeterias that serve a variety of appetizing cuisines in more sensational manners than you’ve experienced before, the true situation is that other cities in the country deserve more credit than they are being given. In Northern Israel, Galilee has become a serene haven for Israelis who are want to get away from the rigorous demands of the major business hubs. Here, vast vineyards coexist with small and quiet villages, and local restaurants offering original and nourishing country diet. With closer proximity to fresh farm produce, the tastiness of the country cuisine is luscious.

The Arabs and Druzes have clearly distinct culinary choices from the other Israeli ethnicities. The Arab gastronomy, Mediterranean in origin, and the closest to the conventional image of an Israeli meal is mostly what you’ll come across as street food throughout Israel. However, this same meal in Arab restaurants is slightly peculiar, prepared in the same way as you’d find in Greece or Turkey. Just outside Jerusalem, there’s a small Arab settlement called Abu Gosh which is popular for its restaurants and currently holds the world record for the largest dish of hummus. Druze dishes have identical origins to Arab food and tourists who tour the Druze villages in the Carmel can taste their foods.

The Israeli food industry is growing from strength to strength and rising in popularity. Already, Tel Aviv is home to the highest number of sushi eateries per capita worldwide and a restaurant, whose food has been adjudged as the best Italian meals outside Italy, by the Italian government. Yet, Israel is not resting on its oars. New restaurants spring up weekly with all manner of audacious and ingenious cooking gastronomic ideas. No cafeteria with average culinary skills survives, the wave of new entrants flushes them out especially in Tel Aviv. So when a restaurant has been around for 5-10 years, it’s no more just a restaurant, it is regarded as an institution. Cafeterias that last that long must be doing something well and it reflects in their meals.

With the footprints of Israel on the world’s food landscape getting larger, increasingly more persons are adding Israeli food sampling to their bucket list and choosing to visit Israel for its food. This is beyond gastric satiety, the food tourism sector is thriving here and opening new opportunities in the industry, tourists can even engage the services of food tour chaperones to help them explore the preferred food market.

Due to the growth of the food industry in recent years, Food tours now represent a significant chunk of the Israeli tourism market. From the food sampling excursions in Carmel Market, Tel Aviv to vegan food tours, there’s a large industry for food tours in Israel today and as many cuisines to be sampled across the country.

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