Israel’s food culture is almost as diverse as its inhabitants. Being a “melting pot” country, it seems like those migrating to Israel in the past 6 decades have been throwing into the pot everything from Eastern European to North African traditional Jewish cooking. Mixed with the Arab kitchen of the region as well as Mediterranean influences and other global trends, Israel’s food is a fusion of East & West, speaking all languages and serving every taste.
Traditional Local Food
Yes, you can get a great pasta dish or fancy sushi in Israel, but when visiting this unique country you should try to get as much of Israel’s traditional local food. The “Top 3” falling under this category are: Hummus, Falafel and Shawarma. It’s true that all three (or variations of those) can be found in other Mediterranean countries, but Israel has embraced them and made them her own. Whether in a street kiosk in downtown Tel Aviv or in a romantic seafood restaurant on the beach, you can’t go wrong with those dishes. Of course, Hummus is a favorite among Israelis and you can find it anywhere. It’s healthy and delicios.
Despite being the only county in the world for the Jewish people, a large portion of the people do not keep Kosher, and a large part of its restaurants don’t carry a Kosher food tag. If you are looking for Kosher food while in Israel, a safe bet would be to visit hotel restaurants, which are required to serve Kosher food. Most large supermarkets and food chains also offer Kosher products.
Israel’s food culture also includes drinking: a lot of coffee (and tea) drinking, to begin with. Israel’s tap water is safe to drink although many brands of mineral water can be bought anywhere. The most popular alcoholic drinks are wine and beer. Israeli wine is famous worldwide and has been winning prestigious awards in the past several years. There isn’t too much local beer making, but almost every global brand can be found in bars, restaurants and supermarkets.