Gordon Tours Israel Blog

What Israelis Eat at Restaurants

Icon June 16, 2020
Icon By Shai Navon
Icon 0 comments

Israelis were thrilled to see the re-opening of restaurants all around the country again these last few weeks! With the country up and running again, locals are now able to go out and enjoy some of the food that makes this region so renowned for its cuisine. While tourists are going to have to wait just a little longer to experience these culinary gems, we’ve compiled a guide to Israel’s best and most typical dishes for you to peruse in the meantime, and one easy recipe for you to try at home! Here’s what a typical culinary day in the life of Israelis may look, and taste like!

Morning

One thing is absolutely certain, Israelis love veggies as part of their breakfast. While the concept of a salad for breakfast may befuddle some international visitors at first, it’s not hard to see why Israelis love it. No Israeli breakfast is complete without a big salad full of fresh vegetables. Accompanying the salad, the traditional “Israeli breakfast” is comprised of freshly baked bread and a variety of spreads and toppings like tahini, cream cheese, labaneh (a tart yogurt-cheese), tuna salad, jam or preserves. This mezze spread is also accompanied by a scrambled egg dish, or a tofu scramble for vegans. Fun fact: Israel holds the title of most vegans per capita of any country and is often considered to be the vegan capital of the world! Many Israeli restaurants and dining establishments accommodate vegans and have a variety of non-animal-based options.

Israeli Breakfast

Mid-day

Many Israelis grab street food for lunch, and it’s likely because Israel has some of the tastiest and healthiest street food options around. One such option is hummus, likely the food that Israel is most known for… and for good reason! Usually served warm with freshly baked pita, each neighborhood joint offers its own take on the quintessential Israeli dish, topping it with chickpeas, olive oil, lemon, or parsley. Another classic, falafel is an Israeli street food that somehow manages to feel like a delicious splurge and a healthy choice at the same time. Falafel is made by frying balls of a blend of chickpeas and herbs, and is served in a pita with fresh vegetables and sauces like hummus and tahini. Many places will throw some french fries in there, too!

We’ve included an easy recipe for hummus that you can try at home at the end of this post, to tide you over until travel is possible again!

Hummus
Falafel

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Evening

Since Israel is home to people with origins from all over the world, global cuisine is a given, so it’s no surprise that going out for dinner offers plenty of delicious options. And while international food options are the norm, dinner’s dessert is quite often something very typically Israeli. In the summer, a popular option is Malabi- a Middle Eastern dessert of creamy pudding flavored with rosewater and topped with peanuts or pistachios. In the winter, Israelis turn to Sahlab, a delicious, creamy warm drink flavored with spices, cinnamon, and rosewater. This decadent dessert-drink is sure to warm you up on a chilly winter evening!

Sahlab
Malabi

There you have it! A typical day’s worth of meals in Israel. It won’t be long before the culinary and cultural bounties of Israel are open again to travelers from all over the world! In the meantime enjoy this DIY recipe for homemade Hummus! Bon Apetit!

 

DIY At-Home Hummus Recipe

2 cups of chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 cup raw tahini
2 cloves garlic
2 lemons
½ teaspoon baking soda (optional)
Salt
Cumin

Put the chickpeas in a pot and fill with water to one inch above the beans. Add the garlic cloves, peeled and whole, bring to a boil, then simmer until the chickpeas are soft. When the beans are soft, add half a teaspoon of baking soda and cook until the chickpeas begin to fall apart.

Strain the beans from the water, but don’t drain the water! Put it aside for later. Place the beans and garlic in a food processor, add 2-3 tablespoons of the cooking liquid, and blend until smooth. Then add the raw tahini and continue to blend. Juice the lemons, then add the juice to the hummus slowly, continuing to blend and tasting as you go. Do the same for the salt and the cumin next. Serve topped with olive oil and garnish with some whole chickpeas. Enjoy!

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