Appreciation of food is very personal.
I sometimes find it difficult to appreciate expensive wine, but I can always tell a good Hummus 🙂.
This list is there for very personal list by my taste, but it is based also on feedbacks of tourists. In general the food scene in Israel is AMAZING!, and that’s not just me saying it, but also Forbes.com..
Think you know Israeli Food well enough? try to pass this quiz..
- Those caring for Kosher food will find this web site useful.
- Check out also my list of Gluten Free food options.
The biggest buzz over a restaurant in Jerusalem for the last few years is at Mahaneyudah () which is located at the edge of the vegetable market by the same name (Mahane Yehudah Market ). So popular and succesful that its owners now run four more restaurants, inlcluding TWO in London (!).
For less pricy options in the Mahane Yehudah Market you could to the “Jerusalmite” style kitchen experience at Azura (), Rachmo (), Kurdish style IMA (), or the great new Maroccan style Hamotsi!(). Consider also the trendy Italian style Pasta Basta () or American style Crave ().
Other good choices would be Chakra (), and to less extent Kosher Angelica () in the city center, and restaurants along Shlomzion street, such as Lara (), Focaccita (), or Kosher Gabriel (). An excellent combination of location and cuisine is Mamilla rooftop (), especially at sundown!.
The Former Turkish train station (“First Station” ) provides several new places to eat, inlcuding Adom (), Hamiznon (), or Asian style Station 9 (). Near it are also good options Satya () , Colony () and The Culinary Workshop (“Hasadna“) ().
For an ethnic experience go either to the authentic Armenian Tavern () or Bulghourji () in the Armenian Quarter of the Old City , the vegetarian Eastern European style Café Harova () in the old city. Next to Jaffa Gate is the very special Eucalyptus (), and off Jaffa Road is the Moroccan style Darna ().
And of course the best Hummus joints are in Jerusalem!. In the Old City go to Hummus Lina ( top 10) or Hummus Achramawi, and in western Jerusalem go to Pinati ()(which is now a chain, but only the Jerusalem original branch is really good!). near it Ta’ami is also a good choice, and so is Hummus Talpiot, which is,well, in talpiot.
If planning a tour of the Israel Museum the Modern () restaurant is a pleasent meal, as well as Leo Bistro (), opposite the Supreme court. In Baq’a the two sister restaurants “Olive” and “Olive and Fish” () would provide a nice dinner. In Ein Karem , Karma () is my favorite.
Outside Jerusalem a popular destination for an Arab cuisine is the village of Abu Gosh, where Naji () would be the best Kabab option, or Majda () in nearby Ein Rafa. If heading towards Gush-Ezion, Gavna will provide a good kosher vegetarian meal (with the most spectacular view in Israel!).
Tel-Aviv has many good restaurants, and the list could always include more. In the Vicinity of Rothschild Boulevard you can try Eyal Shani’s Tsfon Abraxas (), The excellent Italian style “Cantina” (), or a Vietnamese cuisine at Vong ().
If you are seeking a fast food option in that area, nothing beats Sabich Frishman (except for Maybe Falafel Frishman (), ah ah..), although “Falafel Hakosem ()” is also damm good.. For Shawarma, no doubt Dabush () is the best!, and for Pizza try excellent Tony Vespa ().
For a great Arab kitchen experience go to Jaffa and order the Kebab Halabi in Haj-Kahil (), fresh fish and sea-food at Hazaken Vehayam (“The Old Man and the Sea”) () at Jaffa port, or excellent Hummus at Abu-Hassan /Ali Karavan ().
In Tel-Aviv port you can enjoy Mul-Yam () which is perhaps the best sea food in Israel (!). A less costly sea food option but still very good would be Benny Hadayag (). You can try also the new and trendy “Kitchen Market“(), and if you are a vegi, nearby Bariba () is also a good choice.
If strolling in Neve Tzedek you can fetch some nice steaks at Makom shel Bashar ()(=”A place of Meat”), and complement it with romantic Nana-Bar (). And you manage to get a table, try the restaurant that opens only once a week.. Burek ().
In Sarona , the best food experience, by far, is SUBERB Claro (). Recently a whole food market was opened in the complex as well (“Sarona Market” (). Of the many food stands I recommend especially the “Hiro Free Style Aharoni’s Ramen Bar” (), and the three “Segev Concept” stands.
Segev () and Segev Express () are managed well by chef and celebrity Moshe Segev, and Aviv Moshe’s Messa () will also provide a very good meal experience. So will Toto () , Brasserie (), and Hadar Ochel ().
For an Ethnic experience go to Dr. shakshuka (), who provides an excellent shakshuka as well as a Lybian kitchen. For Thai style go to “Thai House” (), trendy Zozobra, or Thai-Indian Topolopompo (). For Japanese try Disco Tokyo ().
For Chinese go to Sing Long near the central bus station, and for Italian the SUPERB “Cantina” () and Amore Mio () restaurant on Ibn Gvirol Street. Its neighbor Brasserie () will also be a pleasing experience, but the latest buzz is over Eyal Shani’s Miznon (), top-end “street food” style restaurant.
North of Tel-Aviv, Reviva and Celia (), in Ramat Hasharon are a coffee and desert “institution”.
|A 2017 article in YNET reviews most options for Kosher restaurants in Tel-Aviv: Ewa Safi () – Morrocan style; Meat Kitchen – Meat; L’Aile ou la Cuisse TLV () – French Bistro; Meatos () – Meat; Goshen () – BBQ; Uno () – Italian; “Kosher Derby Bar” – Fish; Fish Market () – Fish; Deca () – Fish and Diary, Hatasiya 10; Nini Hachi () – Asian, Ben Yehudah; 228; Chiripom () – Algerian of Chef Avi Levi, Ahad Ha’am 29; Shallot () – fancy meat and Kavkazi, Habarzel 3; In almost all 5 stars hotels in Tel-Aviv you can find also a Kosher restaurant. Perhaps the most interesting one is Blue Sky () – Dairy of chef Meir Adoni, At Carlton hotel rooftop.|
|Based on a 2016 pole of 100 Israeli chefs and culinary experts, this webpage ranks the highest scores Israeli restaurants recieved. Most are in Tel-Aviv: Number #1: Toto (); Number #2: Thai House (); Number #3: Taizu (); Number #4: Rafael (); Number #5: Mashya (); Number #6: Catit (); Number #7: Topolopompo (); Number #8: Shila () and Pronto (); Number #9: Habasta (); Number #10: Brut (); Number #11: Yaffo-Tel-Aviv () and Yakimono ().|
The north offers a wide range of dinning possibilities, from Arab and druze kitchen, chef restauants, to Kibbutz lunch meals. In kibbutz Sdot Yam near Caesarea one can find a standard yet interesting kibbutz lunch. At Caesarea Harbor one can find several restaurants, but Helena (#1) stand out by fr as the best.
Near it, at Atlit, one can find good and kosher fish restaurant named Ben-Ezra the Fisherman. Meat lovers would be content at Alabama in Netanyah. Wine lovers will love a visit to Kushtunio () wine-bar in Zichron Yaakov .
Further north, in the Carmel, the best Druze restaurant is Andarin. For a top Arab cuisine experience go to Tishreen ( top 10) or Diana (top 10) or in Nazareth , or El-Babur, not far from Megiddo . Nazareth also has several sweets shops that offer excellent Knafeh (), and the best falafel stand in the north, at Falafel Abu Hani Gabaly ()!
In Haifa itself Sinta-Bar () is a great gourmet restaurants, but perhaps a better local Arab ethnic experience would be Kalamris () at the great “Stella Maris” viewpoint, or Douzan () or Fatoush (), both along the German Colony in Haifa .
In Akko best Sea Food restaurant is the famous chef restaurant Uri Buri (). And for the best Sea food bar go to Savida (). For an Arab style fish restaurant try Doniana (), and for the best Hummus experience go to Humus Said ().
Around the Sea of Galilee don’t miss the opportunity to try St. Peter fish in Decks () or Little Tiberias () in Tiberias ; Magdalena () at Migdal; Superb Foccacia () or Dag al Hadan () at the source of the Jordan River ; or fish restaurant in kibuutz Ein-gev (or Marinado Banamal () for meat lovers).
The best gourmet and organic restaurant in the north would probably be Muscat () in Mizpe Hayamin Spa Resort, and just as good is the nearby Shulamit Auberge (). In Rosh Pina you will also enjoy breakfast or lunch at Pina Barosh – Shiri Bistro (), or a good steak at Doris () . Near Golani Junction you also have the superb organic AND KOSHER Makom BeSejera ().
In the Golan Heights there are several good food options. In Katsrin you can enjoy a good burger and locally made beer in the Golan Brewery. Other good options are Havat Habokrim in kibbutz Meron Golan, Yogi-Chef in Wasset junction, Betty and Nachi () in Ramot, and Villa V (), in Had Nes. And If you wish to try some Druze Food, go to Peace Restaurant in Masa’ade.
If returning to Jerusalem via the Jordan valley you could have a nice (and kosher) lunch stop at Kibbutz Tirat-Zvi (that’s where I grew up!), Dag Dagan, Kimmel in the Gilboa (), or The Last chance, near Jericho.
Heading south? I am afraid there is not much to offer along the way.. In Ashdod you have the superb “Idi” () Fish restaurent, and in Moshav Segula and Beer-Sheva you have the good meat restaurant of Cramim ().
Further SW, not to far from Gaza strip, Nethachim at Yad-Mordechai junction can supply a descent lunch break.
If your destination is Eilat via Road 90, perhaps best to pack some sandwiches and drive along the Aravah and only stop for Coffee at Aroma Hatzevah… Ok, you can do one stop at Yotveta for some locally made ice cream.
At Mizpe Ramon there are also several nice options: Tzokim (), which has the BEST view of all, although the dairy restaurant () of 5 star plus “Bresheet” () hotel has even a BETTER one.. Innsense (), Pangea (), Neto Besarim, or Hahavit () are also all good options. Near Mitzpe Ramon you can also try some really good wine at “Kish Farm” and “Rujum Winery” () at “Tsel Midbar“, or a good selection of local goat cheese at farms like Kornmehl () and Haroa () Farms.
If touring Timna park, Timna restaurant offers a surprising nice desert meal, made of home made pitah bread with a variety of light salads.
Recommended Israeli Food Chains
Macdonalds can be seen in every corner in Israel too, but if you are after fast food, atleast go for the local chains. There are several pretty good burger bar chains (Moses, Agadir, Black bar n burger, Burger’s Bar, Burgerim, and more), or go for some oily fatty and so tasty veal shawrma in Hashamen.
A tour of Israel is not complete without a Falafel of which the chain Falafel gina and Falafel Arba Taamin ( = “Falafel four flavors”).