What is the best 10 street food in Israel? Well, the culinary scene in Israel has changed over the year, no doubt. So after you have had enough of all the Fine Restaurants in Israel, it is time to get our hands dirty and have some delicious and greasy Shawarma!
Best 10 Street food in Israel: Sabich
If you’re looking for the best 10 street food in Israel, you should start with Sabich! This vegetarian sandwich comprises fried aubergine, boiled eggs, chopped salad, amba (pickled mango sauce), and tahini. Some shops will let you add zhoug (spicy Cilantro sauce), a spicy chili, garlic, and coriander sauce. You can find amazing Sabich in Tel Aviv. There is a known story about who invented the Sabich, but I’ll tell you all about it on our private Tour of Tel Aviv! But you can find it at Levinsky Food Market.
So how many calories is it, and what are the nutritional values?
Calories – 500
Protein – 24 g (for a sabich with two eggs)
Carbohydrate – 65 g
Fat – 16 g
Hummus in Israel
What can I say about Hummus that hasn’t been said yet? So for those that just landed, here is a short explanation! In short, Hummus is a Middle Eastern dish made from cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with lots of tahini (grind sesame); some lemon juice, and garlic. The standard garnish in the Middle East includes olive oil, a few whole chickpeas, parsley, and paprika. But it has many different versions, and you can add more or less anything on top. It also comes as a spread in a pita or as a dip.
Where can I can delicious hummus in Israel? Well, an excellent place to start is the Old City of Jerusalem. One option would be at Hummus Arafat at the very end of David St. in the old town of Jerusalem. Another option would be in Tel Aviv at the Carmel Food Market. And, of course, there is Ali Karavan – Hummus Abu Hassan. And guys, don’t be shy to double dip. Because when you are in Israel, the meaning of breaking bread is literal, and you share the food. So double dipping is a must! Another option is in Acre, there you can try Hummus Said.
Best 10 Street food in Israel: Falafel
Another very famous street food in Israel is Falafel. Which is grinding chickpeas mixed with fresh herbs. Then after you’re done mixing it all up, you deep fry it all! Now jokes aside, Tel Aviv is probably the Falafel Capital of the world! I mean, there is a falafel stand literally on every street corner. But where are the best falafel stands in Tel Aviv? Well, in my humble opinion, as a private tour guide in Israel, the best joint is probably Hakosem in Tel Aviv. Why? You might ask me. So they use fresh ingredients and frequently change the oil, and all the ingredients are fresh.
In Jerusalem, there is another quite famous place: Falafel Shalom. But note that there are no fries, neither at Hakosem nor Falafel Shalom. Shoving fries into a pita was a bad habit that I’m glad it’s not practiced anymore!
Shawarma in Israel
One of the things we should thank the Turks for is introducing us to shwarma! What is Shwarma, you ask? So simply said, shwarma is pieces of meat in layers on a skewer, and at the top of the skewer, it is customary to add a few pieces of animal fat so that they will add flavor during the grilling of the meat and prevent it from drying out. The skewer, on which the layers of meat and fat rest, is hung vertically near a heat source and rotates slowly around its axis. This grilling method ensures a slow and uniform grilling of the meat and allows the pieces of fat at the top of the skewer to flow down the layers of meat and enrich their flavor.
There are different types of meat in Israel: In most places, you will find turkey some also offer beef, and then you can mix the two if you want. You can eat it in a pita, a Laffa (taboon bread), or on a plate. Some places even offer it in a baguette! (I never tried it in a baguette). The best place I would recommend if shwarma you desire would be Mutfak. Another restaurant is, of course, Hakosem! In Nazareth, I would recommend Hummus Imad. Yes, I know it’s weird to go to a hummus place and order shawarma. But trust me, it is superb!
Best 10 Street food in Israel: Shakshuka
Introduced by Jews coming from northern Africa, initially, the Shakshuka was made from leftover food. Back then, in the 1950s, when the austerity policy was imposed in Israel, people didn’t throw away food. All the rotten vegetables that you couldn’t use anymore for a salad. Yesterday’s sauce, which contained meat, chicken, and even fish, became a nutritious and quick meal, with the addition of several eggs. You just throw everything into the pan, and here you go, you have Shakshuka! Today its turned into a staple dish in every place that respects itself.
You will find a Jerusalem bagel stand right after you enter the Old Town Jerusalem via Jaffa Gate. Its characteristic shape is an elliptical ring, narrow and long, decorated with sesame. In its original form, it is served with olive oil and Za’atar (mixed herbs). Jerusalem bagel has a sweet taste, and often the bagel does not even contain salt. The bagel is sold in bakeries across the country and is expected at stalls in the Old City and Mahane Yehuda in Jerusalem.
Best 10 Street food in Israel: Mixed Grill
Jerusalem mixed grill is a grilled meat dish considered a specialty of Jerusalem. It consists of chicken hearts, spleens, and liver mixed with bits of lamb cooked on a flat grill, seasoned with onion, garlic, black pepper, cumin, turmeric, olive oil, and coriander. Just writing about it makes me want to eat it! The place to have it would be Hatzot at Agripas 121 St. in Modern Jerusalem.
First thing first, what is an Israeli Breakfast anyways? So an Israeli breakfast is a distinctive style that originated from the kibbutz (a socialist collective farm) and is now served at most hotels in Israel and many restaurants. It is usually done buffet style and consists of fruits, vegetables, salads, bread, pastries, dairy foods, eggs, and fish. Meat is not on the menu. My recommendations for a fantastic Israeli breakfast would be in one of the Artcaffe shops. There is Cafe Noir in Tel Aviv that serves a tremendous Israeli Breakfast! But that is only on the weekends! Another option is Hotel Montefiore. But again, only on the weekends.
Slow Cooked Israeli Food
Although it seemed that it had passed away from the world at least two or three decades ago, it turns out that even today, in the era of chef restaurants and tapas restaurants, the kerosene burners are still here. Those who try slow-cooked Israeli food simply become addicted and cannot keep themselves from returning. Usually, most dishes that rest on it are intended for long and patient cooking on very low heat. And the results are outstanding! I would recommend checking Azura in the Mahane Yehuda Food Market. Also, Rachmo restaurant, which is nearby, is one of my favorites! There are some at the Carmel Food Market, but they didn’t make my list.
Best 10 Street food in Israel: Knafeh & Baklawa
After discussing the starters and some main courses, let’s discuss deserts! Probably the one dessert you will find in any city, Arab or Jewish, is Knafeh! According to a well-known urban legend, the beginning of the Knafeh was a doctor’s prescription to cure the Muslim Caliphs’ hunger during Ramadan. In short: Knafeh is an Arab dessert made with a spun pastry called kataifi, soaked in a sweet, sugar-based syrup called attar, and typically layered with cheese or other ingredients such as clotted cream, pistachio, or nuts, depending on the region.
Now there are a couple of places where you should try some Knafeh. In Jaffa, you have a very good Knafeh called Yaffa Knaffeh. Baklava is a layered pastry made of filo dough, filled with chopped nuts, and sweetened with syrup or honey. It was one of the most popular sweet pastries in Ottoman cuisine! Also, you gotta try that while touring Israel.
Another last dessert that I would like to recommend is the Rogalach which is quite famous in Israel. The best Rogalach, in my opinion, is Marzipan, and better to get fresh out of the oven in Jerusalem in Food Market. Next to Marzipan Bakery, you could also find Bourekas Ramle, another famous street food in Israel.
Best 10 Street food in Israel: Final Notes!
Here are some final notes. There are other delicacies that I haven’t mentioned, and they are worth trying and finding. First is Bourekas, brought by Spheradic Jews (Descendent of Spanish Jews after the deportation in1492 CE). It has become popular in Israel to this day. Usually, people get that for breakfast. Bourekas are often made out of puff pastry filled with various fillings. Among the popular fillers are feta cheese, kashkaval cheese, minced meat, mashed potato, spinach and cheese, eggplant, and mushrooms. A famous place in Jerusalem is Bourekas Ramle.