While touring Judea you’ll find yourself at some point for a need for a bite to eat. So this post is about the best eateries in Judea. The region offers not only beautiful and peaceful views; but also a dizzying culinary; which includes wineries; breweries; bakeries; dairy farms and home to country restaurants.
A short drive from Tel Aviv, there is one of the most beautiful and unique parts of the country. Here are the forested mountains of Jerusalem; the Ella Valley with archeological sites and hills that in winter, are covered in wonderful blooms, and the area between Latrun and Kibbutz Tzora is full of golden wheat fields; vineyards, and monasteries. Some call this area “Israeli Tuscany,” but the truth is that it is a beautiful area in itself, even without the need for comparisons to distant parts of the country. However, one of the points where one can feel the resemblance to Tuscany is the food.
Best Eateries in Judea: Rosenberg Winery
In Moshav Bekoa in Latrun area is the vineyard and winery of the Rosenberg family, and next to it is the visitor center. The winery was established by the Rosenberg family in 2012 and is named after their eldest son Barak who died at the age of 18 from a serious illness. Barak was a talented comic book painter and the characters he painted, including various superheroes, adorn the winery’s logo and unique bottle labels. In addition to wines, the place also produces cheese, but it seems that Yossi Rosenberg’s great love is bread. Yossi makes great sourdough bread and also holds bread workshops there.
To enjoy all the goodness of the place, it is recommended to come to the brunch here every Friday. The brunch serves a buffet that includes bread; focaccia, great personal quiches, fresh salads; antipasti, cheeses, and more. What sets this brunch apart is the free wine served here alongside the food. The cost of all this goodness is 80 shekels per person. In addition, special events are held at the venue, including musical performances at least once a month. After dinner, you can walk in the area – the plane grove; the Defenders Forest; Latrun Monastery, and Tel Gezer are all a short drive away.
Best Eateries in Judea: Salwa’s Home-Made Cooking
If Arabian food for you is delicious Hummus and savory kebabs, you should soon head to Salwa’s home restaurant in the charming village of Ein Nakuba. Awadallah and Salwa’s restaurant is located in a beautiful stone house; where the charming couple serves classic and seasonal Arab food prepared with a lot of love. Furthermore, the boutique atmosphere that characterizes much of the food business of the Judea region is felt here as well. The restaurant is only open on Friday and Saturday, only the family members work there and it is obvious that the couple puts the desire to cook and entertain first and only then treat the place as a business.
Their hospitality is very generous; the dishes are huge, and for only NIS 100 you will receive more than a dozen types of salads; three types of pastries – plump carrots stuffed with spinach; hyssop and meat, stuffed, including vine leaves, zucchini, and more. All that before the main courses.
These include traditional dishes such as mansaf (steamed rice on a loaf with mutton, pine nuts, and almonds), Sinya, makluba (rice cooked with fried vegetables and mutton or chicken); Maftoul (Arabian couscous rolled by hand and served with spiced onion, chicken or lamb) and much more!
Best Eateries in Judea: Soreq Winery
Sorek Winery in Kibbutz Nachshon is one of the first boutique wineries in the country. When it was established, in 1994, there were only 14 wineries in the country, of which five were boutique wineries (small and family wineries, which produce a relatively small amount of bottles, and those in which the owner is also the winemaker and marketer).
Today, for comparison, there are about 300 wineries around the country, about forty of them in the Judea area. This boom in the Israeli wine industry is largely responsible for Sorek Winery itself, which also has one of the first schools in the country for winemaking. The school’s graduates over the years have established about a hundred wineries across the country. The winery produces 12 different grape varieties, including Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Merlot, Patti Verdot, Grange, and more, as well as blends.
Best Eateries in Judea: Les Jumelles
After all the food you are asked to indulge in something sweet, and for that, you should go to the café Les Jumelles (which means twins in French) in Beit Nekofa. The cafe was opened in the summer of 2016 by the twins Maayan and Rotem Suissa. So Maayan is the confectioner, Rotem the cook; and they both serve a dairy menu that includes breakfasts, salads, sandwiches, quiches, and pasta, along with a large variety of breakfast pastries, cakes (do not give up Maayan’s cheesecake), cookies, macaroons, and other sweet treats. The design is charming and the atmosphere is pleasant.