Israel Food & Drinks
The cuisine of Israel reflects the multicultural nature of the country. The grandparents or great-grandparents of much of the Jewish population of Israel come from more than 120 countries spread over 6 continents, bringing recipes and traditions from their home countries. As a result, the cuisine of Israel is very diverse. There is a Mediterranean influence felt on the coast with olive oil, various pieces of bread and of course, fish.
When in Israel, one will often hear the word Kosher. This refers to food that has been prepared and served according to Judaism’s 3,000-year-old dietary laws. Eating pork and shellfish is prohibited, and so too is mixing meat ingredients with dairy ingredients. Most hotels are kosher and restaurants will have certificates outside letting patrons know if it is a kosher establishment.
Popular dishes include:
Falafel: This is considered to be Israel’s number one street food and it is available everywhere. It is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both.
Hummus: This is a dip made from ground chickpeas blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. Although hummus is a traditional Arab dish, it is popular in the Jewish community because it is made from ingredients that according to kosher laws can be combined with both meat and dairy meals.
Shawarma: This is usually made from turkey meat that is sliced and marinated and then roasted on a huge rotating skewer. When it is ready to be eaten, it is shaved off and stuffed in a pita with hummus and tahina or other accompaniments.
Gefilte fish: A traditional Jewish white fish dish, Gefilte fish is made from a poached mixture of ground-boned fish, such as carp, whitefish or pike. It is usually eaten as an appetizer.
Shakshuka: This is a dish of eggs that have been poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chilli peppers, onions and sometimes flavoured with cumin.
Drinking water in Israel is usually fine, however, bottled water is readily available, and so too are fresh fruit juices. The most popular beers in Israel are Goldstar and Maccabee, however, many microbreweries have begun to pop up in recent years. There are over 3,000 vineyards and more than 200 wineries in Israel, with wine produced there since Biblical times. Sabra is popular chocolate and orange liqueur. When it is chilled, the chocolate taste is more prominent, while warming it brings out the citrus taste.
Things to know:
A 15% service charge is often added to restaurant, café and hotel bills.
Israel Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy-to-navigate travel information section dedicated to Israel.
Learn about the history and culture of Israel, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Israel's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, and 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information, will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Israel for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our Israel tours today!
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