Israeli street foods you haven't tried yet
Israel is a salad bowl of cultures which comes together to bring amazing cuisine from every corner of the globe. We’re going beyond hummus and falafel - here's a list of incredible street foods that you can not miss during your holiday in Israel!
This slushy, creamy, caffeinated beverage will quench your thirst on Israel’s hottest day. Nearly every cafe sells this sweet coffee drink and it’s the best way to beat the heat. My personal favorite comes from Loveat Café in Tel Aviv!
Sink your teeth into this delightful vegetarian pita sandwich. It’s debatable where the original sandwich was created, but what we do know is that an Iraqi Jew named Sabich from around Tel Aviv created this dish. Thinly sliced deep-fried eggplant is masterfully layered in a pita pocket with cucumber and tomato salad, tahini sauce, hard-boiled egg, and generously doused with Amba (bitter mango sauce). My favorite places for this great sandwich: Ovad’s Sabich in Givatayim, Sabich Tzchernehovsky in Tel Aviv, and Aricha in Jerusalem.
This Yemenite dish is thin dough slathered in butter or margarine and tightly rolled into a cylinder. Its baked at a low temperature for a long time and is typically served for Saturday lunch. It’s a quick, vegetarian-friendly street snack that you can grab day or night. Traditionally its served with grated tomatoes and a hard-boiled egg. My favorite spot is Jerusalem’s Jahnun Bar.
As you walk around Jerusalem’s Old City, it’s impossible to miss the carts piled high with an array of baked goods. Among the different pastries is the long sesame seed-coated ring known as the Jerusalem bagel. Legend has it that Jerusalem bagels are best eaten in the Holy City due to its elevation and cannot be recreated elsewhere. Served with a small seasoning packet of za’atar (a Middle Eastern spice blend of hyssop, sesame, sumac, and salt), this is a great snack to cure your mid-day cravings. Traveling Israel on a budget? Read our list of fun free things to do in Jerusalem!
One of my guilty pleasures is this greasy, savory, doughy treat. Ground beef seasoned with either tahini or tomatoes and onion top oil-covered flatbreads. Hot and fresh from the oven, there is no better treat to stumble upon during your adventures.
Though originally from the Baltic region, Israel has taken bourekas cheese-filled filo pastries and upgraded them! Filled with a variety of ingredients such as cheese, mushroom, potato, and pizza, bourekas are a tasty snack as is. Take it one step further by splitting it in half and filling with tahini, hard-boiled egg, and hot pepper sauce and you’ve got a gluttonous snack. My favorite spots are Mama’s Bourekas in Tel Aviv and Bourekas Ramle.
Picture this - seasoned ground meat stuffed inside a pita, grilled to perfection and topped with tahini, pickled cabbage slaw, and chopped parsley! This classic dish has made a resurgence in the past couple of years and can now be found across the country . My favorite is at Al-Za’eem Grill across from Mary’s Well in Nazareth.
About the writer, Alex Zaprudsky
Alex Zaprudsky is a licensed tour guide based in Jerusalem. He loves to share the history and traditions of Israel through the flavors, smells, and sounds of the various cultures. You can contact him at www.alexinisrael.com, www.facebook.com/alexinisrael, or www.instagram.com/alexzaprudsky.