Delicious Israel

Culinary and Lifestyle Experiences in the Holy Land

Delicious Israel offers foodies and culture-seekers a unique and adventurous way to vacation in Israel.

Our culinary and boutique specialty tours are limited to small groups so that together we can veer off the beaten path to eat, explore, learn and experience the authentic “insider” scene of Israeli lifestyle, history and culture.

A QUICK Delicious Dictionary of Israeli Cuisine

Israeli cuisine is a culmination of traditional foods from surrounding countries and areas. 

Being a “melting pot,” Israel has adopted foods that have arrived from many immigrants, 

such as from Yemen, North Africa, Turkey, and Iraq, among many others. Here are some 

traditional “Israeli” dishes that you can find while exploring the delicious country of Israel. 

  • Sabich- a street food made of fried eggplant, hard boiled egg, tahina, and vegetables served 
  • Pita- a slightly leavened bread used as a sandwich in many dishes of Israeli cuisine. Most often served with falafel and tehina inside of the pocket
  • Hummus- dip made out of pureed chick peas and tahina
  • Falafel- a Middle Eastern dish made of deep tried chickpea balls
  • Schwarma- grilled lamb or meat that is often “shaved” and served in a pita
  • “Israeli Breakfast”- typically includes fresh juice, coffee or tea, eggs, Israeli salad, cheese, freshly baked bread, jam, and butter
  • Shakshuka- a traditional Israeli breakfast, stemming from North African cuisine. A breakfast staple made up of poached eggs smothered in a tomato sauce with sautéed onions
  • Bureka- small Turkish pastry filled with cheese, spinach, eggplant, vegetables, or meat
  • Schnitzel- fried chicken cutlets 
  • Haloumi- a cheese made from a mixture of goat and sheep’s milk, producing a soft cheese that can be fried or grilled
  • Labane- a thick yogurt-based cheese typical in Israeli breakfasts 
  • Tzfatit- a semi-hard cheese made from sheep’s milk. First produced in Tzfat by Meiri dairy 
  • Knafeh- a dessert made of shredded pastry, soft cheese and a sweet syrup
  • Babka- a dessert made from double and twisted dough which often contains a cinnamon or chocolate filling topped with streusel
  • Halva- made out of sesame flavored tahini, halvah comes in many different flavors including chocolate, nut, coffee, and hundreds more
  • Rugelach- a Jewish pastry made with cream cheese dough rolled around chocolate, jam, or cinnamon

Spices and Condiments:

  • Za’tar- a spice mixture that is popular in the Middle East, served usually on meats, vegetables, hummus, or pita
  • Sumac- a reddish spice used in Middle Eastern cuisine to add a lemony taste to salads or meat. Commonly used in Israeli salad and sauteed onions
  • Doa/Dukka/Duqqa- an Egyptian spice mixture made of salt, coriander, peanuts, chickpeas, mint leaves, and sesame seeds 
  • Tahina- prepared sauce of ground sesame seeds (tahini), lemon, and garlic. Tahina is often eaten with falafel and pita 

Snacks and Drinks:

  • Bamba- a peanut butter-flavored puffed maize. Bamba also comes in other flavors as well
  • Lemonana- a drink made up of lemonade and mint that is often served frozen or blended 
  • Hafuch Coffee- literally means “upside-down” which consists of frothed milk on the bottom and espresso coffee on top. This is a cross between a cappuccino and a café latte
  • Gazoz- comes from the word “sparkling water.” Gazoz can come in many different flavors including a combination of various fruits, spices, vegetables, and herbs
  • Arak- a traditional alcoholic beverage in the Middle East made from anise
  • Sahlab- a hot Turkish drink based on milk and wild orchid powder 

The Booming Café Culture of Tel Aviv – No Pun Intended

BY: ALEXIS MILLER

In Tel Aviv every 50 meters you can spot a bustling café, each boasting a different atmosphere and ambiance, and filled with literary intellects, high-tech workers, families, and soldiers all in the same place. Cafés range from hipster, to preppy and chic, and anything in between. When one thinks of a café in the United States, it most likely consists of a Starbucks to-go or a muffin for the road. Yet, in Tel Aviv, the intersection of European style and start-up culture makes cafés used as meeting spots for friends, provisional offices, a writer’s haven, or for first dates. Their versatility is what makes café culture an institution dating back to Tel Aviv of the 1930s.  Any time of day, Tel Avivians and tourists migrate to conduct business or people-watch, all while snacking on a salad, sandwich, or drinking a fresh juice or cocktail, and of course the fantastic lattes, espressos and ice coffees.

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Even in times of struggle within the country - as we are experiencing now - many café-goers continue about their daily lives of eating and drinking. It keeps a sense of normalcy and allows people to find a sense of togetherness. In the height of this conflict, many businesses have taken a toll, and they are trying not let that affect their execution.  At Totzeret Haaretz, which means Made in Israel, (located at 12 Masaryk Square) the owner says that business is definitely slower than usual, but since most of their business is based on locals and people from the neighborhood who know about their café, they are staying afloat. The café consists of mostly outdoor seating, which is great for enjoying delicious coffee and a meal with a breeze. Totzeret Haaretz is known for their specialty coffee, which of course, I had to try! I had an iced cappuccino to accompany my shakshuka, which was probably one the best iced coffee I have ever had. Totzeret Haaretz attracts many different types of people from artists, musicians, and painters to businessmen and students. If the owner, Michel, does not like the vibe from a customer, he has no problem sending them next door to a more touristy spot.

Overall, the café culture in Tel Aviv is evident and is one of the many features making Tel Aviv so unique and accessible. Whether CEO of a major company or a local artist, people of all backgrounds can enjoy the Tel Aviv café scene. You do not necessarily need to go to a fancy restaurant for the best meal of your life. Many cafes produce delectable food and drink that will leave you wanting to come back for more!   

Best Cafés in Tel Aviv:

Café Xoho- Gordon Street 17. Try their freshly squeezed juices and smoothies and allergen-friendly fresh-baked goods.  

Café Puaa- Rabbi Yohanan Street 8. Their décor is antique and all furniture is available for purchase as part of the Jaffa flea market shtick.

Rothschild 12- Rothschild Blvd 12. If you are looking for a buzzing café in the heart of Tel Aviv, this is your spot, especially for people-watching.