9 Foods You Must Eat in Israel

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Eat (and Instagram) your way through this food-rich country
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Photo Modified: Flickr / StateofIsrael / CC BY-SA 4.0

Shakshuka is one of many things you should travel to Israel for.

The foods of Israel come in so many colors, flavors, and spice levels. Meat lovers and vegans alike feel like they have plenty of options. Here are the 10 foods you must eat when you are there. 

9 Foods You Must Eat in Israel (Slideshow)

To choose the 9 foods on this list — and it wasn’t easy — we reached out to friends, colleagues, and family who live, have lived in, or have visited Israel and asked them what foods stood out the them the most, and the best places to find them. We also consulted magazines on Israel and Jewish culture, including Haaretz and Tablet.

Hummus is not on this list, but only because that’s a given; of course you should eat hummus in Israel. We especially recommend you try it the way they serve it in Haifa: warmed, drizzled with oil, with raw onions to scoop it out instead of pita. Try it at Humus Abu Marwan. In Jerusalem, there’s Abu Shukri, and in West Jerusalem, go to Ta'ami, a favorite of Jersulam-born chef and food writer Yotam Ottolenghi.

We couldn’t match some of these foods, like Jerusalem bagels, to a particular restaurant, because they taste the best when you eat them in markets or on the street. You don’t want to miss out the street food culture in this beautiful country.

Dried Fruit

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Don’t just stop by a shuk (market) and look at the amazing displays of dried fruit; try a few. We recommend dried pineapple and strawberries. Though preserved lemon is not necessarily a dried fruit, it is something you simply cannot miss — and you’ll probably find it hard to miss, as Israelis add it to everything from salads to rice. Don’t leave Shuk Mahane Yehuda in Jerusalem, one of Eden Grinshpan’s top 10 places to eat around the world, without taking some dried fruit with you.

Falafel

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You’re probably not surprised to see falafel on this list. In Israel, falafels often include amba, a tangy, pickled mango chutney. If you are craving an authentic Israeli falafel, head to Falafel Adir in Jerusalem’s German colony.

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