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Israeli Food: 15 Popular Dishes You Must Try

Israeli cuisine is incredibly diverse, with influences from all around the world represented in its dishes. Whether you’re looking to try something new or just need a refresher on your favorite Israeli dishes.

Are you looking to explore the incredible flavors of Israeli food? From the traditional Shakshuka, Hummus, and Falafel dishes to the more unusual Jachnun, Schnitzel, and Shawarma plates, this vibrant cuisine offers something for everyone.

Whether it’s a classic dish or a new flavor discovery that you’re seeking, be sure to try out these 15 popular Israeli food dishes during your visit!


1. Shakshuka

This traditional meal is a popular breakfast choice throughout the country, but it can be enjoy anytime. Poached eggs serve in a bed of spicy tomatoes, peppers, and onions (and occasionally feta cheese!) make up the comforting dish.

Depending on what region of Israel you’re in. You may find variations from this basic recipe as local cooks add their own unique flare. Shakshuka is serve with freshly baked black or wheat pita for a filling dinner.

Dr Shakshuka


2. Hummus

Is a dip made from chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and tahini. A popular Israeli dish is a falafel; crunchy deep-fried balls of spiced chickpeas served in a pita with plenty of hummus. Also frequently found on menus across the country are sabich and shawarma.

Sabich consists of vegetables such as eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes inside a pita. Then topped with hummus and tahini sauce; and shawarma is strips of seasoned meat tucked into a warm pita accompanied with hummus and salad. Hummus can also be enjoyed alone, served lightly warmed with spices like cumin for dipping bread.



3. Falafel

Traditionally a deep-fried ball made from ground chickpeas and vegetables. There are numerous variations in preparation and ingredients.

However, it always consists of mashed chickpeas, usually mixed with herbs and spices. It is typical to serve falafel on its own, as part of a salad or sandwich, or with hummus and tahini.



4. Baba Ghanoush

This traditional dish consists of roasted eggplants that are mashed with a unique blend of seasoning, creating a creamy, smoky dip. It may be eaten as an appetizer or side dish and often served alongside pita bread or vegetables.

If you’re considering trying some traditional Middle Eastern cuisine during your visit to Israel, then Baba Ghanoush is a must! Its cheesy-like flavor will have you coming back for more.

Baba Ghanoush


5. Jachnun

It is a typical Yemenite dish that can be have at any time of day but is usually provided for breakfast.  It is composed of flat dough that resembles puff pastry and is bake gently over several hours until golden and flaky on the outside.

Jachnun is frequently served with hard-boiled eggs and grated tomato seasoned with salt for a burst of flavor. It is improve with a blend of sweetness and herbs.

You will also find variations such as Sufganiyot, and sesame-stuffed folded pastries. So head out to Israel and eat your way through the delightful Jachnun dishes!

5. Jachnun


6. Schnitzel

This well-known dish is created with a thin veal or chicken cutlet that is breaded and fried to a golden brown and crispy texture. Served with a side salad and mayonnaise, it’s an unforgettable experience!

In Israel, you can find the classic schnitzel in almost any eatery. However, if you want something unique, try one of the many variations that Israelis have come up with over the years.

There’s a schnitzel with mushroom sauce, some versions covered in parmesan cheese or served on pita bread. Even dijon mustard and honey can give your schnitzel an original flavor. Whatever version you try, it’s sure to keep you coming back for more!

6. Schnitzel


7. Shawarma

One of the most popular dishes in this region is shawarma. A mouthwatering sandwich made with thin slices of roasted beef, lamb, or chicken. Stuffed into pita bread with a variety of other ingredients like hummus, pickles, and salad.

The experienced chef grills the meat carefully over a rotisserie until it’s succulent and juicy. Israeli food is famous for its vibrant tastes and inventive recipes, many of which feature tahini in some way.

There’s even an episodic show in Israel dedicated to exploring this popular dish as locals travel between different restaurants to sample various flavors of shawarma. From traditional recipes to trendy fusion versions, Israeli cuisine is sure to leave you delighted.



8. Tahini

Israeli food is famous for its vibrant tastes and inventive recipes, many of which feature tahini in some way. Popular options such as Falafel, Hummus, Baba Ghanoush, and Tabbouleh provide a fantastic introduction to the complex flavors of Israeli cuisine.

But for those looking to take things up a notch, there are also several unique dishes like Malabi and Krembo that bring together tahini with other traditional ingredients. From soups and salads to entrees, desserts, and snacks.

Tahini plays an integral role in melding these exciting flavors together. Even if you have a more adventurous palate, you can rest assured there is something out there that will tantalize your taste buds when visiting Israel!



9. Kebab

Often served with pita bread and tahini, are one of the most delicious alternatives to traditional Israeli street food. With melt-in-your-mouth lamb and beef shawarma or spicy falafel, there’s something for everyone.

To try something unique, opt for Jerusalem’s Shawarma Arabi which consists of lamb meat cooked over coals and spread over a rotisserie rod. Another must-try is Iraq Kebab – grilled marinated beef cubes served on skewers with onions and parsley.

For a vegetarian twist, sample Batata Harra – diced potato mixed with red peppers and garlic, all grilled together to perfection.

Finally, for real local flavor, enjoy Iraqi Kubbah – ground beef filled with ground rice and spices all seasoned as desired before being fried to golden moist perfection – it’s delicious!



10. Israeli Salad

A popular dish found throughout the country is Israeli salad, made from chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, and parsley blended with olive oil and lemon juice. It is as popular in Israeli homes as it is on restaurant menus; often accompanied by hummus and pita bread.

Many chefs have taken this classic recipe to new heights, adding ingredients like olives, capers, or avocados to customize the flavor to their own preferences.

With its simple and straightforward ingredients, Israeli salad is a perfect example of traditional food that continues to be reinvent and enjoyed by people everywhere.

Israeli Salad


11. Malabi

A classic dessert of thick rosewater pudding topped with crushed nuts and spices, Malabi is the perfect combination of sweet and savory. With the addition of cream, rosewater syrup, or tamarind sauce to add an extra layer of flavor, this dish is truly a must-try while in Israel.

While traditionally served cold, some restaurants will also serve it warm! Although it’s easy to find in restaurants around the country, you can even make your own with many do-it-yourself recipes that are available online.

If you like trying different foods from around the world and have an appetite for adventure in the kitchen – Malabi should definitely be top of your list!



12. Rugelach

Israel is a cultural melting pot of Middle Eastern flavors and traditions. Making it an immensely vibrant place to explore the tastes and aromas of the region. One popular dish that is sure to tantalize your taste buds is rugelach – a traditional Jewish pastry.

Made with flaky dough and available in a variety of unique flavors. Whether you prefer sweet or savory fillings, there is something for everyone to enjoy with rugelach dishes. Including classic renditions filled with cinnamon sugar and raisins, fresh strawberry jam, poppy seed spread, and more.

If you are feeling adventurous, be sure to try more unconventional options. Like chocolate with walnuts, kushareh (a spiced mixture of potatoes, onions, and paprika), or even labaneh sausage!



13. Bourekas

A delicious, savory pocket of dough typically filled with cheese, spinach, mushrooms, and other tasty ingredients. If you visit Israel, you must try it because these tiny pastries are available almost everywhere and can be either warm or cold.

They are commonly enjoy as a snack or part of lunch but they also make incredible appetizers. Bourekas come in a variety of sizes and forms, and they’re usually filled with savory ingredients including meat, eggs, potatoes, onions, zucchini, and more.

These traditional Israeli dishes offer an enjoyable medley of flavors that provide an unforgettable dining experience for all who indulge in them.

20. Bourekas


14. Kubaneh

A popular comfort food for many Israelis, this traditional cooked-overnight dish is produce by baking soft, fluffy dough for up to 12 hours in a pot. It may be serve for breakfast or brunch, but if you can’t wait until the morning, many establishments also serve it in the evening.

The deep-fried dough is then cover in za’atar and fresh herbs. Then paired with an array of accompaniments like boiled eggs, pickles, and hummus. If there’s one thing to know about the flavor of Kubaneh, it’s that the longer it cooks, the more intense the taste.



15. Sabich

This classic, vegetarian masterpiece of fried eggplant, hard-boiled eggs, and potato. Layered with over a bed of freshly-baked pita bread and perfectly spiced with tahini, amba sauce, and other delicious accompaniments.

No trip to Israel is complete without a visit earning about this tasty local treasure. And what better way to do that than by stopping off at your neighborhood. Falafel joint and ordering up a sizable helping of Sabich?



In conclusion

The flavors and traditional dishes of Israel offer an incredible array of unique delights that will please anyone’s palate. Whether you’re a fan of savory or sweet, there is something for everyone in this vibrant culinary landscape.

From shakshuka to hummus, falafel, baba ghanoush and jachnun. To schnitzel, shawarma, tahini, and kebab to Israeli salad – you can sample your way through the country’s famous dishes.

Other must-try items include Malabi, rugelach, bourekas, kubaneh, and Sabich. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and explore all that Israeli cuisine has to offer! Bon Appetit!

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