Best Israeli Dishes

In Israel, every street and market is packed with the country’s best culinary delights. Renowned for its vibrant street food scene, you’ll encounter everything from local vendors to hidden eateries serving up popular dishes like hummus, falafel, shawarma, and shakshuka. Food is a big part of Israeli culture, often bringing people of different backgrounds together.

No matter what you choose to try, your taste buds are in for a fantastic journey. Eager to start tasting? Let’s take a closer look at some of the 15 best Israeli dishes that make Israeli cuisine so special.

1. Shakshuka

Shakshuka Best Israeli Dishes

Shakshuka, the unofficial national dish of Israel, actually comes from North Africa but is very popular in Israel at any time of the day. Shakshuka is made from eggs, tomatoes, tomato paste, chili peppers, and onions. But there are also variations with peppers, feta, eggplant, or spinach. Served with pita bread.

Recipe here

2. Hummus

Hummus Best Israeli Dishes

Hummus is an oriental specialty made from pureed chickpeas and tahini paste. In Israel, the classic hummus variant should not be missing on any mezze plate. But there are also variants with chicken or beef, which can also be eaten as a main course. Traditionally, hummus is eaten with pita bread.

Recipe here

3. Falafel

Falafel Best Israeli Dishes

Falafel are small fried balls made from chickpeas and a variety of spices. They are classically served with salad, sesame paste tahini, and hummus in pita bread. Originally, falafel balls were a poor man’s meal served only with a little sesame sauce. Today it’s a popular street food dish that you should try in Israel.

Recipe here

4. Sabich

Sabich Best Israeli Dishes

Sabich consists of fried or baked eggplant slices, and hard-boiled eggs with tahini, and is wrapped in a flatbread. It’s a tasty, meatless alternative to shawarma.

Recipe here

5. Shawarma

Shawarma Best Israeli Dishes

Shawarma is an Israeli kebab with hummus, eggplant, lettuce, meat, and sauces. I personally like the Israeli version much better than the Turkish one. For me, shawarma is an absolute street food must-try in Israel. It’s good almost everywhere, even in the smallest nondescript stores.

Recipe here

6. Baba Ganoush

Baba Ganoush Best Israeli Dishes

Baba Ganoush is a puree of grilled eggplant with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and spices. It is eaten as an appetizer with fresh bread or served as a dip with shawarma and falafel.

Recipe here

7. Tahini

Tahini Best Israeli Dishes

Tahini is a paste made from finely ground sesame seeds. It comes from Arabic cuisine and is a basic ingredient in hummus. Mixed with lemon juice and garlic, tahini is also eaten as a side dish or as a dip.

Recipe here

8. Amba

Amba Best Israeli Dishes

Amba is a sweet and spicy mango dip that is very popular in Israeli cuisine. It’s made with mangoes, vinegar, salt, mustard, turmeric, chili, and fenugreek. It is served in Israel as a dressing on sabich and as a dip for falafel, kebabs, salads, and shawarma.

Recipe here

9. Israeli Breakfast

Israeli Breakfast Best Israeli Dishes

An Israeli breakfast consists of fresh bread, cheese, sausage, hummus, salad, spreads, eggs, vegetables, and fruit. There is also coffee or tea and usually orange juice.

Recipe here

10. Mezze

Mezze Best Israeli Dishes

To try as many dishes from Israeli cuisine as possible, you should order a mezze platter in a restaurant. The platter includes salads, grilled eggplant, hummus, falafel, grilled meat, fish, and just about every other item on my list. It’s another dish for those who don’t know what to eat.

The Old Men and The Sea in Tel Aviv Yafo Port is famous for its mezze menu with 23 different dishes. If you want to eat your way through a large part of Israeli cuisine in one evening, then it is a recommendation. It’s good because the choice is so wide.

Recipe here

11. Medjool dates

Medjool Dates Best Israeli Dishes

The Medjool date is the queen of dates and is widely grown in Israel. For example, you can enjoy them as a dessert with fresh mint tea. You can also find the dates in dishes from time to time or they are processed into date syrup and used to sweeten drinks.

Search for the Medjool dates in the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv. You will also find a wide range of other fruits, fruit, and street food shops with interesting dishes.

12. Knafeh

Knafeh Best Israeli Dishes

Knafeh is a Levantine dessert made with cheese and kadayif. Knafeh is very popular throughout the Eastern Mediterranean such as Greece, Turkey, Palestine, Israel Syria, or Lebanon. Ideally, you eat it warm, right after it comes out of the oven. It tastes good with a yogurt ice cream.

Recipe here

13. Malabi

Malabi Best Israeli Dishes

Malabi is a typical Israeli dessert made from rice flour or cornstarch and milk. Simply put, the light milk pudding is a slim version of the Italian panna cotta. The milk is flavored with rose water or orange blossom water and at the end, Malabi is sprinkled with sweet syrups (e.g. maple syrup) and chopped nuts like pistachios or walnuts.

Israel even has its street stands with Malabi. Dessert is also common in restaurants.

Recipe here

14. Rugelach

Rugelach Best Israeli Dishes

Rugelach is a simple Jewish pastry. The small croissants are made from dough with cream or sour cream and filled with chocolate ganache, nuts, raisins, or jam.

The little croissants are sold on every corner in Israel. It is perfect with coffee or as a small snack in between.

Recipe here

15. Israeli bread

Israeli Bread Best Israeli Dishes

Most of us already know pita, the typical, world-famous flatbread from Israel. But you will find much more than just pita bread in an Israeli bakery.

Here are a few interesting breads from Israel:

Now that you know all the best Israeli dishes, come to Tel Aviv and try them in the best restaurants in the city, you will be delighted both with food and places.