Image via @DeliciousIsrael
With immigrants from over 120 different countries, Israel’s cuisine is truly a melting pot. The burgeoning restaurant scene features blends of flavors from Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean and across the Middle East and North Africa.
Israel’s Mediterranean climate and tradition of fresh, local produce make the shuks, or open-air markets, an essential experience for visitors. You’ll find that the shuks in each city have their own local twist, from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to Jaffa. Market culture has become a trend in Tel Aviv nightlife, with “market restaurants” popping up throughout the city.
Our time in Tel Aviv includes the bustling Machane Yehuda Market. A local shuk expert takes you step-by-step to the best food stalls in the market. Our delectable lunch is a fantastic blend of home-grown flavors and fresh cooked tasty delights. Signature travelers also visit the dynamic Sarona Market complex, the heart of Israel’s culinary art scene.
While at the shuk, take note of the sheer variety of fresh-caught fish, pungent herbs, and Israeli olive oil available to the discerning shopper. Restaurants like The Eucalyptus in Jerusalem take full advantage of local specialties, serving a modern interpretation of biblical cuisine using spices and herbs grown in the surrounding hills of Jerusalem. Our Deluxe Israel tours include dinner at this famous eatery.
Israeli cuisine was forged in the Middle East, drawing on the native foods of immigrants from Yemen to Morocco, as well as local Palestinian traditions. Arab fusion restaurants abound, serving up shakshuka, a spicy egg dish, jachnun, a fried Yemeni pastry that is slow-cooked for 10 hours, and sabich, a delicious Iraqi pita packed with hummus, egg and a variety of greens and spices.
Authentic culinary experiences are woven into the fabric of our Signature experience. A trip to Haifa includes a very unique lunch at one of the foremost Arab fusion restaurants in the area; on our excursion to the Negev near Eilat, we stop for desert-style hospitality with warm Bedouin pita bread and sweet tea.
Travelers continuing with us to Jordan will learn the inside secrets of Middle Eastern cuisine at the Petra Kitchen, and try first-hand the unique Arab way of preparation.
Drinks & Desserts
No visit to the Holy Land would be complete without a taste of arak, the anise-based alcoholic beverage of the Levant. Stop into one of Tel Aviv’s trendy seaside bars to enjoy an arak cocktail by the beach.
Israel’s wine industry has blossomed in recent years, with endless local variations for tourists to enjoy. Our Signature tours visit a family owned winery for an exclusive vineyard tour of this family-owned winery, one of Israel’s finest. We taste the many types of wine, paried with handmade chocolates. In Jerusalem, we put our new Israeli wine expertise to use at a private wine and hors d’oeuvres reception at the Tower of David as the sun sets over the Old City.
After inhaling amazing aromas in the shuks, learning to cook like a local, and sampling the swirling fusion of Israeli cuisine, top off your culinary journey with a sweet treat. Try kanafeh, a Palestinian pastry of melted cheese soaked in sweet, fragrant syrup and topped with pistachio on its flaky, baked crust.
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