Israel has become somewhat of a Mecca for food lovers. The country is littered with top quality restaurants which cater for every taste. No matter what your budget or the type of food youre after it is possible to find a great place to eat out. On the special occasions when you want to splash out there is abundance of choice and of course, being Israelis, everyone you ask will have strong opinions about the best places to go. Here are just a few of the possibilities.
One of the most famous restaurants in Jerusalem is called Machne Yehuda. This is a hugely fashionable restaurant and it can be hard to get a table there. However, directly opposite they run a small tapas bar called Yudaleh and here you will find food that is just as tasty as at its sibling across the street and there is always a really enjoyable atmosphere. The menu changes every day but it is great fun to just leave your meal in the hands of the chefs and watch as they prepare what can feel like an endless stream of delicious food to try.
If youd like to try some top quality but fairly traditional food then it is hard to beat Raphael in Tel Aviv. The chef, Rafi Cohen, grew up watching his Moroccan grandmother cook and takes his inspiration from the food she prepared. The restaurant offers a number of dishes such as lamb and couscous inspired by his grandmother as well as dishes inspired by the world of North African and French cuisines. The restaurant gives you a stunning view of the Tel Aviv shore and it has also been known to attract a number of celebrities such as Bill Clinton.
If you find yourself in the north of the county then be sure to stop by the beautiful town of Rosh Pina and eat at the restaurant Muscat. The restaurant is run by Chef Haim Tibi who has designed the menu based upon produce available from a local organic farm. Some of the dishes, such as the duck liver tortellini or the grilled veal sweetbreads, are absolutely stunning and there is little better in this world than enjoying a bottle of wine and admiring the view as you eat.
For religious people Israel is one of the very few places in the world where you can find top quality kosher restaurants. One of these is Eucalyptus in Jerusalem. The restaurant has a focus on biblical cuisine and the chef Moshe Basson does everything he can to use ingredients native to Israel. Eucalyptus is located in Hutzot Hayotzer and starters include dishes such as Jacob and Esaus Biblical Red Lentil Stew and Hubeza – Warm salad prepared in the style of the siege on Jerusalem. The restaurant is particularly famous for its figs stuffed with chicken in a sweet and sour sauce. If you are fortunate to be on the Selah program, you will have a Biblical Culinary workshop with Moshe during your first semester.
Unfortunately it probably isnt possible for you to spend your entire gap year in Israel eating in top quality restaurants. However, if you feel like treating yourself on a special occasion then these four are definitely worth taking the time to visit and if they dont take your fancy just ask an Israeli and they are sure to have many worthwhile suggestions.