This year more than ever people are spending their holidays exploring the wonders that Israel has to offer. While it is normally easy to find kosher fast food or cafe chains in different cities in Israel, many people prefer to experience something more unusual to enhance their holiday experience.
Whether you want a place to stop for lunch to break up a journey or are looking for more unique restaurants near where you are staying, here are some suggestions of places to eat in the different regions in Israel.
HADERA TO HAIFA
· Aresto is a simple dairy Italian restaurant in the historic setting of the Caesarea Port. Classic Italian dishes include Arancini, Roman style artichoke, as well as a variety of pasta, pizza and calzone, including gluten-free pasta. Access to the Caesarea National Park is NIS 14 per person, so make sure you allow time to explore the museum and ruins.
· Haroeh Bacaffe is a picturesque cafe in Moshav Kfar Haroeh with a large garden. The menu is varied and it is a nice place to stop off on a journey up north or for an outing in the area. There is also a small bakery attached to the restaurant.
· Beit Hankin is a dairy restaurant located in an old house on the top of a cliff near Hadera with panoramic sea views. As well as a varied breakfast menu, there is also a wide selection of menu options for lunch and dinner.
· BP Bistro is a great choice when you have family members with different tastes. The main focus of the restaurant is on grilled and smoked meat, as well as a choice of 13 different burgers and 7 sloppy joes. However the menu also includes grilled fish, sushi, stir fry dishes, salads and various hummus dishes. BP has three branches, one on the coastal highway (Route 2) north of Netanya, the second in Haifa Bay and the newest branch in Horev Center in Haifa. All three branches offer take away and delivery.
· Brisket is the kind of restaurant that people who like smoked meat will make a special trip to Hadera for. It is conveniently located on Road 4 and an ideal place for a meal on the way up North. Meat is available to purchase by weight or as a sandwich. The variety of meat includes brisket, asado, lamb, chicken, chorizo and ribs.
· Hazalbanim (Crusaders Restaurant) is a newly kosher meat restaurant in the Caesarea Port, by the same owners as Aresto. It features a large outdoor area overlooking the sea. Even though it is a meat restaurant, there is an extensive fish menu with several whole fish by the weight, such as grouper, sea bream, sea bass and St Peter’s fish.
· Gal's Bakery in Merkaz Carmel in Haifa is a quaint cafe with fresh food and pastries. The cafe has a full menu but the highlights are the buttery, flaky savory and sweet pastries. The outside courtyard is a wonderful sanctuary in the summer.
· Hameyasdim 16 is a simple meat restaurant on the main road into Zichron Yaakov. The food and service are friendly and efficient and most of the food is cooked in a taboon oven.
· Shaltieli is one of the few kosher beach restaurants in Israel. Located on the beach in Haifa, the menu includes classic Israeli dishes such as grilled meat, salads, schnitzel, shakshuka and other snacks.
· Tishbi Winery located on the road from Binyamina to Zichron Yaakov has a spacious dairy restaurant. There is a closed-in porch with long tables and an outside area, shaded by grapevines. The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch with a rich and varied menu. There is also a sourdough bakery, a wine and Valrhona chocolate tasting room and on Fridays, the Tishbi BBQ Garage smoked meat truck is at the back of the winery. There is also a Tishbi restaurant on the pedestrian main street of Zichron Yaakov which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has a large outdoor terrace.
For those interested in visiting other wineries, here is a list of top ten winery visits in Northern Israel.
· Alto Dairy is a boutique goat cheese farm in Kibbutz Shomrat near Akko. The cafe is surrounded by a fruit orchard and the inside area has a viewing window to the cheese production. The cafe serves breakfast, sandwiches, salads and quiches.
· Atnahcta is a super cute cafe in a gift shop in the industrial zone in Nahariya. The cafe is family run and has a lovely homely feel to it. Although sitting inside among the eclectic furniture is ideal, there are also tables outside and the food still tastes just as good!
· Beit Ha’ugot is a Mehadrin cafe in the heart of Tzfat located in an old stone building. The cafe relocated from Yesod Hamaala in 2019 and although the new location is not as special, they recently added tables on the decking outside the restaurant. The food is freshly prepared and there is a large selection of cakes and biscuits for sale.
· Hatzuk restaurant is located on the border of Israel and Lebanon, next to the entrance to the Rosh Hanikra cable car. The restaurant is on the edge of the cliff and sitting on the outer deck feels like you are suspended over the sea. The menu includes grilled meats, fish and vegetarian dishes, including a Beyond Meat burger.
· Meet the Meat (Mehadrin) is a meat restaurant in Yesod Hamaala next to the Hula Valley. The menu focuses on various smoked, grilled and BBQ cuts of beef. Quick bites include a burger with various toppings and a smoked asado sandwich. The kids menu includes shnitzelonim, kids chorizos and a burger. They also have a takeaway menu which includes prepared Shabbat food.
· Morgenfeld is an authentic South American steak house overlooking Achziv Beach, just below Rosh Hanikra. The restaurant features a large outdoor plaza with palm trees and beautiful views of the sea.
· Noalush is a well-kept secret hidden in the industrial area of Kfar Vradim/Tarshisha. The cafe, bakery and delicatessen have an incredible selection of specialty cheeses, smoked fish, fresh salads and baked goods. It is a nice place to stop for a quick meal on the way, but a perfect place to collect goodies for a picnic.
· Rozalia is a cafe patisserie in a historic building in the Old City of Bet Shean. The pastries are made using the Hungarian recipes of the owner’s grandmother. The cafe is open for breakfast and lunch, with baked goods and home-made jams available for sale.
· Cafe BeRotem is a small local cafe overlooking the desert landscape of the Jordan Valley. It is the perfect place to stop for a drink or snack on the journey to the Golan via Route 90. Rotem is close to the main road just south of Beit Shean.
· Dudis in Givat Yoav is a delicatessen, dairy cafe and meaty bistro and bar, focusing on local produce. The dairy cafe includes a great selection of cheeses and fresh sandwiches and toasts. While the meat menu serves Gillis burgers and tapas.
· Efrata Bakery is a small bakery close to the entrance of kibbutz Merom Golan. It serves a selection of cakes and pastries, as well as salads, quiches and savory baked goods. The cafe is open from 8 am to 4 pm Monday to Thursday and until 2 pm on Friday.
· Gillis Steak House in Moshav Nov is one of my favorite restaurants in the country. It is only open on a Thursday night and for private events, but they sometimes open more frequently during the holidays. The most unique aspect about the place is that the cooks are actually the farmworkers, who just know how to cook the meat well and honor its true flavor – there are no special sauces or fancy plating, just delicious well-cooked high-quality grass-fed beef. The service is incredibly warm and the Gillis family personally hosts all their guests.
· Hanachtom Pizza is a tiny bakery in Bnei Yehuda without any tables but it is a great place for grabbing a quick bite while touring in the Golan. The have a selection of sourdough bread, gourmet pizza and on Friday there is great demand for their challot.
SOUTH OF ISRAEL
· Armonim is a spacious chef restaurant in the Dream Island Spa & Resort in Sde Yoav. It mostly serves the hotel guests and spa visitors, but it is also open to outside guests. The food is beautifully prepared and presented and the service is friendly and attentive.
· Pescado is probably the best kosher fish restaurant in the country. It is located opposite the beachfront in Ashdod, but does not have a great sea view, especially at night. The selection of fish dishes is impressive and the baked potato side dish is addictive.
· Ratatui in Moshav Emunim is a dairy restaurant with a bible of a menu. It mostly caters to large Israeli family meals. As well as the main restaurant, there are also numerous small conservatories in the grounds of the restaurant which are great for small events or family celebrations. Space is the neighboring meat restaurant by the same owners.
· 5th Avenue is a fun meat restaurant in Eilat. The food is beautifully presented and the menu includes rich and flavorful dishes made with high-quality raw ingredients. Later in the evening the restaurant becomes a bar with a live DJ and great cocktails.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the kosher restaurants in Israel, but rather gives a selection of my recommendations in the various areas around the country.
Happy travels eat well and stay safe.
This fabulous article was written by guest blogger Debbie Kandel. Feel free to add your comments and recommendations below!
All photos in this article were provided by Debbest Israel with permission for use by the restaurants.
Debbie Kandel is a food and travel writer and blogger in Israel, debbestfood.com. She is a self-proclaimed foodie who grew up in London and moved to Jerusalem in 2008.