Israeli food bucket list: 24 must-try dishes

Israeli Hummus and salads

Thanks to an incredible mix of cultures and traditions, that got here from all over the world, Israel is truly a culinary heaven, with a multitude of unique dishes, that combine tastes, ingredients, and traditions of people from all over the world, in one small country. Here is our list of all of the must-try dishes of Israel, for the ultimate Israeli food bucket list.

Israeli food: local main dishes to try


A great local version of the famous Iraqi dish that has become a staple of Israeli food, and is usually eaten on Saturday morning. Sabich consists of a pita, salad, hard-boiled eggs, and fried eggplants. Today, you can find many food stores throughout the country that sell Sabich dishes, with some of the best being in Ramat Gan, where the Israeli Sabich was originated, and Jerusalem.


A Moroccan dish made from semolina that is a wonderful substitute for rice. The couscous is usually served with sauce and cooked vegetables and can be found in many restaurants around the country, as well as in supermarkets.


The most Israeli dish in the eyes of many, Falafel consists of fried chickpeas with parsley and spices. As one of the most popular dishes in the country, falafel is a very affordable option to eat out, and you can find it in stalls and dedicated restaurants in virtually every city in Israel.


A dish with legumes and meat that is cooked throughout the whole night on a stove and has become the official dish of weekends in Israel. Chamin is more of a homely dish, so it’s quite rare to find in restaurants, but it’s one of the best things you can try if you spend the weekend with an Israeli family. Anyway, if you really want to eat Chamin, you can find it in a select number of restaurants, usually only on Saturdays. One of the best of them is Penguin restaurant in Nahariya, which serves all main dishes with a Chamin on Saturdays.


The most Israeli dish together with falafel, you can find Hummus, made of chickpeas with Tahini and spices, anywhere in Israel: in restaurants, supermarkets, and also in many houses that prepare homemade hummus.


A wonderful dish of poached eggs with tomato sauce, rich seasoning, and other vegetables, which has become one of the most popular breakfast dishes in Israel. You can find shakshuka in most cafes in the country, usually only for breakfast.

Mixed Jerusalem Grill

If you are in Jerusalem – make sure not the miss the Jerusalem mixed Grill, one of the best kinds of Israeli food, that you can only find in Jerusalem. The Mixed Jerusalem Grill is made up of a variety of grilled meats, including chicken hearts, spleens, and liver mixed with bits of lamb, all grilled together with lots of spices that create strong, Israeli flavors.


Yemeni cuisine brought a lot of popular dishes to Israel, with probably the most popular one being the Jahnun, a layered pastry that is cooked overnight and has a slightly sweet taste. Jahnun. is traditionally made from Friday night to Saturday mornings and is served with tomato paste, a hard-boiled egg, and a lot of spicy sauce. You can find it in many stalls on the side of main roads, that serve this unique and pleasing dish.


Another Yemeni dish that is made of dough and margarine, Malawach is usually eaten with a hard-boiled egg and a paste, just like the Jahnun. However, Malawach is prepared in a completely different way and is more savory than Jahnun. You can find Malawach in stalls in local markets, as well as in the supermarket, where you can buy it and easily make it in the kitchen of your accommodation.

Gefilte Fish

A traditional European Jewish dish made of minced fish patty, usually carp. It is customary to eat Gefilte Fish on Saturdays and holidays, especially Rosh Hashanah and Passover. This unique dish is usually a bit sweet and seasoned with salt and pepper. While most Israelis eat Gefilteh Fish from the supermarket, there are also a few Israeli restaurants that serve the traditional dish. Those include Keton, located on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv, and Rakefet in Ramat Gan.

Best pastries to try in Israel

Pastries in Jerusalem
A pastry stall in the old city of Jerusalem


challah is a special kind of European Jewish bread, that is a major part of Jewish tradition. Challah is traditionally eaten during the Kiddush, a Jewish ceremony that is held right before the Friday dinner. Thus, most Challahs are baked and sold on Friday mornings, where you can find them in bakeries and markets across the country.


The Bourekas, a Jewish variation of Burek, the popular Eastern European dish, is a great phyllo pastry with a savory filling. As one of the most popular Israeli pastries, you can find Bourekas filled with cheese, potatoes, or mushrooms all around the country, in supermarkets, bakeries, and Middle Eastern restaurants.

Jerusalem Bagel

The delicious Jerusalem bagel, known for its round shape and crispy texture, is one of the staple dishes of Jerusalem. You can find it in many bakeries in the city center, as well as in stalls and markets in the old city of Jerusalem.


Sufganiyot is a Jewish variation of doughnuts, which is the symbol of the holiday of Hanukkah. As a deep-fried pastry filled with jam or custard, it’s a great option for anyone visiting Israel in the wintertime. Around the holiday of Hanukkah, you can find the Sufganiyot in almost every cafe and bakery in the country.

Israeli food: snacks

In addition to all of the great Israeli dishes that you can find here, through the years, Israel has developed a huge scene of local snacks, that have originated here and gained huge popularity. Here are some of the most popular Israeli snacks, that can all be found in supermarkets and convenience stores around the country.


Bamba is the most popular Israeli snack and a very popular option for adults and children alike. This beloved peanut snack melts in the mouth and is considered a snack with relatively good nutritional values, although it also has a significant amount of calories.


another delicious snack with lots of flavors, Bissli is made from wheat and various spices. You can find it in a variety of flavors, such as grill, barbecue, pizza, falafel, onion, and more.

Israeli Pretzels (Beigale)

In recent years, the Israeli pretzel, called Beigale, has undergone a real transformation and has become a very popular snack, ever since it changed its shape and became flat. With different and varied flavors and a wonderful crunch – there is no wonder what makes it so popular among Israelis.


A particularly favorite snack that you can find at almost every party and event in Israel. This popular corn snack conquered Israel with lots of different flavors and a great triangle shape, making it very suitable to eat with a variety of dips and just purely fun to snack on.


perhaps the most delicious chocolate snack in Israel. This great chocolate bar is made with thinly folded milk chocolate, and we assure you, once you have one of those, you will immediately reach for the next one.


An extremely popular dessert among children, especially in winter, Krembo consists of a round sweet biscuit, topped with whipped cream, which is coated by a thin layer of cemacao. Krembo has been a huge point of debate in Israel, as for the best way to eat it, so good luck trying to find your own ideal way.

Must try Israeli desserts

Halva in Jerusalem
Halva in the Machane Yehuda Market


knaffeh is a cake made of fried thin dough threads or semolina dough that wraps semi-hard goat cheese, topped with sugar syrup, and decorated with pistachios and wonderful goat ice cream. You can typically find Knaffeh in Arabic towns and neighborhoods in Israel, like Jaffa, Acre city, or Haifa.


The Sachlav, like the knaffeh, also came from Arab countries and is mainly common in Turkey. It is a thick drink made of milk. In the past, it was made from the powder of orchid flower bulbs, but today it is a rare commodity, and therefore is usually made from corn starch, sugar, and rose water. Decorated with cinnamon, coconut, or pistachios, the Sachlav is a great warm drink, especially for cold winter days.


Malabi is quite similar to Sachlav, as a milk pudding topped with rosewater and served with sweet red syrup. However, there are much more ways to make special versions of Malabi, which you can find in many restaurants around the country, including the dedicated Malabi chain called Hamalabiya, which operated in Tel Aviv and Jaffa.


Originally a Persian dessert, Halva, made of tahini and sugar, with plenty of spices, is one of the most popular desserts in Israel. You can find this great fudge-like confection in almost all markets and nut shops in the country, as some of the best places to try a good Halva are the Machane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem or the Carmel Market of Tel Aviv.

Search for posts and destinations

What would you like to find? Search here information and ideas about any location in Israel

Planning your trip to Israel?

Join our exclusive Facebook group for the latest travel tips, real-time updates, travel hacks, and connect with local experts & fellow Israel enthusiasts in our Facebook group