Popular Israeli Food

While there is a tremendous variety of cuisines and food eaten in Israel, certain dishes are considered typical Israeli food.

popular israeli food

These traditional foods of Israel can be found throughout the country...

...in restaurants and cafés...

...food stands...

...and of course, in many Israeli homes.

In big cities and small towns, Israelis from all walks of life enjoy these popular Israeli foods.

It’s easiest to try them during a trip to Israel, but you can also find many of these dishes at a local Israeli or Middle Eastern restaurant, a specialty market, or make them in your own kitchen!


Israeli Breakfast Foods:

These dishes are universally popular in Israel. We often eat them at home because they’re easy to make and very filling. A chopped Israeli salad is often served on the side.

Borekas – these pastries can be filled with cheese, potatoes, or vegetables

Israeli breakfast – features fresh vegetables, eggs, and cheeses

Israeli salad – a popular way to enjoy vegetables

Jachnun – a filling dish made from dough and cooked overnight

Labane – a tangy yogurt spread to be enjoyed at any meal

Shakshooka – an easy way to enjoy eggs in the morning (or anytime!)


Israeli Lunch / Dinner Foods:

Popular Israeli food is characteristically simple. A typical lunch in Israel is shnitzel with different side salads, including hummus and tahini, and served with rice or mashed potatoes, and vegetables.

For a quick meal on the go, it’s easy to grab a falafel or shwarma on the street, usually stuffed in pita with French fries ("chips") and salad.

Baba Ganoush – a tangy eggplant spread

Falafel – deep fried chickpea balls, often served in pita bread

Hummus – a mashed chickpea spread, hummus can be served in many ways and is a staple in Israeli households

Malawach – this flaky round pastry can be enjoyed with sweet or savory toppings

Pita bread – the “national bread” of Israel

Sabih – a sandwich of fried eggplant, hard boiled egg, tahini in pita

Shnitzel – chicken cutlets breaded and fried, Israeli supermarkets also offer many varieties of frozen “shnitzelim” to be enjoyed easily at home

Shwarma – grilled lamb or other meat that is then sliced or “shaved”, often enjoyed in pita or laffa bread

Tahini – a delicious spread made from ground sesame seeds


Israeli Snack Foods / Desserts:

These are just some of the sweet treats available in Israel. Disclaimer - they're not exactly dietetic!

Baklava - a sweet layered pastry enjoyed throughout the Mediterranean and Middle East

Crêpes - In the malls and on the streets, food stands sell freshly made crêpes, available with different fillings.

Ice Cream - Israelis, like people all over the world, love their ice cream.

Knafeh – this dessert is made of shredded pastry, soft cheese and sweet syrup

Malabi – a pudding flavored with rose water and topped with nuts

Sahlab – a rich, creamy, sweet hot drink or pudding


Israeli Drinks:

I have to admit, living in Israel has converted me from a die-hard tea drinker to a coffee drinker. The coffee served in cafés here is delicious! Fruit shakes and lemonades are especially refreshing and tasty because the produce is grown locally.

Café Afuch – an “upside-down” cappuccino

Fruit Shake – in Israel these shakes are always fresh and flavorful

Mint Lemonade – called “lemonana”, sometimes served frozen and blended

Mint Tea - enjoyed with or without a teabag!


As you can see from this list, most of the popular food in Israel is also “everyday food” – tasty, unpretentious dishes to be enjoyed often, both in and out of the home.

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