Veganism is the latest trend in Israeli cuisine, with Tel Aviv dubbed the Vegan Capital of the World, but there are also plenty of great meat restaurants in Israel where you can get a great steak!
The Israeli diet has always been rich with fresh fruit and vegetables, from the traditional Israeli salad served for breakfast, lunch and dinner, to the innovative soy products marketed worldwide by companies like Tivall.
Felafel and humus are mainstays of the vegan diet, and other plant-based foods are increasingly possible with Millennials and Gen X and Zers who choose not to eat meat or fish for health, environmental and compassionate reasons.
Israel has a high proportion of vegetarians and vegans, plus many people who talk about reducing the amount of meat in their diet. These trends are well served by Israel’s diverse and innovative restaurants and cafes, which have developed extensive menus offering a wide range of plant-based dishes.
Knowing What You Are Eating
All Israeli restaurants that have kashrut certification have to choose between serving meat-based or milk-based products, as Jewish law prohibits their mixing. That means that the coffee you order in a kosher steak restaurant in Israel will be served with soy or other plant-based milk, and also that you can be sure when you eat in a dairy restaurant that there are no meat products in your food.
Increased awareness of food allergies and dietary preferences have led restaurants and cafes to offer well-labeled menus that indicate whether dishes are vegetarian, vegan or gluten free. It is usually possible to ask waiting staff to ask the chef about the presence of any particular ingredient because most dishes are prepared on-site.
Let’s Eat Meat!
Israel’s cities offer a wide choice of meat restaurants serving chicken, turkey, beef and lamb. Most beef is imported from South America and is of very high quality, but other meat products are locally sourced. International influences can be felt in many of these restaurants, with Brazilian and Argentinian, Mexican, French and Hungarian themes. A traditional Israeli “steakiya” generally offers a choice of steak, kebabs (made from chopped meat), and ‘shippudim’ – metal skewers loaded with cubes of beef, chicken or turkey, all cooked on the grill. The most popular chicken dishes are ‘pargiot’ – boned chicken thighs – and ‘chazeh off’ – chicken breast meat.
Barbecued meat is still very popular in Israel, particularly on Yom Ha’Atzmaut – Israel’s Independence Day – when families gather for outdoor BBQ picnics. Turkey meat is not reserved for Thanksgiving but is consumed every day in Israel, which leads the world in per capita consumption of turkey!
Whatever your taste – vegan, vegetarian, carnivore or omnivore – you will find a wide choice of restaurants in Israel catering for your dietary preferences. Talk to Shatour Israel Experience if you would like to arrange a culinary tour of the best restaurants in Israel.