Six Unique Culinary Experiences in Israel

If you are looking for somewhere new and unique to not just have a meal but have an experience in Israel, these are six of my absolute favorite places that I highly recommend checking out.

KumKum Tea House, Kosher Afternoon Tea Tower

If you aren’t familiar with Jerusalem’s KumKum Tea House, it is the most adorable tea shop in Jerusalem that has GLUTEN FREE scones! Elisheva, originally from England, runs the shop and is an experienced baker constantly working to improve her gluten free offerings (which we celiacs LOVE to hear!) They also stock delicious Bis of Love chocolates which are gluten free and vegan.

Located on Derech Bet Lechem, the shop is in a small stand alone building with a magical garden perfect for sipping tea and enjoying a bite to eat. If you aren’t a tea fan, she also serves great coffee. The walls of the shop are lined with vintage china making the vibes immaculate. Elisheva’s tea tour is truly delicious and a can’t miss in Jerusalem.

Kashrut: @tzoharr

Tofu An, Vegan Homemade Tofu House

You might be surprised to find that the best place (in my opinion) for vegan Japanese food is in Binyamina of all places. Tofu An is the cutest little spot with dishes centered around their homemade tofu. But, don’t let the fact it’s vegan deter you! Even my meat lover husband is a huge fan and asks to go back again and again.

They have a wide selection of gluten free dishes from sushi to noodle bowls and more. I love her fresh spring rolls and my Moshe is a big fan of the ramen. The owner and chef at Tofu An is originally from Japan where she learned the traditional methods of tofu making. When she moved to Israel over 20 years ago she began making tofu here and dreamed of opening her own place.

You can find her on Haatzmaut St 74 in Binyamina and be sure to check via Instagram she’s open as her hours vary. While there ins’t a Kosher certification, the restaurant is fully vegan and closed on Shabbat.

Balinjera, Kosher Ethiopian Food

If you love trying new foods, Balinjera is a perfect spot just outside of Shuk HaCarmel or the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv. Located in the Yemenite Quarter and steps from the beach, their super central location means you have no excuse to miss a meal made by Fanta, the owner of Balinjera.

Their injera is gluten free and they have amazing options for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. I love their vegetarian injera. Each of the curries are so perfectly seasoned and unbelievably filling. I have never managed to finish a plate there, even when splitting it. In terms of price, it is super budget friendly and probably one of the cheaper meals that isn’t falafel or sabich in Tel Aviv.

Derech haTavlinim Farm and Cider Cafe

Have you ever been to the world’s largest spice farm and shop? Now, I can’t confirm one hundred percent that this statement is true, but it is in their instagram bio and I have no reason not to believe them. While the cafe isn’t kosher, the dishes were dairy and the store itself has a hechser, do with that what you will. Tucked around the backside of the shop overlooking the farmland is a cute little outdoor cafe offering an amazing breakfast platter of eggs and salads for two for just over 100 NIS, they also have what I have heard is the best blueberry muffin ever and gluten free bread options.

The farm is located in Bet Lechem haGlili just 20 minutes from Yokneam and not far from the Bet Shearim caves. There is also a pepper farm and a bunny village nearby.

Papagaio, Kosher Brazilian Barbecue

Until Papagaio opened in 1996, experiencing the excitement of a Brazilian Barbecue was out of reach for those who keep Kosher. Now, tucked in the south of Jerusalem is a unique meat loves restaurant that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. While they offer takeaway, the real Papgaio magic can only be felt in person. The menu has different options for dishes and starters but the star of the show is their “Brazilian Table” where the waiters circle your table with large skewers of expertly cooked meat offering you different meats for as long as your stomach allows.

This style of meal comes from ancient Brazilian folklore where coffee farmers would gather at feasting tables for the seasonal “meal of meats” which was served once all the crops were gathered. This meal offered unlimited abundance and was made up of all types of meat and poultry. Papagaio welcomes customers with their own version of this meat table, in a one of a kind slow paced, kosher culinary experience.

Flatbush TLV, Afro-Latin Food

Flatbush is one of the coolest places to join the Tel Aviv food scene in 2023. They offer a unique menu packed with delicious dishes that truly blew me away! The best part? The majority of their menu is gluten free. I was really grateful that the chef took time to come out to explain to me personally which options were celiac safe. The staff were super patient with us and each dish we tried was a total knockout!

Their arepa was easily the best I’ve ever had, it was so light and crispy and the vegan filling was incredibly well seasoned. I think it weighed about five pounds and it was honestly hard to finish it was so big!

Everyone at our table raved about the Mac and Cheese and I will probably dream about it forever, it smelled so good. If you go- get two. You’ll want more. They also have amazing house cocktails, delicious desserts, and happy hour from six to seven thirty on Tuesdays to Fridays.

Located on Yehudah haLevi street in Tel Aviv, make sure to reserve a table!

theisraelbites

I'm Jazzie, a 20 something wannabe globetrotter with Celiac Disease. Living in Israel and navigating being gluten free is no easy task, so I created TheIsraelBites to provide English speakers with information about surviving Celiac Disease in the Middle East.

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