Across Israel you’ll find a sometimes bewildering variety of restaurants dedicated to preserving and promoting a specific ethnic cuisine. From classical French cooking to American fast food, from hot Indian curry to traditional Arabic cooking – the range of dishes is mind boggling, and there is something for everyone! Whether you love meat, are a vegetarian or a vegan, you’ll find a lot of restaurants and dishes to choose from.
Israel’s obsession with good food is so great that it has become one of the world’s number one places to find excellent restaurants of all shapes and sizes. Israeli chefs are world renowned for the quality and variety of their dishes and the many unique combinations and fusions that they create. But there are options beyond the restaurants!
For a Really Unique Experience – Eat at Home
I know that sounds strange – what’s unique about eating at home? Well, usually nothing. But EatWith offers you a culinary and cultural experience that is really, well – unique! Instead of spending the afternoon or evening in another restaurant, why not go to an Israeli home and enjoy a truly wonderful and delicious home cooked meal with your Israeli hosts and experience a side of Israel that you would otherwise be missing.
Israelis across the country are just waiting to tempt you with their cooking, to show off their skills, their cuisine and their culture.
One day you could find yourself eating a Chinese meal in a modern Tel Aviv apartment, and the next a traditional Yemenite meal in a village in the Galilee. Sit down to a sumptuous orthodox Jewish meal in one of Jerusalem’s magical stone buildings or enjoy an Indian curry in the south. Depending on the weather and location, you could be eating inside, on a veranda or under the open sky. The possibilities are endless.
Find your Perfect Host
And it’s not “pot luck”, if you’ll excuse the pun. EatWith selects all of its hosts with great care. Not just for the type or the quality of food they prepare, but also on their background, their hosting skills and how many guests they can accommodate – anywhere from 2 to 20.
Of course, because these aren’t restaurants, and your hosts, for the most part, are ordinary people with families and jobs, you have to book your visit in advance. But EatWith has this all under control. Select the city or place you’ll be, then the date you want to eat. You can also filter the results to find your ultimate eating experience.
What’s on the Menu?
Here is just a small sample of some of the delicious meals you can choose from:
- Vegan Taiwanese street eats in Tel Aviv
- A cool religious Shabbat dinner in Jerusalem
- Haifa’s Beach House Buffet in Haifa
- Journey through the Sea of Galilee in Metulla
What is the Price Tag?
Did we mention the cost? Well it varies according to the menu and the number of people, but ranges from 100 NIS (£18) to 300 NIS (£53) per person.
How to Get to Israel
Israel is serviced by all the major airlines, including Alitalia, Monarch, easyJet, United Airlines, Turkish Airlines and many, many more. Apart from Ryanair that serves Uvdah airport not far from Eilat in the south, all arrive and depart from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport.
A direct flight from the UK to Ben Gurion should take about 5 – 5.5 hours, but if you have a stopover it will take longer. Costs vary tremendously, with regular return flights on the big carriers coming in at £400 to £500 and even more. Budget airlines are a lot cheaper, especially if you’re flexible on when you’re flying. But remember, on a budget flight everything, and we mean everything, costs extra!
Getting from Ben Gurion Airport to Tel Aviv and the rest of Israel is no problem. You can hire a car from any of the international hire firms (Aviv, Hertz, and Budget etc.) or get a taxi – they operate 24/7. This option can be expensive though, especially if the driver doesn’t use his meter. Be sure to ask, as they a legally obliged to do so.
One good alternative is to use an airport shuttle service. Tel Aviv airport transfers can be booked in advance for a set price and your driver will be waiting for you when you arrive. Getting into the centre of Tel Aviv usually takes around 30 minutes (rush hour could be longer) and the drive to Jerusalem should be about 50 minutes to an hour. If you need to go somewhere else, no problem: just let the company know where you want to go.
A quick note about public transport in Israel (mostly busses but there are some rail lines): it’s a great way to get from one city to another and the busses are fast, comfortable, air conditioned and some also have Free Wi-Fi. But if you need to get to some out of the way locations, bus routes are limited.
At the moment, the main train line runs from Nahariya in the North to Beersheba in the south with a few branch lines. Trains run regularly but can get crowded (especially on Sundays and Thursdays when soldiers are travelling to and from home and their army postings). So be sure to get a reserved seat.
Finally: security. Despite what you hear in the media – Israel is safe. In fact, public transport is one of the safest in the world with security guards always on the lookout to keep you safe. It may be a bit strange the first time when you’re asked to open you handbag or briefcase for inspection – but it works!