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Over the last 10 years, Israel has become the bucket-list destination for informed foodies. At turns derelict and utterly magnificent, Tel Aviv, the capital of contemporary Israeli cuisine – light, Mediterranean fare that draws inspiration from the Palestinian kitchen, hyperlocal, seasonal produce and the diverse culinary roots of individual chefs – is home to an electric restaurant scene that is enticing globetrotting epicures.
While Israel’s star-studded chefs and restaurateurs – Eyal Shani, Meir Adoni and Assaf Granit, to name a few – deserve much of the credit for placing it on the culinary map, it is the country’s no-frills ethnic eateries, purveyors of traditional dishes from around the Jewish world, that offer an authentic, remarkable taste of Israeli life born in the Jewish communities of Europe, South America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. These mostly family-run enterprises are sustained by ironclad recipes passed down through generations.