Farma Cultura © Ofra Ron Mazor

Dining Destinations Across Israel

While driving around Israel, these culinary gems are well worth stopping for

Written by
Keren Brown
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Being in Israel almost always means schlepping to visit various friends or family members around the country - and most likely in little pockets of towns you wouldn't usually find yourself in - for better or worse. Which means it's the ideal time to check out those amazing restaurants you've always heard of and have been "meaning to try". Here are those places. You won't be disappointed.

Dining Destinations Across Israel

Muma
Muma © Amir Menahem

Muma

Nestled in Jerusalem's burgeoning wine country, just outside the city center, with its stunning vistas, is the delicious, locals’ in-the-know spot called Muma. Taking cues from both sides of the family’s culinary roots, the dishes blend European influences with a Middle Eastern twist: hummus is drizzled with truffle oil, and malabi, a local dessert, is topped with kadaif, a crunchy topping often used in Arab cuisine. The signature 'kubane' brioche (a traditional Yemenite bread) is an ode to the matriarch safta of the family, who the bistro is lovingly named after.

Muma, Jerusalem Hills, Kiryat Anavim

Farma Cultura
Farma Cultura © Ofra Ron Mazor

Farma Cultura

Sometimes you need more than a restaurant experience, the extra mile, and the hyper-local nature experience. This organic agricultural farm is the epitome of farm-to-table; all in the heart of Bnei Tsion, a whimsical moshav in the center of Israel. Opt for the picnic basket, where you call and they prepare you a selection of goodies so you can enjoy your own spread in the beauty of nature or sign up for enlightening workshops or for a special dinner out in the fields with the wind in your hair.

Farma Cultura, 56 HaManim St, Moshav Bnei Zion, 09-7688487

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Elhanan Bakery
Elhanan © Afik Gabay

Elhanan Bakery

When Elhanan Bakery opened its blooming, green nook at the entrance to Kibbutz Mishmarot between Pardes Hanna and Caesarea, it has been an under-the-radar gem ever since. With an emphasis on traditional and organic work processes and the use of local and selective raw materials, unique wheat varieties, and no additives or industrial materials, this rich bakery, which offers breads, pastries, and cakes of various kinds and a full menu including breakfast and lunch dishes with high-quality artisanal sandwiches and salads are all presented in front of a magnificent view of endless fields and a pleasant quiet that can fully capture a perfect start to the day. Dig into a variety of soft and hard goat cheeses, raw and cooked vegetables, nuts, fruit, butter, house-made jams, rich tahini, eggs, and more - all served with a range of beautifully-crafted breads.

Elhanan, Kibbutz Mishmarot, Pardes Hanna

Mataim
Mataim © Asaf Karela

Mataim

Located in the entrance of the Ramat Hanadiv botanical gardens, between Tel Aviv and Haifa is this healthy kosher dairy restaurant with a menu that thrives on the nearby ingredients. With views of the beautiful Ramat Nadiv reserve, surrounded by stunning greenery,  an oasis in the heart of nature. The menu is composed of a plethora of salads, plates of fresh pasta, and other alluring dishes that showcase the local bounty of the area.

Mataim, Ganei Ramat Hanadiv, Zichron Yaakov, 04-8449998

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Makom BaLev
Makom BaLev

Makom BaLev

In an attempt to forgo any cheesy clichés, Makom BaLev (a place in the heart, in Hebrew) is truly one of those places that you serendipitously stumble upon while driving that ends up being one of those sacred places that actually is close to your heart. From the outskirts, it seems to be completely in the middle of nowhere. Driving up to the dirt parking lot, which feels more like the entrance to a moshav than anything else, one would never expect the garden scene that unfolds just steps away. Quiet nooks can be found in various corners of this intimate, yet sprawling, rustic restaurant, filled with antique furniture and accoutrements. It is so spacious, it can host 2-3 private parties while also catering to the needs of a regular night of diners.

Makom BaLev, 5 Pardes Meshutaf St, Ra’anana, 09-7741575

Al Hamayim
Al Hamayim © Maayan Trudel

Al Hamayim

Since 1987, this quintessential restaurant has been serving up detailed, top-notch kosher food with a focus on creativity and the best ingredients on land and sea. Take in the beautiful waterfront while you wine and dine on fresh fish, impeccable sushi and endless salads. Don’t miss the eclectic wine selection or the plentiful weekend brunch.

Al Hamayim, 4 Ramat Yam, Herzliya 09-9511812, kosher

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  • Restaurants
  • Israeli
  • price 2 of 4

Rotenberg Restaurant features French and Mediterranean style dishes, by Chef Yizhar Sahar. Located close to the Jordan border, it truly is a unique dining experience. Rotenberg Restaurant is a bit out of the way, giving it a relaxing atmosphere. Dine in the garden on a sunny day! The menu contains a mix of fish, meat, vegetarian and vegan dishes. Enjoy a shrimp risotto, or a veal stew. For dessert, try the popular crème brulée. The restaurant is small, so although walk-ins are welcome, making a reservation is recommended.

Goats With the Wind
Goats With the Wind FB page

Goats With the Wind

Goats With the Wind is an unforgettable Galilean dining experience, on an organic dairy farm overlooking the Netofa Valley. Get comfy on the Turkish carpets and cushions and brace yourself for a farm-to-table spread combining true artisan cheesemaker expertise with fresh local ingredients. Chef Dahlia’s focus is on creating top-notch dairy products, fresh cheese, labane, ricotta, bread, and everything else you need for a special feast while staying true to authentic agricultural traditions.

Goats With the Wind, Har Hashabi, Yodfat Galilee, 050-5327387

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Manuel
Manuel FB page

Manuel

This kosher gem by Corine Rozen and Chef Morel Maimon is an homage to the beauty of Rome. Manuel boasts an open kitchen allowing you to watch the culinary magic as you dine, all with a cozy rustic vibe. The menu is composed of fresh handmade pizzas, pasta, and warm risottos as well as fresh fish and excellent desserts.

Manuel, 6 Avshalom Gissin St, Petah Tikva, 03-5628060

  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • Galilee
  • price 3 of 4

One of the most sought-after restaurants in Israel, Aluma, located in the north of Israel, just 20 kilometers east of Nahariya, and about 600 meters above sea level is what culinary dreams are made of. This Galilean bistro serves up creative ingredients with a European touch and a mix of modern class and traditional beauty. Everything here is made in-house, inspired by the beautiful hills and nature in the surroundings with fish, seafood and many vegetable-centric dishes.

Aluma, 17 Alon Street, Ma'alot Tarshiha, 04-9574477

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Carousel
Carousel © Stephane Cohen Aloro

Carousel

French bistros may be hard to come by in Israel, but Carousel seems to bring the warmth of a bistro and the selection of a restaurant to Raanana. Kosher, intimate and cozy, you’ll find warm brioche straight from the oven, fresh lasagna, savory crepes and the catch of the day. The combination of seasonal ingredients and the fact that everything is made in house, make this a special retreat for fish and dairy lovers.

Carousel, Zarhin St, Ra’anana, 09-7460586

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