Israeli breakfast is Israel’s answer to the relaxing weekend brunch. It is a time to sit in your favorite spot – whether it be a Jerusalem café, a bustling Tel Aviv bakery or a Haifa restaurant – and enjoy the simpler pleasures in life. At the heart of every Israeli breakfast is: eggs cooked to your liking, a basket of fresh bread, a variety of spreads, dips, fresh salads and cheeses. And at the heart of Haifa are five of the best boutique Israeli breakfasts in the city. These are the local neighborhood cafés that are handcrafting their breakfasts with care from only the freshest ingredients - a delicious and inspirational change from the ordinary, and a must try any day of the week on your next trip to Israel’s North.
The best boutique Israeli breakfasts in Haifa
Café Brussels is known for more than just their decadent cakes, which are carefully crafted by co-owner Chen Magal. The handmade touches reach beyond the decoupaged walls and tables, and translate to the food. You won’t find much that isn’t homemade there, including their hot apple cider (warmly recommended), which is made from apples juiced on site, and simmered with just the right amount of spice. Order the 'Belgian breakfast'-an elevated version of their Israeli breakfast, and you are in for a real treat. Toasty artisan bread is served with wonderful garlic butter, homemade fruit preserves, a variety of cream cheeses (we recommend the delectable smoked salmon and olive goat cheese versions), sundried tomatoes and roasted pepper spread. The breakfast holds a perfect balance of savory and sweet, offering a yogurt and granola fruit parfait that can be eaten throughout the meal or as a dessert. A meal so good to dig into that you will practically forget about your eggs and green salad, which are of course mandatory to the Israeli breakfast experience.
Settle into the intimate setting, open up a newspaper and soak in the smooth hypnotic jazz music. Eat alfresco in the back garden and you will forget that you are in a busy city center. Gal’s Israeli breakfast is suited for the baker at heart, offering a basket of freshly baked treats, ranging from different breads, rolls to puff pastry twists, and a bonus mini chocolate swirl. The pampering continues with a tuna tartelette, fluffy eggs done as you like, salad with herb-marinated tzfatit cheese, and an endless array of spreads (whipped butter, sundried tomato, tahini, labane, and rich cream cheese). Spreads are accompanied by a sesame-coated goat’s cheese round, hand-selected green and black olives, and homemade jam. A highlight for anyone with a sweet tooth will surely be the ball of dark chocolate ganache, ready to be spread onto your bread (and licked out of its porcelain dish when heads are turned). Savory fans will be intrigued by the salty granola and cooked mezze options of stewed eggplant and winter greens sautéed with onions. High quality Italian coffee and English breakfast tea leave you feeling well taken care of as you ponder how many of the locally famous yeast dough pastries you will be purchasing to take home for later.
HaMachvasah has been a cornerstone of Haifa’s Hadar community for the past 4.5 years. A place to see and be seen, with feel-good music and an eclectic menu that changes according to owner Eyal Halfa’s mood, it’s also a great place to get a rockin’ homemade Israeli breakfast, made fresh to order. Imagine a mini loaf of pillowy enriched white bread, alongside diced Israeli salad, hand-chopped guacamole, homemade pesto over sour cream, apple confiture, Israeli staple cheeses and a chunk of good old-fashioned butter just for you. Served with flavorful and mildly spiced eggs of your choice, the breakfast is best enjoyed with one of the café’s fresh-pressed juices, or fruit shakes (an additional NIS 8) made from the neighboring shuk’s best produce. Also worth trying are the many different hot and cold specialty drinks listed on their chalkboard menus (they offer chai lattes and sahlav among additional coffee and ice-cream based milkshake options). Colorful shelves, bottle caps, coasters and other trinkets make this friendly space a one-of-a-kind spot.
Known as a haven for vegan and vegetarian foodies (although their menu features varied meat and fish options as well), Café Louise is the place to get an incredible boutique Israel breakfast that will fuel you for your day ahead. The breakfast includes a variety of their own artisan breads (available on site to purchase along with all their dips and jams), served with their famous garlic spread, a lightly dressed red and white quinoa and greens salad, apple-cinnamon jam, tangy feta cheese, zaatar-topped labane and whipped tahini sauce. Breakfast is served with organic eggs and a glorious coconut milk and tapioca pudding, topped with dried fruit for a creamy and sweet note. Wash down the delicious meal with one of their refreshingly light juice blends or sip on a foamy cappuccino, made from their own organic blend of coffee beans.
Talpiot Restaurant's charm shines through in its ambiance: collected antiques from the old world, bottles of Ouzo ready to be drunk by the afternoon crowd and upbeat world music. Sip on spiced tea drawn straight from the samovar and taste the delightful spread consisting of artisan bread, homemade dips, such as a rich and flavorful tahini, yogurt-based taziki with dill, finely-diced cucumbers and marigold leaves, Bulgarit cheese with fresh zaatar, and a chopped salad that is dressed with care and decorated with rare fresh herbs to bring a surprising and refreshing palate cleansing anise flavor to the meal. Indulge in the variety of individually seasoned antipasti that account for the 'sweet' aspect found in most Israeli breakfasts, including a nut and dried fruit stuffed eggplant that melts in the mouth. Balance the whole meal out with imported gourmet Italian olives and a fluffy herbed omelette. This overall healthy, yet heavenly experience in Haifa’s shuk will recharge the soul, courtesy of owner/chef Ilan Ferron’s entrepreneurial and culinary vision.
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