Tel Aviv is taking the international food scene by storm, while Jerusalem has kept things authentic, and Eilat has some mouthwatering bites on the Red Sea. As booming as the restaurant industries are in central and southern Israel, up north in Nazareth, the Galilee, the Golan Heights and beyond, Israel’s top chefs are whipping up showstopping dishes, worthy of sampling. Try an authentic Middle Eastern meal in an unexpected place, or pair a prime cut with an unbelievable view, and don’t forget to enjoy fresh seafood in a northern village either. You’ll want to check all of these best northern restaurants as well as things to do in Israel off your list.
Perched atop the Golan Heights in Moshav Ramot lies an incredible hidden gem of a restaurant. Moshbutz is famous for their juicy meat dishes, which are locally sourced from the beautiful pastures that surround the place. There’s even a small butcher store that offers a variety of cuts to take home with you. Arrive hungry, as portions are huge! The best part of all are the stunning views to take in as you enjoy your meal, making this spot a magnificent location to have a romantic and unique dining experience.
After years of running Tel Aviv's successful Herbert Samuel, chef Michael Grotofsky decided to uproot to northern Israel. This destination restaurant has a warm, welcoming, and rural vibe and authentic farm-to-table dishes, all creatively using the best locally sourced ingredients. Discover delicacies like cauliflower tabbouleh, ‘arais’ (juicy grilled lamb on pita with eggplant and parsley), and fresh gems from the sea. Dedicated foodies come from far and wide to taste chef Michael’s creations.
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.
Think you can’t find amazing food next to a gas station? Think again…and head to this truly authentic Arabic restaurant in Upper Nazareth to be proven wrong. Be prepared to order a dizzying array of delicious Middle Eastern dishes to share with the table. The various lamb dishes are very popular, such as the stuffed lamb shoulder, and it’s easy enough to order enough salads and side dishes to leave no room left on the table—and you will not regret it for a second.
Tucked into a nondescript traffic circle in Tiberias, above a generic supermarket and overlooking a tourist-heavy stretch of the Sea of Galilee, Magdalena is quietly redefining Israeli gourmet cuisine. The restaurant, which sits at the Migdal junction, is elegant, refined and entirely surprising. Chef Youssef Hana’s menu fuses home-cooked specialties from the Galilee kitchens Hana grew up in with influences from Lebanon and the wider Mediterranean. Its wide, glistening space makes it a hit with large families and means that meals often come with a side of loud acoustics, but its core element – its menu – is an exercise in simplicity and restraint. The shishbarak (goat-stuffed dumplings) are bursts of flavor, the zahara (fried cauliflower with tehina and tangy amba) offered a refreshingly elevated twist on a common street-food staple, and the star is the mouthwatering steak topped with bone marrow, foie gras and rich artichoke cream. Save room for dessert: their fluffy semolina cigars packed with sweet ricotta, honey and pistachio are pure bliss.
Situated in Kibbutz Degania, established in 1910, lies an aptly-named Mediterranean/Italian restaurant called 1910. It prides itself on its local wine and produce menu - changing with the seasons. They feature homemade pasta, freshly baked focaccia and pizza, and fresh seafood. The atmosphere is warm and romantic, with a gorgeous porch and green pastoral courtyard for enjoying their wonderful dishes outside in the warm Israeli evenings. Be sure to save room for their creative desserts!
Going to Sharabic is like going home—if your family is full of fantastic Lebanese cooks who hand pick wild ingredients from their backyard. Don’t expect to find expensive, fancy or complicated dishes here, but rather humble, simple and rustic food made from fresh ingredients bursting with flavor. Yaakov, the owner and chef, ventures out into Israeli nature to gather wild plants, then brings them back to his little restaurant to cook up ultra-fresh, seasonal dishes for those lucky enough to stop by and experience his hidden gem. Instead of offering just the usual hummus and shawarma, they serve up lesser-known, unique Arabic cuisine, such as eggplant with tahini in pomegranate sauce, stuffed cabbage, and wild spinach pastries.
Owner and chef Hatem Meaky lived abroad in Scandinavia and other parts of Europe for many years, learning local techniques of how to prepare the finest seafood. He then brought his knowledge home and opened Meaky’s Top View Bar in the northern village of Tarshiha. This seafood tavern is especially known for its top-notch homemade smoked salmon—it’s a must try. They also offer a rustic seafood soup, homemade sausages, and crispy fish and chips. While patrons can indulge in a wide selection of creative cocktails, this place is also kid-friendly, so don’t worry about bringing the whole family. Arrive before sunset for a view you won’t soon forget.