Tips on following a FODMAP diet in Israel. Where to eat and how to order.
There is very little information about FODMAP friendly places in Israel in general but from my experience, Jerusalem restaurants are more willing to accommodate changes in dishes on the menu more than in Tel Aviv. I was inspired to create these tips and lists by this great blog based in NYC, http://www.fodmapinthecity.com/.
Here are some general tips for ordering in restaurants in Israel:
- Do not bother to explain the full FODMAP limitations, the most important ones for most menus are gluten-free, no onion, garlic or sauces.
- Always tell the server that you are allergic to onion and garlic – they do not understand the term intolerance, they will just think you are just being difficult.
- Insist that they write on your order no onion or garlic even if they say the dish you ordered does not contain either- I have sent back so many dishes where the menu didn’t mention onion, the server didn’t think the dish had onion or the kitchen added something as a garnish.
- Make sure you explain that onion includes all types of onions, white onion, red onion and green onion (what they call scallions/spring onion).
- When ordering a salad, always ask for the dressing on the side – even if they say they are giving you olive oil and lemon, they will often put on something else. If you get the dressing yourself, you should be able to see that it is right, or at worse try a small amount.
- Do not be afraid to ask for something special. Some places will accommodate, some won’t but if you don’t ask, you won’t find out.
Here is a list of places I have tried and their FODMAP friendly score.
- Josef’s Burger, Jerusalem: 10/10 – burger no bun, goose breast or fried egg or burger salad or gluten-free bun (for those who can eat corn).
- Chakra, Jerusalem: 8/10 – recommended dishes steamed salmon and green vegetables or steak and beans.
- Trattoria Haba, Jerusalem: 6/10 – good for breakfast but other food is harder.
- Machneyuda, Jerusalem: 8/10 – grilled fish or steak with green vegetables.
- Hasadna, Jerusalem: 8/10 – grilled fish or steak with green beans.
- Michmoret, Shuk Machneh Yehuda, Jerusalem: 8/10 – full review here.
- Carmelli’s Bagel, Azrieli Mall, Tel Aviv: 10/10 – make your own salad bar without a bagel.
- Marinado, Sarona Market, Tel Aviv: 10/10 – burger no bun and side salad or any grilled meat.
- Agadir Burger: 9/10 – Angus burger no bun, goose breast or fried egg and green beans (all other burgers have onion in the meat mix).
- Yankale, Herzliya Pituach: 9/10 – salad Nicoise or quinoa salad.
- Cheese and Wine Rooftop Restaurant, Notre Dame of Jerusalem -: 9/10- grilled salmon with steamed vegetables.
- Fishop, Sarona Market, Tel Aviv 7/10 – grilled fish with green beans
- Black Burger – 1/10 – all burgers have onion in the meat mix, salads are pre-mixed and chicken came with a sauce all over even when asked without.
- Derby Fish Bar, Tel Aviv: 3/10 – very unhelpful, no FODMAP friendly side dishes except fries.
- Biga, Tel Aviv: 0/10 – refused to accommodate menu changes so left.
- Lumina by Meir Adoni, Tel Aviv: 2/10 – very unwilling to accommodate.
- Santa Katarina, Tel Aviv: 5/10 – they only agreed to change the dish when the chef came to tell me he couldn’t take responsibility for it tasting good!
- Fresh Kitchen: 2/10 – most components of the salad are premixed so could not accommodate changes.
If you want more suggestions of where to eat FODMAP friendly meals in Israel and where to avoid, please comment below or contact me directly.