A Summary of the Best Kosher Restaurants in Israel.
People are always asking me for my top ten favorite kosher restaurants in Israel. I do believe there is no definitive list as it depends on the occasion, age, style of food and of course, most importantly, personal taste. Having said that I do like lists so why not write my own!
This list is based purely on my personal experience. The menu in some places varies seasonally so I have tried to recommend dishes that are consistently on the menu or a similar variation of the same dish. There is a carnivorous focus to my suggestions as that is my personal preference when eating in kosher restaurants in Israel. Where it is relevant I have included the link to a full review so you can find more suggestions.
Updated: May 2022
Here is a list of my top 10 kosher restaurants in Israel:
- Darya, Hilton Tel Aviv
Darya restaurant by Chef Hilel Tavakuli is described as modern silk road cuisine, a fusion of the Far East and Mediterranean food. The menu is full of creative and interesting flavor combinations. I have only eaten at Darya once as it is a relatively new restaurant but it was one of the best kosher meals I have ever had and the staff was knowledgeable and attentive.
My only criticism is that we had to ask a few times for clean plates and silverware as we were sharing and didn’t want to mix the fish and meat dishes. Additionally, if you plan to share, I would advise asking them to bring the food staggered so you can enjoy the flavors of each dish separately and not worry about one dish getting cold.
- Jacko’s Street, Jerusalem
It will be no surprise to anybody that knows me personally or follows this blog that Jacko’s Street is my favorite restaurant in Israel (not just kosher ones) and will always be top on my list of recommendations. It is my go-to place for taking out-of-town guests and even those who don’t eat kosher are impressed by the creativity of the menu and energetic atmosphere in the restaurant – it epitomizes the expression “fun-dining”.
The menu is a Middle Eastern fusion, with many dishes offering an elevated version of traditional home-style recipes. My favorite starters are the Moroccan Cigars and Sea Fish Tataki, and for mains, I normally order the Gourmet Burger, the Charred Steak or the Prime Rib, if I have a willing partner to share. After 9 pm the music is lively so if that is not what you are looking for, either go early or find somewhere else.
- West Side, Royal Beach Tel Aviv
The food and service at West Side are probably the best in Tel Aviv and although the hotel setting reduces the ambiance, it is the perfect setting for a business or more formal meal.
The varied and creative menu offers classic Mediterranean food with some Middle Eastern twists. Be sure to whet your appetite with either the Brioche with schug or the Jerusalem Bagel with tahina and tomato. For starters, the Grouper & Cucumber Tartare, Mushroom & Chestnut Risotto, Lamb & Pine Nut Katayef and Red Tuna Pizza are all delicious but my favorite is the Goose Liver Pate which is rich and creamy with Amarena cherries and toasted brioche as the perfect accompaniment.
For the main course, the Salmon and Grouper Fillet are both very tasty but for me, nothing beats the Beef Fillet served with a creamy mash, topped with a perfect amount of truffle sauce, bok choy and an enormous piece of bone marrow is an indulgent treat.
The desserts are beautifully presented and perfect for sharing. West Side is the perfect restaurant for those looking for an exquisite meal with fabulous service.
- Black Iron
Black Iron is a steakhouse bar with a menu focused on Wagyu beef with a few grilled chicken, fish, and vegetable options to go with it. The steaks were juicy and flavorful, especially the fillet, entrecote and rump steak. I would like to see more vegetable side dishes and a variety of sauces to accompany the steaks but the meat itself was very flavorful.)
Black Iron, 80 Agripas Street,
- Rooftop, Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem
For the ultimate “Jerusalem” setting, Rooftop Restaurant, Mamilla Hotel is a must. The view over the Old City is incomparable and the menu is always fresh and interesting with mostly Mediterranean dishes with a Middle Eastern influence.
I love the Iron-Rich Herb Salad, Duck in a Blanket and Grouper Shawarma starters. For main I cannot resist the Entrecote as it is one of my favorites in Jerusalem, but the Lamb Chops and the Bass are also great dishes. The service is slightly hit or miss but the view and quality of the food make it worthwhile.
- Herbert Samuel
I tend to start with a light raw dish like the Red Tuna Crudo, Salmon, or Beef Tartare. The Tomato Salad is Herbert Samuel’s signature dish and is very popular. If you are dining with a fellow carnivore then I recommend ordering the Beef Chateau or the Prime Rib as they are both great options for a minimum of 2 diners. The fish dishes are also delicious, especially the salmon and grouper. All the chocolate-related desserts are always incredible and worth saving room for. There is also a very impressive wine menu and the wine fridges line the length of the restaurant.
- Gillis Steak House, Moshav Nov
Although Gillis is not a real restaurant, the food is so good it still qualifies for this list. Gillis Steak House is only open on a Thursday night, the rest of the time it is a cattle farm and butcher.
The menu is simple – meat! For those looking for a full experience, I recommend going all out and getting the Just Beef tasting menu at NIS 238 per person. Having had the tasting menu a few times, I always order the Beef Fillet as it is always perfectly cooked and so soft and flavorful.
The most unique aspect about the place is that the cooks are actually the farmworkers, who just know how to cook the meat well and honor its true flavor – there are no special sauces or fancy plating, just delicious well-cooked high-quality beef. The service is incredibly warm and the Gillis family personally host all their guests.
- Malka, Tel Aviv
Malka is Chef Eyal Shani‘s first kosher restaurant, with the same rustic style of all his other restaurants. Shani is great at making the vegetable the hero of the dish, with starters including A Bag of Green Beans, Zucchini Baby Lollies and Lima Beans. The main courses are elevated street-food dishes like Schnitzel filled with mashed potatoes, Minute Steak on a bed of tahina and Chicken in a Coffee.
Most of the food is designed for sharing and served on brown paper. Having eaten in a number of his non-kosher restaurants, I can safely say that the quality of the food is the same and I hope Shani will open more kosher restaurants for everyone to enjoy.
1868 offers an interesting and diverse menu with a combination of European charm and Jerusalem history. It is a perfect location for visitors looking for a meal in an authentically Jerusalem surrounding. There is also the option to order from the extensive cocktail menu at Zuta, which is located at the back of the restaurant (click here for a full review of Zuta).
- Lotte by Assaf Granit
The Machneyuda Group‘s first kosher restaurant, Lotte by Assaf Granit, is located in the Galei Kinneret Hotel overlooking the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) near Tiberias. The menu features a few dishes from the group’s other restaurants, but most of the menu centers on local Galilean ingredients and aged meats.
Other great kosher restaurants include:
- Pescado fish restaurant in Ashdod (full review here)
- Beresheet and Cramim hotel restaurants
- Armonim, Dream Island Spa & Resort, Sde Yoav.