Everyone knows Israel for falafel, hummus and shwarma, but new street-food places have opened all over Israel and some of the best are in the food markets, where you can find a wide variety of interesting street-food offerings. A huge advantage of the variety of food stands on offer is that you do not have to all agree where to eat, or you can graze and share different treats from a variety of places.
Shuk Mahane Yehuda, Jerusalem:
- Josef Burger – 123 Agripas Street
Even though other burger joints have opened around the shuk, Josef Burger is still my favorite. My preference is for the Angus Burger (NIS 45) which I find to be more tender and juicy than the house burger. They have a great choice of toppings, including goose liver and chili pineapple, and the service is normally quick and friendly.
- Dwiny Pita Bar – 6 Beit Ya’akov Street
The concept at Dwiny is open or closed sandwiches, so each dish can be ordered either inside a pillowy fresh pita, or on top of small toasted pita bruschetta-style. All the ingredients are fresh and interesting, with fillings including seared entrecote, osso buco, fried red mullet and crispy cauliflower.
- Ishtabach (Mehadrin) – 1 HaShikma Street
Since Ishtabach first opened, it has been so popular that it has already expanded twice, but the owners have managed to keep the intimacy of the service and atmosphere. The specialty dish is Shamburak, a Kurdish Syrian pastry filled with meat and vegetables, baked in a stone oven and served with various homemade sauces and salads. Fillings include Asian chicken (NIS 44), asado (NIS 45) and tongue (NIS 54) and roasted vegetables (NIS 45).
- Hatzot – 121 Agripas Street
This popular steakiah (meat grill) has a separate takeaway window, along with street-sides tables. The extensive takeaway menu includes Hatzot’s famous Jerusalem mixed grill and my personal favorite, succulent pargit (NIS 54 in laffa), both with their secret spice mix.
- Hatch – (Mehadrin), 28 HaEgoz Street
Hatch is primarily known for its homemade sausages and craft beer, but other popular dishes include Fried Beef Chili Mac’n’Cheese Balls (NIS 24), Classic Buffalo Wings (NIS 32) and home-made kettle chips (NIS 15). As well as five varieties of craft beer, they also serve a selection of cocktails and Frosé – a rosé wine slushy.
- Craft Pizza – (Mehadrin), 12 HaTapuach Street
Craft Pizza serves pizza by the slice, with a great flavour and lovely sourdough base. As well as traditional options, they also serve unusual toppings like grilled courgette, beetroot, kalamata olives, pineapple and chili, with a great spicy salsa on the side. A slice of margarita pizza is NIS 14.
Sarona Market, Tel Aviv:
- Pita Basta
Pita Basta has a number of interesting items but I normally order the Heavy Pita (NIS 34), which is grilled chicken liver, silan, lemon sauce, tahina and other delicious toppings. The name is a play on the Hebrew for liver and not a mistake in translation! They also serve a dessert Pita Loti (NIS 10), a crispy grilled pita with nutty chocolate and banana – sounds delicious!
Chicho is a Moroccan food bar specializing in meatball sandwiches. The lunch deal is NIS 38 for a medium meatball sandwich or NIS 45 for a large (about 6 meatballs!) and comes with a side salad, olives and a flavored soda. The meatball options include beef, lamb, fish, vegetarian or vegan. The pita bread is amazingly fresh and there is a spelt option.
- Rotisserie Chicken Club*
There is something about a great rotisserie chicken that never gets old. The Rotisserie Chicken Club has opened its third branch in Sarona Market. As well as grilled chicken, they also serve chicken salad, chicken sandwich, sweet potato chips and roasted potatoes.
This article was published in L’Hayim, the annual magazine for the Spanish & Portuguese community in the UK. Here is a copy of the original article, Debbest Guide to Street Food & Quick Bites – L’Hayim Magazine 2019.
*The original article includes Kukuriku in Sarona Market, which has now been changed to Rotisserie Chicken Club.