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Food + Drink

The Best Israeli Eats

Fried artichokes with Labneh. Spiced lamb kabobs in Nazareth. Akko-inspired falafel pistachios. We're talking about the best Israeli food, from Jaffa to the Judean Hills, and everywhere in between.

A Brooklyn-based writer and editor, Chelsea's work has appeared in Matador Network, The Huffington Post, the TripAdvisor blog, and more. When not planning her next trip, you'll usually find her drinking way too much iced coffee (always iced—she’s from New England) or bingeing a Netflix original series.

See recent posts by Chelsea Stuart

Steven Rothfeld never intended to visit Israel. In fact, despite his own Jewish heritage, the photographer and author had no real interest in going – something he semi-attributed to the country’s association with sorrow and conflict. But in 2010, when Rothfeld found himself in Italy with two free weeks between assignments, he decided to give Israel a shot.

What came of his introductory trip was a rapid infatuation with everything Israeli – especially the food. But that said, Rothfeld’s Israel Eats (the culmination of multiple long-term visits) is not your typical cookbook. More than just recipes and musings on freshly squeezed pomegranate juice, marbled halvah, and dates from the Dead Sea (though we’re totally behind all of that), his portraits and essays say as much about a culture, people and place as they do food. Regional dishes may be the book’s bread and butter, but ultimately, Rothfeld works to cast a new light on Israel – one that isn’t focused on the damaged and dangerous reputation the country’s media portrayal has garnered.

From hummuserias and market stalls to neighborhood kitchens and high-design cosmopolitan spots, Rothfeld’s catalog of recipes hail from Tel Aviv, Jaffa, the North, the South, Jerusalem, and the Judean Hills. Below, peep some of the dreamiest dishes – all contributed by the Israeli chefs, farmers, cooks, artisans, and locals he met along the way.

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Left: Mushroom Kubeh Siniya

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The start of Pink Trout with Fried Smashed Potatoes, Horseradish Cream, Mustard Vinaigrette, and Green Beans

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Left: Zahara and Right: F'tir

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A baker preparing manakish on the saj at Hagolan Bakery in Majfal Shams

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