While in Israel, I tasted a good number of local dishes. The majority of these lunch plates are easily found at the local markets in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem and other main cities. They are all affordable and a delicious way to experience Israel’s colorful culture.

Shakshuka – quickly becoming one of my favorite local foods, Shakshuka is made with poached eggs in a sauce comprised of tomatoes, chili peppers and onion. The best thing about Shakshuka is that you can easily make it yourself.

Falafel – most of us have tasted Falafel before but my favorite one in Israel comes from a small “hole-in-the-wall” in Haifa. Made with chickpeas, pickled vegetables, hot sauce and served in a pita, the art of falafel is best eaten seconds after being fried.

Hummus – I’ve always been a hummus fan but Israel takes this lunch plate to another level. Perfectly balancing the amount of hummus and olive oil, my favorite local joint is located in Jaffa, outside Tel Aviv.

Shawarma – similar to New York and other global cities, we found a ton of local vendors in Jaffa serving up greasy slabs of meat and chicken. While I’m not always up for this sort of lunch, I definitely recommend it when in Israel.

This dish was comprised of eggplant, potatoes and meat. I can’t remember the name but we ate it right off the oven and it was a great snack before a late dinner.

Knafeh – Just one of many desserts, spices and juices found at the Carmel Open-Air market located in the center of Tel Aviv. Our local guide made sure to have us sample the very best treats. The traditional pastry is made with butter and cheese and served warm.

Quite reminiscent of Mac & Cheese, we sampled this cheesy snack in the local Market in Tel Aviv. The pickles give it a little extra bit of personality.

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