Today I’m excited to share the most incredible eats from my Middle Eastern travels, because let’s be honest, exploring local cuisine is everyone’s favorite part of traveling! If something strikes your fancy, be sure to click on the title of each dish to check out the links I’ve included to some of the best recipes out there!
Location: Abu Hassan-Ali Karavan, Yafo, Israel
We have to start with the dietary staple of the Middle East! Hummus is served at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can specify your hummus to come mushrooms, onions, hardboiled eggs, and always topped with Za’atar, a delightful Middle Eastern spice blend.
Location: Hakosem, Tel Aviv
Falafel is mostly comprised of chickpeas, but each Falafel stand boasts their own special blend of spices, which conniseurs love to compare! Usually served in a fresh pita with vegetables, hummus, and tahini sauce, many love to add French fries to the mix. And if you’re feeling wild, a bit of ‘harif’ or spicy sauce!
Location: Ovad, Giv’atayim, Israel
Pronounced sah-beek, this dish is roasted eggplant inside a pita stuffed full of vegetables, hardboiled eggs, and usually topped with tahini. Another great dish to add harif to if you are a fan of spicy food!
Location: Bambino, Haifa, Israel
Shawarma is an incredible roasted lamb dish and it made my mouth water watching the lamb roasting on a mechanized spit that tenderizes the meat. When ordered, it is cut directly off of the spit and served in a fresh pita with vegetables, hummus, and tahini.
Location: Dr. Shakshuka, Yafo, Israel
Arguably the best brunch I have ever had was Shakshuka at Dr. Shakshuka yesterday. The name is definitely an indicator, as many see this as the quintessential Shakshuka joint. And for our Charlotte followers, the Peculiar Rabbit in Plaza-Midwood serves an excellent version of this dish.
Most of my suggested recipes come from famed chefs Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, maybe best known for their New York Times Bestseller cookbook, Jerusalem. And for all of our local Charlotte readers, finding some of the ingredients may sound daunting, especially considering you’ll need fresh pita that can make or break your falafel or sabiq! I recommend taking a trip down to Cedar Land, an authentic Middle Eastern grocery that sells all the ingredients and spices you may be looking for. And when you stop in, check out their deli with made to order Middle Eastern delicacies. I wholeheartedly recommend their Tabbouleh!
Hopefully I haven’t made you too hungry after your lunch break but I do hope you are inspired to try out one of these traditional Middle Eastern dishes. We would love to hear about your experience!