Eat This (Abroad): Breakfast in Israel

October 31, 2011 at 8:36 am 5 comments

This will be my first report of many on breakfast and brunches abroad. I’m off on a 6-month journey that has already taken me to Israel, Turkey, and now India, and will take me in the future to various countries in Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and New Zealand. Naturally I will be eating lots of breakfasts in lots of places, and I will write about them here! Hope you like it!

A typical, simple Israeli breakfast usually consists of chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, one or two kinds of cheese (often one a salty feta-like cheese), hummus, pita, and hard boiled eggs. Our first grand breakfast was at a guesthouse in northern Israel where we had a traditional Druze (Syrian-Israeli) breakfast, which was an amazing spread. You can read more about it here.

Shakshuka is often served in a cast iron pan.

Shakshuka also usually comes with some kind of pita or bread. This one came with a delicious, fluffy focacia topped with za'atar, Israel's unofficial national spice.

Another classic Israeli breakfast is a baked egg dish with tomatoes, onions, and sometimes peppers, called shakshuka. I had a delicious one at Cafe Yankale in Herzilya. In Brooklyn, you can get this yummy dish at Miriam in Park Slope.

You can have Mocha from an easy-to-drink carton...

...or the traditional, and cheaper, bag. Just bite off the corner and sip!

If you don’t want a whole meal, you can stop into any convenience store and get Israel’s version of iced coffee to go: mocha. Yotvata (a dairy kibbutz near Eilat) makes my favorite one, and you can get it in two forms: a carton or a bag. It’s a sweet mix of coffee and chocolate milk, which is made extra delicious by the absolutely amazing milk produced in Israel. If you love fresh dairy, this is your country.

Pomegranate juicer in the old city of Jerusalem

Another option for a liquid breakfast in Israel is to stop by one of the many juice stands in the country. When I was there pomegranates were in season so their juice was prominently available. Yum!

If you’re in Jerusalem and looking for a more international breakfast/brunch, Kadosh (on Shlomzion Hamalka Road) is an excellent choice. It’s got a chic, but cozy decor and the food (not just breakfast) is delicious.

Kadosh's interior is cozy and hip at the same time.

You can see part of the breakfast menu at Kadosh here. So many decisions!

I went with the Crunchy Smoked Salmon, which was truly divine. It is a nicely-baked croissant loaded with two poached eggs, smoked salmon, and their spin on a hollandaise sauce, which involves poppy seeds and anise. It came with a nice salad and my choice of drink, so I went with freshly squeezed carrot-orange juice.

Isn't she a beauty?

Here's her insides: perfectly poached eggs and loads of smoked salmon with an excellent hollandaise.

Is there anything better than fresh-squeezed juice in the morning?

After all this I was pretty full, but when I saw a halva-chocolate babka on their menu, I couldn’t resist. A few days earlier I would have had no inkling as to how yummy this cake is, but I had eaten it at a fantastic bakery/cafe called Nadav Kinuchim (Nadav Desserts) in Ramat Yishai. That halva chocolate babka was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten, and their other cake and bread displays were mouth-wateringly good. I pretty much can’t wait to go back there next time I’m in Israel and anywhere near it (it’s about 1/2 hour from Haifa). Here’s a bit more information. But alas, I did not have my camera with me then. But I did at Kadosh, and while their version wasn’t quite as good, it was still delicious. Many people don’t like halva, but I have grown to love it these last few years; the trick is it has to be good halva and in America that can be hard to find. But the halva in this combination isn’t so pronounced, it merely lends a sticky, crunchy texture to the chocolaty babka.

Isn't babka the best?

 

Nextup: breakfasts in Turkey!

Entry filed under: DevoLT, Eat This, French toast, Restaurant Review, Toast. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

JudyJams Oct 2011 Picks: Edie Sedgwick, Future Islands, Dum Dum Girls, Twin Sister Fright Night Music Mix

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Breakfasts in Israel | Brooklyn Meets Bombay  |  October 31, 2011 at 8:40 am

    […] In case you’re unaware, I write another blog called Toast ‘n Jams with some friends about breakfast and music (the world’s two greatest pleasures). While on this trip, I’ll be posting about my international breakfasts there. Here’s a recent post I did on the great breakfasts we had in israel: https://toastnjams.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/eat-this-abroad-breakfast-in-israel/ […]

    Reply
  • 2. d. durand  |  November 18, 2011 at 9:51 am

    I am enjoying your posts, and so many of the items you present here look absolutely yummy, especially the Crunchy Smoked Salmon. Upon seeing this delicious dish I wanted to tuck right into it immediately. I am looking forward to further vicarious living via your updates. Keep it up.

    Reply
  • 3. mojalvoscultureshock  |  November 20, 2011 at 11:00 am

    I lived in Israel for 3 years and being a foodie, I lived for trying all the incredible food there. I miss the fresh produce and lovely bread products! And you are right, the dairy products are to die for…(shoko b’sakit rocks!)

    Reply
  • 4. Julie  |  October 15, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Any idea how I can get the Mocha drink in the US for my Israeli bf? He craves it….

    Reply
    • 5. DevoLT  |  October 15, 2012 at 9:50 pm

      I’m not sure…but I crave it too! I’ll post again if I hear about it being anywhere…

      Reply

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