If you are planning your next vacation in Israel, be sure to add one of the great markets, or shuk in Hebrew, to your itinerary. The market is a great place to truly be immersed in Israeli culture at its finest.
Israel food tours are all the rage. But no tour is complete without a visit to a shuk, because it is truly the biggest foodie hub in any city and also offers a truly fun cultural experience. If you are coming to Israel on a culinary tour, the shuk is a great source of high-quality ingredients at low prices. If you are looking for a tasty cultural experience while on your tour, you can’t go wrong with a culinary tour in one the vibrant markets of Israel! Here are just a few of the most known and popular markets, though every major city has a market as it’s where the locals buy the best ingredients.
There are a whole slew of amazing Israel food tours that you can take in Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv is a young vibrant city, and the culinary scene spreads from homestyle cooking to modern techniques. There are two main food markets in Tel Aviv that are worth checking out not only for a tasty lunch but also for a feast for the senses. The first and most well known is the Carmel Market, one of the most famous in Israel. The Carmel Market is perfect for snacking, getting a whole meal, getting ingredients to prepare a meal, and enjoying a truly Israeli atmosphere. It is located in the heart of the city and attracts visitors and locals alike. The market became the hottest culinary scene in Israel and is the place to try spicy Middle Eastern dishes as well as sophisticated fusion kitchen and exotic delights, such as Vietnamese buns, Venezuelan sandwiches, and Tunisian Buriks. The second is the Levinsky Market, popular among the locals. While the Carmel market is taking on a more trendy and worldly direction, the Levinsky Market is preserving the more traditional food culture. The market represents a colorful mix of different Jewish communities and this is the place where you can meet Persian, Turkish, Syrian and Yemenite Jews working side by side and selling their coffee, herbs, sweets and tea blends. One can get lost for hours in the Levinsky Market enjoying the authentic spice stands and tasty hummus shops. A third and less “popular” market is the Hatikva market – a true local experience and definitely off the beaten path.
Any Israel culinary tour, and frankly any Israel tour, should include at least one of these markets.
The beautiful city of Jerusalem has done an amazing job of building up a foodie scene. By combining the old and the new, just like the city itself, the culinary scene is full of surprises. Be sure to check out the shuk, best known as Mahane Yehuda Market, for a truly fantastic food experience. Try the cheeses, olives, pastries, and especially the halva during the day, then come back at night to eat dinner at one of the top restaurants and have a drink at one of the bars, not to mention to see the fantastic grafitti murals on the food stall doors. On Fridays, the shuk really comes alive while many of the locals – religious and secular – hurry to purchase all the fresh ingredients for Shabbat dinner. All of the best Israel tours will take you to the Mahane Yehuda Market during the day and night for the full culinary and cultural experience.
Haifa’s markets are often forgotten when thinking of the best food markets in Israel, though Haifa is home to one of the oldest fruit and vegetable markets out there. The Talpiot Market in Haifa has been serving the community for as long as Haifa has existed, with fresh produce and low prices every day of the year. Also, head down to Wadi Nisnas, a true gem for all Israel food tours, for the best baklava and falafel around! Be sure to make the drive to Haifa on your next vacation in Israel or Israel culinary tour, and enjoy a food tour in the vibrant city!
The Old City of Akko (Acre) on Israel’s northern Mediterranean coastline is an enchanting mix of cobbled streets that have seen Byzantine, Crusader, Islamic and Ottoman rulers come and go; a vibrant Arab shuk; stunning boutique hotels; renowned hummus joints and even better fish restaurants. Just 90 minutes by train from Tel Aviv, Akko’s Old City – and its market – is a gem that is not to be missed.
There is no better way to experience culture than through the palate. By visiting the vibrant markets on your Israel journey you are sure to appreciate the beauty of Israeli food and culture in this country, from north to south.