In Israel’s early days, pioneers on kibbutzim would rise at 4AM to work the fields and milk the cows, and return for a hearty breakfast at 8 or 9AM. Breakfast would revolve largely around their own produce: eggs, bread, dairy products, fresh vegetables and fruit.
Fast forward five or six decades and the pioneers’ breakfasts have evolved into one of the most delicious – and renowned – gastronomic experiences in Israel. Every hotel serves a version of the “Israeli Breakfast” – invariably a giant buffet of vegetables, salads, cheese, eggs, smoked fish, breads, pastries, yoghurts, cereals and fruit.
It’s the Mediterranean: café life is major in Israel, with sidewalk cafes throughout every city and town. They offer a varied menu of coffees, teas, cakes, sandwiches, pastries and light meals. Israelis often sit in cafés for hours over a cup of coffee. One of the Israeli favorites is “café affuch” (“upside-down coffee”), a combination café cappuccino/café latte. U.S. style coffee bars are more and more common in Israel, with one Israeli chain now with two stores in New York.
Israelis love to eat at all hours. Felafel is considered Israel’s number one street food, and it’s available everywhere. If you’re driving, the restaurants, snack-shops and stores at gas stations are invariably spotless and serve excellent fare. Also ubiquitous are juice stands – where oranges, grapefruits, carrots, pomegranates, grapes are squeezed to order.