What will I eat while studying abroad in Haifa?

Authored by:
Martha Shtapura-Ifrah

Martha Shtapura-Ifrah

 One of the questions you might be asking yourself before travelling to the Middle East is – what will I eat? Whether you have special dietary requirements or you’re a picky eater, let me tell you that- you will not stay hungry while being in Israel!

During our welcome dinner this semester in the beautiful and dangerously delicious restaurant Fattoush in the German Colony (Fall 2018)

Since the local population in Haifa and in Israel is very diverse - our local food is diverse as well!  Some may say the local kitchen offers a fusion of Middle Eastern, European, Asian, African and even North and South American dishes!

Here we are enjoying Middle Easterrn lunch in the village of Jisr Al Zarqa, cooked by the loving hands of Hefa! (Fall 2018)
Here we're trying the traditional Jewish-European dish called CHULENT for the first time during our tour of the Haredi Vizhnitz community in Haifa (Vizhnitz is the Yiddish name of Vyzhnytsia, a town in present-day Ukraine) : They even had vegan chulent for those of us who avoid meat! (Fall, 2018)
Did you know that Levantine cuisine is the traditional cuisine of the Levant, known in Arabic as the Bilad ash-Sham and Mashriq, which covers a large area of the Eastern Mediterranean? We're enjoying a taste of this cuisine in a local restaurant in Haifa during our farewell dinner (Spring 2017)
Did you know that Bukharan Jews are Jews of the Mizrahi branch from Central Asia who historically spoke Bukhori, a Tajik dialect of the Persian language?
Here we are learning about Bukharian culture and hospitality, enjoying a wonderful discussion and a falvorful dinner and tea! (Spring 2018)

While food in general is not considered to be cheap in Israel, there are many options of street food that you can buy for affordable prices: A great example is the falafel! One of the most popular street-food options here in Haifa and one of the cheapest, healthiest lunch options too! 

Here we are seen enjoying the nationally famous (and possibly world-famous) falafels of the Wadi Nisnas! (Fall 2017)

It is very easy to find gluten free options, as well as vegetarian, Halal, Kosher and vegan.

In fact, Israel has the largest percentage of vegans per capita in the world — an estimated five percent of the population (about 400,000)! So there are vegan options in many restaurants and even some 100% vegan restaurants and cafes!

There are over 125,000 Ethiopian Jews living in Israel - many of which had to walk by foot all the way to Sudan and staying there for many months before being able to continue their joruney by plane to Israel!
We had to try their delicious and gluten-free injera! (Spring 2017)
This injera meal, which we had at an Eritrean restaurant, is not only gluten-free but also Kosher, Halal, and vegan!! (Spring 2018)

What are the costs of eating-out in Israel?

This very much depends on the type of food, the type of restaurant, its location and the time of the day. 

Here are a few popular examples:

1) Breakfast/Lunch in a mid-range restaurant woudl cost between 45-75 ILS, depending on the type of meal. Dinner can be between 60 to 100 ILS per person. 

2) McMeal at McDonalds: Around 50 ILS.

3)  Falafel- can range from 12 to 18 ILS per meal. 

4) Sandwiches- between 10 to 40 ILS, depending on the size and what's inside the sandwich!

5) Desserts are usually between 30 to 40 ILS.

6) Lunch specials (called "business lunch in Israel) may cost anywhere between 25 to 60 ILS and usually include a salad, a drink and a main course. 

7) "Israeli breakfast meal" is a great option to share with a friend, as it is commonly large! It usually includes a salad, an omelette, bread and spreads and a drink/coffee. Most places offer this meal for around 50 ILS. 

The "Israeli breakfast" meal we shared in n Kibbutz Harduf, Fall 2018 

Whether you eat-out or cook dinner with your friends at home: good company as well as new and familiar flavors –are guaranteed!

Visiting a friend from the village of Nahef and sharing a light meal and a discussion about Muslim women in Israel, life, peace and education (Spring, 2018)
When was the last time you had a freshly baked pita from the tabboun with zaatar or cheese ? We had our slices on a tour of teh Druze Village Dalyat El Karmel (Fall 2017)

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