Israel welcomed more than 3.3 million visitors last year, and while many tourists flock to the land of milk and honey as part of a religious pilgrimage, there is no doubt that its melting pot of culinary influences has also positioned the country as a food enthusiast’s dream. It’s been less than 70 years since Israel was declared an independent state and recognized by the United Nations. Over the decades, millions have emigrated to establish roots in the Holy Land, bringing with them culinary traditions from around the world.
Tel Aviv, which hugs the Mediterranean Sea’s eastern shores, offers a vibrant back- drop to explore the country’s varied food culture. It’s a young, pulsing city with an average of 316 sunny days per year, which means plenty of beach time and healthy eat- ing. Here, you’ll find a broad range of dining options. Spend an afternoon wandering through a traditional food markets packed with fresh produce, prepared foods, baked goods, and plenty of tchotchkes to bring home as souvenirs. Tourists and locals alike mingle as the day wears on and there are plenty of outdoor cafés to find respite and take in the sights. As the sun sets, the streets begin to fill as cafés overflow with friends meeting after work.