This page highlights harberdashery's travel to Israel, March 2017. It includes key activities and insight from visits to Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, Masada and the Dead Sea, as well as suggestions for what to eat during your visit.
Key destinations are highlighted and saved in the Google map for your convenience. Because most travel itineraries suggest what to do and see, harberdashery suggests just a few things to help you narrow the focus of your travel. Here, the Top of the List section highlights harberdashery's favorite activities, and Bottom of the List are things to consider skipping.
The section about What To Eat highlights harberdashery's most liked foods to try while visiting Israel (food that is largely influenced by and can be found in other parts of the Middle East).
Finally, you will find related travel blog entries detailing information about each site at the bottom of the page. Be sure to check these out for photos and more detail.
top of the list
- I suggest you plan a trip to Masada at sunrise. While you are there, don't pass by the water cisterns (be sure to go inside).
- Floating in the Dead Sea is a must! Don't just go to see it, float in it.
- Old City Jerusalem is amazing and full of history. It is a worthwhile destination.
- Visit and tour the Bahá’í Gardens in Haifa. They are pristine and beautiful. Haifa is a quick day trip from Tel Aviv by train.
Bottom of the List
In Tel Aviv, visit the Sorona Market but do not eat there. It was the most disappointing meal on my trip. Most restaurants in the market are conceptual. I also suggest skipping Carmel Market in Tel Aviv. This market consists of massed-produced items. But head that direction and don't miss the artisan market next door, Nachlat Binyamin. It is open on Tuesdays and Fridays (only).
What to Eat
- Halva. a sweet confection formed from crushed sesame seeds blended with sugar, flavor extracts and nuts with a slight crunchy texture.
- Bulgarian Feta. A salty, firm cheese similar to Greek feta but with a creamy texture. Sprinkle it with olive oil and Za'atar (see description below). Most Israeli breakfast spreads include this cheese in the assortment of cheeses.
- Labneh. A soft cheese similar to the texture of Greek yogurt, yet creamier, saltier, and thicker. treat it similar to Bulgarian feta and sprinkle it with Za'atar or pour over date syrup. (I kind of have a thing with cheese.)
- Za'atar. A green colored herb mix sprinkled with salt and sesame seeds
- Hummus. In Israel, hummus is a rich 50/50 blend of tahini and chickpea puree enhanced with lemon juice and salt, served as crater with a pool of olive oil, chickpeas, and spices.
- Chocolate krantz cake. A yeasted cake swirled with chocolate. Need I say more?
- Shawarma. This is sliced meat is shaved from a rotating open spit and served on warm pillowed-flatbread, topped with cabbage salad, tahini and pickles. Yes, I said pickles. No, that's not how it is served in the United States. My best shawarma experience in Israel was sliced turkey at a hole-in-the-wall in Tel Aviv. If you can find turkey, get it.
- Falafel. Fried chickpea balls served in soft pillowy pockets of pita filled with hummus, tahini, chile sauce, pickles, and thinly-sliced cabbage salad. My favorite falafel was in Haifa.