For most American tourists visiting Israel, frequenting our distant shores can be synonymous to a 7 year-old stepping into a candy shop. There’s just too much of a good thing to go around…
So where do you go if you’re a hard-working businessman with little time on your hands to make the most of your Holy Land experience? We’ve come up with a list of the top 10 places to visit in Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem, Israel’s top two tourist attractions.
In September 1892, the Jerusalem train station opened as the first and last stop of the Jerusalem-Jaffa line. It closed in 1998 and the station offices, ticket office and hall and its 3000-square-meter concourse sat deserted until “First Station” was renovated and restored this past year. The site opened in May and is a venue for seven eateries, a family bazaar, a design fair for 30 designers, a running shoes store, an activity center for children and a visitors store plus a myriad of activities running seven days a week.
Looking to indulge your chocolate craving? Waffle Bar is an Israeli-owned restaurant chain that offers the most delicious dining experience for both tourists and locals in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv.
Maalot is a small, quaint, European-style restaurant featuring tapas, which chef and co-owner, Gad Yaari, borrowed from the Spanish cuisine and combined with the traditional food of his grandparents who came from Greece, Bulgaria, Iran, Turkey, Iraq and Kurdistan.
Who would drive 105 miles for a beer? When you visit the visitors’ center in Katzrin, the capital of the Golan Heights, in the reception area is a large kosher dairy restaurant combined with a coffee shop and store selling organic dried fruits, olive oil, chocolates, natural cosmetics, wines from Golan wineries and Bazelet beer from the Golan Brewery.
Two very typical Israeli foods, particularly in Middle Eastern restaurants are shashlik and kebab. These words are often used interchangeably, although they mean something different. Shashlik or shishkebab dates back to ancient Persia but was popularized by Turks during the Ottoman Empire, particularly the Turkish soldiers camping out.
Forty minutes out of Jerusalem, 12 miles to the west, is Moshav Ramat Raziel. In 1971, Eli Ben Zaken and his wife came to Israel and bought a house and land on this moshav.
Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of attending the annual wine and jazz festival in the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens. The setting on the water was lovely, the summer air was sultry, and the jazz quintet playing was music to my ears.
Chickpeas are among the oldest cultivated plants and are native to northern Persia. They are a staple of peasant cooking, a source of cheap protein, and they’ve been included in the diets of Jews living along the Mediterranean coast and North Africa for centuries.