Israel deserves its Vegan Nation title. Its hard to find a restaurant or coffee shop that does not offer at least a few vegan options. Vegan restaurants seem to pop up every month in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem (but also in the countryside), vegan products are in all supermarkets (see LOCAL BRANDS page) and vegan resorts are quite the thing. People understand exactly what you mean when you say you are vegan or “Tivoni” in hebrew (see more VEGAN WORDS), no need to explain further.
As elsewhere in the Middle-East, traditional local food is based largely on vegetables, beans, lentils, wheat and other grains. The Israeli cuisine is inspired by the large amounts of jewish immigrants, coming from Europe, Asia and Africa. Each influencing in their own way the food culture in the country, both of vegan and non vegan food alike. Luckily many of the most common and tasty “street food” dishes such as falafel, hummus and Sabich (except for the egg, that can be removed) are completely vegan (see Local food tab or Israeli common street foods page for more info).
Its interesting to mention, that Traditional Judaism totally separates the consumption of milk and meat. Meaning many non vegan restaurants will choose to observe this tradition. By not mixing the two and choosing to serve only meat / fish, or only dairy products. Israel shows great ingenuity when preparing vegan salads, desserts and side dishes to satisfy both milk and meat-based meals alike. Veganism comes naturally to most people, because in a way it is part of the culture.
Each city in the country, boasts at least one central marketplace full of the freshest seasonal produce, products and goodies. This includes great breads, vegan pastries, fresh salads and pickles, hummus, falafel and even small restaurants/bars. It becomes even more interesting on Friday mornings when the whole town gather there to shop, schmooze and brunch.
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