Where to Eat Israeli Food in London (Co-Curated by Felicity Spector)

There’s a boisterous beauty to Israeli food.

Spanning a compellingly-chaotic compilation of cultures and sub-cultures, this is a cuisine which has been shaped across generations of widespread immigrant communities, each adding their own twist and traditions…

From breakfast through to dinner (and all sorts of babka-related snacks in between!), here’s where to eat the best Israeli dishes this side of Tel Aviv, conjointly curated by my favourite foodie, Felicity Spector! Over to her first…

Leading the charge of the exploding mix of Israeli restaurants is Bubala. It’s a wonderful newly opened vegetarian Israeli inspired place by ex-Barbary chef Helen Graham. Go for their exemplary food, from the silky smooth hummus and the wonderful ful with malawach to the crispy potato latkes with garlicky toum.

Also worth a visit is Oren in Dalston – another Tel Aviv inspired place by Oded Oren, where everything is house-made from the fluffy pita and challah bread to the pickles and dips and wonderful fresh flavours!

Then there’s The Good Egg – going from strength to strength with a second branch in Soho’s Kingly Court, funded by an incredible crowdfunding effort. Obviously their babka is a major draw, with chocolate, date and pecan and daily specials – but don’t miss the breakfast sabich, an iconic Israeli sandwich, with aubergine, egg, tahini, salad and spicy pickles stuffed inside a freshly baked pita. At dinner there are some unmissable mezze dishes – from smashed beetroot and roasted cauliflower to the aubergine shawarma and amazing baked cheesecake for dessert.

Strut and Cluck have opened a second branch too, Delamina in Marylebone. Go for the vibrant veggie dishes and the daily pita ‘balagan’ which comes with daily changing toppings – best of all is the brunch version, with sweet tahini and nuts and roasted fruit. Also, save room if you can for the molten chocolate tahini dessert.

As for Felicity’s favourite local, it has to be Shawarma Bar, the Exmouth Market offshoot of Josh Katz’s Berber and Q. The hummus plates are incredible – try the one with beetroot tahini and roasted broccoli – or the ‘Iraqi’ style version with roasted aubergine and egg. Get all the mezze and don’t miss the roasted cauliflower which is so good, because it has been continually brushed with spiced butter as it cooks.

Oh and for the best pitas you’ll find this side of Tel Aviv – head to Bala Baya where Eran Tibi has brought a special Israeli oven to London and painstakingly tracked down the perfect flour… go for lunch and the stuffed pita of dreams. Also, the ‘burnt babka’ dessert. Outstanding.

– Felicity Spector (follow more of her adventures on Instagram, here).

As for this foodie, I’ve always been partial to the beguiling charms of The Palomar in ChinatownThe high-octane cooking here thrives in the food of modern-day Jerusalem, drawing from Chef Tomer Amedi’s Kurdish-Moroccan heritage married with influences as far afield as Yemen, the Levant, the Maghreb, Turkey and Eastern Europe. The result manifests in a new world of herbs, spices and vivaciously-vibrant assemblies. The carb-heavy comforts of the Kubaneh proves especially enticing. Served with lashings of tahini and lust-worthy dips to sop up, this warm and fluffy pot-baked bread is really one of life’s simple but high-level pleasures.

Chef patron of Palomar, Assaf Granit & his partner Uri Navon (both are also behind Israel’s most buzzworthy restaurants such as Machneyuda), have unveiled a stylish collaboration with Tom Dixon Studio – Coal Office in Coal Drops Yard, King Cross. Expect bold flavours, speckled with shades of heat and dressed with Dixon’s signature design elements – from beguiling lighting to cutting-edge tableware!

And then there’s Honey & Co, co-founded by the Israeli husband and wife team, Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich. The diminutive café is always packed to its seams with regulars flocking back for the familiar comfort of their favourite dishes imbued with a daring depth of Middle Eastern flavours. The Shakshuka here sets a steadying start to the day; whilst for mezze and grills, I’d also recommend the sister spin-off Honey & Smoke, situated just a few streets away!

What and where are your favourites for Israeli food in London? Do share by tweeting us @FelicitySpector & @FoodieDiaries !

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