Eating Vegan in Israel was not as challenging as I might have thought. Blogging while leading a Birthright trip was what proved to be impossible!
Apologies for the multi-week hiatus but I was incredibly busy busing around Israel, riding camels, sleeping 3 hours a night, and eating my fair share of hummus.
Shirel and I on a camel in the Negev. Photo courtesy of Jaclyn Adler
What a trip! Eating vegan in Israel is totally doable. In the mornings, I usually ate veggies and toast. For lunch, I usually ate falafel. If you want the best falafel ever, you have to come to Israel! The falafel is always fresh and well seasoned. The toppings are also fresh and flavourful and the pita is light and fluffy. Best of all, it’s totally vegan. Falafel is a way of life in the holy land. People eat it all the time, so there are places that only sell falafel.
Falafel in Zichron Ya’akov
On occasion, for lunch, I would spring for pasta with veggies or pizza without cheese. They’ll make it for you at Big Apple Pizza in Jerusalem if you order at least 2 slices. Dinners usually consisted of salad and some sort of vegetarian main. Because I was with my birthright trip we always ate kosher. So when it was kosher meat — I didn’t have to worry about dairy in the veg dish. (Kosher law prohibits the mixing of meat and dairy.)
A few nights I had couscous with a veggie stew on top. The vegetables in Israel are super fresh and flavourful so it was a real treat. The only thing to watch for is egg because even though Kosher Parve excludes dairy, egg doesn’t fall under the dairy category.
What is Parve you might ask?
Definition: Parve is a Hebrew term (pareve is the Yiddish term) that describes food without any meat or dairy ingredients. Jewish dietary laws considers pareve food to be neutral; Pareve food can be eaten with both meat and milk dishes. Fish, eggs, fruits and vegetables are parve. Source
So, all in all, Israel is vegan friendly. You just have to know how to ask about your food. I look forward to trying out more of Israel’s vegan and veggie restaurants when I return. Until then, I’m going to work on perfecting my own homemade falafel. Wish me luck!
Next year in Jerusalem!