Celebrate World Vegan Month (November) and discover why Israel is leading the vegan revolution.
Home to Tel Aviv, dubbed the ‘vegan capital of the world’, Israel’s cosmopolitan metropolis boasts over 400 vegan and vegetarian eateries, meaning plant-based dishes with fresh fruit and veg are easy to come by.
With so much emphasis on freshness of produce, travellers are spoiled for ethically friendly choices in Israel. Whilst staple Israeli foods hummus and falafel are innately vegan, the culinary scene in the city has seen the explosion of dynamic and flavourful green dishes, making ethical eating both delicious and exciting. Such is the prevalence of the vegan diet in Israel that the ‘vegan friendly’ label which can be found on everything from supermarket products to wines was born there, and has now made its way over to the UK.
Tel Aviv’s (vegan capital of the world) vegan chefs take pride in using the freshest of vegetables, and often meander through “shuks” (markets) for seasonal menu inspiration. From hummus joints like Hummus Abu Dabi, to Café Anastasia, arguably the city’s most successful vegan café, to high end restaurants including OPA, the work of renowned vegan chef Shirel Berger, Tel Aviv is bursting with the most delicious plant-based eateries the world has to offer.
Street food has been given a plant-based overhaul too, with shawarma joint Sultana, an exciting vegan BBQ bonanza, using forest mushrooms and seitan to produce the most delicious meat-free kebabs. Elsewhere, in Mitzpeh Ramon, is Vegan Xpress, a unique concept restaurant located in the heart of the world’s largest erosion crater, which specialises in house-made vegan cheeses and charcuterie.
Once travel is possible again, one of the best ways to sample vegan capital of the world Tel Aviv’s flourishing food scene is by visiting the city’s markets, which are home to some of the best fresh produce and offer guided food tours. Dive into the depths of Tel Aviv’s Carmel Market and learn about how Israeli cuisine has been shaped through its history, or alternatively try the Levinsky Market, which is renowned across Israel as the best place to buy spices.
Exclusively vegan tours are also on offer, allowing visitors to experience the rich and developing vegan food culture. The Vegan Tasting Tour visits a selection of the city’s most popular plant-based eateries, and samples some of their most unique and flavourful dishes, including street food, hummus, and sweet treats to be found in a vegan bakery and a vegan ice-cream shop.