By Jessica Halfin
Hummus is a national obsession in Israel. And while your brain might automatically be thinking about those containers you buy at the supermarket, hummus in Israel is a slightly different, more elevated experience.
Literally thousands of hummus restaurants exist throughout Israel and everyone has their local favourite.
But I wanted to boil it down to the absolute best, must-visit five favourite hummusias (that is, places that serve only hummus) in all of Israel.
These restaurants have gained droves of loyal fans for making the ethereal and creamy wonder-dip just a little bit better than the next place. Prepare to drool. Then get your passport ready.
This hummus restaurant has been a Jaffa staple since 1937.
These days, you’re more likely to enjoy a bowl of creamy hummus
with a modern twist, which for Israelis means changing the toppings.
The restaurant serves its classic hummus with chargrilled, pickled onions and kalamata olives.
It's a unique take that proves homey dishes are the new gourmet and that a fantastic meal can be meat-free.
* Yishkon 29, Jaffa-Tel Aviv.
Grab a seat at this kosher hummus bar in the heart of central
Jerusalem and you'll experience the adrenaline pumping live action
behind one of Israel's favourite hearty treats.
Functioning like a mezze bar, here you can get all sorts of Israeli-style salads and freshly fried falafel balls to round off your hummus lunch.
Once you grab a seat, a beer on tap or a glass of fresh lemonade will help you soak up the chickpea creaminess with warm pita bread all afternoon.
Their meat-topped hummus is not to be missed.
* Ben Sira St 3, Jerusalem.
One of the things that makes Hummus Bardicef so unique, aside
from the high quality hummus and attention to details, is the chassidic
theme of this restaurant, which is pretty far, culturally, from
the origins of hummus.
With chassidic owners, their heritage is found in the name, logo, and decor of this restaurant.
The hummus is served as a warm stew, effectively upping the ante and leaving you full all day long.
One of my favourite dishes is the sabich hummus bowl: grilled aubergine, tahini, cubed potatoes, preserved lemon puree, and parsley pesto are served over an indulgent bowl of their signature super creamy hummus.
* 1 Wedgewood Boulevard, Haifa.
Another Jaffa hummus destination with a long history is Hummus
Dani Foul. A little off the beaten track and much less hyped (also
much less expensive), this restaurant is just as authentic as the
city’s most famous hummusia, Abu Hassan.
The consistency of their classic hummus is much thinner than the usual dip, but ever-delicious.
And their star dish is the masbacha, a rustic hummus-like stew of tahini and roughly mashed chick peas.
Baklava and strong Turkish coffee on the house won’t leave you wondering why locals have flocked here in secret since the 1960s.
* 46 Ha-Tkuma Street, Jaffa.
Hummus Said in the ancient Mediterranean port city of Akko
has been the top hummus spot in the city since it opened in 1973.
Some even say it's the best hummus in Israel, due to its light, airy and impossibly smooth texture.
Located in the heart of the old market, this humble yet classic spot is a must-hit before you explore the spices, olives, and indulgent treat stands that surround the restaurant.
* Old Akko Market.