Most Israelis will insist that there is no such thing as “Israeli food”, as their colourful kitchen is the tasty result of the Jewish Diaspora and cities like Tel Aviv are age-old melting pots of culture. Be that as it may, the Amsterdam dining scene has seen plenty of action from this part of the world in the past five years. It all started at pop-up turned veg-led trattoria manamana, which is still perennially packed with diners digging into the house’s signature fried “psychedelic cauliflower”. Next, a string of Israeli hummus bars opened, including Sir Hummus and Hummus Bistro D&A, both of which pump out perfectly silky homemade hummus with fresh pita bread daily. In 2017, Bar Fisk hit the scene with its regional cocktails, Israeli wines and shareable plates of seafood “inspired by Tel Aviv market stalls”. That same year, Adva Rachamim opened her “urban bakery” Ugga, where you’ll find the best babka and challah in town. Bardak, a “Tel Avivian streetfood bar” joined the fray in 2018, and earlier this year NENI brought its popular family-style mezze feasts – famous from Vienna to Berlin – to a former garage in Amsterdam Zuid.
For more on Amsterdam’s Israeli food scene, check out my Amsterdam restaurant podcast, Mokumista, where (at 5:37) I talk to Israeli pastry chef Adva Rachamim about the origins of the trend and the secret of her babka, I meet up with restauranteur Irit Lior at Bardak to chat about Tel Aviv-style street food and I dive into the kitchen with her chef to taste the house speciality arais.
Hungry for more? Check out our top blogs about where to eat and drink in Amsterdam.