Vegetarian Food in Israel

It is very easy to be vegetarian in Israel. Fresh, locally grown produce is good, plentiful and cheap, and Israelis tend to eat less meat and more vegetables than their European counterparts.

Kosher dietary laws can be helpful in this regard as well, since they mandate separating meat from dairy, and thus "meat"-designated kosher restaurants will not have dairy, and vice versa. Food considered neither "meat" nor "dairy" is labeled parve, although it should be noted that according to kosher laws, fish and eggs count as parve as well. Perhaps due to this fact, one might often encounter non-vegetarian Israelis who think of fish as being non-meat (so, if you ask at a sandwich stand which sandwiches do not have meat in them, "tuna sandwich" might be one of the answers). Fish are normally not put gratuitously where not expected, though, and are easy enough to avoid. Baked goods, such as burekas or sweet pastries, do not have meat (or fish…) in them; some have dairy, and other have vegetables. Vegans should be aware that the dough often contains eggs, though.

Most supermarkets will carry cage-free or organic eggs, and organic milk is not hard to find either.

Being vegan and eating out might be a bit trickier. While dairy is relatively easy to avoid (for instance, if you order a vegetarian dish in a meat-designated kosher restaurant), you will have a somewhat harder time avoiding eggs. Falafel and Humus, though, both very popular in the country, are perfectly vegan.

As of Jan. 2006, there is a new vegetarian Indian restaurant on Ringelbloom Street north of the university (a few minutes walk from gate 90).