Israeli cuisine is as diverse as the population which makes up this gastronomic country. Food here is generally of a very high standard, and immigrants from around the world mean that almost every genre and type of food is available. Not tipping in sit-in restaurants that have waiters is frowned upon, but is accepted for signalling atrocious service. It is standard to give 10%-15% or more for exceptional service. 20% tip is considered generous. Including a service charge in the bill is no longer legal in Israel and should not be paid. In recent years, restaurants have been charging a "security fee" - roughly âª1-2 per person. However, this fee is not mandatory, and it is common to ask for the fee to be removed from the bill, as well you should.
Most restaurants accept credit cards, but do not accept personal checks. If you wish to include the tip in your credit card charge, state this before paying. Not all restaurants accept tips on credit cards.
Vegetarians/Vegans should have a relatively easy time eating in Israel. Due to "kashrut" the rules of keeping kosher there are many restaurants that serve only dairy food, which makes them popular with vegetarians. In some parts of the country you can also find Vegan restaurants. Amirim is a vegetarian/vegan village in the Galilee with several restaurants.
fast and popular
Falafel was officially adopted as the national food. These are small fried balls of mashed chickpeas, usually served inside a pita bread with hummus-chips-salat hummus, French fries and vegetable salad and tehina. A selection of more salads is usually available, and you can fill your pita with as much as it can take. This is usually the cheapest lunch available âª10-15, and it's vegetarian. You can also order half a serving "kha-TSEE mah-NAH".
Another popular option is shawarma, sliced turkey or lamb meat, also served inside a pita, or its larger cousin lafa, with hummus-chips-salat. Many other things can fit your pita: for example, Me'orav Yerushalmi Jerusalemite mix, which contain several types of meat, or Schnitzel, a batter fried chicken breast somewhat inspired by the Viennese original.
Hummus, a cream of chickpeas, tehina, onion, lemon and olive oil, is also served on a plate, and scooped up with small pieces of pita. At places that specialize in Hummus, you can find the dish topped with chopped lamb, fried chicken breast and many other different toppings.
Another street food gaining popularity is the Iraqi-origin sabich, a pita bread stuffed with a hard boiled egg, batter-dipped deep fried eggplant, hummus, tehina, and salad.