With today’s non-stop consumerism, and fast-paced world, most people don’t have the time to sit down for an hour’s lunch or dinner, whether during work hours or even during vacation. That’s even true today in the Middle East, as you’ll notice during your stay at your Jerusalem hotel. McDonald’s, Burger King, and other world-renowned branches are located throughout the city and country. Israel, however, offers more than just the usual fast food frenzy. Israel offers Israeli or Middle Eastern style fast food. Wherever you travel, you’ll see a falafel or shawrma vendor right around the corner from your Jerusalem hotel. Not only do kids grab a quick bite at one of the many fast food vendors, but also businessmen and tourists alike. You might not always find a chair to sit in, but that’s the Israeli experience – eating a dripping falafel standing up. Find out more about the traditional Israeli fast foods below.
Most people who visit Israel try the famous Israeli falafel. Falafels date back some 2,000 – 3,000 years ago, originating in India. Today, they are popular throughout India and the Middle East, and even in the bigger cities in the States. In Israel, falafel balls are usually made from chickpeas. The chickpeas, together with various ingredients, are formed into small balls and then deep-fried. You can smell the falafel balls cooking as you walk by the fast-food restaurants not far from your Jerusalem hotel. Once the falafel balls are cooked, they are placed into pita bread, along with chopped up Israeli salad (cucumbers and tomatoes) and a spoonful of hummus and tahina. If you’re looking for a recommendation for a good falafel stand, just ask your Jerusalem hotel receptionist, as most Jerusalem hotel staff has plenty experience eating out at falafel stands.
If you’re looking for a fast-food meat dish, then shawarma is your answer. In Israel, shawarma is usually turkey or lamb meat. The word shawarma comes from the Turkish word meaning turning. The shawarma meat turns on a big skewer, and slowly roasts as it rotates over the flame. Once the meat is cooked, it’s sliced into small pieces and placed into a pita, along with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions with a tahina dressing. You can find any number of food stands offering shawarma sandwiches within minutes of your Jerusalem hotel.