In Search of Israeli Cuisine - November 2019 - Via Sabra

In Search of Israeli Cuisine - November 2019

November 7-15, 2019

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Via Sabra is offering an off-the-beaten track culinary experience that complements the movie “In Search of Israeli Cuisine” that was filmed in Israel. This unique itinerary delves into the complexities of defining ISRAELI cuisine while offering the participant the essence of being Israeli.


Day 1: Thursday, November 7


Welcome to Israel


Relax, get acquainted with the area, and adjust yourself to local time.


15:00 Meet your guide, in the lobby of the hotel


Meet Avihai Tsabari, founder of Via Sabra, who will open the trip with a conversation: “Is There an Israeli Cuisine”?


Begin your culinary journey with a Machane Yehuda Market Tasting Tour: Enjoy the hustle and bustle with all the rich fragrances, colors and sounds this iconic Jerusalem market offers.   Let the tastings begin!


Continue to Nachlaot, known for its narrow, winding lanes, old-style housing, hidden courtyards, and many small synagogues, is a cluster of at least 12 neighborhoods that were established beginning in the late 1870s outside the walls of the Old City which was becoming increasingly overcrowded and unsanitary. In the wake of gentrification projects in the area, the face of the neighborhood has changed while retaining its unique character.


18:30 Dinner: MachneYuda

“This restaurant is considered one of the best in Jerusalem, possibly the country. Celebrity chef, Assaf Granit, grew up in Jerusalem and pays homage to the city's colors and cacophony in his elegant dishes. The menu changes twice daily, but it nearly always includes chamshuka, a fusion of chopped meat and hummus, and a raucous dessert ceremony of ice cream flung on tables covered in aluminum foil.”



Evening: Eastern European Jewish tasting tour - A taste of the “Old World” with renowned Jerusalem chef, Shmil Holland.  The tour is a dialogue between the practice of real food preparation and tracing the history and folklore of the foods.  Tour of Jerusalem bakeries.


Overnight: Jerusalem-Herbert Samuel Hotel


Day 2: Friday, November 8


Preparing for Shabbat – Jerusalem Style


Breakfast at hotel


Ein Karem: Tucked into the hills of Jerusalem is the biblical Ein Hakarem, mentioned in the Old Testament and whose name means "the spring in the vineyard."   Step into another world and visit this quaint neighborhood, long an artists' quarter and home to special people and sites waiting for your visit.


Bread baking workshop: Dive into the world of dough with Atalya whose magical hands will guide you through the entire baking process.


Rest and get ready for Shabbat


Western Wall: A Friday night visit to the Western Wall (the Kotel) which is the only remnant of the Temple compound built by Herod the Great.


Friday night dinner: Enjoy an authentic and intimate dining experience in the home of a Jerusalemite to savor what an Israeli Friday night dinner is all about.


Overnight: Jerusalem-Herbert Samuel Hotel



Day 3: Saturday, November 9


The Bountiful Jerusalem Hills


Breakfast at hotel


Start your morning walking along the Ramparts of the Old City we will tour the historical and religious sites of the Jewish and Christian Quarters. We’ll see some off-the-beaten track sites in the winding alleyways and enjoy some Jerusalem delicacies.  We will have a “taste of history” that interweaves stories and anecdotes, historical information and, of course, combine the senses of smell, taste, and sound




Shai Seltzer’s Goat & Cheese Farm: In the mountains surrounding Jerusalem, Shai created his own goat farm after winning cheese exhibition awards. Meet this unique individual who prepares his cheese in a 2,000-year-old cave.


Tahini, an oily paste and halva, dense, sweet confection are both sesame-seed based. We’ll receive explanations on preparation and production along with tastings of these typical Middle Eastern treats.


Dinner at “Majda”


“This restaurant offers traditional Middle Eastern food, cooked from very fresh ingredients and includes the help of family members who are sincere and genuine about offering superb, top quality food.”


Evening at leisure


Optional: City of David Sound and light show


Overnight: Jerusalem-Herbert Samuel Hotel


Day 4: Sunday, November 10


A Culinary Tapestry in the Galilee


Breakfast at hotel


Check out of your hotel


Enjoy some delicious pastries and tour at Elhanan bakery located in Pardes-Hanna, rather off the beaten track for the average tourist, but well worth the trip.


(time permitting) Discover the Bird Mosaic located in a public park in Caesarea. The mosaic was originally part of a large 6th century mansion. In 1955, archaeologists excavated a hilltop 500 meters outside of the Byzantine city wall in Caesarea. A large mosaic floor was discovered dating from the 6th Century CE.


In Zichron Yaakov, enjoy Wine tasting at Somek Winery which was founded in 2002 by Barak and Hila Dahan with the goal of producing the highest quality wines possible from the family's vineyards. The Somek Winery believes in continuous grape growing which allows the grapes to reach the highest quality and to be expressed in every wine. Such wine encapsulates both the nature and the 'terroir' which are representative of Bikat Hanadiv Region.



Dinner: “Going to Sharabic is like going home—if your family is full of fantastic Lebanese cooks who hand pick wild ingredients from their backyard.”


Overnight: Galilee-Vered Hagalil Hotel



Day 5: Monday, November 11


Galilee Cuisine


Breakfast at hotel


Druze cooking workshop: Participate in a true to life cultural immersion. Together with our hosts, we will have a half-day hands-on preparation of traditional Galilean dishes. Our reward: we enjoy our feast, the product of our own labour.


Visit an Olive Oil press in Yanuh, a mainly Druze village just north east of Akko.


Akko:  On a peninsula that pokes out into the Mediterranean – this historical city seduces visitors with towering ramparts, deep moats, green domes, timeless synagogues, slender minarets, church towers, secret passage ways and subterranean vaults.


Before dinner – visit the Efendi Hotel + wine


Dinner: Uri Buri

“For the past 20 years opposite the Crusader subterranean city in Akko, the Uri Buri restaurant has been offering different kinds of delicately prepared fresh fish and seafood dishes served with more than 100 different kinds of fine Israeli wines.”


Overnight: Galilee-Vered HaGalil Hotel



Day 6: Tuesday, November 12


Exploration of Palestinian Cuisine


Breakfast at hotel


Morning Hike in the Galil


Nazareth, the childhood home of Jesus, is closely associated with Christianity and attracted many pilgrims throughout the last two thousand years. The standout site in Nazareth is the Basilica of the Annunciation, the largest Christian church building in the Middle East, dedicated in 1964 on the Papal visit of Pope Paul VI.


Stop at El Babour Spice Store in the heart of the holy city of Nazareth, the 120-year-old, family-run mill is renowned for its range of exceptional homemade spices.


Lunch: El Babur, in Umm el Fahm. “Abas Husam’s menu is taken strictly from what this land provides – in Arabic this is called “baladi.”  More universally, Husam’s style is known as “slow cooking.”


Continue to Tel Aviv


Milk and Honey: The first whiskey distillery in Israel for a tasting tour


Dinner: DOC Restaurant


Overnight: Tel Aviv-Cinema Hotel



Day 7: Wednesday, November 13


The City that Never Sleeps


Breakfast at hotel


Jaffa Old City and Port: Discover the ancient and modern situated side-by-side. Stroll through the alleyways of the Old City filled with artist studios as well as archeological discoveries. Head to the Jaffa Port which exists from Biblical times and is a fantastic place to find a mix of Israelis from all walks of life.


Wind your way through the Flea Market which features everything from antiques to hip new clothing and design stores, cafes, restaurants, and bars. And what would a tour of Israeli cuisine be without a taste of the ubiquitous hummus?


Lunch: HaMiznon, King George branch, where Chef Eyal Shani's crazy dishes are served in a pita bread.





Explore Florentine with Shirel on an Urban Graffiti Tour. What kind of story do these images and words tell us about the people living there? What is unique about graffiti in Israel and in Tel Aviv? Guided walk through Florentine, the neighborhood of Tel Aviv best known for graffiti art.


Shuk Levinsky:  The finest spices, dried fruits, boutique cheeses, roasted nuts and coffee beans, olives, condiments, pickled vegetables, exotic meats and salted fish, can all be found here.  Originally specializing in Balkan cuisine for Jews originating from Thessaloniki in Greece, the arrival of Iranian immigrants to downtown Tel Aviv post -1948 brought new tastes and herbs from Persian cooking.


Leisure time


Dinner: Busi

“Yemenite cuisine with Middle Eastern flavor”


Overnight: Tel Aviv-Cinema Hotel



Day 8: Thursday, November 14


Making the Desert Bloom


Breakfast at your hotel


Kadesh Barnea: Here in this arid desert community, a miracle of agriculture takes place with cherry tomatoes. We’ll meet the local farmer and marvel at the accomplishment that’s been achieved with state-of-the-art technology.




Shirat HaMidbar: In the sand dunes of Halutza lies a unique organic farm in which grows medicinal herbs and spices, Moroccan Argan trees, edible grapes and a colorful orchard. Prepare your own spiced oil.


Lunch: Ezuz is a unique community of artists bursting with creativity. The village is home to less than 15 families, each of whom runs a tourism or culture-related business. Ezuz is a haven for eco-tourism with many unique and inspirational creations constructed out of the remains of busses, train carriages and other unusual materials.


Shivta: Tour the archaeological site of a classic Nabatean town located along the ancient spice route. It was later a Byzantine agricultural colony and way station for pilgrims en route to the Saint Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai.


Late return to Tel Aviv


Overnight: Tel Aviv-Cinema Hotel



Day 9: Friday, November 15


A Tel Aviv Friday


Breakfast at hotel


Carmel market: The most famous of all Tel Aviv markets. Enjoy tasting local delicacies on Friday at the market, the busiest place in Tel Aviv with all the rich colors and scents.


Group summation and farewell


Transfer to  airport or post tour arrangements can be made



Click here for the registration form



Itinerary is subject to change based on seasonal considerations and availability of speakers and restaurants.


Pricing (based on 8 guests):

Price per person

Double room - $3300 Single supplement - $1100


Payment terms

Deposit (non-refundable) $500 per person
One month before the trip Balance due





Via Sabra's services include:

  • Via Sabra welcome package
  • All site entry fees
  • A private, licensed, English speaking, culinary tour guide
  • Bus for the entire trip with Wi-Fi
  • 8 night’s accommodations
  • All breakfasts. Lunch and dinners as specified
  • Light snacks and bottles of water


Not included:

  • Airfare
  • Transportation to and from airport
  • Travel and health insurance (recommended)
  • Tips for tour guide and driver


Terms of Payment:

  • the above rate is valid for payment made by credit card, wire transfer, check, or cash.
  • please note there is a 2% service fee for Credit Card.


Cancellation Policy

  • cancellations up to 90 days prior to departure $500.00 p/p will be charged (non-refundable deposit)
  • 89 to 60 days prior to departure the cancellation penalty will be 20% of the total tour cost per person
  • 59 to 30 days prior to departure the cancellation penalty will be 50% of the total tour cost per person
  • 29 to 8 days prior to departure the cancellation penalty will be 75% of the total tour cost per person
  • Up to 7 days prior to departure the cancellation penalty will be 100% of the total tour cost per person


Some of the activities in this itinerary rely on local hosts, suppliers, or sites and therefore it is subject to change.

$ 500
Single deposit. Invoice for the balance will be sent when due.
$ 1000
Double room deposit. Invoice for the balance will be sent when due.
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Cancellation Policy
• cancellations up to 90 days prior to departure $500.00 p/p will be charged (non-refundable deposit)
• 89 to 60 days prior to departure the cancellation penalty will be 20% of the total tour cost per person
• 59 to 30 days prior to departure the cancellation penalty will be 50% of the total tour cost per person
• 29 to 8 days prior to departure the cancellation penalty will be 75% of the total tour cost per person
• Up to 7 days prior to departure the cancellation penalty will be 100% of the total tour cost per person