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May 12, 2010 01:04 PM

Best hummus in Israel?

Israel’s great culinary debate, akin to pizza faceoffs in Chicago or cheesesteak wars in Philly, boils down to one question: Where can you find the country’s best hummus?

We sampled an entry today at Sa’id, a classic hummus establishment in Acre (Akko), a city on the country’s northern Mediterranean coast that dates back to the Crusaders. To get there, our guide took us through the rambling streets of the souk, where vendors sold everything from spices to children’s clothing to hookah pipes.

Inside, Sa’id appeared nondescript – save for the heaping piles of food on the tables. Our driver ordered bowls of hummus for each of us.

I wasn’t quite prepared for how MUCH hummus we’d receive. Mounds of hummus, liberally dosed with chickpeas and swimming in olive oil, arrived at the table, along with a tall platter of warm pita bread. It tasted so much fresher and creamier than any hummus that I’ve ever had in the U.S. We mopped it up with gusto.

Photos and more info are up on my blog. I'm also interested in getting recommendations for hummus in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, as I'm here for a few more days.

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  1. When I was a student in Jerusalem I thought the best Humus there was to be had at Pinati restaurant. I think there are 2 or 3 branches now, but the original was (and still is) on King George Street and they serve other traditional foods (such as kubbeh soup). I keep kosher so I was not able to sample the places in the Old City, which have a great reputation but which are largely Arab-owned and not kosher.
    Near Jerusalem is the town of Abu Gosh and the humus there is also thought to be good (again, not kosher).

    In Tel Aviv, I'm told that Ashkara is a good place for humus (d/k if kosher) and near Tel Aviv, in Yafo is Humus Abu Hassan (probably not kosher).
    All of these places usually show up, along with Sa'id's, on various lists of the best places for humus in Israel.
    Enjoy and let us know the results of your research!

    1. Lawmann is right, there are a few places that are considered the best in Israel, and which you should visit if this is your theme. In the old city of Jerusalem, Hummus Lina, on the via dolorosa, is the place. In Jaffa, as mentioned, there is Abu Hassan aka Ali Karavan. Another place is Halil in Ramla, well worth the visit also to see the marketplace in Ramla.

      1. got go to a place called matbeach shel ima (mom's kitchen) in tzfat each customers hummus is prepared from scratch hands down the best