If you are a Hummus lover, you’ve probably heard – or even tasted – the big names, such as Abu Hasan and Said But the Hummus scene in Israel has a lot more to offer to the hungry foodies
There are hummus places everybody knows, the ones included in every tourist guide. There are places only locals know, which are always full of surprises.
And then, there are those hidden gems that even most Israelis have never heard about. From Nahariya in the north to Eilat in the south – here are our 10 secret hummus places.
Ha-humusia shel Dani (Dani’s hummus place)
33 Hagaaton blvd., Naharyia • 04-9001510
Naharyia is one of the most northern points in Israel, a small, almost remote town, which houses one of the best hummus places in the country.
In Dani’s hummus place they make a smooth Galilee style hummus, which is served with a generous amount of fine Galilee olive oil. The pine nut hummus is excellent, and you should also try the falafel balls, that are always freshly made and has the most beautiful herb-green color inside once you bite them.
Hummus Ful Issa
Salah ad-Din square (on the entrance to the old city market of Acre) • 052-6751005
In the ancient city of Akko (Acre) there’s a cluster of superb hummus places. Hummus Said is the best known, and there’s also Suhila which many say is even better. But if you ask the locals, many will name Issa as the best of all.
Issa is one of the oldest hummus places in Israel (the sign says it was established in 1950). It doesn’t look very impressive, and has a very basic menu that includes only hummus, ful and mashawsha (a dish similar to hummus but with a different texture) in several variations.
But rest assured, you haven’t tasted anything like it. The hummus, pasty and very delicate, is served the Acre way – with lots of olive oil and parsley, the softest pita bread, onion and tomato slices, sliced pickles and olives. You just got to try this one.
4 Ha-Bankim st., Haifa • 04-8530531
Haifa too has many esteemed hummus places – Abu Shaker, Farage, Abu Yosef and Abu Maroon, to name a few. Fadi’s is not as known, but not less good.
The name sounds Arab, but Fadi Karaman is actually a Jewish chef of Romanian origin, who one day in 2002 realized hummus is his true passion.
He makes many other dishes, but the jewel in the crown is his Hummus Gargerim (hummus with whole chickpeas). The portion is huge, and is served with great green and red pepper sauces and hand-made sourdough pita bread, that is really good. You have to try his spicy potato chips as well.
66 Herbert Samuel st., Hadera • 04-6335428
Not many tourists get to Hadera, which is an industrial city halfway between Haifa and Tel-Aviv. But if you happen to get there, craving for hummus, Hummus Hamoody is your best choice.
This 35 years old place serves extra smooth hummus that is certainly one of the best. Served with a tasty cabbage salad, fries, fresh green peppers and hot sauces, it makes a gorgeous meal. And if you come there with kids, there are also huge Schnitzels to keep them occupied.
Hummus Ful Ha-Hagana
71 Ha-hagana road, Tel-Aviv • 03-6740055
This hummus place in south Tel-Aviv, just across the street from Ha-Tikva market, is one of the best places to eat a “complete” – a dish of hummus with ful and brown boiled egg.
It’s a small place, engulfed in a sweet smell of the oil burners, on which the ful is made. The hummus is thick and full of flavors, and the sliced egg melts in your mouth. But the real secret is in the ful – which is just perfect.
46 Ha-Tkuma st., Jaffa • 054-6834785
Second only to Abu Hassan in my opinion, the much less known Dani Ful (not to be confused with the place in the Jaffa flea market) has been making great hummus and musabaha for over 50 years.
The place resides on a quiet side street, so if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there. It’s very basic, the prices are low, and there’s baklava and black coffee on the house for dessert.
2 Ha-Neviim st., Jerusalem • 02-6261658
Across the street from the Damascus Gate (“Shaar Schem”), Ikermawi serves handmade hummus based on an old Syrian recipe, which is very different from the typical Jerusalem style hummus.
Make sure that you get there with friends, so you can also order ful and musabaha – you wouldn’t be able to eat all that alone…. They also have a really good tiny crispy falafel .
58 Herzl blvd, Ramla • 08-9246858
Halil is the best known hummus place in Ramla and the one most people will tell you about. And indeed, it has good hummus and superb musabaha that many think is even better than Abu Hassan’s (from Jaffa).
Hummus Sultan is in on the same league. Some argue it’s even better.
Sultan serves good hummus, ful, musabaha and falafel, with special red pepper sauce that resembles the Tunisian Arisa and is really tasty.
Ha-Hummus shel Tahina
51 Herzl st., Sderot • 077-7015360
This very special hummus place resides near Sapir College in the town of Sderot and is, first and foremost, a place where students hang out. It offers great atmosphere and inspiring food.
Apart from the regular hummus dishes, they also serve hummus with almonds, eggplants or pickled lemon, and also a green musabaha, with handmade pita bread and a selection of sodas and alcohol (mostly beer and arak).
14 Ha-Tvuna st., Eilat • 077-7992120
The owner of this place, Dani Ohayon, came to the southern city of Eilt in the early 2000’s, fell in love with a local and stayed. When he realized there’s not even one decent hummus place in the city, he opened Hummusof (which loosely translate to “The end-all hummus”).
Other hummus places have opened in Eilat since then, but many think this one is the best. Except from the regulars, he serves special dishes like hummus with black lentils and mashawsha, which is very rare to find south of Haifa.
Originally published on “Maslul”, a Yedioth daily newspaper supplement.