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Balut in Kuwait

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Trying a local dish in any new country is always both challenging and exciting. Every so often, however, you encounter something that raises the bar to levels which you thought you may never encounter.... Read more

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8 Can't-Miss Street Foods in Amman, Jordan Tariq Nasir September 9, 2019

A local chef tells us the best things to eat on the street in the Jordanian capital.

A view of the houses and streets of Amman, Jordan.
Amman, Jordan. Photo courtesy of Ronald Woan/Flickr.


In the Middle East, the history of street food goes back a long way. There are stories of people in Cairo bringing their own pieces of rawhide upon which to have makeshift picnics, after buying their lunch from street sellers. In 1502, Ottoman Turkey was apparently the first place to regulate the sale of street foods. Amman, Jordan, is no exception to the street food obsession: Like billions of people worldwide, the population of this city consumes food from street vendors every single day.

I grew up in Amman at a time when it was a small...

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Tags: Middle East

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7 Traditional Emirati Dishes to Try in Dubai Kumar Samtani January 8, 2018

Want to eat local in Dubai? Even in such a multicultural city, it doesn't have to be difficult. Don't miss these traditional Dubai foods on your next visit.  

A fisheye view of Dubai from the Burj Khalifa, reflecting a cosmopolitan city rising from the brown desert
Dubai as seen from the towering Burj Khalifa. Photo by Tom Olliver/Flickr.

Dubai is home to thousands of immigrants, and as such, is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. The city’s multiculturalism is highly evident in its local food scene, an impressive smorgasbord of international cuisine. You’ll find the best Lebanese restaurants in Dubai as well as Japanese, American, Indian, Italian, French, Chinese, Philippine and many more.

But even with the abundance of international fare, you still need to...

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Tags: Middle East

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5 Foods You Must Eat in Tel Aviv Naomi Bishop August 18, 2016

Tel Aviv beach Israel
Photo by Isrealtourism/Flickr

Between the sprawling beach lining its western edge and the wide, shady boulevards that roam through it, Israel’s cosmopolitan center visually stuns. But Tel Aviv is more than just its good looks: From street food to top chefs, the cooks and kitchens of this city use fresh, Mediterranean produce, a heavy hand with the local spices, and culinary inspiration from around the globe. Many of Israel’s most famous dishes can be found in some form all over the world, but the unique excellence of the local versions sets them apart. From the pedestrian streets of Carmel Market to the stone paths of Jaffa’s old city, here are five local foods in Tel Aviv that you...

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Tags: Middle East

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5 Things Israel Can Teach Us About Hummus Naomi Bishop July 13, 2016

Bowl of hummus in Tel Aviv, Israel
Hummus in Tel Aviv. All photos by Naomi Tomky.

Hummus—which hails from all over the Middle East—is a way of life in Israel. A survey recently found that 93% of Israelis eat hummus each week, and some eat it more than six times a week. Unsurprisingly, this means they’ve mastered the art of making and eating it. Sitting down to a bowl of warm, freshly mashed hummus in Israel is nothing at all like the soggy bowls of supermarket paste you find in the U.S. But there’s hope: Here’s how you can aim for a better hummus experience, no matter where you are.

1. Make it fresh. In Israel, the hummus is sometimes still warm from cooking the chickpeas, which gives it a fresh, comforting aspect...

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Tags: Middle East

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Q&A: Joel Haber, Israeli Food Tour Guide, Jerusalem Naomi Bishop June 15, 2016

Joel Haber, a culinary tour guide in Jerusalem, at a food market
All photos courtesy of Naomi Tomky                                                        

“[Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda Market] is not just about the fresh food. It is also a window onto this city’s culture and personality.” —Joel Haber, culinary tour guide in Israel

Joel Haber, also known as “Fun Joel” (and he does live up to that moniker), offers custom tours of all aspects of Israel, but he specializes in our favorite part: Jerusalem’s central market, called Machane Yehuda—or simply, “the Shuk.” When Haber walks the market, greetings come from every direction—vendors and visitors alike, as if he were a popular politician strolling the streets. His vast knowledge of local...

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Tags: Middle East food producer Q&A

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