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unique / "hidden gem" group dining options in Israel?

unique / "hidden gem" group dining options in Israel?

Old May 12, 20, 1:51 pm
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unique / "hidden gem" group dining options in Israel?

I'm in the process of organizing an educational trip to Israel for a group of 30 people (university students and alumni in their 20s and 30s).

I've been to Israel a dozen times, but nonetheless one of the aspects I find struggling is finding suitable/interesting places for lunch, dinner and/or an extended break.

In an ideal world, I'm looking for venues that:

1. can deal with 30 guests at the same time
2. offer quality, tasty, authentic food at a low/reasonable cost (doesn't have to be "fancy")
3. potentially are of interest beyond offering food / have a nice view / add value from a program perspective
4. do not have to be a restaurant per se
5. potentially are suitable for an extended break

A few things I have already considered:

- tour of a kibbutz and lunch/discussions with kibbutz residents
- tour of the Austrian Hospice in the Old City of Jerusalem incl. coffee in their garden and enjoying the views from the rooftop patio

Along the same lines, I'm looking for other suitable suggestions such as:

- a less touristy vineyard that may offer free/cheap wine tastings (with/without buying x bottles), ideally with a nice patio and/or a reasonably priced lunch/dinner
- a church / synagogue / non-profit / company / other organization that may happen to run a cafe/restaurant or offer catering upon request
- or even something like "there's this awesome falafel place half-way between x and y with a large patio/garden/whatever"

We will be travelling all across Israel incl. Tel Aviv, Haifa, the Golan Heights, Sea of Galilee, Jordan Valley, Dead Sea, Negev Desert, border to Gaza - so virtually anywhere roughly along that route would be of interest.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
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Old May 12, 20, 7:20 pm
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A couple of recommendations.

Ticho House in Jerusalem, a cultural center which is now affiliated with the Israel Museum, it has an interesting art collection and a restaurant.

We really enjoyed our visit to Flam Winery in the Judean Hills last years. It has a patio with great views. The wine tasting was affordable. We had some food with it, don't recall what we ate. We did not have to buy wine bottles.




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Old May 13, 20, 12:59 am
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I've had a couple of great meals with groups in Genesisland, half-way between Jerusalem and Jericho. The meals are served in large tents, with a view of the Jordan Valley and the lights of Amman after dusk, and options of camel riding and other activites. See Genesis Land




Last edited by RedChili; May 13, 20 at 3:17 am
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Old May 15, 20, 11:49 pm
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Almost all kibbutzim have been privatized and do not have a communal dining room any more. A few have activities for tourists. For example:
http://www.courtyard.co.il/english/

Winery with restaurant: "Tishbi" in Zikhron Yaacov: https://www.tishbi.com/en/on-the-far...on-restaurant/

"Dr. Shakshuka" in the Jaffa Flea Market ( authentic North African food) is always popular with tourists: https://beteavone.com/restaurant/dr-shakshuka/

For authentic Palestinian food, try "HaBayit" in Ein Hud (above Ein Hod, near Haifa): Habait Be'Ein Hud
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Old May 16, 20, 12:42 am
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Originally Posted by TWA884 View Post
A couple of recommendations.

Ticho House in Jerusalem, a cultural center which is now affiliated with the Israel Museum, it has an interesting art collection and a restaurant.

We really enjoyed our visit to Flam Winery in the Judean Hills last years. It has a patio with great views. The wine tasting was affordable. We had some food with it, don't recall what we ate. We did not have to buy wine bottles.
Thanks for the response! Great suggestions!

That patio looks perfect for enjoying a nice glass of wine while having a little group discussion / down time. They seem to have two vineyards in the Judean Hills - do you happen to remember which one this is?
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Old May 16, 20, 2:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Jasper2009 View Post
That patio looks perfect for enjoying a nice glass of wine while having a little group discussion / down time. They seem to have two vineyards in the Judean Hills - do you happen to remember which one this is?
I took these photos in February 2019 at their winery near Eshtaol (off Route 38). It's about four miles from the Sha'ar Hagai interchange on Highway 1 (Tel Aviv - Jerusalem). Take a look at the Visits & Contact page on their website.

If you have
Amazon Prime Amazon Prime
or another streaming service, I highly recommend watching Michael Solomonov's movie In Search of Israeli Cuisine for additional ideas. That was the inspiration for our itinerary.
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Old May 22, 20, 8:21 pm
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We've stayed many times at kibbutz ramat Rachel in southern Jerusalem. It is not fancy but has incredible views, has a modern history in the war for independence, an archaeological garden, great pool and health club area an interesting cemetery on the grounds.. I know that sounds weird. It secluded but only a few minutes drive from downtown Jerusalem. For those that like walking you can walk through a very nice residential neighborhood, Arnona to the tiyelet. It's also very Close to several Arab villages so it gives a unique perspective on how interwoven the city can be. Herodian and Bethlehem as well as Rachel's tomb..hence the name are close. We also went to a beautiful wedding in a place called the fifth place ...something charmisha..about a half hour outside Jerusalem that has catering and lodging.
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Old May 23, 20, 12:02 pm
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Originally Posted by worldiswide View Post
W We also went to a beautiful wedding in a place called the fifth place ...something charmisha..about a half hour outside Jerusalem that has catering and lodging.
Probably Ma'aleh HaHamisha, west of Jerusalem.
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Old May 24, 20, 10:26 pm
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Originally Posted by mbgg View Post
Probably Ma'aleh HaHamisha, west of Jerusalem.
thanks for the full name.. yes ..the fifth place.
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Old Yesterday, 4:35 am
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Originally Posted by worldiswide View Post
thanks for the full name.. yes ..the fifth place.
No. The proper translation is 'The Hill of the Five" or "The Ascent of the Five"
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Old Yesterday, 12:33 pm
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Originally Posted by mbgg View Post
No. The proper translation is 'The Hill of the Five" or "The Ascent of the Five"
The kibbutz was named after the five men who were ambushed and killed nearby by Arab gunmen on November 9, 1937, not quite a year before the kibbutz was founded.
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