When in January this year the hugely popular Trip Advisor international travel website announced its outstanding restaurants of 2013, there was a surprise in store in the category for the Middle East. An Israeli restaurant proved the most popular choice of travellers from across the globe, beating, among others, the renowned luxury eateries of the Arabian Gulf states such as Dubai, Qatar, and Bahrain.

With so many classy, high-priced restaurants in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, it came as a further surprise that the award went to a restaurant in Acre, close to Israel’s northern border with Lebanon. Uri Buri, a fish and seafood restaurant in the Jewish-Arab city, won the plaudits for the restaurant’s founder and inspiration, the charismatic Uri Yirmias.

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