Traveling at this time in northern Israel is the best. Thanks to the local farmers, who invest their souls in their fields and orchards, there is a green and colorful boost to the area.While the views outside are noteworthy, other wonderful changes are developing indoors in the creative kitchens of the unique restaurants of the Galilee and Golan. Inspired chefs are taking command and coming up with new ways of using their local products. The key is keeping their products high quality and super fresh.In the lovely pastoral town of Metulla, visit Beit Shalom on the main street. This estate or complex includes a boutique hotel as well as an in-house restaurant whose structure dates back over 100 years. The complex, including the restaurant, is owned by the Hod family of farmers and serves the best apple juice ever, with fruit from the family backyard orchard. The restaurant also features many interesting dishes. These “farmer” meals are new tastes by the chef Mustafa Salili.The family has amazing stories of the dramatic events around the Good Fence (Israel’s border with Lebanon from 1976, following the Lebanese Civil War, until the withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000). Some of these stories are presented in the nextdoor gallery, also a part of the complex.For meat eaters, there are some prime places on the Golan to enjoy the best of the best with respect to meat (possibly the best in the whole country).
While traveling on the Golan, it is not unusual to see cows in the wild landscape. These cows are managed by cowboys working for the kibbutzim in the area, such as Merom Golan. At the end of a long day of hard work, even the cowboys enjoy the results of their labor at restaurants like Habokrim, where they can enjoy a fine piece of meat and a cool beer. Chef Yiftah Zafrir has joined the restaurant and performs wonders with the supreme beef of the Golan. For hungry meat enthusiasts, there is Marinado – Meat from the Golan. This brand originated in Moshav Kanaf in the southern Golan, introduced by two cowboys who deal with only wellknown brands of calves and lambs.Heading the effort are Roy Tavor and Shirly Garnon, who are involved in the entire life cycle and ensure the best conditions. Their Marinado brand is offered to diners in their own restaurant as the most direct route from farm to table, as fresh as it gets.For fish eaters, or as a meat alternative, climb down from the Golan 200 meters below sea level. In Ein Gev on the Kinneret, visit a fish restaurant that has 71 years of experience. Chefs Yankale Schein and Hilal Sabach have invented a variety of intriguing fish dishes.Here at the Ein Gev Holiday Resort you can find elegant new rooms right on the water with lovely views of Tiberias.
Not to be missed is Mifgash Hadayagim, where Menahem Lev, the famous fisherman from Ein Gev, has his new restaurant. Taste the sardines, which are crispy and fried and a real taste of the Kinneret. Lev will entertain with amazing stories, including some mysteries and rescue missions from the sea.Wine lovers should ascend to Kidmat Zvi in the southern Golan for delicious wine at the Bazelet Hagolan Winery. Learn about Zionism and wine-making from Yoav Levy, an army veteran who produces the finest wine from the basalt hard land of the Golan.In Moshav Almagor you can walk between exotic fruit trees in Bustan Levona. Between the unique trees and plants from all over the world, you can touch, taste and enjoy the shapes and colors of the fascinating trees accompanied by stories from the past and present by the Lishinski family. On a large veranda overlooking the Kinneret, enjoy a meal baked in a stone stove and drink coffee outdoors, courtesy of chef Shishi Deri. This location is ideal for large families and groups and is a multi-sensory culinary experience on the slopes of the northern Kinneret. At Tibi’s Restaurant in Vered Hagalil, chef Chaim Tibi offers a wonderful varied menu, including meat, salads and desserts, all from the fresh raw produce of the region – fresh and delicious.The beautiful landscapes of the North become even more brilliant when you follow the culinary trail.