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1. Galileat Cooking Class, The Galilee
Former chef and avowed foodie Paul Nirens started his culinary company to teach visitors about the distinctive fare originating from Israel’s breadbasket. Follow him to a Druze village overlooking the agricultural Hilazon Valley and meet local food-maven and mother, Pnina. With grape leaves from her own garden, Pnina teaches how to stuff them with rice, minced chicken and a selection of local seasonings, such as a bahārāt blend (the Middle Eastern equivalent of masala). The class menu changes regularly, but may also include sinye (meat kebabs in tahini sauce), cherry tomato tabbouleh and fried spice bread called zalabya. The class culminates with a group feast, so come hungry.
• BIG Karmiel Shopping Center, Karmiel, +972 55 881 0727,

If you want to stay the night: Known as Israel’s Shangri La, the little village of Clil (“perfection” in Hebrew) is quietly nestled in the northern Galilee. At Clil Guest House, local vegetarian chef Smadar provides pictorial wooden chalets and an excellent breakfast spread of omelets, bread and local cheeses.
• Clil 1, Clil, +972 54 818 4345, 

Fresh cheese from Goats with the WindFresh cheese from Goats with the Wind 

2. Goats With The Wind, Yodfat
The Galilee’s best cheese is produced at this organic farm tucked into the hills where 160 goats are milked by hand twice per day. Using techniques acquired in Provence and Tuscany, the farm’s founder Amnon creates cheeses ranging from smoked ricotta to tangy labneh (topped with a herbal mix called za’atar) to Egyptian anise-infused cheddar (aged a minimum of seven months). The matriarch of the farm, Daliah, prepares lunch using the freshest ingredients from the region, and serves it on a terrace overlooking the farm. Pair your meal with the earthy, stout wine made from the farm’s own merlot grapevines. Be sure to call in advance so the hosts can prepare for your visit. We recommend booking for the late afternoon, so that you can catch the goat-milking spectacle.
• Yodfat, Har Hashabi, +972 50 532 7387,

If you want to stay the night: The Fauzi Azar Inn is situated in the heart of Nazareth’s Old Souk, and houses family, dorm and private rooms in a 200-year-old restored Turkish-style mansion. In the morning, linger in the lobby for free coffee cake and co-founder Surida’s tale of how her grandfather saved the mansion.
• 6108 St., Nazareth, +972  4 602 0469, 

3. Old City, Acre
Perched on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, Acre (pronounced “Akko” by most anglophones) is one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited sites. Browse the narrow alleys of the old city, where the must-sample menu item is whatever the local fishermen have hauled in that morning. At Savida Sea Food Bar in the Turkish Bazaar, the main courses are served with regionally inspired salads and mezze, like pickled octopus, sea bass ceviche, purslane. Caffeine lovers can stock up on freshly roasted, cardamom-infused coffee, while those with a sweet tooth should nab some kanafeh, a cheesy pastry soaked in syrup. Paul Nirens from Galileat (mentioned above) also offers personalized food tours of the market.
• Savida Sea Food Bar, Turkish Bazaar 13, Acre, +972 04 901 9062,

If you want to stay the night: Efendi is a well-appointed boutique hotel with one of the best rooftops in the city to watch the sunset over the sea. The owner, Uri Yermias, also owns Acre’s celebrated Uri Buri restaurant.
• Uri Buri, Ha-Hagana St. 2, Acre, +972 4 955 2212,
• Efendi Hotel, Louis IX, Old Acre, +972 74 729 9799, 

Spices at Mahane Yehuda MarketSpices at Mahane Yehuda Market 

4. Mahane Yehuda Market, Jerusalem
Contemporary and traditional at the same time, the Mahane Yehuda Market is the food-lover’s paradise. The big attraction is halva—a dense sesame-based confection that’s sweet enough to keep local dentists driving sports cars. Newbies should start by sampling the traditional plain halva at one of the many bakeries, then graduate to pistachio, and then dive into the remaining kaleidoscope of choices. Head to Ha’agas 1 for the aubergine lasagne, or nab a bureka pastry (Israel’s response to spanakopita) from Burekas Ramle. Chef-guided tasting tours and cooking workshops are available through the official Mahane Yehuda Market website.
• Mahane Yehuda Market, Mahane Yehuda St., Jerusalem, +972 55 664 6684,
• Ha’agas 1, Eliahu Yaacov Banai 11, Jerusalem, +972 54 313 3442
• Burekas Ramle
, Agripas St. 44, Jerusalem, +972 52 852 3188

If you want to stay the night: Once a pilgrim’s respite, the Austrian Hospice merges classic Christian architecture with modern amenities. During your stay, grab a slice of apple strudel from the Viennese Café and lounge in the cloistered garden — a required midday retreat.
• Austrian Hospice, Via Dolorosa 37, Jerusalem, +972 2 626 5800,



Getting There

Air Canada offers year-round nonstop flights from Toronto to Tel Aviv.

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