A Trip To Abu Ghosh, The Hummus Capital of Israel

Posted on by on June 23rd, 2011 | 16 Comments »

Turning off of route 1 into Abu Ghosh, the hummus capital of Israel, the first thing in sight was The Lebanese Restaurant I have been reading about. I had driven an hour and a half north from Be’er Sheva with my friend Katherine and our husbands for hummus. I know that may sound ridiculous, an hour and a half trip for a bowl of hummus. To understand, you have to understand the importance of hummus here in Israel.

Israeli’s take their hummus very seriously and for a country that claims to be the best at everything and anything you will get a different answer on where to find the best hummus from each Israeli you talk to. The battle on the best hummus as been an ongoing one for sometime now here in the middle east but it seems to be a common ground when it comes to Abu Ghosh wearing the hummus crown. And so, to Abu Ghosh we went.

Abu Ghosh is a small Arab village overlooking the Judean Hills, west of Jerusalem. The small village is lined with restaurants, mostly serving the towns famed hummus. One of the most well known and most visited of these restaurants is straight forwardly named The Lebanese Restaurant. As we entered the large open yard that sat amongst stone buildings, we were seated right away. A beautiful large tree with lanterns and chimes hanging from the branches, jutted out of the ground and provided shade for the whole room. Soon after, we were greeted with a large basket of warm pita, a plate of olives and pickles and another of fresh crispy falafel balls that had the perfect amount of spice to them. The menu offered traditional foods and mezzes. However, we were here for the hummus and our eyes were narrowed in on that and nothing else. We ordered hummus with meat and pine nuts and hummus with ful (stewed fava beans), we also strayed from the hummus and placed an order for labaneh with lemon and garlic. It just sounded too good to pass up.

Since moving to Israel from the states I feel I have started to develop a sophisticated and serious hummus palette and I was very excited to try this famous best of the best hummus. The hummus with meat was some of the best I have had. The meat was flavorful and seasoned just right and the addition of pine nuts sprinkled on top was a big plus. The meat was definitely the star of the dish as the flavors almost completely took over and the hummus had a hard time coming through. The hummus with ful was very different then the hummus with ful that I have become accustomed to at my favorite hummus restaurant in Be’er Sheva. It was smooth and creamy with wonderful flavors, but dare I say it, not the best I have had. My favorite dish happened not to be hummus, it was the labaneh with lemon and garlic. It was thick and creamy but also light at the same time. The fresh taste of lemon against the rugged heavy tasting garlic worked in perfect harmony and the olive oil drizzled over it all was the perfect touch.

So, Abu Ghosh, hummus capital of Israel? Maybe. I need to try a few more of their restaurants before I can really make such a bold statement, and I have no problem making the trip back to do so.

The Lebanese Restaurant – 88 Ha’shalom Street, Abu Ghosh, Israel.

Open Daily 9am-11pm

*This post was featured on Honest Cooking Magazine!

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  1. Posted on: 6-23-2011

    What a fun trip. I have had hummus once. Like, really, one time. I need to acquaint myself with more of Middle East cuisine.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-28-2011

      Jun, I have had enough hummus for both of us!! You should though really try it again. Its so easy to make at home. I will definitely continue to share more local Israeli food with you once I am back from my travels this summer!!

  2. Posted on: 6-24-2011

    I want to try the best of the best hummus! How fun to take a long trip just to eat a good food. And the best part is that you have a foodie friend who can share the same passion! I hope you will continue to share us more local food!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-28-2011

      Nami, it is so wonderful having Katherine here to share my love of food and to be crazy enough to frive so far away for a bowl of hummus with me!

  3. Posted on: 6-24-2011

    OOOHHH MY! I would love to eat ALL those dishes! I am a huge fan of hummus so I totally understand the 1 and a half drive to eat some, especially if its reputation is so good! Thanks for letting us travel with you in such an amazing area of the world Beth! <3

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-28-2011

      Manu, I am glad you see how totally normal it is to go so far just for good hummus!!!

  4. Posted on: 6-25-2011

    I’m so jealous, the hummus capital Israel, transport me there now! I would like to move into that restaurant, the falafael & labneh look amazing too. I made labneh once and flavoured in with mint & sumac, you’ve reminded me I should do it again. Is it ok if I come over and try all the hummus in that town with you? I won’t be any trouble, honest!! 😛

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-28-2011

      Natalie, you are soooo more then welcome to come to Israel! You can travel around with us eating yummy Israeli food!

  5. Posted on: 6-26-2011

    what a wonderful dishes Beth..I would totally do the same if I knew what to expect..and I can see that you enjoyed not only food but people around you!!!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-28-2011

      Thanks Sandra! I definitely did enjoy every minute of the day!

  6. Posted on: 6-26-2011

    So much fun! Where shall we go next 🙂

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-28-2011

      Katherine, after the summer when we are back we will have to head up north!!!

  7. Posted on: 6-28-2011

    I wanna try the best hummus!!!!! 🙂

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-28-2011

      Giulia, come to Israel and you can try the best hummus! I will be your hummus tour guide!

  8. Kady
    Posted on: 10-26-2011

    How do you make your hummus? I want your recipe.
    ps I lived by your Istanbul guide while I was there. Thank you!

  9. Posted on: 9-5-2012

    Beth, enjoying reading your blog. We just came back from 2 weeks of eating in Israel and visited the lebanese restaurant as well where we also enjoyed the meat with hummus. Some of the best hummus we had was in Acco (Suhila) and Rachmo in Jerusalem.


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