We all love Trader Joe’s, the quirky supermarket carrying everything from fresh produce to snacks to toilet paper at a low cost (with super friendly service). And while they carry a ton of fun ethnic foods like frozen Indian channa masala, Indonesian sambal chili spread, and Moroccan preserved lemon, they also have an ever-increasing selection of Jewish and Israeli foods. We’ve tried them all, obviously.
Challah: If you’re struggling to find a good loaf, look no further than TJ’s bread aisle. They carry full loaves of challah as well as knotted rolls.
Bagels: They might not quite be the New York bagels we all crave, but they’ll do in a pinch. They come in variety of flavors, including everything, pretzel and even seasonal favorites like pumpkin. We also appreciate the gluten-free everything bagels.
Rye Bread: When the pastrami sandwich beckons, only a loaf of rye bread will do.
Everything Ciabatta Rolls: This delicious Italian bread now gets the Everything-but-the-Bagel treatment.
Chocolate Brooklyn Babka: This sweet, gooey chocolate babka rivals some of the best (and far more expensive) babkas heralded throughout New York City. Bonus: It’s non-dairy!
Cinnamon Brooklyn Babka: The underrated sibling of the chocolate bab, this sticky treat is just the right amount of sweet.
Rugelach: Craving a sweet New York-style treat? Trader Joe’s carries chocolate, cinnamon-nut and raspberry flavors. They’re all flaky and buttery, just the way you want them.
Half Moon (AKA Black and White) Cookies: Decadent chocolate frosting on one half, lemon-kissed white frosting on the other. Perfection.
Everything but the Bagel Greek-Style Yogurt Dip: There’s nothing that can’t be improved by a dip into this tangy goodness. Found in the refrigerator section.
Cottage Cheese: Opt for the organic version if you’re seeking a thicker, Israeli-style cottage cheese.
Labneh: A creamy, tangy, thick yogurt cheese dip that’s great for swooping with some pita or cut veggies.
Israeli Feta: This product has changed a few times, but you can almost always find an Israeli feta at TJ’s. And as we know, feta makes everything betta.
Cheese Blintzes: Find this brunch favorite in the frozen section!
Cream Cheese: TJ’s spoils us with a variety of cream cheeses for all your bagel, blintz and cheesecake needs. In addition to the classic and whipped varieties, there’s onion & chive and hot-cocoa-inspired cream cheese. For dairy-free options, turn to their vegan cream cheese alternative or vegan salmonesque spread.
Lox: Trader Joe’s carries a wide variety of smoked salmon options, including smoked wild, hot-smoked wild, smoked nova and wild sockeye smoked ends & pieces. If you’re feeling adventurous, we highly recommend trying the pastrami-style lox, everything but the bagel smoked salmon, or dill-icious seasoned cold-smoked salmon.
Smoked Rainbow Trout: An excellent addition to any smoked fish board, bagel or potato salad. Slightly salty, but nothing a squeeze of lemon can’t cure.
Horseradish: TJ’s has your gefilte fish covered with this staple, found in the refrigerator section.
Dill Pickles: They carry everything from cornichon to bread and butter pickles, but you know it’s the kosher-style dill pickles you really want.
Smoked Salmon Caper Dip: All the flavors you want with your bagel, in the form of a dip. Find this is in the refrigerated section near the hummus and tahini.
Everything but the Bagel Seasoning: A cult classic. This blend of seeds and seasoning is not just for bagels — seriously, we sprinkle it on everything.
Dill Pickle Mustard: Is there anything more perfect to spread on a pastrami sandwich than pickle-flavored mustard?
Perfectly Pickled Pups: These beef franks are coated in a dill-pickle flavored breading and batter. Serve this appetizer with dill pickle mustard for double pickle action.
Seasoning in a Pickle Blend: This limited-edition item attempts to rival Everything but the Bagel in the world of Ashkenazi-inspired seasonings. Use it to flavor vegetables, in a dip or to make a DIY Popcorn in a Pickle (see Snacks).
Israeli and Middle Eastern Goodies
Hummus: Hummus options at Trader Joe’s seem infinite, because they kind of are. Head to the refrigerated section to pick up flavors you may never have seen before, like garlic, roasted red pepper and spicy avocado. Our favorites are the Mediterranean-style, horseradish, dill pickle and new crunchy chili/onion hummus.
Chocolate Hummus: Deserving of it’s own entry, it’s best to think of this “dessert hummus” as a healthier, thick chocolate spread as opposed to a sweet version of our favorite dip.
Tahini: For all your falafel or baking needs, you can find tahini in the refrigerated section. We love both the regular and herbed variety, which adds an extra fresh note.
Amba: Once you’ve tasted this fermented mango condiment, you’ll never go back. Necessary on falafel, excellent with roasted root vegetables.
Zhoug: There’s nothing this Yemenite hot sauce won’t improve. Bright with cilantro, with heady cardamom undertones. Be warned: It’s spicy!
Falafel: You can find falafel frozen in the pre-made lunch section or as a dry mix (it makes a great schnitzel coating) for when that craving hits.
Shakshuka Starter: The perfect quick breakfast, brunch or dinner, this comes together in around five minutes — all you need to is do add the eggs. Find it in the frozen section.
Marbled Halva: Cocoa and vanilla flavored deliciousness. Just because it’s individually packaged does not mean that you can’t eat the entire bag in one sitting.
Israeli Couscous: This large-grained couscous is a pantry staple, we use it in side dishes and salads.
Za’atar Seasoning Blend: With thyme, toasted sesame seeds and a lemony kick, a sprinkle of za’atar elevates everything from pita chips to hummus, to pizza.
Kibbeh: These meat-stuffed bulgur wheat shells will never be as good as your grandmother’s, but they’ll do in a pinch. Find them in the frozen section.
Organic Date Syrup: This natural sweetener is popular in Israel (where it’s called “silan”) and throughout the Middle East. Trader Joe’s variety is made from Tunisian Deglet Noor dates and can be used for anything from salad dressings to baked goods, to simply spreading on bread with tahini.
Challah: TJ’s carry round holiday challah for Rosh Hashanah.
Latkes: One of TJ’s frozen seasonal items. Look out for this around Hanukkah for last-minute latkes, no frying necessary.
Cauliflower Pancakes: Basically cauliflower latkes, these are a fun spin on the Hanukkah classic. Find them in the frozen section.
Matzah: You won’t find matzah year-round, but keep an eye out as Passover nears.
Chocolate Coconut Macaroons: Covered in a generous chocolate coating, these kosher for Passover treats are as good as your grandmother’s. Note: The plain coconut macaroons are not kosher for Passover (and also not as good).
Chips in a Pickle: Pickle-flavored chips are picking up in popularity both in and outside of Trader Joe’s. It’s time to pick up your bag.
Popcorn in a Pickle: Dill pickle flavored popcorn. For true pickle lovers. A seasonal item, so be sure to stock up when you spot it.
Everything but the Bagel Nut Duo: Almonds and cashews get the EBTB treatment. Great with a G&T.
Everything but the Bagel Seasoned Bite Sized Crackers: Why have crackers when you can have EBTB crackers?
Everything But the Bagel Seasoned Potato Chips: Dip these in the smoked salmon caper dip to take this snack to the next level.
Mini (Almost) Everything Bagel Sandwich Crackers: Bagels in cracker form. These bite-sized, sandwich crackers have a cream cheese filling and are seasoned with EBTB.
Bamba: These melt-away peanut puffs are Israel’s best-selling snack for a reason. Kids love them. TJ’s currently carries four varieties: classic, dark chocolate, chocolate-stuffed and hazelnut cream-stuffed.
Pronounced: KHAH-luh, Origin: Hebrew, ceremonial bread eaten on Shabbat and Jewish holidays.
Pronounced: KOH-sher, Origin: Hebrew, adhering to kashrut, the traditional Jewish dietary laws.