The Best Jewish and Israeli Food from Trader Joe’s

We've tried (and loved) them all.

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.

Bread

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. They also carry round holiday challah for Rosh Hashanah!

Bagels: They might not quite be the New York bagels we all crave, but they’ll do in a pinch and 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. And thank goodness Trader Joe’s has this, too!

Baked Goods

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.

Dairy

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!

Ashkenazi Classics

Lox: TJ’s carries several varieties of lox: smoked nova, smoked wild salmon, hotsmoked wild salmon. But best of all is the pastrami-style lox, closely followed by the everything but the bagel 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.

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.

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.

Everything but the Bagel Nut Duo: Almonds and cashews get the EBTB treatment. Great with a G&T.

Israeli and Middle Eastern Goodies

Hummus: Trader Joe’s carries many flavors of hummus: Garlic! Roasted red pepper! Edamame! Spicy avocado! The list goes on. Our favorites are the horseradish hummus and the dill pickle 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.

Bamba: These melt-away peanut puffs are Israel’s best-selling snack for a reason. Kids love them.

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.

Kunefe (AKA Knafe): Shredded phyllo dough filled with gooey cheese and topped with pistachios, this frozen delight is almost as good as any knafe you’ll find in Israel.

Israeli Couscous: This large-grained couscous is a pantry staple, we use it in side dishes and salads.

Za’atar Seasoning Blend: Containing 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.

Festive Foods

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).

Keep on Noshing

The Best Falafel in NYC

7 places that make the best falafel in New York City.

Jewish Deli Food Goes Vegan

The best place to find vegan and gluten free Jewish deli favorites in New York City.

The Best Jewish Food in Philadelphia

Bagels, pretzels, upscale Israeli food, and so much more.