It’s happened to all of us. You’re wandering around a foreign city, and out of the corner of your eye you catch a sign in Hebrew lettering. Or a mezuzah on the door. Or you hear about the most amazing pastrami sandwich … in the heart of Tuscany.
Out of necessity and for survival, Jews have always been a global people — kicked out of land after land, we have adapted and changed languages, customs and foods in every place we have lived. And today, in an increasingly global world, Jews continue to live and travel almost everywhere, bringing with us of course, the flavors and culinary traditions of our diverse people.
Here are some of the most unlikely places we have discovered delicious Jewish food all over the world.
Looking for the best Jewish deli in Europe? Check out this article.
Kenny and Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen, Houston, Texas (United States)
From “schmutzy” pastrami fries and homemade blintzes, Kenny and Ziggy’s is doing Jewish-style deli with a unique American-Texas twist. And for a mere $65 you can order its eight-decker sandwich piled high on rye bread. It’s true – in Texas everything is bigger, even the deli sandwiches. For more information visit: http://kennyandziggys.com
We know Houston is currently under a state of emergency, dealing with the catastrophic conditions caused by Hurricane Harvey. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire city.
Rose Foods, Portland, Maine (United States)
One of the newest restaurants cropping up as part of the Jewish food renaissance throughout the U.S., Rose Foods is proving you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy traditional Jewish cuisine. It is offering classic bagels, piled-high pastrami and even potato pancakes with the option of caviar on top. Definitely not your bubbe’s latkes! For more information visit: https://www.rosefoods.me/
Mishiguane and Fayer, Buenos Aires, Argentina
With everything from gefilte fish to Israeli-style whole roasted cauliflower to potato latkes with lox, Mishiguane and its sister restaurant Fayer are blending multiple global Jewish cuisines into their sophisticated menus. For more information visit: http://www.mishiguene.com
Pastrami Betailler Food Cart, Trebbio, Italy
In the heart of Tuscany, Gianluca Tonelli is asking Italians to put down their traditional cured meats and try pastrami. Though he’s not Jewish, Tonelli fell in love with pastrami after first tasting it at Katz’s in New York City and has since taken great care to research how to make his own. Check out his food cart on Facebook or if you find yourself in Tuscany, make sure to find him and order a pastrami sandwich. Just don’t ask for ketchup. For more information visit their Facebook page.
Cafe Tuwin, Lodz, Poland
In recent years, Poland has experienced a Jewish cultural renaissance, and food definitely plays a role. At Cafe Tuwin in Lodz you can order classic Ashkenazi Jewish dishes like gefilte fish while experiencing a snippet of pre-World World II life. The restaurant is certified kosher. For more information visit: http://www.lodz-online.eu/13-cafe_tuwim-restaurant
OR2K Middle Eastern Restaurant, Kathmandu, Nepal
Looking for a great plate of hummus, pita, salatim (Israeli salads) and sachlab (a creamy, Middle Eastern hot drink, or sometimes pudding). Well head to Kathmandu of course for Israeli-Nepalese vegetarian fusion. For more information visit: http://www.or2k.net
Kosher Place Thailand, Bangkok, Thailand
The Hasidic outreach-oriented Chabad operates all over the world, and so it’s no surprise it not only has emissaries in Bangkok, but they are running a super tasty restaurant featuring everything from rugelach, blintzes, shakshuka and chicken soup. It is also certified kosher. For more information visit: http://www.kosherthailand.com/bangkok-kosher-restaurant
Daluva, Hanoi Vietnam
Forget the pho (Vietnamese beef and noodle soup) — try the Israeli platter the next time you find yourself in Hanoi. Daluva, calling itself a Middle Eastern gastropub, is serving up a variety of Israel and Mediterranean fusion food in Vietnam’s popular city, including sesame creme brulee, goat cheese labneh and specials like green banana and beef kubbeh. For more information visit: http://daluva.com
Nahoum & Sons Bakery, Kolkata, India
India may seem an unlikely place for a Jewish bakery, but Nahoum & Sons bakery has been operating for over 100 years, having opened in 1902 when the Jewish community was much larger. Still, the bakery remains a favorite among locals and tourists alike, featuring macaroons, cakes, brownies and baklava. The bakery is located at F20, Bertram St, New Market Area, Taltala, Kolkata, West Bengal 700087, India
Pronounced: muh-ZOO-zuh (oo as in book), Origin: Hebrew, a small box placed on the right doorpost of Jewish homes. It contains a parchment scroll with verses from the Torah inscribed on it, including the Shema prayer (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 11:13-21).