Haaretz staffers and friends risked heartburn and their waistlines to find Israel’s best deep-fried dough bombs with which to celebrate the miracle of Hanukkah. Following is our choice for the country’s top 10 sufganiya bakeries.
In addition to the classic strawberry jelly doughnut, Mambo also offers one filled with dulce de leche, and for advanced gourmands fillings with Ferrero Rocher, bianco, alfajores and flan flavorings. Their flagship variety is the awwamat, the Lebanese doughnut holes if you will. (photo above)
Price: Strawberry 5 shekels each, special fillings 8 shekels.
Mambo Patisserie 1 Hatamar Blvd., Yokne’am
Sufganiyot from Carme (Credit: Rotem Maimon)
This French-style patisserie, hidden away in Tel Aviv’s Nahalat Yitzhak neighborhood, is fast becoming a paradise for lovers of magnificent classic desserts. But judging by this year’s Hanukkah line it seems Carme also excels in Levantine fried dough. They offer the classic strawberry jelly doughnut as well as sufganiyot filled with dark chocolate or praline cream variety, a plain sufganiya topped with dark chocolate and chocolate streusel and, for children, a plain sufganiya frosted with chocolate and multicolored sprinkles.
Price: 8 shekels. Carme, 5 Ma’avar Yabbok, Tel Aviv
Sufganiyot from Dallal (Credit: Dudu Azulay)
At a time when 90 percent of the bakeries went with Hanukkah gimmicks, Dallal chose a pyrotechnics-free sufganiya collection this year: Classic strawberry, as well as dulce de leche and chocolate, vanilla or pistachio cream.
Price: Strawberry 7 shekels, special fillings 8 shekels.
Dallal Bakery, 7 Kol Yisrael Haverim St., Tel Aviv
Sufganiyot from Tuchka Bakery (Credit: Rotem Maimon)
This boutique bakery in the heart of Petah Tikva, with pastries and desserts by pastry chef Eden Elkobi, rocketed into our sufganiya top 10 after being open only about a month. Tuchka also offers excellent bread and a breakfast that is well worth the trip — and you won’t find anything like its Mont Blanc sufganiya anywhere else in Israel.
Price: Strawberry 5 shekels, chocolate 8 shekels, Mont Blanc (chestnut) 10 shekels.
Tuchka Bakery, 6 Rabin St., Petah Tikva
Shemo Bakery. Sufganiyot that are baked, not fried. (Credit: Dan Lev)
Mickey Shemo has brought out an impressive clutch of sufganiyot that is closer to French patisserie desserts than to the familiar tummy-busting orbs of jam-filled, fried concrete. Maybe that’s because they’re baked, not fried.
Price: Strawberry 5 shekels, Fraisier 6 shekels, Fererro Rocher 7 shekels.
Locations at www.shemo.co.il (Hebrew-only website).
Sufganyot from Bakery (Credit: Idit Ben Uliel)
Bakery knows its customers, who are tired of playing around and want their sufganiyot done right. It’s the way they ought to be. Taking a “less is more” approach, Bakery offer only two fillings for its sufganiyot: strawberry and salted caramel butter.
Price: 6 shekels.
Bakery, 72 Ibn Gabirol St. and 67 Weizmann St., both in Tel Aviv.
We came to buy a giant challah at one of the most famous bakeries in Bnei Brak and stayed on to taste Hatzvi’s “old-fashioned style” sufganiyot. No fancy glazes or do-it-yourself filling syringes here, just doughnuts filled with strawberry jam and maybe dulce de leche too, and that’s fine by us.
Price: 3.50 shekels
Hatzvi Bakery, 78 Kahneman (Hashomer) St., Bnei Brak
This veteran boutique bakery in Yehud recently expanded production and began selling its cookies en masse, but it feels as if they had us in mind when they decided to marry Lotus caramelized cookie spread with their deep-fried dough.
Price: 8 shekels.
Lehem Yayin, 4 Hahoresh Rd., Yehud
Sufganiyot from Lehamim Bakery (Credit: Daniel Lailah)
This Hanukkah, Lehamim Bakery is serving up low-frills sufganiyot that are as close as possible to its specialty, bread. That means classic fillings: fruit-heavy strawberry jam, Belgian chocolate ganache and, for the kids, chocolate-covered sufganiyot topped with multicolored sprinkles. And if that’s not enough, Lehamim has cornered the market on latkes.
Price: 7 shekels.
Lehamim, 103 Hahashmona’im St., Tel Aviv
When we heard about the sufganiyot at Café Kadosh, we just had to go to Jerusalem to check them out. At Kadosh, founded in 1967 and still the capital’s most relevant café and bakery, the sufganiyot fillings includes classic strawberry, crème patissiere, halva, chocolate and their flagship flavor, strawberry mascarpone.
Price: Chocolate 8 shekels, halva 10 shekels, strawberry mascarpone 15 shekels.
Café Kadosh, 6 Shlomtzion Hamalka St., Jerusalem