Let's face it, driving from anywhere in Israel to Mount Hermon takes a long time. There are plenty of places aside from convenience store gas stations to stop for a bite to eat on the way, and some of them are excellent. Here are some recommendations when driving from the center of the country to the Golan Heights via the toll highway, Route 6. (Tomorrow's tip: Recommendations when taking Itinerary 2 - driving from the coastal highway through Tzemach to Majdal Shams, which does not, by the way, involve paying a toll for using the road.)
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Itinerary 1: Route 6 > Ein Tut > Tzomet Yishai > Tzomet Hamovil > Golani Junction > Kedarim > Amiad > Rosh Pina > Tzomet Mahanayim > Tzomet Hashiryon > Majdal Shams
Nadav’s Desserts — For good coffee and a pastry that’s even better, stop at Nadav’s Desserts in Ramat Yishai. Old-time Tel Avivians surely remember the name from the bakery that used to be in the city, but now it is a true hall of desserts and baked goods. Besides the wonderful pastries in the lovely window display, Nadav’s Desserts offers hungry travelers a terrific breakfast. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on the bread and the chocolate ravioli.
Nadav’s Desserts — Ramat Yishai’s industrial zone
Shiri Bistro — There are lots of good restaurants in Rosh Pina, but the one we recommend most highly is Shiri Bistro in the Pina Barosh complex. Open all day, its menu often changes. We recommend the breakfast tray with its abundance of cheeses (NIS 130 per couple), the Galilee Royal Pate and, of course, the Degustation for Two — the seven-course tasting meal featuring the restaurant’s appetizers (NIS 250). If you’re in a hurry, you can have the breakfast to go.
Shiri Bistro — 8 Hahalutzim Street, Old Rosh Pina
K-bab — The latest restaurant created by Chef Josef Hanah (Ktze Hanahal and the Tanureen seafood restaurant) offers fast and modern Arab cuisine prepared with local ingredients such as meat that comes from livestock raised on selected farms in the Galilee and herbs. The menu includes three kinds of arayis (pita stuffed with meat; NIS 30) and both meat and vegetarian kubbeh (NIS 25). But Hanah’s kebab’s are the flagship entree, with three different kinds (NIS 52). Don’t miss the scrumptious pumpkin dessert.
K-bab — Koah Junction
Aluma Bakfar Galilee Inn — It’s worth the trip to Ramot Naftali just for this. While Aluma Bakfar is described as a tapas restaurant, it also offers excellent and generous dishes such as steak and eggs (NIS 50) and a meat plate for two (NIS 280). For dessert, don’t miss the churros. They’re wonderful and hot — and it’s cold outside.
Aluma Bakfar Galilee Inn — Ramot Naftali
Abu Jabal’s Dessert Shop — If you’ve already gotten as far as Majdal Shams, take a break from the traffic jams for something sweet. This is a place for people who like their sweets authentic, and this is one of the best dessert shops in the country. Start with the knafeh, which is absolutely heavenly here. Then indulge in the baklava, which is replete with pistachios, and drink a cup of sahlab. For connoisseurs, this is a good opportunity to taste the excellent awama — sweet fried dough balls. All this for affordable prices, too.
Abu Jabal’s Dessert Shop — Hermon Junction, opposite the Narkis Hotel, Majdal Shams.