The town of Abu Gosh, just outside Jerusalem in the Jerusalem Hills is the unrivaled hummus capital of Israel, and some would say, the world. An Arab-Israeli village, Abu Gosh is famed across Israel for its fifteen amazing hummus restaurants, with Israelis traveling from far and wide to eat. As well as its food, Abu Gosh is famous for the Abu Gosh Music Festival, a vocal music festival which takes place twice a year and attracts some impressive performers.
The Abu Gosh Restaurant by ForestForTrees, on Flickr
Whilst there is a choice of great restaurants in Abu Gosh (and everyone has their own favorite!), the most famous, and first to be established , was the Abu Gosh Restaurant, which was opened in 1993 by Jaodat Ibrahim, who, after winning the lottery in Chicago, decided to return home to Abu Gosh, and invest in the town where he grew up. In 2010, the restaurant was awarded the Guinness Word Record for the largest dish of hummus weighing almost 9,000 pounds.
The twice annual Abu Gosh Music Festival takes place during Spring and Fall (the time of the Sukkot and Shavuot festivals. During the week long festival, vocal performances take place across the town, and the restaurants which are popular all year round, are packed with concert-goers.
Visiting Abu Gosh
Nestled in the Jerusalem Hills, Abu Gosh is a great place to stop for a meal and experience authentic Arabic cuisine, easily located just off Road 1 – the main road between Tel Aviv and the Center of the country, and Jerusalem. The town is particularly busy on Saturdays when many restaurants are closed for Shabbat, and Israelis come to the town on a day of leisure in the Jerusalem Hills.
Without a car, visiting Abu Gosh can be difficult. There is a weekly tour which leaves Jerusalem, visits a kibbutz, and then heads to one of the hummus restaurants in Abu Gosh for a meal, sweets, and sheesha which offers those without a car a great way of visiting and experiencing the town. More about the tour to Abu Gosh.