Kosher restaurants & Kosher Eats

Plenty of kosher restaurants offer fantastic kosher food throughout the world. No matter where you live or visit, you’ll find places well worth checking out. So, let’s review some quick and easy ways to find the best kosher dining choices near you.

This website is the easiest and most practical tool available to you when looking for kosher restaurants. Why? Because we have a team that constantly updates our listings (at the time of writing this article we list over 500 kosher restaurants for your and we keep adding more of them each and every week). 

Kosher restaurants – a short introduction

With any luck, you’ll find several kosher restaurants nearby your location. In a lot of major cities with local Jewish communities this is the case obviously.

But in other places you’ll have to actively search for kosher restaurants and may even end up not finding any within a reasonable travel distance. Therefore, every once in a while, people ask us if vegetarian restaurants can be used as a substitute for kosher restaurants (when abroad). Alas, our answer has to be a clear and resounding no if you’re strict about abiding kashrut laws.

Why? Because many of these places still use lots of dairy products. So never drop your guard at vegetarian restaurants, since if you don’t stay vigilant, you’re likely to be served a non-vegan dish prepared with non-kosher dairy ingredients. Assume nothing is kosher unless the menu says so, and the place you’re at shows enough credibility of course (such as an official kosher certification).

Despite what you’ve just read, throughout this article you’ll find us mentioning vegan options as a compromise, as an alternative in case of absence of kosher restaurants at your (temporary) location.

If you're not simply satisfied by the erroneous assumption that all vegan food is - by definition - kosher food (because it doesn't include any ingredient of animal origin), please take some time to read our important notes on the differences between kosher food and vegan* food at the end of this article! We mark the word 'vegan' with a * throughout this article in order to draw your attention on these end notes.


Image: Deli98, London, UK

Middle Eastern style kosher restaurants

When there’s no obvious kosher restaurant nearby, we usually recommend looking for Middle Eastern food. Any restaurant that’s Israeli should offer a number of kosher dishes that should satisfy most Jewish travelers (unless you're very strict in following the kashrut rules of course!).

Whether served in wraps or pita bread, falafel and hummus are two of the tastiest and most satisfying foods in existence, don't you agree? Tahini dressing is usually vegan* and therefore normally kosher enough for most as well. A delicious creamy eggplant dish called baba ganoesj is often acceptable as well. But in both cases, make sure to ask if they contain yogurt! A tip we received from a longtime user of our website: "the easiest way to find restaurants serving this cuisine is to search this website for the word falafel." Tabbouleh is a healthy and delicious Middle Eastern salad that’s invariably vegan* and thus shouldn't contain any non-kosher ingredients. It’s made with bulgur wheat, ripe tomatoes, parsley, and olive oil. If standard green leafy salads don’t do it for you, you must give tabbouleh a try. Middle Eastern restaurants also consistently serve some of the most delicious lettuce-based salads you’ll find anywhere.


Image: Falafel Omisi, Caulfield, Australia

Fancy Italian kosher restaurants?

Should there be no certified kosher restaurant near your location then going for Italian food might be a very smart move (as always depending on how strictly you abide kashrut laws). The most important thing to know is that fresh pasta usually contains egg whites, whereas most dried pasta is vegan*. This means that the spaghetti with marinara sauce at any Italian restaurant should be vegan* (but do specify no Parmesan!). Same goes for pizza with the cheese left off. The crust at independently owned pizzerias is nearly always vegan* and therefore contains no ingredients of animal origin at all. These places make their dough from scratch, using just flour, yeast, water, a pinch of sugar, and salt. But several chains, including Dominos and Pizza Hut, add milk products to some of their pizza dough! The salads at Italian restaurants are typically very good, and easy to order vegan*.


Image: Carmela's, Boca Raton, USA

Mexican kosher restaurants?

Yes, we do list a few of these as well. BUT unfortunately, many Mexican restaurants are either tricky or nearly impossible for eating kosher. Rice may be boiled in chicken stock. Beans are commonly fried in lard! And even the guacamole can include sour cream. Not so long ago, most wheat-flour tortillas typically contained animal fats, but that’s no longer the case. In case you’re a fan of Mexican food it’s best to strictly stick to the certified kosher Mexican restaurants, as it’s really very hard to eat kosher Mexican food out of home otherwise.


Image: Lenny's Casita, Los Angeles, California, USA

Indian kosher restaurants

Even though Indian food is hands down the most vegetarian-friendly cuisine on the planet, it’s not a piece of cake to find Indian kosher restaurants. Indian restaurants are difficult for keeping kosher since dairy products appear in a great many dishes. They’re often used in small quantities and are therefore impossible to detect! You nevertheless have several reliably vegan* Indian options (if that’s strict enough for you). One of the most popular Indian dishes, chana masala (curried chickpeas), is nearly always vegan*. Chances are you can also get rice or chapati or roti that’s cooked without butter. Make sure to ask.


Image: Ba-Li Laffa, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

No kosher restaurants at your destination? Even worst-case scenarios aren’t so bad.

Despite all the fantastic kosher dining options worldwide, you might still have trouble finding good kosher restaurants in some towns. In these cases, you can avoid going hungry by shopping at local grocery stores. A hotel kitchenette will enable you to cook basic grocery items like canned beans, rice, and pasta. We do list shops that stock kosher foods as well on this website, in order to complement our listings of kosher restaurants. You’ll find listings of kosher stores as alternative to kosher restaurants located in places such as Cannes (France), Teaneck (USA), Giffnock (UK), Madrid (Spain), Milano (Italy) and many more. Every month, new kosher restaurants open. The areas of the world that seriously challenge kosher travelers are receding fast. And all you have to do is follow the tips we’ve laid out here to discover some of the most delicious kosher food you’ve ever eaten.

*The vegan issue: if there are no kosher restaurants around is a vegan restaurant always kosher?

Some people who keep kosher have expressed that vegan* foods tend to be kosher as they don't include meat or any dairy products. But once you really dive a bit deeper into the issue you discover there’s actually a lot more to consider.

So, is all vegan* food kosher? All vegan* food is kosher at its core. But it depends on how strictly you follow kosher laws. Vegan* food may fail to be kosher due to preparation by non-Jews, with non-kosher equipment, and without kosher supervision. There are also special requirements for grape juice and wine to be kosher.

Therefore, you cannot simply equate vegan* restaurants with kosher restaurants.

When a meal is vegan*, that means there are absolutely no animal products in it: no meat, no dairy, and no eggs. Since kosher laws prohibit the mixing of milk and meat, a vegan* meal side-steps this issue entirely. You also don’t have to worry about mixing wrong foods together or waiting between meals.

When considering kosher restaurants (abroad) how strict are you?

Lots of Jewish people feel comfortable accepting all vegan* food as kosher. But if your aim is to fully abide by the laws of kashrut, there are other requirements that need to be met.

It would be sanctimonious not to acknowledge that there are different levels of strictness with which fellow Jews, who consider themselves to be kashrut abiding, practice the kosher laws.

Some people who keep kosher are comfortable assuming that any food in a vegan* restaurant is kosher. Others demand more from the establishment and its certifications.

A few reasons why vegan* restaurants might clearly not be equated to kosher restaurants


Yes, there might be insects in vegan* produce. Actually, neither Jews nor vegans want to eat insects. But frankly, vegan* restaurants and food manufacturers have not taken sure-fire measures to verify that vegan* products don’t include insects accidentally.

Because when you harvest vegetables and fruits, it is very common for some insects to come along for the ride. It is quite possible for vegan* foods to be certified vegan* even with some quantity of insects in the final product.

Since even the smallest amount of non-kosher ingredients contaminates an otherwise kosher dish, kosher certification requires a higher level of cleaning and inspection than is common in vegan* restaurants.

As the Torah says, “All the swarming things that swarm on the ground you shall not eat” (Vayikra 11:42).

That’s a very clear divergence between vegan* food and strictly kosher food.

Food prepared by non-Jews

kosher-restaurants-chef-eldad.jpgThere are certain foods that must be cooked or baked by an observant Jew in order to be strictly kosher. As a matter of fact, it is also preferable that all food be prepared at least partially by a Jew.

Certified kosher restaurants will ensure that a Jewish person at least assists in the preparation of all the food. Sometimes, it is enough to have a Jewish person light the flame which will cook all the food. It’s obvious this custom or rule isn’t put into effect in vegan* restaurants.

Food processed without kosher supervision

A dish can be rendered non-kosher by even a very limited quantity of non-kosher ingredients. For this reason, kosher supervision or certification is required for processed foods and kosher restaurants.

A rule of thumb says that even 1/60th parts of a food can render it non-kosher. This is a strict standard to ensure that non-kosher ingredients do not enter into certified kosher foods.

A rabbi or kashrut supervising agency can certify kosher restaurants. Otherwise, even if a first glance they appear to be following kosher laws, you cannot really trusted them at the very strictest level.

Non-kosher kitchenware used

For food to be stringently kosher, it must be prepared with pots, utensils, and even countertops that are kosher.

If the kitchen equipment was used to prepare hot, non-kosher food in the past, that equipment must be thoroughly cleaned (koshered) before it can be used to prepare kosher food.

This comes down to the matter of kosher standards being stricter than vegan* standards of certification, too.


Think, for instance, about food labels that say “May contain milk.” Most vegans are ok with that since it actually means the food was made in a facility that also produces products containing milk. So, a vegan* will usually let that slide. But someone who wants to eat only at strictly kosher restaurants may not be okay with that.

Wine, grape juice, and beyond (balsamic vinegar)

Raw grapes are always kosher. But, as you know, wine and grape juice have a distinctive status in Jewish ritual. Consequently, there are extra kosher laws specifically about grape products.

Although the wine offered at a vegan* restaurant is unlikely to include non-kosher ingredients per se, still, that wine is not kosher unless the entire winemaking process is certified as kosher.

A gripping consequence of this is that balsamic vinegar is not kosher unless certified kosher. Because balsamic vinegar always contains grape juice. So again, the balsamic vinegar at a typical vegan* restaurant is most probably not kosher.

A final note on kosher restaurants and more so about kashrut in general

Quite regularly people of Jewish descent who haven’t unfortunately benefited of growing up in a kosher household and haven’t been taught about kashrut ask us to summarize the kashrut laws for them.

Although it’s clearly not our ambition to replace a formal Jewish education and teachings by qualified rabbis, we happily oblige by taking these readers by the hand for the first steps into kashrut.

We see it as a mitzva to help fellow jews who wish to take steps towards religious rightfulness.

While Jewish Dietary Laws originated in the Bible (Vayikra 11 and Devarim 17), they have been codified and interpreted over the centuries by rabbinical authorities. At their most basic, modern-day Jewish Dietary Laws state the rules below. Here are the Kosher basics, according to the Torah:

  • To qualify as kosher, mammals must have split hooves, and chew their cud.
  • Fish must have fins and removable scales to be considered kosher.
  • Only certain birds are kosher. Generally speaking, they are birds that are non-predatory.
  • This means pork, rabbit, eagle, owl, catfish, sturgeon, shellfish, and reptiles, among others, are non-kosher.
  • Nearly all insects are non-kosher as well though, per the Talmud, there are a small number of kosher locust species.
  • Kosher species of meat and fowl must be ritually slaughtered in a prescribed manner to be kosher.
  • Meat and dairy products cannot be cooked or consumed together.
  • A kosher food that is processed or cooked together with a non-kosher food, or any derivative of non-kosher food, becomes non-kosher. For example, food coloring derived from shellfish and used in a cake makes the cake non-kosher.

Do you own one or more kosher restaurants?

Did you know you can list them on our website for free? In order to do this, you go to our ‘add listing‘ page and click on the button that says ‘CLICK HERE TO ADD YOUR LISTING’. This will take you to a page on which you can either log in or create your free account.

We welcome all owners of kosher restaurants to add their property on our website which is currently visited by hundreds of fellow Jews, looking for kosher restaurants just as yours, daily.