Eat your way through the hustle & bustle
Israel is full of old street markets, and Akko’s is a national favorite. The old city with its narrow alleyways gives you that ancient feeling of being transported to another place and time. The stalls lined up around the stone floor walkway sell clothes, then sweet syrupy pastries, then vegetables, then furniture – there seems to be no logic or order and yet everything is in its place. Perhaps it’s because most of the stalls have been passed from generation to generation, selling the same products for decades.
No food journey in Akko is complete without discovering the market’s culinary treasures. Like any market, it changes – depending on the season, or the whims of the sellers. Juice carts may move by the day or the hour. But some products can always be found. Be sure to sample different olives, pick up some roasted coffee beans or grab a cup of strong Turkish coffee to keep your senses sharp. Take a moment to linger near the spice bins where you’ll find dark red sumac and black ketzach seeds that are both delicious and therapeutic. You’ll find great local fruits and vegetables here which vary with the seasons.
Besides the bakeries, pastry shops (see here) and fabulous hummus (see here) you can always find some malabi (like Middle Eastern panna cotta), or fresh squeezed juice, look out for fresh sugar cane juice mixed with ginger, lemon and mint. And then there’s the fish, where the fishermen themselves sometimes sell the catch of their day: red mullet, white grouper, dentex, sardines, shrimp, squid, prawns and oysters, and if you’re lucky you might spot a shark.
Not every stand has a name or even permanent location, but here are a few that do: