What’s the best way to spend the first night of Hanukkah? Searching for the perfect vegan sufganiya, of course!
On Hanukkah, it’s our custom to eat fried oily foods to celebrate the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days when the Maccabees rededicated the holy Temple in Jerusalem after their victory over the Syrian-Greeks.
(Menora lit on the first night of Hanukkah at Arcaffe, Ramat HaHayal)
While in the U.S., latkes (potato pancakes) are the norm, Israelis prefer the suganyot, or doughnuts, which were traditionally filled with strawberry jelly, but nowadays come with every possible glamorous European-sounding filling and glaze to satisfy the Israeli sweet tooth and curiosity.
After posting a recipe for vegan sufganyot from Mayim Bialik last week, I went on a quest to create a guide to Israeli vegan sufganyot. In the process I discovered that many bakeries now offer vegan options of the popular doughnuts to serve the ever-growing vegan community of Israel.
Below a list of bakeries visited. (Mind you, there are many other bakeries that I haven’t been to this Hanukkah that may have marvelous sufganyot. Please add a comment below if you know of any.)
Word of caution: many of the bakeries run out of sufganyot as early as 6 p.m. So if you want the good ones, get there early!
1. Mr. Donuts (Hebrew Facebook page)spotted at Agvanya Pizza. HaNechoshet 1, Tel Aviv. Kosher (Many other locations throughout Israel - see below).
2. Metuka (Hebrew website). (1) 18 Herzel St., (2) Asuta Hospital on HaBarzel St., (3) Ramat Hahayal, (4) 30 Tagor St., Ramat Aviv, all in Tel Aviv. Kosher
3. Piece of Cake (Hebrew website). (1) 46 King George St., Tel Aviv, (2) 17 Yehuda Hayamit St., Jaffa
4. Movieing Bakery (Hebrew website). 25 Yermiyahu St., Tel Aviv
And now the beautiful vegan sufganyot in all their glory!
1. Mr. Donuts (Hebrew Facebook page) spotted at Agvanya Pizza in Ramat HaHayal. HaNechoshet 1, Tel Aviv. Kosher
The Agvanya pizza establishment by itself is notable because it is a part of a large pizza chain, which offers a really good healthy pizza with a tofu-based option for a cheese topping and whole grain spelt dough, as well as many other vegan products.
This particular store, as well as many other stores in the Agvanya chain, offer sufganyot by Mr. Donuts, a company producing American-style ‘donuts,’ not unlike those enjoyed by Homer Simpson. Mr. Donuts sells at a variety of locations, including at stands at certain shopping malls on Fridays. See their Facebook page and their website for details.
Some of the locations listed on the site include:
- 200 branches of convenience stores of Yellow gas stations
- Cinema City: Glilot, Rishon LeTzyon and Jerusalem
- Ikena: Rishon LeTzyon, Netania, Haifa
- Some branches of Agvanya Pizza (call the branches to see if they offer Mr. Donuts)
- Shibolet HaSharon Bakery chain: Hulon, Raanana and Hod Hasharon
- Teavon Chain: Kfar Saba, Raanana, Herzlia and Ramat Gan
- Lechem HaKfar Chain - Kfar Saba, Rosh Haayin and Ramat Hasharon
- Vegetarian Shawarma chain branches
- Friday food sales in shopping malls: Azrieli, Ichilov, Dizengof Center, Givatayim, Kiriyat Ono, Rehovot, Rotchild in Rishon LeTzyon, Renanim in Raanana, Arim in Kfar Saba, Sharonim in Hod HaSharon, Arena and Shivat Hakohavim in Herzlia, Malcha in Jerusalem, Azrieli in Modiin, Ir Yamim and HaSharon in Netanya, Grand Kanyon in Beer Sheva, Grand Canyon in Haifa and Haifa Mall.
When purchasing of 6 or more, each sufganya will cost NIS 5 while a single sufganya will cost NIS 7. If you are having a Hanukkah party, I would say this box is a winner.
From top to bottom and left to right:
- Vanilla and Creme Patisserie
- Strawberry and Sprinkle Glaze
- Chocolate and Creme Patisserie
- Banana Glaze
- Vanilla and Sprinkle Glaze
- Dulce de Leche and Granola Glaze
- Kiwi Glaze
The following are varieties of the above with an addition of special filling of chocolate, strawberry jelly, etc., inside the doughnut (all for the same price).
Besides looking super cool, they are obviously vegan vegan and 'almost’ low-calorie (they claim their average doughnut is between 180-240 calories, but they are also much smaller than regular sufganyot).
Not surprisingly, Mr. Donuts has received the Vegan Friendly stamp of approval.
2. Metuka (Hebrew website)
The chain has three locations, all in Tel Aviv, on 18 Herzel St., at Asuta Hospital on HaBarzel St., Ramat Hahayal and Tagor 30, Ramat Aviv. I went to the one in Asuta Hospital in Ramat HaHayal.
This store runs out of sufganyot before 6 p.m. so get your sufganya fix in the morning or early afternoon.
The sufganyot sold at Metuka are real works of art, but the beautiful ones, unfortunately, are not vegan.
Strawberry Jelly Doughnut (NIS 7)
Even though it’s a traditional jelly doughnut, it’s simply delicious!
3. Piece of Cake (Hebrew website)
This chain has 2 shops, one on 46 King George St., Tel Aviv, and one on 17 Yehuda Hayamit St., Jaffa. What’s really cool about the Piece of Cake, besides it’s awesome name, is its vegan menu (it has received Vegan Friendly stamp of approval).
There are four soufganyot that are vegan on the menu!
(Explanations in English below)
Chocolate and Candy Ganache (NIS 6)
Double strawberry jelly (NIS 6)
In the morning hours you can also find vegan sufganyot with halva glazing for NIS 6. Unfortunately, there were none left when we got there.
4. Movieing Bakery (Hebrew website).
The bakery is located on 25 Yermiyahu St., Tel Aviv, adjacent to the Movieing Restaurant and Bar. What is amazing about this place is that it’s open 24/7 - the classic Tel Aviv establishment. If you have an early craving for a doughnut after, say, holiday-inspired bar-hopping at 2 a.m., you can show up at Movieing to satisfy your vegan sweet tooth.
There were some impressive vegan options: two pretty cool vegan sufganyot.
Left top & right bottom: Dark chocolate ganache and nugat (NIS 6)
Right top & left bottom: Strawbelly jelly (NIS 6)
So what’s YOUR favorite sufganya?