Travel Snapshots: Pizza in the Israeli Desert


I couldn't believe that a pizza place was the #1 restaurant near us on TripAdvisor. We were staying in the small town of Arad, Israel, 25 kilometers from the Dead Sea... not a place you'd expect to find good pizza. But multiple reviews referred to their meal at Kaparuchka Pizza in Arad as being the best pizza of their lives, and after spending the previous 6 weeks in Italy, this intrigued me.

So on the second night of our stay in Arad, we headed to Kaparuchka for dinner, along with our new friend Dan - an American who lives in Israel.

Kaparuchka Pizza in Arad, Israel

Kaparuchka Pizza in Arad, Israel

The restaurant has lovely outdoor seating with low, pillow-topped benches set among cacti and flowering desert plants and strings of white lights hanging overhead.

Once we were at our table, Joshua and I stared blankly at our Hebrew-only menus (Google Translate was no help!), without a clue as to what it listed. We were very thankful that Dan was with us and could read the menus and help us order... and his company and conversation were also excellent!

We ordered a classic margherita pizza and a pizza with apples, blue cheese, and mozzarella, along with a pitcher of lemonade for the girls and Israeli beers for the guys.

Margherita pizza at Kaparuchka Pizza in Arad, Israel

Margherita pizza at Kaparuchka Pizza in Arad, Israel

When our food came out of the brick oven, it was delicious. I've never had apples cooked down to be so soft and sweet, and they went perfectly with the mild blue cheese on the pizza. I've eaten many pizzas where the Gorgonzola completely dominated the entire pizza, but this one was perfectly balanced. And the margherita pizza was outstanding too with its fresh basil and perfectly cooked crust.

I have to agree that the reviews were pretty spot-on... it was fantastic pizza! And it was such a cool night, eating amazing pizza in the Israeli desert with a new friend. It was one of those beautiful, crazy juxtaposition travel moments that will remain a precious memory for years to come.

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