Carmel – Israeli Street Food started life as a popular food truck in 2017, growing an enthusiastic following for its cloud-soft, house-made pita, generously stuffed with fillings like falafel and fragrant pieces of chicken with lashings of hummus.

Co-founder Carmel Davidovitch was born in New Zealand and raised in Israel, returning to Aotearoa in 2016 to start the then-mobile business with her partner Tomer Shabo. The duo opened their permanent shop and cafe in Eden Terrace, Auckland, in early 2022 – a simple blue-fronted space on a side street off Newton Road.

There’s indoor and outdoor seating, and while Carmel’s offering still centres on those colourful, herb-topped pita, it’s expanded to include a host of baked sweets and breads that line the cabinet – many of them traditionally Israeli, Jewish and Middle Eastern.

You can order rugelach (rolled pastries filled with nuts, dried fruit and spices), various flavours of babka, sfinge (Moroccan doughnuts), kouign-amann – a French sweet cake made from laminated dough – and challah.

Carmel is open three days a week – Thursday, Friday and Saturday – so it gets busy, but the wait’s never long and thanks to being served in nifty little boxes, the pitas are just as good for takeaway.

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Updated: July 17th, 2023

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