If you are a practising Jew and want to be able to enjoy a meal out on the town, you may find it difficult to find accommodations depending on where you live. Unfortunately for many, kosher restaurants are a luxury in many smaller towns where there just isn’t a large enough of a market to justify their existence. As such, you may have to either drive to a larger city or do without when considering your options. If you find a kosher restaurant in the neighborhood, however, then there are some basic accommodations and attributes you should expect. Below, we’ll talk about what you should expect from a kosher restaurant – never be too bashful to ask about these things!
In order to be considered truly kosher, any restaurant – from the smallest mom and pop chain to mega-international brands – must go through a kosher certification agency’s process in order to call themselves such (click here to learn about said process). Being kosher requires plenty of preparation and attention to detail: from where the food is sourced and how it is stored, to which foods are prepared with and alongside each other, a litany of considerations must be made. If you are following kashrut, a kosher certification agency must provide any restaurant at which you eat with certification in order to give you peace of mind about eating there. Any restaurant should be ready and willing to produce proof of this certification upon request.
What can you expect to find at various kosher restaurants in terms of the food offered? Even if you are not following kashrut, you will likely find plenty of delicious meals to enjoy. Pizza restaurants that are kosher are a fairly common occurrence in prominent Jewish communities. You may come across a Middle Eastern-style restaurant; since kosher and halal-approved meals fall along similar lines in terms of preparation, shawarma, falafels and other types of Mediterranean cuisine are common fixtures. Kosher meat establishments also exist, with kosher steak houses being quite common in larger cities. Chinese restaurants have also made the switch in many cases to providing kosher preparation, as Jewish communities have developed a close fondness for Chinese food in many parts of the country.
Lack of Various Meals
If you intend on going to a restaurant that has been certified by a kosher certification agency, then be prepared to not be able to enjoy some meals that you might find elsewhere. You won’t find any shrimp or lobster at a kosher restaurant, for instance. Various types of land mammals that might be common entrees elsewhere – like pork – are a big no-no for observant Jews following kashrut, so you’ll need to go elsewhere if this is something you would like. You may also find it difficult to find kosher restaurants that serve dairy if they also provide meat dishes, as preparing meat and dairy alongside each other is prohibited. Even with these considerations in mind, you are likely to find a variety of great meals at kosher restaurants – even if you can’t find exactly what you might prefer.