The Restaurant Experience

What to Expect When Visiting a Kosher Restaurant

The term "kosher" describes food that adheres to the dietary principles outlined in the Jewish faith and culture. Jewish people who follow these principles not only eat kosher foods at home, but also when they visit others' homes or restaurants. If you are not someone who keeps kosher, then visiting a kosher restaurant may be a new and eye-opening experience.

Here is a look at what you can expect from restaurants that specialize in kosher food.

Expect separation of milk and meat

This is one of the biggest rules in kosher tradition. Milk and meat are not allowed to be prepared together or served together. So, you won't see dishes on the menu that contain both dairy and milk. There may be an entirely separate menu or section of the menu for dishes with dairy, as opposed to dishes with meat. You and your fellow diners can choose to order one or the other, but not both. Note that because preparing meat and milk dishes separately can be cumbersome, some kosher restaurants only offer one or the other. You might step into a Jewish restaurant, for example, that simply chooses not to use dairy products at all.

Expect not to bring in outside food

In most restaurants, it would be socially acceptable to bring in outside food if you had a small child to feed or if someone in your party had a food allergy. This is not allowed at all in a kosher restaurant because food that has not been blessed and made kosher is not permitted on the premises.

Expect not to see any seafood or pork

Neither seafood nor pork is considered kosher. As such, you will not see these items on the menu. Instead, you can expect to see a lot of beef and chicken dishes. Kosher restaurants are often famous for their brisket. A tender cut of beef that is slow-cooked and sometimes topped with a barbecue sauce, brisket is certainly delicious and a good menu choice. Roasted chicken is also very popular. Each restaurant will have its own way of seasoning it. Served alongside some roasted veggies, roasted chicken is a healthy and approachable choice that even kids tend to like.

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of what to expect when you visit a kosher restaurant as someone who does not keep kosher. Above all else, remember to be respectful and take it all in. Delicious dining and cultural expansion await.