A Personal (incomplete) Dining Guide to Jerusalem
Restaurants and Coffee Houses
Coffee and light meals
One of the most pleasant cafes in the city is located in the
Cinematheque Complex. The outside patio has a view
of the Old City walls. The Italian vegetarian cuisine is very good.
Caffit, Hillel, Aroma (The German Colony)
The three trendiest places in the German Colony, all located on Emek Refaim
street. At least 3 more places for coffee and light dining are within walking
distance. If you don't like one you can always choose another.
Hakol La-Ofe (everything for the baker)
Known to be an experience. Its a baking
supply stored turned coffee shop, located in the middle of the Machne-Yehuda
Authentic Jerusalem (Blue-Collar) Food
Ta'ami: Near the top of Shamai street
Every visitor to Jerusalem has to eat at one of these places at least once.
Jerusalem's citizens are divided on many issues, one of them being which of
these two hole-in-the-wall institutions serves better humus. Open only for
lunch, you are seated with others at one of the small tables and the protocol
is to leave as soon as you finish. The urban legend is that the original
owner (who died from being over stressed) used to shout at the customers
"chew, don't talk!", this is not the case today. Humus is the first course
(humus with meat can be a main), shakshuka (fried eggs with tomato sauce),
Musaka (eggplant with meat), a wonderful meatball in tomato sauce served with
rice and beens. Don't ask too many questions and be specific when you order
(if you ask for a meatball, you will get a bare plate with one meatball).
You won't get better humus anywhere in the world.
Humus places in the old city
Locals frequent Abu Shukri for truly delicious Arabic humus. It is located
down the Via Dolorosa Street. If Abu Shukri's is too busy and you are
starving, you might want to try Lina's up the Via Dolorosa street.
Again, open only for lunch, it isn't too clean but the humus is great.
Generally nice places to eat
Yaffo (Jaffa) 31 (in the Feingold Court). Phone: (02) 625-9081
Traditional Sepharadic food, full meals, light dining and a bar with a nice
atmosphere. The fixed-price "sampler" menu is said to be an adventure, though
all items can be ordered a la carte. Homemade olives, marinated green almonds,
and the sweet-onion house bread, pastilikos (meat and pine-nuts muffin),
prasa (leek patties with yogurt) and more. Standouts among the entrees are
meat balls with plums and wine, medias (tomatoes stuffed with meat), and a
beef, leek, and plum stew. Traditional desserts as well. Barood's other face
is its well-stocked bar, with more familiar fare like spareribs and sausages.
Friday afternoons sometimes have live Balkan music. Reservations essential
Fri. afternoon and Sat.
8 Rabbi Akiva St.
Phone: (02) 623-5547 or (02) 623-5548
A Spaghetti place with a family-friendly atmosphere. Choose from 68 sauces
with lots of vegetarian choices. The pasta portions are generous.
Friendly and efficient service adds a final welcoming touch.
Yaffo (Jaffa) 31 (in the Feingold Court).
Phone: (02) 523-5464
A Sushi bar and Japanese restaurant. The food served in this unpretentious
restaurant is genuinely Japanese in its flavors and style. A bit on the
expensive side with respect to other Sushi places, but probably worth it.
Keren HaYesod 36.
Phone: (02) 563-4805
An attractive, comfortable and uncluttered cafe-restaurant with a relaxed
atmosphere and a friendly crowd that comes either for coffee and pastries,
a sandwich or for full meals. A surprisingly good wine list and very pleasant
service. Nothing complex or innovative here but a good choice for a casual
meal at reasonable prices. No reservation necessary.
Ben Shetach 8, Nachalat Shiva quarter.
Fish and Seafood, Reasonably priced. There may be nothing fancy here but
one receives a genuinely warm welcome in a comfortable setting where fixed
price fish and seafood meals await. Meals open with a mixed meze of nine
salads. There are several meat and pasta dishes on the menu, but one will
do well to keep in mind that the specialties here are fish and seafood.
Make reservations. If smoking is a problem then you should really stress this
Yaffo (Jaffa) 31 (in the Feingold Court)
A relatively new place that serves good French and Italian cuisine at moderate
prices. Slowly becoming one of my favorites. Open for lunch and dinner.
5 Horkonos St.
Phone: (02) 625-5488 or (02) 624-2478
This is a very Jerusalemite restaurant, located in an old house with a nice
stone patio. Its been a while since the last time I went there, but I
recall it was a pleasant experience. For some reason my tongue turned purple
for 24 hours after that meal, but its really nothing to worry about. Reserve.
Rehov HaSoreg 1.
Phone: (02) 625-7033
Distinctly New York in style and featuring interpretations of French, Italian
and Mediterranean cuisine without being overly pretentious. After 22:00 the
bar becomes noisy and dominant. Reserve.
21 Emek Refa'im St. Phone: (02) 563-0048
Is known to offer delicious vegan and vegetarian fare.
A dairy-only Italian restaurant.
Another dairy-only Italian restaurant.
Fancier (more expensive) dining
Ben Sira 1.
Phone: (02) 624-2945
French cuisine with a Mediterranean twist.
Some define this as their favorite restaurant in Jerusalem.
Over the years the restaurant has maintained its lightly formal but easy
going atmosphere, the service remains at a high level and the wine list has
become quite good. Most of the dishes here are truly excellent.
Chocolate lovers must try the "Volcano" hot chocolate cake for dessert.
Not for vegetarians. Reservations essential.
10 Agrippas St.
Phone: (02) 624-9138
French cuisine. Regarded as the best restaurant in Jerusalem and one of the
best in Israel. Housed in an old stone-arched building (with a garden
courtyard for outdoor dining) in a narrow alley between Agripas Street and
Yaffo (Jaffa) Road. The menu is imaginative and the service excellent.
There are typically half a dozen fine beef, lamb, and fish combinations to
choose from. Save space for the exceptional desserts. Reservations essential.
3 Horkonos St.
Phone: (02) 624-5406
This Kosher Moroccan restaurant (Arabic Moroccan food, not Jewish Moroccan
food) has one of the most beautiful interiors in Jerusalem. Guests can choose
to sit on couches or covered chairs. Vegetarian alternatives available. Keep
in mind that this is a place that you go to for the special atmosphere, not
for the food. Reserve.
Food Deliveries to the Campus
A full menu in Hebrew can be found online
The Jerusalem Cinematheque
11 Hebron Road.
Phone: (02) 672-4131
Perched on the slopes of Mount Zion and facing the walls of the old city,
Jerusalem's two-screen art house cinema is an institution. Its regular program
includes foreign and specialty films along with general releases, typically
screening four different films daily. A film schedule in English is available
online at http://www.jer-cin.org.il/.
The Israel Museum
Near Givat Ram.