Galaxy Formation 2003 Home Participants Offices, Phones Program Social Activity General Info Restaurants

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)
Agripas Street
Known to be an experience. Its a baking supply stored turned coffee shop, located in the middle of the Machne-Yehuda market.

Authentic Jerusalem (Blue-Collar) Food

Pinati, Ta'ami
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.

Mifgash Chatsot
Agripas street

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. Reservations recommended.

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.

Dolphin Yam
Ben Shetach 8, Nachalat Shiva quarter. Phone:(02) 623-2272
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 when reserving.

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. Reservations recommended.

Le Tsriff
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.

Al Dente
Arlozorov street
A dairy-only Italian restaurant.

Sergio's Brothers
Agripas street
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


Domino's Pizza

Pizza Meter


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

The Israel Museum
Near Givat Ram. Phone: (02)