While Tel Aviv has taken the reigns as Israel's culinary capital, Jerusalem isn't far behind. Here are a few of our top recommendations for Jerusalem
Located in the Machane Yehuda Market, Azura is famous for its Turkish-inspired delicacies. From hummus, kebabs, and rice to boiled potatoes and red beets, Azura prepares every dish the old-fashioned way. You may find yourself having to wait in line at lunchtime, but that only shows you how popular this stop is.
4 Ha Eshkol St, Jerusalem
A Kurdish restaurant located on a street corner in Yehuda Market, this hidden gem serves a single dish called shamburak. Shamburak is a savory pastry filled with various exotic meats, and it’s served with three salads. Ishtabach has a laid back vibe making it a great place for a quick bite with a date or a friend. The menu is always changing since they only use fresh, local produce, so you won’t have the same experience twice!
Istabach, HaShikma 1, Jerusalem
Crave rests among the outskirts of the lively Machane Yehuda Market. This is the perfect place to visit for American style street food. Crave specializes in all different types of meats enhanced by vegan cheese, eggs, faux bacon, and more. With its casual and trendy vibe, Crave will leave you fully satisfied as you savor its diverse and unique flavors.
Ha-Shikma St. 1, Jerusalem
Ima is a family-owned restaurant on the outskirts of the Nachlaot neighborhood, bordering the Mahane Yehuda market. A longtime favorite of Jerusalemites, Ima serves Israeli classics with a Kurdish touch, including comforting kube soup and hearty lamb kebabs.
Shmuel Baruch 55, Jerusalem (with smaller location in the Mahane Yehuda market)
Great for a romantic date, a special meal, or simply catching up with friends, Tmol Shilshom provides a cozy atmosphere for any occasion. A cafe filled with wall to wall books of all kinds and known for its outstanding Shakshuka, a dish of eggs poached in a tomato sauce eating as Tmol Shilshom is an experience of its own.
Yo’el Moshe Salomon St. 5, Jerusalem
Anna Italian Cafe
Anna Italian Cafe is the reincarnation of the classic dairy restaurant at the Anna Ticho house that closed for renovations and reopened in 2018. This beautiful restaurant is back and better than ever with fantastic pizzas, pastas and fish, as well as lovely breakfast options.
HaRav Agan St 10, Jerusalem
If you’re looking for a quiet neighborhood cafe, Cafe Nadi won’t disappoint. Specializing in sandwiches on fresh bread with quality cheeses, Nadi is known for adding interesting vegetables to its Shakshuka. With large portions and affordable prices, this is a great place to spend brunch in Jerusalem.
Shmuel Hanagid St. 5, Jerusalem
Kadosh is more than just your morning coffee cafe. Delicious breakfasts and pastries are followed by savory lunches that range from pastas and fish to salads and quiches. You can’t leave without trying some of their decadent desserts or just purchase a cake to take home!
Queen Shlomziyon St 6, Jerusalem
Located right by the Mahane Yehuda Market, you can visit Haba to try a pastry from the bakery or come for lunch or dinner to enjoy some excellent kosher Italian food and incredible challah. This two-story cafe offers such a wide variety of dishes, the whole family will find something to enjoy here.
Jaffa St. 119, Jerusalem
Finer Dining and Modern
Celebrity chef Asaf Granit’s Machneyehuda is ultra-trendy and features a knockout tasting menu with samples of the restaurant’s best dishes. While the dishes change daily depending on the market’s freshest produce, tables are booked for months in advance, so prepare accordingly!
Beit Ya'akov St 10, Jerusalem
A brother restaurant of the famous Machneyuda, Yudele provides a more casual setting, while still delivering top-quality food. Bringing in ingredients fresh from the Machane Yehuda market, Yudale’s menu is very similar to the original Machneyuda restaurant. At Yudale, visitors love watching the chefs prepare their dishes right in front of them!
Beit Ya’akov St. 11, Jerusalem
Menza is a consistently delicious restaurant for those looking for non-kosher dishes (vegan options too) in the holy city or simply a dinner out on a Friday night. Great desserts make this place a winner.
Betsal'el St 10, Jerusalem
This understated restaurant in the Jerusalem theatre is a more modest relative of the fiery-hot Mahneyehuda, part of the group of restaurants owned by Asaf Granit. Located adjacent to the Jerusalem Theatre, their excellent wine menu makes it a perfect venue for a pre-show bite and drink.
Chopin St 5, Jerusalem
Open since 2000 when Jerusalem had very few non-Kosher options, Jerusalemites have long known Chakra as one of the city’s best restaurants. They serve Italian-inspired, modern dishes like lamb shank radiatori and sea bream with gnocchi. For the best culinary experience, be sure to sit near the bar and watch the chefs work in the open kitchen.
King George St 41, Jerusalem
Satya’s kitchen is run by Chef Ilan Grossi, previously head chef at the popular Chakra. Dishes are heavily influenced by Mediterranean ingredients and influences, and Grossi takes pride in local flavors. The large wine list and creative cocktails only add to Satya’s appeal.
Keren HaYesod 36, Jerusalem
Resting in the city center at the magical Finegold courtyard, Adom is an excellent restaurant and wine bar. Adom’s menu offers a variety of cuisines including meats, seafood, fish,gnocchi, fresh pasta and risotto all with a Mediterranean influence. Beyond the food, Adom has a vast wine menu that is sure to impress.
David Remez St. 4, Jerusalem
Majda is known as the blue house located at the top of the village of Ein Rafa. Run by a mixed-marriage couple, Majda offers unique cuisine that is a blend of their cultures. They offer dishes such as Arab meat pie, lamb kebabs, and bass filet all with their own cultural twists. They also offer traditional desserts including knafeh and halva ice cream.
Haagas Street, Ein Rafa, Israel
For strictly Kosher recommendations, check out this blog post.