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The Top Spots for Soaking Up Mahane Yehuda’s Friday Atmosphere

Every day at the Mahane Yehuda Market is an adventure, but Fridays are absolutely electric.

When you’re there, it seems like the whole city has come out to do some pre-Shabbat shopping and hang out with their friends in cafes, restaurants and bars.

The sights and sounds of the market are in full effect — elderly ladies and vendors haggling over produce prices, vendors shouting out their prices, shoppers tasting samples from the stalls, cafe patrons loudly discussing the week’s events and more.

This is Middle Eastern culture in all its glory.

That said, fighting through crowds and yelling over people aren’t necessarily everybody’s cup of tea. Fear not, though, because if you get there just a little earlier in the morning hours, you can peruse the food stalls in relative peace, get a good seat in a cafe and enjoy the atmosphere sans the claustrophobia.

Check out the best joints for a chill, Friday morning coffee in the shuk…

La Padella

Photo: Alex Yampolsky

Photo: Alex Yampolsky

La Padella restaurant is taking the market by storm with its authentic Jerusalem atmosphere and its unique dishes served in a hot pan. Whether you’re grocery shopping or just hanging out, this place should be a must-see on your list. The menu consists of classic Mediterranean Israeli cuisine with rich flavored dishes.

Try the Moroccan spicy shakshuka (served on a hot pan with sardines, chriame fish and homemade bread) or the French Breakfast, with brioche buns, smoked salmon, camembert cheese and homemade jam.

We recommend to get at least one of their favorite shakshukas or luscious desserts. As far as the atmosphere, make sure to not bring any books or laptops with you. La Padella is known for its sassy and dynamic vibe and it attracts both a younger and a more adult crowd. So you know it’s always interesting.

Where? 10 Hashezif Street, Jerusalem

Plan an event at La Padella

More Restaurants in Machane Yehuda Market>>

Cookie Cream: Taste The Best Ice Cream in Jerusalem

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Photo: Courtesy of Cookie Cream

Your next destination is Cookie Cream Ice Cream. This place is leading a very simple yet addictive trend: a homemade ice cream ball wrapped in two hot melt-in-your-mouth cookies. And yes, there are tons of flavors. We are talking about a proper Italian pleasure and a truly a magical moment.

Get a free top-off at Cookie Cream!

Where? 6 Haeshkol Street, Jerusalem

All about Machane Yehuda Market >>

Stroll Around The Market

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Photo: Courtesy of Ministry of Tourism

So now that you ate and you are refilled with energies, it is time to hit the market. Machane Yehuda market is home to some of the city’s most iconic places. One of those places is the Iraqi market, where you’ll find not only the greatest backgammon players, but also “Wachad Falafel” – the first falafel stand in Israel.

Another great spot to check is Machane Yehuda Street where you can find the Pickles Center and Maimon Spices that will immediately upgrade every meal that’s on your mind.

Etz HaChaim Street is another relatively large street in the market. The first Sushi restaurant that opened in the market, “Sushida”, is located there, as well as, Chomot Hayain, a great wine store that sells wines from the best Israeli wineries.

Also, check out Pereg, an aromatic spice store, the famous Filas Bakery, and Mamlechet HaHalva (The Halvah Kingdom) – the best halvah store in Jerusalem (tastings included!). We truly recommend to take the time to explore the little alleyways of the market, talk to the vendors, and buy something interesting and unique.

Where? 12 Etz Haim Street, Jerusalem

Take a Tour around the Shuk >>

O.k…So Now What?

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Photo: Courtesy of Burger Market

If you’re staying for lunch, it is definitely worth checking Burger Market restaurant. It does not come as a surprise that the Burger market is located in the market, since it is the trendiest burger joint right now in Jerusalem. The staff is warm and kind, the buns and meats are fresh, handmade and homemade, making the Burger Market’s burger the best burger you’ll find in the area. Add a beer and some fries, and you got yourself a perfect experience for just 14$!

Where? 3 Ha’Armonim Street, Jerusalem

Top 5 Jerusalem Burger Joints >>

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Photo: Courtesy of Street Market

Looking for a more oriental flavor? Street Market is where you should go. This new Asian restaurant is where East meets Middle East in the shuk.

The menu features more traditional Asian dishes alongside some pretty ambitious fusions of Asian and Middle Eastern flavors like sabich sushi, a chrime sushi roll or a falafel sushi roll. Trust us, it’s good.

The more traditional dishes includes woks, egg rolls, dim sum, and soups. To wash it all down, Street Market has some great Asian beers and a fine plum brew.

Where? 12 Ha’Afarsek Street, Jerusalem

Restaurants for Small and Intimate Events >>

Looking for more things to do on Friday in Jerusalem?