Take all this and add the city’s unique scenery – The famous arches, the ubiquitous Jerusalem stone and the calm background sounds – and you get a heavenly experience that is not to be missed. To our delight, the fine dining options in Jerusalem have increased considerably In recent years. Not only are their more restaurants, there are more places offering unique and fascinating menus, such as those combining the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean traditions with modern culinary trends.
Among the many culinary flavors you will find many restaurants using fresh organic produce. For despite the conservative palates of some older eaters, more and more diners have become aware of the importance of a healthy diet, but at the same time seek new adventures for their taste buds. To help you find your way through the gastronomic maze of the new Jerusalem food scene, we’ve prepared a short list of the most popular, recommended and surprising eateries in town:
Kinor bakikar (“Violin at the square”)
Photo: Kinor BaKikar
Kinor BaKikar is one of the best chef restaurants in town. You’ll feel this establishment’s unique atmosphere as soon as you set foot in the Music Square in which it’s located, which is reminiscent of a pastoral Italian piazza. The square is adorned by a glorious fountain and chairs set in front of the stage, so you can enjoy the delicious foods and the acts performed on stage at the same time.
The atmosphere in the restaurant is relaxed, dynamic, and suitable for the entire family. The menu is based on fine grilled meat cuts, fresh fish, a wide variety of salads and warm bread baked for each diner individually in the kitchen’s traditional taboon oven. Among the restaurant’s most recommended dishes are the veal sirloin roast beef pizza, the grilled fillet of sea bream, served with whipped potatoes, spinach and roast peppers, and the goose breast skewers in a date-honey and pear sauce.
Where: 8 Ma’avar Beit Haknesset, Kikar HaMusika, Jerusalem
Photo: Touro Restaurant
Touro is a Mediterranean chef restaurant helmed by Chef Benny Ashkenazi, which prides itself on a kosher meat menu. The restaurant is located in the heart of the historic Mishkanot Sha’ananim neighborhood, overlooking a breathtaking view of the Old City walls and the Tower of David. The restaurant occupies an old Jerusalem-style building, at the foot of the neighborhood’s historic mill, close to the famous Mishkanot guesthouse, which is popular with artists and intellectuals. In terms of design, you can enjoy an external balcony with gorgeous views of the pastoral neighborhood views, along with an interior space boasting the ambience of an ancient structure in the modern age. The soothing atmosphere but an opening note to the real experience offered by this establishment – the food.
In Touro’s meny you will find meticulous, rich dishes alongside a variety of options suited for vegetarian and vegan diners. The menu is based exclusively on the cuisine of the Mediterranean, with touches of Asian influences, including unique cooking techniques and an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients. Among the chef’s recommendations you will find an impressive variety of fish, grilled chicken tenders with roast pumpkin, pan-seared onions, garlic confit and citrus caramel, a cocktail menu, and one of the richest wine menus in the entire country, with a selection of bottles from local wineries, as well as aged vintages from the restaurant’s own cellar.
Where: 2 S.A. Nachon Street, Mishkenot Sha’ananim, Jerusalem
Photo Courtesy of Eat Barah Restaurant
Eat Barah is a fine kosher grill restaurant located in the heart of the most vibrant market in the country, Mahane Yehuda. The restaurant also has a dairy edition called “Halbait”. Eat Barah invites you to taste one of the most delicious and wacky dishes in the country – the"Chicken Cone", brought to us directly from Budapest in the form of a crispy waffle cup filled with chicken/ Entrecote/ Asado/ kebab/ shawarma with a variety of homemade sauces. The cone is served alongside special salads that will blow your taste buds away. All the dishes may also be served in hot frena bread, upon to your choice. Vegetarians will enjoy suitable dishes made of cauliflower or mushrooms, also served in the cone or frena bread. Additionally, the restaurant is suitable for small events of up to 30 people, and it is perfect for birthday parties and friendly gatherings.
Where: Etz Hayyim Street 49, Mahane Yehuda Marketplace, Jerusalem
Photo: Courtesy of Burger Market
The colorful and vibrant Machane Yehuda market has always been a hub for the finest eateries Jerusalem has to offer, and Burger Market has become one of the hottest spots in the market. The staff is always warm and kind, the buns and meats are fresh, delicious, handmade and homemade, making the Burger Market's burger the best burger you'll find in the area. Add a cold beer and some fries, and you got yourself a perfect experience for just 14$ (49 NIS)!
Where: Agripas 68 St., Jerusalem You can also check out the new branch of the Burger Market, located in the City Center. Read more about it >>
Lechem Basar (Meat and Eat)
Photo: Meat and Eat Restaurant
Simple, elegant, and exceptionally tasty – those are the guidelines for Lechem Basar, a kosher, contemporary carnivore’s restaurant which emphasizes the nexus of those too beloved foodstuffs. The restaurant is located in the legendary First Station Complex in Jerusalem, offering an urban atmosphere mixing old and new. With meticulous, luxurious décor and intimate, comfortable seating, you can enjoy not just a quality meal, but a fabulous night out. The restaurant combines small group seating, mixed tables near the bar and intimate nooks and crannies.
The restaurant boasts a limited menu of uncompromising quality, with an emphasis on freshness, availability, and a quality treat for the taste buds, all at a remarkably affordable price. The aged meat cuts are not to be missed, as are the poultry dishes, served with light salads and superb breads. The restaurant boasts a taboon for fresh baking and an aging fridge for its exquisite meats, which guarantee a multi-sensory culinary experience, which can be completed only with a fine glass of wine.
Where: 4 David Remez St., The First Station Complex, Jerusalem
Dolphin Yam (Sea Dolphin)
Photo: Sea Dolphin
Israeli restaurants (Mostly those from Tel Aviv) love to rib Jerusalemites about having no beach. For the past 45 years, Dolphin Yam restaurant has stood in elegant defiance of that particular talking point. It has become a brand name in seafood cuisine, serving Jerusalemites, Israelis from all over and the most discriminating diners from around the world, who return again and again whenever they’re in town.
The professional chefs employed at the famed establishment and their meticulous approach to the culinary arts have produced a reputation that few in the country can compare to. The restaurant resides in a historical old Jerusalemite building which bestows a magical ambiance upon your meal. The menu, as may be gathered from the name and the above, specializes in the bounty of the sea, with an eye-opening array of fish and seafood dishes. Non-pescatarians will not be disappointed either, as their needs will be served with meat dishes, homemade pastas with surprising sauces, and dishes suited for kiddie palates as well. Some of the Dolphin’s best-known entrees include the seabass fillet in crab and pine-nut sauce, the rib mix, the lamb mini-kebobs, and a mouth-watering variety of seafood, from shrimps to calamari, scallops and crab.
Where: 9 Shimon Ben Shetach St., Jerusalem
Photo: Katia Shepeliavaya
The essence of the legendary Machneyuda restaurant can be glimpsed in its very name – the use of the “street”, low-brow way of saying the name of Jerusalem’s fabled marketplace, as a title for brilliant culinary chops that are anything but common. The restaurant is the love-child of three Jerusalem-born chefs: Yossi Elad, Uri Navon and Assaf Granit – who have since taken England by storm with London’s “Palomar” and “The Barbary”.
The unique synergy between the three chefs, each with his own impressive resume, brings the culinary creativity to new heights. Each of the chefs finds his own avenues of expression, creating a complex, yet simple reflection of the international flavors of Jerusalem, the “City of Nations.” Each entrée is one of the three band members doing a jaw-dropping solo. The restaurant is designed so that each table offers a different view, a different ambience, a different dining experience. You can sit at the small bar and have a front-row view of the kitchen at work, settle around one of the wooden tables or choose the low-sitting bar. The second floor offers still more seating options, low and high, including a small bar from which you can look down at the ground floor.
Where: 10 Beit Yaakov St., Machne Yehuda Marketplace, Jerusalem
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