Night owls: Jerusalem after dark

Well-known among locals, the night scene in Jerusalem’s legendary Machane Yehuda Market has proliferated in recent years, creating a trendy, yet remarkably different marketplace at night. Abra Cohen explores what’s lighting up after dark
In the daylight, the Machane Yehuda Shuk in Jerusalem is alive with aromatic smells of fresh spices, noisy shop owners, locals and tourists from all ethnic and religious backgrounds. With a maze of alleyways and intricately sprawling streets around the Shuk, sellers peddle their fresh fruit , vegetables, cheeses and decadent desserts...BUT come nightfall, the shop owners close up, and a drastically different crowd emerges. In between the dark and dingy stalls, restaurants and bars come to life and the hustle and bustle of the Shuk is replaced by live music and local on-tap beer and wine.(FYI, there are restaurants and bars – various in the surrounding streets – with both an indoor and outdoor areas).
May 5
may 5

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A small, unassuming coffee shop, opposite a fruit stand, with a yellow "Danesi Café" sign out front serves up fresh coffee and sachlav to a constant flow of customers during the day. At night, the small coffee shop turns into a packed bar with limited indoor and outdoor seating. With a laidback vibe, they prepare various local specialties including sabich – an Iraqi dish stuffed with eggplant, hardboiled egg, tomatoes, and pickled lemons, served with bread. Do not miss Sunday nights when they pull the grill into the middle of the Shuk pathway and grill up fresh fish and vegetables. Their menu changes weekly every Sunday.

Directly off Agripas St, 56 Etz HaChaim St. Sun-Thu 08:00-Last customer, Fri Closed, Sat Sundown-Last customer, 24 hours during the summer; happy hour until 22:00 (
Pasta Basta
This corner pasta place serves up fresh (made on-site) pasta varieties all day and night. With a bar and indoor and outdoor seating, this laid-back spot is a great place to grab a late lunch, dinner or late night drink. There's a constant flow of people from an afternoon to a late night crowd. With Tishi on tap, you get a great vantage point of various parts of the Shuk as they intersect in front of the restaurant. After selecting your choice of pasta (whole wheat or traditional), you decide what toppings to include (various fresh vegetables and cheeses) and pair it with the wine on tap for the week.
8 Hatut St. Sun-Thu 12:00-24:00 (
Casino de Paris
Casino de Paris

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This hotspot is housed in a centuries-old building, whose space used to house a hotel, bar and dance Bordello during the British mandate. With original, colorful tiles lining the floor, parts of the original architecture remain. You can either enter through the Georgian market, or take the first two lefts after entering from the Yaffo Street entrance. Tucked away, you will see a large courtyard that fills up after dark. The Casino de Paris does not have any outdoor signage and draws a pretty local crowd. One of the two owners is a member of the popular Hadag Nahash (meaning "fishsnake") band, so famous rock star friends stop by the small bar whenever they're in town. With Balkan Beatbox in the background, you can gorge on many of the tapas options, including local favorites like stuffed sweet potato and laffa with meat and eggplant. Casino de Paris offers over 15 local Israeli microbrews, liquor and draft beer.

The Shuka

© Abra Cohen

Drawing a large student crowd, the Shuka Bar was opened by three students who met in the army and decided to open a bar with a different approach. They strove to create a new concept of nightlife in Jerusalem. With a  slightly more academic feel on some nights, the Shuka offers "lectures on the bar," where speakers are brought to the Shuk to talk about topics from education to Jewish philosophy and politics. Shuka sells only Israeli, locally made ​​beer. With Shapiro, Malka, Alexander and Bazelet, customers can enjoy special happy hour deals including a shot of Arak during happy hour for only 3 NIS.

17 Ha'Egoz Alley, everyday 20:00-Late night; happy hour 20:00-21: 30 (050-7247030)
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