There's nothing like shouting, pushing, and bargaining to work up an appetite, so lucky for locals and travelers alike, Mahane Yehuda Market is teeming with eateries to get you through any shopping or touring experience. Dig in to any meal of the day – including midnight drinks and snacks – at spots ranging from sit down restaurants to pita-on-the-go eateries. There are international flavors from Georgia and Yemen, classicMiddle Eastern style fare, and pastries that are savory or sweet. Don’t just feast your eyes on the stalls of fresh produce and assortment of sweets, fill your stomach with some of the freshest bites in Jerusalem.
Places worth a bite (or two, or three) in Mahane Yehuda Market
With three Jerusalem chefs running the show, this rustic haven for foodies offers a changing market-to-table menu with all ingredients sourced from the nearby Machne Yehuda Market. The open kitchen gives you a front seat to the action, and the lively, spirited vibes are like no other. This restaurant was the inspiration for two of the most-talked about restaurants in London, The Palomar and The Barbary. Both are known for bringing this ‘Machneyuda’ genre of energetic Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine to the city.
Sick of the usual Israeli street food? Craving some good old fashioned greasy grub? One meal at Crave and you’ll throw your falafel and shawarma days right out the window without looking twice. At this Jerusalem diner bar, Todd Aarons (former chef at Tierra Sur in California) has concocted the ultimate menu that pairs classic American street food staples like sliders and Reubens with mexican favorites like pulled brisket burritos and a little added Korean flare. If you haven’t fallen in love yet, Chef Todd has even dedicated a section of the menu to the ‘munchies’ – with sinfully delicious snacks like truffle oil french fries, wings and ‘The Big O’ (panko crusted onion rings). Plus, the whole restaurant is kosher so greasy favorites like burgers that are usually taboo due to cheese and bacon fixings are now a dream for all parties. Feed your craving today.
This restaurant in the alleys of Machane Yehuda Market rose to fame because of its shamborek, a fluffy Kurdish-Syrian pastry with hearty fillings: Syrian kebab, chicken satay, tongue or a vegetable-stuffed vegan version. This is not the only thing that makes this spot so busy; everything is cooked in-house, including the roasted meat soup, brisket, shakshuka and more. The clay oven known as the tabun seals the deal, making everything that comes out of it excellent.
You know that feeling when you just want something home-cooked after a day of walking around? Stop into Manou Ba Shouk to taste comforting kosher Lebanese food in a lively setting. The dishes range from shakshuka with merguez sausage in the mornings to their version of “kubba,”stuffed bulgur croquettes filled with meat in the afternoons. Try creamy hummus, crispy-fried falafel, stuffed cigars, roasted eggplant and so much more. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are available.
Rachmo, which has been a local institution since the 1930s, is now an integral part of Jerusalem’s dining repertoire. Internationally-recognized Chef Yotam Ottolenghi listed it as one of his top restaurants worth traveling for in Conde Nast Traveler. Accordingly, the locals have made it a weekly favorite. Enjoy wholesome and down-to-earth Kurdish food including home cooked “kubbeh” (meatballs wrapped in dough and then cooked in soup), pots of hearty meatballs and creamy hummus. Forget fancy and opt for the simple pleasures of home-cooked food that feeds your soul.
Sabich is to Iraqi Jews what French toast is to Americans, a staple that may have started as a breakfast dish, but is amazingly satisfying at any time of the day. Aricha Sabich serves this pita stuffed with generous slices of fried eggplant, perfectly hard-boiled eggs, and tasty tahini sauce – and all this sandwiched between layers of salads. Not only is the place spotless, the staff extremely welcoming and the pita spilling with goodness, but everything is made with the freshest ingredients around. Aricha Sabich has everything you could ever want in a tiny, low-key eatery.
This Georgian gem located in Jerusalem's famous Machane Yehuda serves traditional dishes with the best hachapurias (stuffed bread) in Israel. Georgian Jew Tango Sharvit opened the eatery in order to share the foods he grew up eating with the people of Israel, and it has since become a staple of the neighborhood. Each pastry sold at Chachapuria is made fresh on the spot, ensuring every bite is mouthwatering and heavenly. The dishes taste like nothing you have ever tried, and can be washed down with a cold bottle of Georgian brew. Chachapuria for dinner is the next best thing to taking a trip to Georgia for those seeking truly authentic fare.